Wednesday, 30 October 2013

VIDEO Hypnotism For Crime: The Hypnotist Thief

Back in 2008 Italian police were searching for a 'Hypnotist Thief' who successfully stole money on several occasions using only hypnosis as his tool for crime. Presumably using a rapid induction technique (what is this?) he managed to persuade cashiers to hand over a substantial amount of money from the till before calmly walking out of the store, leaving the cashier with no recollection of the money being taken.

Perhaps I need to rethink my career options...

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

5 Common Reasons Why Patients Seek Out Hypnosis

5. Curiosity
There are a lot of people who are skeptical of hypnosis and what it can do for them. The reasons for this is that there’s a light that surrounds hypnosis and that light has been placed there by Hollywood.

There’s a lot of “illusion” and “camp” that surround hypnosis, but what many don’t know is that hypnotherapy is based in and around science and biology. I blog about that a little more in-depth (see below).

4. Rejection
Yes. There are those who seek out the craft of hypnosis because of being rejected socially. Being outcasted or even being dumped by a significant other can drive people to hypnosis. It’s a valid solution. Hypnosis can aid patients with their self-image and self-confidence, changing the way they perceive themselves and, not uncommonly, the world around them.

They tend to harbor negative beliefs about themselves afterward and hypnosis works to alter this mentality. This technique is also used to when it comes to tackling anxiety. Hypnotherapy can eliminate the patient’s habit to catastrophize, which is the heart of this issue.

3. Insomnia
The common mentality of many, across the globe, is go-go-go. We are always on the go and that may be attributed to the reasons why we can never fall asleep at night. However, there are other reasons that may be behind this phenomenon—so first, before you go any further thinking hypnosis will be your solution, talk to your primary care physician.

There are many things to consider about insomnia and how hypnotherapy can help you beat it, but the prime solution will likely be calming the rapid-fire thoughts shooting around inside our heads. That is where hypnosis comes in.

2. Smoking Cessation
I explain the ins and outs of what it takes to quit smoking HERE. This is an incredibly common reason for patients to seek me out. The problem is not using hypnosis to help them. The problem is helping the patient understand that this will not be a “quick solution” to the issue at hand.
Is it possible to kick the habit with hypnosis?
Will it be a 1-day turn around where cravings no longer exist?
No, unfortunately not.
But if you’re dedicated to quitting smoking, hypnosis can help you.

1. Weight Management
The most compelling reason that patients seek me out is due to weight management. They’re valid in this. Hypnosis can and has helped patients manage their weight. Hypnosis can change your ideas about food, eating, over-eating (with the holidays looming) and understanding what it means to be full.

If this is something you’re interested in, contact me. And we’ll get you started on the right path today. But remember: clarify what it is you’re aiming for first. If you’re not sure, allow me to help you do so. That’s one of the first steps to a successful hypnotherapy session, which we’ll touch more on in upcoming blog posts.

Full article:

Sunday, 27 October 2013

VIDEO: Why Your Brain Falls In Love

Friday, 25 October 2013

How Our Musical Taste Changes Over A Lifetime To Reflect Our Personality

New research charting broad shifts in changing personal music tastes during our lifetimes finds that - while it’s intrinsically linked to personality and experience - there are common music genre trends associated with key stages in a human life.

"Whereas the first musical age is about asserting independence, the next appears to be more about gaining acceptance from others"
Jason Rentfrow

The explosion in music consumption over the last century has made ‘what you listen to’ an important personality construct – as well as the root of many social and cultural tribes – and, for many people, their self-perception is closely associated with musical preference. We would perhaps be reluctant to admit that our taste in music alters - softens even - as we get older.

Now, a new study suggests that - while our engagement with it may decline - music stays important to us as we get older, but the music we like adapts to the particular ‘life challenges’ we face at different stages of our lives.

It would seem that, unless you die before you get old, your taste in music will probably change to meet social and psychological needs.

