The confusion illusion: what if confusion was a gift?

 

chaos3

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who enjoys a confused state of mind. Confusion is listed a symptom of anxiety and depression in typical psychology resources and most people wish to resolve it as quickly as possible.

But I wonder does confusion have value and how might it serve us in our lives? 

Whilst mulling over this idea today a Deepak Chopra quote popped up in my facebook feed “All great changes are proceeded by chaos” .. I wondered, could the word confusion replace chaos in this context and would that also be true?

YES! I think so… although I’m not entirely sure. I’d have to weigh up the pros and cons of each word in this context and the various reasons why it might or might not fit or make sense. Then I’d also have to consider whether or not Deepak would care if I messed with his quote or if it might confuse people making alterations to a popular phrase in this way…

JOKING!!.. don’t worry I’m not THAT confused. Deepak will just have to deal with it. Because I do think there’s some truth to it; there might be more to confusion than the illusion of unwanted negative feelings.

Chronic uncertainty, crushing doubt, the unbearable weight of conflicting ideas; could it all be a gift? Might we require all of it before great change can occur in our lives?

To explore that idea I’d like to share with you an experience I had at a music workshop over 10 years ago. It was a rhythm training workshop called TaKeTiNa where we learnt to coordinate various rhythms and more complex polyrhythms using feet stomping, clapping, speech and singing. As some of the coordinations where quite challenging many people found themselves going in and out of syncronisity with the facilitator; from confusion to coherance and flow then back again.

The teacher said the trick was to “allow the chaos” and allow the body/mind to fall upon flow naturally without trying to force it. She said reacting to the mistake, chaos or confusion would only make it worse. So too would trying to figure it out mentally. A state of open receptivity and allowing worked best. Chaos, she said, was a natural part of the process and the space in-between knowing and not knowing. It was the contrast that gave meaning to the flow state.

When I played around with this I found it was indeed true. If you fell out of rhythm or didn’t get something straight away your annoyance or resistance to being confused just made you remain stuck in that non-flow for longer. So to did overly analysing the rhythms mentally. By just allowing, it was almost as if something greater enabled you to fall back into the rhythm and cohesion with the group. Some other part of you was processing it all until it just fell into place.

I think this can be applied to all of life.  There’s nothing inherently bad about confusion itself. It’s just the chaotic space between not knowing and knowing. The trick is to allow it to be there, release resistance, and to allow the flow/ clarity/ answer you seek to come about naturally; whether that be via your subconscious deeper mind or some other force we don’t quite understand. Sure you can take action (like stomping and clapping and listening) or whatever it takes to get from A to B but within an atmosphere of allowance.

Does that make sense? I hope this post hasn’t been too confusing for you, as that would be terrible wouldn’t it .. but only if you resist the confusion.

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The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset. 

 

 

 

 

 

Confusion: friend or foe? Seeking your input for my next blog post

confusion1

Let’s face it, confusion can be really confusing. Like so confusing it does your head in. Or maybe it doesn’t. I’m not sure. Because my experience of confusion might be different to yours and I’m pretty confused about whether or not it’s really that confusing or just mildly so.

Confused by the above? I don’t blame you. It’s a bit confusing.

So today I’ve been mulling over the concept of, you guessed it, confusion and an idea came to me: what if confusion was a gift? What if it was valuable part of how we process information and make decisions.

No one likes feeling confused or unsure: it can be so distressing to remain in a state of limbo. But what if it was important and how might the confused state actually serve us?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this as I work on my next post for tomorrow. The Confusion Illusion.. do you think confusion is valuable and if so how?

 

Swallowing pride and embracing new information

The-truth-is-hard-to-swallow

Last year I did a professional development course in the Estill Voice Training method. Aside from being a mental health blogger, I’m also a singing teacher and wanted to brush up on my skills after a break from teaching.

Estill is a program designed to develop vocal skills by deconstructing the process of vocal production. Developed by the late Jo Estill, a speech pathologist and opera singer, the method helps singers better understand, control and manipulate the singing process. It incorporates anatomy and video imaging of the vocal chords to help participants truly appreciate and understand what’s happening when they sing. 

