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Phobias may be memories passed down in genes from ancestors December 5, 2013

Posted by Dr. Adam McLeod, ND in Alternative medicine, Dreamhealer, Emotion, Genetics, Health, Integrative Medicine, Research.
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Article by: Richard Gray

dreamhealer DNA

Memories may be passed down through generations in DNA in a process that may be the underlying cause of phobias

Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop.

Scientists have long assumed that memories and learned experiences built up during a lifetime must be passed on by teaching later generations or through personal experience.

However, new research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA.

Researchers at the Emory University School of Medicine, in Atlanta, found that mice can pass on learned information about traumatic or stressful experiences – in this case a fear of the smell of cherry blossom – to subsequent generations.

The results may help to explain why people suffer from seemingly irrational phobias – it may be based on the inherited experiences of their ancestors.

So a fear of spiders may in fact be an inherited defence mechanism laid down in a families genes by an ancestors’ frightening encounter with an arachnid.

Dr Brian Dias, from the department of psychiatry at Emory University, said: “We have begun to explore an underappreciated influence on adult behaviour – ancestral experience before conception.

“From a translational perspective, our results allow us to appreciate how the experiences of a parent, before even conceiving offspring, markedly influence both structure and function in the nervous system of subsequent generations.

“Such a phenomenon may contribute to the etiology and potential intergenerational transmission of risk for neuropsychiatric disorders such as phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.”

In the study, which is published in the journal of Nature Neuroscience, the researchers trained mice to fear the smell of cherry blossom using electric shocks before allowing them to breed.

The offspring produced showed fearful responses to the odour of cherry blossom compared to a neutral odour, despite never having encountered them before.

The following generation also showed the same behaviour. This effect continued even if the mice had been fathered through artificial insemination.

The researchers found the brains of the trained mice and their offspring showed structural changes in areas used to detect the odour.

The DNA of the animals also carried chemical changes, known as epigenetic methylation, on the gene responsible for detecting the odour.

This suggests that experiences are somehow transferred from the brain into the genome, allowing them to be passed on to later generations.

The researchers now hope to carry out further work to understand how the information comes to be stored on the DNA in the first place.

They also want to explore whether similar effects can be seen in the genes of humans.

Professor Marcus Pembrey, a paediatric geneticist at University College London, said the work provided “compelling evidence” for the biological transmission of memory.

He added: “It addresses constitutional fearfulness that is highly relevant to phobias, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders, plus the controversial subject of transmission of the ‘memory’ of ancestral experience down the generations.

“It is high time public health researchers took human transgenerational responses seriously.

“I suspect we will not understand the rise in neuropsychiatric disorders or obesity, diabetes and metabolic disruptions generally without taking a multigenerational approach.”

Professor Wolf Reik, head of epigenetics at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, said, however, further work was needed before such results could be applied to humans.

He said: “These types of results are encouraging as they suggest that transgenerational inheritance exists and is mediated by epigenetics, but more careful mechanistic study of animal models is needed before extrapolating such findings to humans.”

It comes as another study in mice has shown that their ability to remember can be effected by the presence of immune system factors in their mother’s milk

Dr Miklos Toth, from Weill Cornell Medical College, found that chemokines carried in a mother’s milk caused changes in the brains of their offspring, affecting their memory in later life.

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Vitamin D Experts’ “Call to Action” Urges Major RDA Increase to 2000 IU April 8, 2009

Posted by Dr. Adam McLeod, ND in vitamins.
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Anthony Norman, PhD – whose discoveries shape what is known today about vitamin D – has joined a group of 18 experts in urging the US government to increase its recommended daily vitamin D intake dramatically, to 2000 IU. At the same time they issued a joint statement “in support of the use of vitamin D for reducing incidence of several types of cancer, type 1 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.” Read More…. 

Tune into Healing Vibrations March 4, 2008

Posted by Dr. Adam McLeod, ND in Energy Healing.
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LoolwaSuddenly I knew, without a doubt, that everything I had experienced was real. My power to tap into universal energycertainly was not as developed as Adam’s, but I had not made up my abilities.

I feel a certain amount of embarrassment that it took my reading about someone else’s experience to trust my own. Characteristically, I am bold: From a very young age, I have thought for myself, stood up for my convictions, and staked out to pave new paths. So why couldn’t I trust myself on this one? Read the Full article

Acupuncture treatments using low levels of electrical stimulation can lower blood pressure November 5, 2007

Posted by Dr. Adam McLeod, ND in Alternatives.
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acupressureIn tests on rats, the researchers found that electroacupuncture treatments provided temporary relief from the conditions that raise blood pressure during hypertensive states. Such treatments, they believe, potentially can become part of a therapeutic regimen for long-term care of hypertension and other cardiovascular ailments in people.

“This study suggests that acupuncture can be an excellent complement to other medical treatments, especially for those treating the cardiac system,” said Dr. John C. Longhurst, director of the Samueli Center and study leader. “The Western world is waiting for a clear scientific basis for using acupuncture, and we hope that this research ultimately will lead to the integration of ancient healing practices into modern medical treatment.”

The study appears in the March issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Acupuncture is a 3,000-year-old form of Chinese medicine that involves inserting needles at specific points on the body to help cure disease or relieve pain. In previous studies, Longhurst and his UCI colleagues have identified at the cellular and molecular level how acupuncture excites brain cells to release neurotransmitters that either inhibit or heighten cardiovascular activity.

They have found that when an acupuncture needle is inserted at specific sites on the wrist, inside of the forearm or leg, this triggers the release of opioid chemicals in the brain that reduce excitatory responses in the cardiovascular system. This decreases the heart’s activity and its need for oxygen, which in turn can lower blood pressure, and promotes healing for a number of cardiac ailments, such as myocardial ischemia (insufficient blood flow to the heart) and hypertension.