One theory put forward by researchers, based on the study, is that we come to music to experiment with identity and define ourselves, and then use it as a social vehicle to establish our group and find a mate, and later as a more solitary expression of our intellect, status and greater emotional understanding.

Researchers say the study is the first to “comprehensively document” the ways people engage with music “from adolescence to middle age”. The study is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Using data gathered from more than a quarter of a million people over a ten year period, researchers divided musical genres into five broad, “empirically derived” categories they call the MUSIC model - mellow, unpretentious, sophisticated, intense, contemporary - and plotted the patterns of preference across age-groups.

These five categories incorporate multiple genres that share common musical and psychological traits - such as loudness and complexity.

“The project started with a common conception that musical taste does not evolve after young adulthood. Most academic research to date supported this claim, but - based on other areas of psychological research and our own experiences - we were not convinced this was the case,” said Arielle Bonneville-Roussy from Cambridge’s Department of Psychology, who led the study.

The study found that, unsurprisingly, the first great musical age is adolescence - defined by a short, sharp burst of ‘intense’ and the start of a steady climb of ‘contemporary’. ‘Intense’ music - such as punk and metal - peaks in adolescence and declines in early adulthood, while ‘contemporary’ music - such as pop and rap - begins a rise that plateaus until early middle age.

“Teenage years are often dominated by the need to establish identity, and music is a cheap, effective way to do this,” said Dr Jason Rentfrow, senior researcher on the study.

“Adolescents’ quest for independence often takes the shape of a juxtaposed stance to the perceived ‘status quo’, that of parents and the establishment. ‘Intense’ music, seen as aggressive, tense and characterised by loud, distorted sounds has the rebellious connotations that allow adolescents to stake a claim for the autonomy that is one of this period’s key ‘life challenges’.”

As ‘intense’ gives way to the rising tide of ‘contemporary’ and introduction of ‘mellow’ – such as electronic and R & B – in early adulthood, the next musical age emerges. These two “preference dimensions” are considered “romantic, emotionally positive and danceable,” write the researchers.

“Once people overcome the need for autonomy, the next ‘life challenge’ concerns finding love and being loved – people who appreciate this ‘you’ that has emerged,” said Rentfrow.

“What we took away from the results is that these forms of music reinforce the desire for intimacy and complement settings where people come together with the goal of establishing close relationships – parties, bars, clubs and so on.

“Whereas the first musical age is about asserting independence, the next appears to be more about gaining acceptance from others.”

As we settle down and middle age begins to creep in, the last musical age, as identified by the researchers, is dominated by ‘sophisticated’ – such as jazz and classical – and ‘unpretentious’ – such as country, folk and blues.

Researchers write that both these dimensions are seen as “positive and relaxing” - with ‘sophisticated’ indicating the complex aesthetic of high culture that could be linked to social status and perceived intellect, while ‘unpretentious’ echoes sentiments of family, love and loss – emotionally direct music that speaks to the experiences most will have had by this life stage.

“As we settle into ourselves and acquire more resources to express ourselves – career, home, family, car – music remains an extension of this, and at this stage there are aspects of wanting to promote social status, intellect and wealth that play into the increased gravitation towards ‘sophisticated’ music,” said Rentfrow, “as social standing is seen as a key ‘life challenge’ to be achieved by this point”.

“At the same time, for many this life stage is frequently exhausted by work and family, and there is a requirement for relaxing, emotive music for those rare down times that reflects the other major ‘life challenge’ of this stage – that of nurturing a family and maintaining long-term relationships, perhaps the hardest of all.”

Adds Bonneville-Roussy: “Due to our very large sample size, gathered from online forms and social media channels, we were able to find very robust age trends in musical taste. I find it fascinating to see how seemingly trivial behaviour such as music listening relates to so many psychological aspects, such as personality and age.”