I found the workshop enlightening and it give me insight into some areas that had previously confused me. Even though I had studied singing at a tertiary level, and had taught students for several years,  much of what I had learnt about voice training and teaching (aside from music theory) was vague, non-scientific or outright wrong! For example, many teachers will tell you to “sing with your diaphragm.” This always confused me as I didn’t know how to access my diaphragm specifically and tell it what to do.

In Estill I learnt that the diaphragm has no nerve endings so it’s no surprise I had trouble feeling it or telling it how to behave! When it comes to the breathing mechanism there’s a whole lot of nonsense that gets taught and this course helped me sort fact from fiction.

There were a lot of facepalms and jaw drops in the workshop as many of us who had taught previously had to acknowledge that some of our methods had been wrong, confusing or even at times potentially damaging to our students.

The facilitator said shock was a common theme in her workshops and that it was really hard for some people to admit that, after many years of teaching, they may have been wrong about some of their methods. Fortunately most people, once presented with the science and the vocal chord videos can come around and start to embrace the new information.

I’ll admit it wasn’t easy! I felt like a douche and really annoyed with myself for not having enrolled in this course earlier but I knew I had to swallow my pride and accept that it’s life! Sometimes we are presented with new information and it’s up to us to either embrace it or choke on our pride.

When it comes to mental health I see a lot of organised denial happening despite the revelations of new scientific information. Take for example recent insights into the digestive system and the importance of gut health. There’s now mountain of research studies that have debunked the low serotonin model of depression. Instead, we’re finding that depression is often a symptom of chronic inflammation in the gut.

But how many psychiatrists check their patients gut heath (where a high percentage of neurotransmitter chemicals are actually made) and prescribe dietary changes? Do they even study this in their training? As this psychiatrist explains she had just one hour of nutrition training in her 10 years of formal medial training.

Again FACEPALM.

facepalm

Fortunately she had the balls to admit her training was missing certain elements and did some additional research into nutrition and holistic therapy. Now she’s running holistic mental health courses that teach people how to truly take charge of their health. Yay for Dr Brogan!

Another interesting group I found who are presenting mental health experts with important information is the UK based Council for Evidence-Based Psychiatry. They provide evidence of the damaging effects of psychiatric drugs and treatments to the people and institutions that can make a difference. In particular they’re concerned that there are no long-term studies to prove the safety and efficacy of anti-depressants and would like to see better regulation and research in this area.

If you’re a doctor or mental health professional reading this would you like your patients to be long-term guinea pigs to potentially harmful drugs? Or would you prefer to use drugs as a short-term tool to help transition patients through crisis and then help them develop the tools to cultivate health for the long haul?

It’s not always easy to embrace new information when it arrives but I believe being open and receptive to it can help us be more effective in our various careers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you work your receiving muscle to increase your cash flows?

I recently came across a blog post where the writer discussed working on their capacity to receive. They felt that they had blocks to receiving that were preventing them from having the money and abundance they desired.

receiving a giftI’ve come across this concept many times in self-help/ psychology material and today I wanted to explore the topic further with the question: can you work your receiving muscle to increase your cash flows?

Advocates of ‘work your receiving’ type concepts suggest YES you can expand this capacity if you’re willing.

“Abundance shows up if we are willing to receive” is a popular concept I’ve come across.

The assumption here is that poverty or lack is the end result of being unwilling to receive. This is a fairly bold statement when you think about it but since I’ve heard it a lot I thought I would see if there’s any truth to it.

The first question that comes to mind when considering this idea is

Why would someone be unwilling to receive what they would actually really like to have?

A few examples come to mind where someone might be unwilling or uncomfortable with receiving something they would like.

  • A bankrupt adult refusing money from a sibling because of potential family dramas. They might really like to have more money show up but not via a sibling they’ve had previous money dramas with.
  • A feminist unwilling to have her meal paid for by a romantic date because it compromises her equality values. The feminist may really like getting a free meal but not on a romantic date.
  • A doctor feeling uncomfortable about receiving a free holiday from a pharmaceutical rep because of a sense of obligation to prescribe their brand. They may really feel like a holiday but feel it’s a conflict of interest.