In this study, the Longhurst team applied acupuncture to specific points on the forelimb of test rats with artificially elevated blood pressure rates; these same sites on humans are on the inside of the forearm slightly above the wrist. The researchers found that acupuncture alone had no effect on blood pressure.

Next, they added electrical stimulation to the acupuncture treatment by running an electrical current through the needles. High frequencies of stimulation also had no effect, but low frequencies lowered increased blood pressure by as much as 40 to 50 percent. Overall, the researchers found that a 30-minute treatment reduced blood pressure rates in these test rats by 25 mmHg – with the effect lasting almost two hours.

“This type of electroacupuncture is only effective on elevated blood pressure levels, such as those present in hypertension, and the treatment has no impact on standing blood pressure rates,” said Longhurst, a cardiologist who is also the Lawrence K. Dodge Professor in Integrative Biology. “Our goal is to help establish a standard of acupuncture treatment that can benefit everyone who has hypertension and other cardiac ailments.”

Longhurst and his colleagues currently are testing this electroacupuncture treatment method in an ongoing human study.

Drs. Wei Zhou, Liang-Wu Fu, Stephanie C. Tjen-A-Looi and Peng Li of the UCI Department of Medicine participated in the study, which was funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and the Larry K. Dodge Endowed Chair.

The Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine in the UCI School of Medicine is focused on scientific research and education in the broad field of complementary and alternative medicine. The center, which was established in early 2000 through a gift from Henry and Susan Samueli, is dedicated to public and professional education and scientific research on the use of complementary and integrative approaches in wellness and prevention as well as health care. For more information, see: http://www.ucihs.uci.edu/com/samueli.

Healing touch: A new patient outreach program November 5, 2007

Posted by Dr. Adam McLeod, ND in Alternatives.
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Susan Iliff was out of the hospital within four days after open-heart surgery and never needed any pain medication.

She credited her speedy, painless recovery not just to her doctors, but also to an unconventional type of therapy she received at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif.: a daily dose of healing touch therapy.

Every day, a nurse slowly guided her hands along Iliff’s legs and feet and then lightly touched her elbows, wrists and forehead, stopping at each point for about a minute. By the end of the 30-minute session, Iliff would fall asleep in her hospital bed.

“It just put me into a deep state of relaxation,” says Iliff, 58, a retired nurse who received the therapy in 2002 and 2005 at the hospital.

Scripps Green is one of at least 100 U.S. hospitals that have started offering the service in the past 15 years. Although there are no large clinical trials that prove its worth, hospitals offer healing touch based on strong anecdotal evidence that it works and the fact that there are no safety worries with this non-invasive procedure, says Diane Wardell, an associate professor of nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and a healing touch provider.

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“Hospitals are being motivated by patients asking for complements to traditional care,” Wardell says. “It’s always a step forward for patients when alternative care is integrated into hospital settings.”

Not just a rubdown

Healing touch is not a massage. Sometimes the practitioner’s hands hover above the body and don’t actually make contact. Healing touch is an “energy therapy” that uses gentle hand techniques purported to help re-pattern the patient’s energy field and accelerate healing of the body and mind. It is based on the belief that people have fields of energy that are in constant interaction with the environment around them, Wardell says.

More than 86,000 nurses and other health professionals use healing touch in hospitals and in private practice, according to Healing Touch International, a non-profit Colorado-based group that certifies practitioners. Many hospitals offer the service at no extra cost —largely because insurance doesn’t pay for it. Outside the hospital setting, healing touch costs about the same as a massage therapist — or between $80 to $100 an hour.

The limited studies suggest its effectiveness in a wide variety of conditions, including speeding wound healing following heart surgery, reducing the impact of osteoarthritis and migraine headaches, and reducing anxiety and depression for women undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer.

At Scripps Green Hospital, healing touch is offered to all open-heart surgery patients. “This is so safe and there is no risk,” says Erminia “Mimi” Guarneri, a cardiologist and medical director of Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine.

Guarneri became a believer in healing touch a decade ago when a viral infection knocked her out of work for the first time in years.

“After the treatment, I felt like I had so much energy and I felt better almost immediately,” she says. “I felt if this can help me this much, it can help my patients.”

Many concede that when they first heard about healing touch they thought it was weird. “I thought it looked a little kooky,” says Karen Lynch, a pain management nurse at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. That was her reaction when she saw nurses provide the therapy in the hospital’s coronary care unit.

But when Lynch showed up for work with abdominal pain a few years ago, she gave healing touch a shot. “In a few minutes, the pain was completely relieved,” she says. “That’s when I started wondering what was going on with this stuff and began getting trained in it.”

Doctors support treatment

Lynch says most doctors don’t fully understand how healing touch works, but they believe it when they see patients improve. “It’s difficult for me to understand, but it works and there’s nothing to lose, and it shows we are treating patients in a caring manner.”

Arthur Katz, a heart surgeon in Boca Raton, Fla., says he’s convinced healing touch has helped re-energize his patients who were struggling after surgery. “Every time I have used it on one of my patients, I have had a favorable outcome,” he says. “The body is more than a machine. It has a mechanical component but also an emotional and psychological component and an energy component.”

Last year, he did coronary bypass surgery on a woman in her mid-50s. Although the surgery went well, she was depressed after the procedure and was not motivated to get out of bed or to do other things to help her recovery.

“I tried everything I know. A firm approach, the nice-guy approach to encourage her, but nothing worked,” Katz says. “After a healing touch session, she was like a different person with a smile on her face.”

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