For more information, please contact

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Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Scientific Benefits Of Experimenting With Psychedelic Drugs

Scientists should have access to illegal psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin to aid them in brain research, according to the government’s former drug adviser Professor David Nutt. He said that research into the deepest mysteries of the brain, including consciousness and mental illness, had been curtailed by the prohibition of the drugs.
“It’s extraordinary that 40 years of advances in brain imaging technology and there’s never been a study about this before. I think it’s a scandal, I think it’s outrageous the fact these studies have not been done. And they’ve not been done simply because the drugs were illegal.”“Neuroscience should be trying to understand how the brain works,” said Nutt, who is professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London. “Psychedelics change the brain in, perhaps, the most profound way of any drug, at least in terms of understanding consciousness and connectivity. Therefore we should be doing a lot more of this research.

Speaking to the Guardian ahead of a lecture he will give at a University College London neuroscience symposium on Friday, Nutt said that a volunteer for a recent experiment pulled out of the study because he was worried that “being in a study with a so-called illegal drug could mean he couldn’t travel to some countries, such as America. To inhibit research to that extent is an outrage.”

Nutt’s views will challenge governments around the world which, largely, classify psychedelic drugs as harmful and illegal. The professor is used to being a thorn in the side of the authorities. In 2009, the UK’s then health secretary, Alan Johnson, sacked him from his post as chair of the government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for publicly stating that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than LSD, ecstasy and cannabis.

Hundreds of clinical trials of psychedelic drugs such as LSD were carried out in the 1950s and 1960s, and successful treatments, including one for alcohol addiction, came out of the work. Since LSD was banned around the world, however, the number of scientific studies has dropped to virtually zero, and there have been no studies using modern imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look at what parts of the brain are affected by it.

Nutt recently published research, with colleagues at Cardiff University, on the effects of psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – on the brain. His team had assumed the drug might increase activity in certain parts of the brain, to explain the experience that users get when they eat magic mushrooms. Instead, MRI scans of 30 healthy volunteers showed that psilocybin seemed to decrease activity in the regions of the brain which link up different areas. The study was published in January in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“This is a hugely important way of perturbing the brain to understand the nature of consciousness,” said Nutt. At his lecture on Friday, he will examine whether psilocybin’s effects on the brain can be used as a model for psychosis. Some of the brain alterations seen as a result of taking psilocybin, he said, are similar to those seen in the brains of people with prodromal schizophrenia.

Psilocybin seems to suppress the actions of a brain system called the “default mode network” which is active whenever a person is, for example, reflecting about the world rather than engaged in a specific activity. The “task-positive network” is engaged when a person focuses on a specific job and it operates out of phase with the default mode network. But in schizophrenia, the networks are much more in phase and, under psilocybin, they are completely in phase.

“So, we’re thinking [psilocybin] might be an interesting model for early stages for schizophrenia, it might allow us to test new drugs,” said Nutt. “When people start to become psychotic, their ego boundaries break down, the relationship between them and the world gets disrupted and the relationship between their different inner experiences gets mixed up. Eventually they start hearing their own thoughts as someone else’s voice.

“That breakdown of connectivity in the brain is very classic in schizophrenia. If we can produce this in a laboratory in a normal volunteer, we can then look for new treatments and it is much more efficient to do that in normal volunteers than try to find young people who are starting to develop their illness and it’s ethically more acceptable too.”

Nutt and his colleagues are also studying potential uses for ecstasy, also known as MDMA. “The therapeutic value of MDMA for psychotherapy has been widely known until it was banned and has hardly been studied since. There have only been a couple of MDMA imaging studies, but none of them using cutting-edge technologies, so we’re doing that at present.”

In collaboration with Robin Carhart-Harris at Imperial College London, Nutt also wants to further his research into more psychedelic drugs such as LSD and ibogaine, a derivative of African root bark, which is used to treat addiction in Thailand and Cambodia.

Carrying out such work is usually difficult for researchers, however, because they have to make such lengthy applications for licences to use illegal drugs. And even if the research went ahead and showed benefits from the drugs, it is unlikely doctors would be allowed to prescribe them. Nutt recently called for the UK’s classification system of drugs to be rewritten to reflect more accurately their relative harms, and called for a regulated approach to making drugs such as MDMA and cannabis available for medical and research purposes.