After writing the above examples I noticed a common theme:  it’s more about the giver, or the way the offering is being delivered, rather than the offering itself. In all instances the person actually wants the thing being offered but not with the specific compromise attached. For example, the bankrupt adult would like money but not at the cost of future family dramas, the feminist would like a free meal but not at the cost of compromising her commitment to gender equality and the doctor wants a holiday but not at the cost of personal ethics.

It’s not that those people don’t want to receive generally, or that their receiving capacity is weak. They might be quite willing to receive in a million other ways. It’s that the trade offs, in those particular instances aren’t worth it for them. They’ve assessed the situation and made a choice based on what they believe will deliver them the best outcome, otherwise they probably wouldn’t make that choice. They may actually be choosing to receive the fullness of what’s available by making informed choices, weighing up options and choosing what feels right for them.

Having said that, some people with low self worth may feel uncomfortable with receiving more generally and may feel undeserving money.

For these people I don’t think working the receiving capacity is necessarily helpful though (and is that even possible?) Anything they try to receive is just going to bump up against their core beliefs. How do you make yourself receive when some part of you is in conflict with what’s being offered?

I think what works better than trying to develop the receiving muscle is tapping into intrinsic motivation and the innate desire we all have to create something. You may not like yourself but somewhere within is the drive to create something you do like. And that’s where you can make some $$

I believe everyone has an inner being that wishes to create something worthwhile in this lifetime whether that be a business, an artistic endeavor, or work outcomes for a company or cause. There’s a zest for improvement and creation in each one of us and once we tap into it the ego jumps on board sooner or later. Once we begin creating what we want to create self worth follows naturally in time.

A great book that explores this process further is Robert Fritz’s The Path of Least Resistance. It’s probably one of the most helpful self-help books I’ve come across on my journey and it helped me realise where I truly can add value to the world, and my potential to trade that for $.

the path

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The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset. 

 

How I cultivate forgiveness with an excel spread sheet

forgiveness-PB

Last year a random thought popped into my head “I forgive myself.” It was a very comforting thought and I felt a sense of relief as I contemplated this idea. I forgive myself for where I’m at and everywhere I’m resenting me.

I’m not sure where it came from. I wasn’t reading any material about forgiveness and I’m not someone who attends a church. Perhaps it came from my subconscious or some higher force urging me to let go of my resentments.

Either way it lead me to consider the standards I was imposing on myself and the negative feelings around a sense of not having achieved enough in life. I realised I was really pissed off with myself. Why the fuck haven’t I made my life work better than this? Why don’t I have more money? Surely I could have figured this all out by now? The more I went into it the more I realised I had high expectations of myself and that I may need to sooth my self talk a bit. To adopt a more encouraging approach.

Despite a ton of analysis, self-help and psychological inquiry I had, up until that point, never just sat down with myself and said “I forgive me’ I didn’t get it all right, I made some mistakes, I made some poor choices but I can forgive myself and move on. Start over”.

After mulling this over for a while “I forgive myself ” turned into “I forgive myself and I forgive others”.. and then it became “there’s a reason why everyone does everything so I can forgive people” For a few days I felt waves of forgiveness come over me.

Then I came up against a road block. People I couldn’t just “forgive” the places in me where I held onto intense resentments. How could so n’ so have been such an a-hole of magnitude. What xyz did was beyond rotten and they don’t deserve my forgiveness. Etc etc.  As I dredged up the past I realised how much these resentments were like unresolved poisons in my psyche and I wondered how to let them go.

I googled “resentment processing” and found this table from the Narcotics Anonymous 12 step program. Whilst I’ve never taken narcotics in my life, something about the process spoke to me and I thought that exploring my resentments in this way might be helpful.

Screen Shot 2017-06-18 at 2.09.08 PM

So I made an excel spread sheet of my resentments based on the above table. OMG lol as I’m writing this I realise how weird that sounds. Yes I made a spread sheet to process my emotions. I listed all my major resentments, the cause, the part of myself that was hurt or threatened, and where I might have been to blame.

The first thing that struck me was how incredibly long my resentment list was.. it was extraordinary. I was carrying around A TON OF CRAP and hadn’t fully appreciated the breadth and depth of it. Seeing it on a spreadsheet really made that clear.

