Gut Instincts & your second Brain

Gut-FeelingsWhen it comes to your moods, decisions and behaviour, the brain in your head is not the only one doing the thinking

IT’S been a tough morning. You were late for work, missed a crucial meeting and now your boss is mad at you. Come lunchtime you walk straight past the salad bar and head for the stodge. You can’t help yourself – at times of stress the brain encourages us to seek out comfort foods. That much is well known. What you probably don’t know, though, is that the real culprit may not be the brain in your skull but your other brain.

Yes, that’s right, your other brain. Your body contains a separate nervous system that is so complex it has been dubbed the second brain. It comprises an estimated 500 million neurons – about five times as many as in the brain of a rat – and is around 9 metres long, stretching from your oesophagus to your anus. It is this brain that could be responsible for your craving under stress for crisps, chocolate and cookies.

Embedded in the wall of the gut, the enteric nervous system (ENS) has long been known to control digestion. Now it seems it also plays an important role in our physical and mental well-being. It can work both independently of and in conjunction with the brain in your head and, although you are not conscious of your gut “thinking”, the ENS helps you sense environmental threats, and then influences your response. “A lot of the information that the gut sends to the brain affects well-being, and doesn’t even come to consciousness,” says Michael Gershon at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York. Continue reading Gut Instincts & your second Brain

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

CancerAFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY (‘TRY’, BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY .

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion.

When doctors tell cancer patientsthat there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

Continue reading Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

Eating Cherries can help with Gout

Eating cherries can reduce the risk of gout attacks, a study has suggested.

US researchers found patients with gout who ate cherries over a two-day period had a 35% lower risk of attacks compared to those who did not.

The study in Arthritis & Rheumatism said cherries contain anthocyanins, antioxidants which contain anti-inflammatory properties.

UK experts said the research offered “good evidence” of the benefits of eating cherries for people with gout.

Gout is a common type of Arthritis that can cause sudden and very severe attacks of pain and swelling in the joints, particularly in the feet.

It is caused by too much uric acid in the bloodstream, which causes urate crystals to start to form in and around the joints and under the skin. Continue reading Eating Cherries can help with Gout

Chronic Hidden Hyperventilation – A 21st Century Epidemic ?

This video will explain the importance of a widespread health problem in the West that is rarely diagnosed and even when it is recognised, is usually not helped or guidance given to the patient. The subject is chronic hidden hyperventilation (CHHV). CHHV is explained, its origins, its impact on every disease, how it can be reduced, why there has been insufficient clinical research and how the Buteyko Method offers a practical solution.

Why stress gets on your nerves

MOST PEOPLE would agree that certain events in their life, such as bereavement, changing jobs, examinations, or even rush-hour travel in big cities, are stressful. We try to avoid stress, but if we cannot, we must try to adapt to it. This adaptation is sometimes referred to as ‘toughening up’. Although stress is difficult to define, we know that both avoidance and toughening up are crucial ways of coping with it.

When we cannot cope, stress can lead to irritability and fatigue, and other more serious disorders, such as gastric ulcers, cardiovascular disease, anxiety and depression. Yet not everyone subjected to severe stress suffers from a heart attack or a bout of depression: some individuals are much more vulnerable than others. Many neuroscientists now suspect that the difference in the ability to cope may lie in biochemical changes in the brain involved in the process of adaptation to stress.

Continue reading Why stress gets on your nerves

The Intelligent Body by Michael Hyland

IT’S all rubbish!” cry the sceptics steeped in conventional medicine. Yet for all their clamour, it’s clear that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) works, and can sometimes rid people of chronic disease. How do we bridge this gap? Do we continue to treat one branch of medicine as science and the other as magic? Perhaps there’s a third way.

Conventional medicine regards the body as a machine, like a jumbo jet or a computer. It assumes that the body becomes diseased in much the same way a machine breaks down—when a specific part goes wrong.

CAM has a very different philosophy: the idea that the healthy body is a system in balance, and that disease can be created by a fault that is distributed over the whole body. Because this idea is so obviously at odds with convention, CAM has always appeared unscientific. Continue reading The Intelligent Body by Michael Hyland