“Regulations, which are arbitrary, actually make it virtually impossible to research these drugs,” said Nutt last month. “The effect these laws have had on research is greater than the effects that [George] Bush stopping stem cell research has had, because it’s been going on since the 1960s.”

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Phantom Phone Vibrations: When You Think Your Phone Is Vibrating But It Isn't

Most of us experience false alarms with phones, and as Tom Stafford explains this happens because it is a common and unavoidable part of healthy brain function.
Sensing phantom phone vibrations is a strangely common experience.Around 80% of us have imagined a phone vibrating in our pockets when it’s actually completely still. Almost 30% of us have also heard non-existent ringing. Are these hallucinations ominous signs of impending madness caused by digital culture?

Not at all. In fact, phantom vibrations and ringing illustrate a fundamental principle in psychology.

You are an example of a perceptual system, just like a fire alarm, an automatic door, or a daffodil bulb that must decide when spring has truly started. Your brain has to make a perceptual judgment about whether the phone in your pocket is really vibrating. And, analogous to a daffodil bulb on a warm February morning, it has to decide whether the incoming signals from the skin near your pocket indicate a true change in the world.

Psychologists use a concept called Signal Detection Theory to guide their thinking about the problem of perceptual judgments. Working though the example of phone vibrations, we can see how this theory explains why they are a common and unavoidable part of healthy mental function.

When your phone is in your pocket, the world is in one of two possible states: the phone is either ringing or not. You also have two possible states of mind: the judgment that the phone is ringing, or the judgment that it isn’t. Obviously you'd like to match these states in the correct way. True vibrations should go with “it's ringing”, and no vibrations should go with “it's not ringing”. Signal detection theory calls these faithful matches a “hit” and a “correct rejection”, respectively.

But there are two other possible combinations: you could mismatch true vibrations with “it's not ringing” (a “miss”); or mismatch the absence of vibrations with “it's ringing” (a “false alarm”). This second kind of mismatch is what’s going on when you imagine a phantom phone vibration.

For situations where easy judgments can be made, such as deciding if someone says your name in a quiet room, you will probably make perfect matches every time. But when judgments are more difficult – if you have to decide whether someone says your name in a noisy room, or have to evaluate something you’re not skilled at – mismatches will occasionally happen. And these mistakes will be either misses or false alarms.

Alarm ring

Signal detection theory tells us that there are two ways of changing the rate of mismatches. The best way is to alter your sensitivity to the thing you are trying to detect. This would mean setting your phone to a stronger vibration, or maybe placing your phone next to a more sensitive part of your body. (Don't do both or people will look at you funny.) The second option is to shift your bias so that you are more or less likely to conclude “it’s ringing”, regardless of whether it really is.

Of course, there’s a trade-off to be made. If you don't mind making more false alarms, you can avoid making so many misses. In other words, you can make sure that you always notice when your phone is ringing, but only at the cost of experiencing more phantom vibrations.

These two features of a perceiving system – sensitivity and bias – are always present and independent of each other. The more sensitive a system is the better, because it is more able to discriminate between true states of the world. But bias doesn't have an obvious optimum. The appropriate level of bias depends on the relative costs and benefits of different matches and mismatches.

What does that mean in terms of your phone? We can assume that people like to notice when their phone is ringing, and that most people hate missing a call. This means their perceptual systems have adjusted their bias to a level that makes misses unlikely. The unavoidable cost is a raised likelihood of false alarms – of phantom phone vibrations. Sure enough, the same study that reported phantom phone vibrations among nearly 80% of the population also found that these types of mismatches were particularly common among people who scored highest on a novelty-seeking personality test. These people place the highest cost on missing an exciting call.