The “where was I to blame” aspect was a bit confronting because some things I really don’t take responsibility for.. like someone being verbally abusive.. I’m really not going to own that shit but I could own the fact that I allowed it to go on without taking action. (I also appreciated that NA is an offshoot of AA which was founded in the 1930s so there are some old fashioned ideas/wording in the content but overall it seems to be very empowering for people)

I can honestly say that I felt a massive sense of relief once I had explored all of my resentments in this way.  Some of them really did just fall away and I was able to forgive people. Even though I had talked about many of these issues with counsellors or trusted friends something about the visual table aspect really worked for me.

I never thought excel would help me heal my resentments but there you go. Sometimes the answers to life’s problem are simpler than we realise.

I now find that I can cultivate a feeling of forgiveness towards people after I have processed resentments in this way. I don’t think there’s any particular trick to growing the quality of forgiveness within. It’s just an intention to do so and works once the road blocks are moved out of the way.

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The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset. 

a mind of your own

 

 

If it’s inaccessible to the poor it’s neither radical nor revolutionary

if it's inaccessilbe to the poor

Today I googled “radical” and the first hit I got after wikipedia and few online dictionaries was the car manufacturer “Radical Sportscars” .. With “revolution” I got “Revolution” the anti-flea product for the pets I don’t have. Because I can’t afford to have a pet. Nor can I afford a sportscar… although I’m sure both are awesome.

You see I’m experiencing financial hardship and living way under the poverty line. I’m unemployed, looking for work and living off welfare. The only speed limit I’ve been exceeding is the amphetamine-like chemicals my brain’s been speeding on from stress and cheap coffee.

So as you can imagine, the above quote speaks to me right now.

In my quest to find true holistic health and move beyond my financial rut I’ve been searching for help that’s accessible to me: free stuff given in the spirit of generosity and people or companies willing to explore barter style arrangements.

I’ve been incredibly grateful to find those willing to help me out. In the last few months I’ve experienced generosity which has blown me away and renewed my faith in mankind. I will pay it forward at my earliest opportunity.

But I’ve also become acutely aware of what’s not accessible to me and much of the time I’ve just had to go without.  For example, some friends of mine recently did a personal development workshop about, ironically “manifesting money,” and encouraged me to enroll. I contacted the company and offered my time as a volunteer in exchange for participation in the event. Their reply was something along the lines of

“Sorry, we don’t do that but check out the e-book The Money Revolution it’s only $<insert way too much money>.” Ha! Notice the irony??!!

Fair enough though, they’re a business and want to make some decent coin..and not everyone wants to take a risk on a volunteer.. I get it. But as I’ve been doing it tough and busting some seriously badass frugal maneuvers I’ve been wondering

is there a better way of doing business that grants RICH and POOR people access? Could volunteers be a valuable resource beyond the realms of charitable organisations? 

One of my favourite Melbourne restaurants Lentil as Anything comes to mind as inspiration. They operate on a “pay as your feel” basis where customers can make a donation, large or small, depending on what they can afford. The idea is that more generous donors will compensate for those who are not in a position to give as freely.  They also rely heavily on volunteers.

Their mission is to provide a wholesome and nutritious meal where money is not a concern and they believe that everyone deserves a seat at their table.  Officially they’re a not-for-profit but they obviously have to make enough money to keep the operation thriving and so far, after 17 years.. they’re still going strong. In fact many additional Lentil as Anything restaurants have opened around Melbourne and Sydney in recently years so my bet is that they’ve nailed it.

Another example of pay as you feel pricing that comes to mind is the release of Radiohead’s 7th album“In Rainbows”. The album was made available for download for whatever fans wanted to pay for it. Although many people who downloaded the album did it for free, it was reported that the digital revenues from this single album were worth more than the digital sales of all of their six previous albums combined. They really blitzed it and opened the doors of possibly for many of us to follow.

I wonder if these sort of models represent the future of business? I know that if I ran a successful business I would be overjoyed to be able to offer my services to those doing it tough as part of the mix. I think this might even be more exciting than receiving cash.