The trade-off between false alarms and misses also explains why we all have to put up with fire alarms going off when there isn't a fire. It isn't that the alarms are badly designed, but rather that they are very sensitive to smoke and heat – and biased to avoid missing a real fire at all costs. The outcome is a rise in the number of false alarms. These are inconvenient, but nowhere near as inconvenient as burning to death in your bed or office. The alarms are designed to err on the side of caution.

All perception is made up of information from the world and biases we have adjusted from experience. Feeling a phantom phone vibration isn't some kind of pathological hallucination. It simply reflects our near-perfect perceptual systems trying their best in an uncertain and noisy world.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Effect Of An Extra Hour's Night Sleep

The average Briton gets six-and-a-half hours' sleep a night, according to the Sleep Council. Michael Mosley took part in an unusual experiment to see if this is enough.

It has been known for some time that the amount of sleep people get has, on average, declined over the years.

This has happened for a whole range of reasons, not least because we live in a culture where people are encouraged to think of sleep as a luxury - something you can easily cut back on. After all, that's what caffeine is for - to jolt you back into life. But while the average amount of sleep we are getting has fallen, rates of obesity and diabetes have soared. Could the two be connected?

We wanted to see what the effect would be of increasing average sleep by just one hour. So we asked seven volunteers, who normally sleep anywhere between six and nine hours, to be studied at the University of Surrey's Sleep Research Centre.

The volunteers were randomly allocated to two groups. One group was asked to sleep for six-and-a-half hours a night, the other got seven-and-a-half hours. After a week the researchers took blood tests and the volunteers were asked to switch sleep patterns. The group that had been sleeping six-and-a-half hours got an extra hour, the other group slept an hour less.

While we were waiting to see what effect this would have, I went to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford to learn more about what actually happens when we sleep.

In the Sleep Centre, they fitted me up with a portable electro-encephalograph, a device that measures brain wave activity. Then, feeling slightly ridiculous, I went home and had my seven-and-a-half hours of sleep.

The following day I went to discuss what had happened inside my head during the night with Dr Katharina Wulff.

The first thing she pointed out was that I had very rapidly fallen into a state of deep sleep. Deep sleep sounds restful, but during it our brains are actually working hard. One of the main things the brain is doing is moving memories from short-term storage into long-term storage, allowing us more short-term memory space for the next day. If you don't get adequate deep sleep then these memories will be lost.

You might think: "I'll cut back during the week and then make up for it at the weekend." Unfortunately it doesn't work like that, because memories need to be consolidated within 24 hours of being formed.

Since deep sleep is so important for consolidating memories it is a good idea if you are revising or perhaps taking an exam to make sure that you're getting a reasonable night's sleep. In one study, people who failed to do so did 40% worse than their contemporaries.

Deep sleep only lasts for a few hours. My electrode results showed that during the night my brain went through multiple phases of another kind of activity, called REM sleep.

"This is the phase when you are usually paralysed - so you can't move," Wulff explained. But the eye muscles are not paralysed, and that's why it's called rapid eye movement sleep."

During REM sleep an extraordinary thing happens. One of the stress-related chemicals in the brain, noradrenalin, is switched off. It's the only time, day or night, this happens. It allows us to remain calm while our brains reprocess all the experiences of the day, helping us come to terms with particularly emotional events.

We get more REM sleep in the last half of the night. Which means that if you are woken unexpectedly, your brain may not have dealt with all your emotions - which could leave you stressed and anxious. Drinking alcohol late at night is not a good idea as it reduces your REM sleep while it's being processed in your body.

Back at the University of Surrey our sleep volunteers had finished their second week of the experiment. What we wanted to see was the effect switching from six-and-a-half hours to seven-and-a-half hours, or vice versa, would have on our volunteers.

Computer tests revealed that most of them struggled with mental agility tasks when they had less sleep, but the most interesting results came from the blood tests that were run.

Dr Simon Archer and his team at Surrey University were particularly interested in looking at the genes that were switched on or off in our volunteers by changes in the amount that we had made them sleep.

"We found that overall there were around 500 genes that were affected," Archer explained. "Some which were going up, and some which were going down."

What they discovered is that when the volunteers cut back from seven-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours' sleep a night, genes that are associated with processes like inflammation, immune response and response to stress became more active. The team also saw increases in the activity of genes associated with diabetes and risk of cancer. The reverse happened when the volunteers added an hour of sleep.

So the clear message from this experiment was that if you are getting less than seven hours' sleep a night and can alter your sleep habits, even just a little bit, it could make you healthier. "Have a lie-in, it will do you good" - that's the kind of health message that doesn't come along very often.

Friday, 18 October 2013

A History of Brain Surgery

Brain surgery is perhaps the oldest of the practiced medical arts. There is no hard evidence suggesting a beginning to the practice of other fields of medicine such as pharmacology — using drugs, chemical and natural ingredients to help a fellow human being. There is ample evidence, however, of brain surgery, dating back to the Neolithic (late Stone Age) period.

Unearthed remains of successful brain operations, as well as surgical implements, were found in France at one of Europe’s noted archeological digs.

However, pre-historic evidence of brain surgery was not limited to Europe. Pre-Incan civilization used brain surgery as an extensive practice as early as 2,000 B.C. In Paracas, Peru, a desert strip south of Lima, archeologic evidence indicates that brain surgery was used extensively. Here, too, an inordinate success rate was noted as patients were restored to health. The treatment was used for mental illnesses, epilepsy, headaches, organic diseases, osteomylitis, and for head injuries.

Brain surgery was also used for both spiritual and magical reasons; often, the practice was limited to kings, priests and the nobility.

Surgical tools in South America were made of both bronze and shaped obsidian (a hard, sharp-edged volcanic rock).

Africa showed evidence of brain surgery as early as 3,000 B.C. in papyrus writings found in Egypt. “Brain,” the actual word itself, is used here for the first time in any language. Egyptian knowledge of anatomy may have been rudimentary, but the ancient civilization did contribute important notations on the nervous system.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medical ethics, left many texts on brain surgery. Born on the Aegean Island of Cos in 470 B.C., Hippocrates was quite familiar with the clinical signs of head injuries. He also described seizures accurately, as well as spasms and head contusions, fractures anddepressions. Many concepts found in his texts were still in good stead two thousand years after his death in 360 B.C.

Ancient Rome in the first century A.D. had its brain surgeon star, Aulus Cornelius Celsus. Hippocrates did not operate on depressed skull fractures; Celsus often did. Celsus also described the symptoms of brain injury in great detail.

Asia was home to many talented brain surgeons: Galenus of Pergamon, born in Turkey, and the physicians of Byzance such as Oribasius (4th century) and Paul of Aegina. An Islamic school of brain surgery also flourished from 800 to 1200 A.D., the height of Islamic influence in the world. Abu Bekr Muhammed el Razi, who lived from 852 to 932 in the Common Era, was perhaps the greatest of Islamic brain srugeons. A second Islamic brain surgeon, Abu l’Qluasim Khalaf, lived and practiced in Cordoba, Spain, and was one of the great influences on western brain surgery.

The Christian surgeons of the Middle Ages were clerics, well educated, knowledgeable in Latin, and familiar with the realm of medical literature. Despite the church’s ban on the study of anatomy, many churchmen of great renown (advisors and confessors to a succession of Popes) were outstanding physicians and surgeons. Leonardo Davinci’s portfolio containing hundreds of accurate anatomical sketches indicates the intense intellectual interest in the workings of the human body.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Top 10 Ways Our Children Are Being Poisoned Today

Sunday, December 09, 2012
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of

Modern children are being poisoned like never before in the history of human civilization. No wonder the rate of autism in America has skyrocketed to 1 in 88 children over the last few decades, putting autism squarely in the "epidemic" category.

But don't expect any CDC action on this epidemic. The CDC knows full well why autism rates are exploding across America, but instead of admitting the truth, the CDC is running a cover story to protect the corporate interests of the real culprits: the medical corporations poisoning children for profit (see below).