Do you know of any other businesses that grant access to the poor? What other business models or arrangements could work to embrace rich and poor alike?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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P.S. Love the idea of Lentil as Anything and it’s inclusive philosophy? You can make a donation here

lentils

 

 

 

Care what people think.. otherwise you’re a sociopath

duck

Do you care about what others think of you and sometimes wish you could just switch it off? Has rejection ripped your heart open to the core and left you with wounds that are painfully slow to heal? Don’t worry about it. It’s normal. It’s part of being an emotionally intelligent human being.

But so often people strive to care less. To detach. To build an iron clad resiliance that could withstand the meanest of onslaughts. If only we could not give a shit what so and so thinks.

I’ve read processes in self-help books on how to energetically receive judgement.. how to let it go through you and out the back… or over you like water off a ducks back.

But what are we aspiring to here? Do we actually want to be a ducks back?

I recently came across this curious article “I asked a sociopath how to stop caring about rejection” . It was an entertaining read and certainly might help those of use who care too much .. who perhaps feel debilitated by their level of caring. But it also raised an interesting question for me: do we actually want to be like a sociopath?

For those who don’t know a sociopath is “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” …In other words they lack empathy and don’t give two shits about how you feel or what you think of them. They have “an inflated sense of self. They are narcissists to the extreme, with a huge sense of entitlement .” (source)

So how DO you care about what people think without letting it destroy you? Here are 5 ways that have helped me explore judgement or rejection without turning myself into a sociopath in the process.

1. Ask if it’s true and if so see if you can take on board the suggestion. Recently I had an argument with my sister where she suggested that I had said something upsetting at the worst time. Initially I felt defensive at the accusation but on further reflection I asked myself “is there any truth in this” and I got a loud and clear inner YES. I realised what I said was pretty rude and insensitive given the context and had a think about what I could do to improve the situation. It felt a lot better once I had admitted to myself what I’d done wrong and how I might go about changing it.

2. Realise approval is a built in instinct from our ancestors where acceptance in the tribe meant survival. A life coach I met at a workshop introduced me to this idea.. It’s a great concept that’s really helped me. Whenever I feel at risk of being rejected I remind myself that the feeling is perhaps something hardwired like the fight or flight response and a bit of a miss match to our current reality. I simply tell myself I’m not going to die if so and so doesn’t like me. It’s 2017 and I’m adapting to a more sophisticated inter-tribal world.

3. Compensate for rejection by remembering where you are accepted. Like ying and yang life is made up of contrast and for every person who rejects you there are many others who love you for who you are. When I feel judged unfavourably or rejected I try to remember all the people who have loved, accepted, approved and supported me over the years.

4. Prioritise the judgements of others and work out whose opinion really matters to you the most. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If a random stranger passes you by and says “ugly shoes mate” you can learn let go of that shit. If your boss says “poorly written report” well then you might have to do something about that if you want to keep your job. You don’t have to 100% agree with it or let it define your whole being but you do have to take it onboard and consider the appropriate actions.

5. Go ask a duck in the park and see what it says. Because nobody thought to ask a duck.

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The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset. 

How this medical intervention had a surprising side-effect: tranquility

Unless you were raised in an obscure religious sect that frowns upon modern medicine you’ve probably experienced its life-saving benefits at some time or other.

I know I might not be here today had it not been for surgeons smashing bones into place or doctor prescribing antibiotics. I’m grateful for the gift of conventional medicine and glad I never asked a naturopath to cut me open on the operating table.

However, medical interventions, with all their glory, often come at a cost: the dreaded side effects. From dizzy spells to death; from brittle bones to prolific bleeding, there’s no doubt that doctors pills can give you brand new ills.

So what do you do if you’ve reached the limits of a particular med? When the side effects are too great, too risky and just not worth it?

Yesterday I interviewed a retired finance director over at LindsdayLobe.com about his experience treating chronic illness with a little known medical intervention developed in Russia, the Buteyko Method. After years of compromised health, a permanent blocked nose and steroid meds that were too dangerous to use on a continuous basis,  Lindsay decided to look outside of convention and to explore an alternative treatment.

Not only did this intervention reduce his symptoms, it had other surprising side effects like tranquility and an increased sense of well being.

Professor Buteyko

Proffessor Buteyko, founder of the Buteyko Method for breathing difficulties.

1. What is the Buteyko Method and what lead you to exploring this treatment option?

The Buteyko Method is a breathing technique developed by Dr Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, for the treatment of Asthma and other respiratory conditions. It’s is based on the idea that numerous medical conditions, including asthma, are caused by chronically increased respiratory rate or over breathing.

Buteyko aims at normalizing the breathing rate and depth to restore the correct balance of CO2, within the lungs for those with prior deficient levels. The process takes time as one has to reverse a previous lifetime of unhealthy breathing practices and Buteyko also includes tips on adopting more healthy lifestyle choices. 

When I first experienced Asthma attacks some 30 years ago my first reaction of course was to seek help from my GP and inevitably I relied on Ventolin and Pulmicort as the traditional approach to treatment which alleviates the symptoms but don’t offer a cure.

Later on as I developed severe nasal polyps (which I had surgically removed on 2 occasions) on specialist advice I reverted to using prednisolone which worked very well and as an added side benefit reduced the incidence of Asthma since it is a steroid. The problem however is this drug as a steroid has a number of severe side effects such as stomach ulcers and calcium deficiency leading to osteoporosis.

Hence I was interested in the possibility the Buteyko heath and breathing course might ensure a way forward to naturally increase  steroid production to the extent it was no longer necessary for me to take the prednisolone and potentially ventolin.

2. What are the benefits so far? Have you reduced your medications and improved your overall health?

As a naturally sceptical type of person I was not convinced there would be ensuing benefits but so far the results have been very encouraging. I have encountered worthwhile gains and cut down on my medication as well as some enhanced side benefits such, reduced resting pulse rate and a greater sense of overall calm. Doing the exercises twice daily (when I should be doing them 5 times a day) the following benefits are already applicable:

  • No asthma attacks
  • Needing substantially less sleep, waking up with far less or scarcely any nose or throat mucus and feeling rested rather than tired- even after only just a few hours’ sleep.
  • Slower resting pulse and having more energy.
  • No sinusitis, reduced sneezing and far less coughing.
  • Walking briskly with far less breath given I now only breath through my nose.
  • A general more peaceful feeling of control over emotions which is hard to define but I would liken it to the mind feeling more relaxed or rested – a greater sense of tranquility and wellbeing. 

3. Can you tell me a little bit about the course and what’s involved in learning the method? 

The exercises simply involve practicing taking in less air and breathing out more slowly, whilst experiencing a very mild feeling of discomfort. What is best described as a very subtle or gentle feeling like you want just a tad more air. A mild hunger for more air. After a while your brain gets used to that feeling and you start to feel more comfortable.

But I hasten to add nothing is meant to have a forced outcome or for you to feel very uncomfortable. Some people say they like to imagine the tide going out slowly. You take in less air in (tide coming in with less strength) but breath out for a bit longer (tide is going out with more strength then it comes in ) until such time as it becomes a pleasant natural rhythm which eliminate over breathing.
It is not to be confused with deep breathing.

But the technique also involves gently breathing in through the diaphragm to feel it expand just a little and then to breathe out for longer by relaxing the diaphragm.
After each set you measure your “control pause” which may increase but after waiting a few minutes after each 5 minute set. You keep a record it and chart your progress.

What you will find is your control pause duration will gradually increase over time as you revert to a more natural rhythm assuming you were over- breathing previously.

4. What is the control pause? 

The control pause has been proven clinically to indicate the retention level of carbon dioxide, since bad breathing leaves you with an insufficient residue for optimum results.
If you want to test yourself to see if such a course might be of benefit try this out: Start out by being comfortably seated and breathing naturally, but not after just eating a meal or exercising.

Hold your breath after what is for you a normal expulsion. Starting out (for those who may be over breathing)  you may only feel comfortable for say the first 10 – 15 seconds or thereabouts. However if it is longer than that and say it lasts for 20/25 seconds you get still reap benefits since a good reading is 40/50.

Remember you only hold on until such time as you feel a mild level of discomfort and the distinct need to take in a breath. The intervening period of time from when you stop breathing (after expulsion )and start again is your control pause. Completely different to simply holding your breath in after breathing in where you can hold on for much longer periods.

Take your pulse before and immediately after to ensure you have not “forced” the issue, as it should be about the same.

I started out only feeling reasonably comfortable holding my breath after exhaling for only about 15-18 seconds naturally. This has since increased to around 30 and at times a bit more after the exercises to reach over 40. To reiterate a good reading is 40/50.

5. So if it’s an effective treatment why isn’t it more widely used in treating asthma and related allergies? 

Drug companies are unlikely to fund research into alternative natural cures so the technique is still not widely used despite exhibiting promising results from the limited research undertaken.

The anecdotal evidence is strong and can apply to anyone suffering allergies or breathing difficulties, even mildly so as evidenced by markedly improving the outcomes for a Buddhist Monk. According to this reference he started out with control pause of 25, but on completion of the course and undertaking the exercises it added significantly to his overall well being and the quality of his life.

http://www.buteykoscotland.co.uk/buddhistmeditation.htm

I also know of several people as chronic Asthma sufferers who claim it has made a life changing difference. Even so there is no suggestion one should go off any medication at the first sign of any dramatic improvement but rather over time gradually reduce dosages once optimum results have been sustained.

Should any of this be of interest I suggest you Google Buteyko heath and breathing and visit an accredited practitioner in your area.

Clinical Trials are few but here are some:

·       We conclude that the BBT may be effective in improving the quality of life and reducing the intake of inhaled reliever medication in patients with asthma. These results warrant further investigation.
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/02770900009090810
·       Six months after completion of the interventions, a large majority of subjects in each group displayed control of their asthma with the additional benefit of reduction in inhaled corticosteroid use in the Buteyko group. The Buteyko technique, an established and widely recognised intervention, or an intensive programme delivered by a chest physiotherapist appear to provide additional benefit for adult patients with asthma who are being treated with inhaled corticosteroid.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0954611107005112
·       Buteyko’s theory relating to carbon dioxide levels and airway calibre is an attractive one, and has some basis in evidence from experimental studies. However, it is not known whether altering breathing patterns can raise carbon dioxide levels significantly, and there is currently insufficient evidence to confirm that this is the mechanism behind any effect that BBT may exert. Further research is necessary to establish unequivocally whether BBT is effective, and if so, how it may work.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229905000117
However, outcomes that were reported from individual trials do show that breathing retraining may have a role in the treatment and management of asthma. Further large-scale trials using breathing retraining techniques in asthma are required to address this important issue.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0954611102914721

6. So where do I sign up? 

If you’re in Melbourne Australia I recommend Buteyko Health & Breathing otherwise google Buteyko to find your local practitioner.

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The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset. 

vital mind pic

 

 

 

 

 

The joy of cooking meth prank: this will make you laugh

“If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.”
George Bernard Shaw

Whilst I haven’t received any death threats yet some of the content in the Truth about Mental Health is at times controversial and confronting.  I’ve possibly offended some people and I’m sorry if so. Yesterday’s blog “Are we over-diagnosing the worried well” was heavy.. depressing even yet I continue to feel driven to share my perspective on this.

I care about people who suffer. I’m angry that they’ve been lead astray. I want people to see that they’re not just cells in a meat suit, standing on a giant rock hurling through space, at the mercy of genetics and random events. We can hack our brains and shape our reality.  I’m pushing the boundaries as far as I can on this in the spirit of inquiry. This excites me.

But truth can get a bit too serious at times so I’m taking this moment to watch some silly pranks on youtube and have a laugh. I’m blogging from a cafe and people are looking over at me as I laugh hysterically at the fake book title “The Joy of Cooking Meth,” from the subway prank below. I love a good prank!

According to psychology today laughter might be the most contagious of all emotional experiences. We all know it makes us feel good but science has also demonstrated how it releases tension, lowers anxiety, boosts the immune system, and aids circulation.

As I’m writing this two girls at the table opposite just burst out in a fit of laughter. Did my earlier chuckles catch on? Serendipity maybe? Looking at them laughing makes me smile.. I smile at the waiter and he smiles back.. it’s catching on! Here I’ll pass you the ball: a few more funny videos I’ve found. I hope they give you a chuckle too.  ha ha ha

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The Truth about Mental Health blog is an affiliate of Dr Kelly Brogan, Holistic Woman’s Health Psychiatrist. Check out her 44 day online course that explores holistic interventions like diet, meditation, exercise and mindset.