It's not just medical companies that are poisoning our children, by the way: They're also being poisoned in other insidious ways that suppress free thinking, assault good health and crush children's souls.

Here's my list of the ten worst ways in which our children are being poisoned right now.

#1) Multiple vaccinations that inject mercury, aluminum, MSG and formaldehyde into children
It is an admitted fact that today's vaccines given to children are intentionally formulated with mercury, aluminum, MSG and formaldehyde, all of which is insanely injected into the body of infants and children.

This is openly admitted by the CDC itself, which has emerged as a criminal front group for the vaccine industry. Rather than trying to determine why vaccines are causing so much autism, the CDC tries to hide the evidence, delay the hearings, and deploy smoke and mirrors to protect the criminally-operated vaccine industry where nearly every single vaccine manufacturer operating today has been found guilty of multiple felony crimes.

#2) Mercury fillingsAstonishingly, dentists in the USA continue to fill children's mouths with the most toxic heavy metal known to man: Mercury.

They don't call it mercury, of course, because that would raise too many questions. Instead, they call them "silver amalgam fillings." But the No. 1 ingredient in these fillings is, of course, the heavy metal mercury.

#3) School lunches that use toxic processed food ingredients, including sodium nitriteSchool lunches continue to serve our children a toxic cocktail of chemical food additives, partially-hydrogenated oils, chemical preservatives and even cancer-causing color fixers like sodium nitrite.

Sodium nitrite causes pancreatic cancer, colon cancer and brain tumors in children. It is intentionally added to hot dogs, sausage, bacon, pepperoni, lunch meats and nearly all processed meats. A nation that eats sodium nitrite on a regular basis will have sky-high rates of cancer as a result.

In addition to sodium nitrite, school lunches are also filled with GMOs which we now know cause huge cancer tumors in animals. The USDA, which is already in bed with Monsanto on the regulatory side, also buys masses of genetically engineered food to be used in school lunch programs.

#4) Television programming that poisons children's brains with messages of materialism and inadequacy
Television was invented as a way to educate and uplift and population, but it has become dominated by commercial interests who brainwash children into worshipping materialism and being manipulated into feelings of inadequacy.

The point of this is to push sugary cereals, action figures, toys and junk foods into the minds of children so that they nag parents into buying it for them. Virtually all Saturday morning television, for example, has devolved into a "nag factor manipulation matrix" designed to brainwash children into begging their parents to purchase consumable items that generate profits for corporate advertisers.

Where is the education in television these days? It is now relegated to a few channels that focus on documentaries and non-fiction subjects, and even those channels are still funded by corporate interests.

#5) Public education that teaches revisionist history and toxic ideas about societyAmerican children are being insidiously poisoned by public schools and all the atrociously damaging ideas those schools teach.

Many schools are now teaching what is essentially socialism or even communism. They attack and ridicule students who believe in the founding principles of America: patriotism, the Bill of Rights, individual liberty and the U.S. Constitution.

Students are also now being microchipped and taught that they are slaves of the state.

Just recently, in fact, several students were suspended from Kearney High School for painting the American flag on their chests for a lip-sync music video project sponsored by the school.

This is all a type of mental poisoning of our children, done under the banner of "education."

#6) Toxic personal care products made with cancer-causing poisons: Shampoo, skin care, toothpaste, air fresheners, laundry soap and moreChildren everywhere are being bathed in toxic poisons from all their personal care products, including soaps and shampoos, laundry detergents, fabric softeners and even toothpaste.

Most personal care products are loaded with cancer-causing synthetic chemicals. Laundry detergents bathe children's clothing in cancer-causing chemicals which are then worn by the children and absorbed into their bodies. When children become teens, the toxic burden is increased even more through deodorants, makeup and cosmetics, perfumes and colognes. Nearly all conventional body care products contain cancer-causing chemicals, including the high-end, expensive brands.

#7) Toxic hydrofluosilicic acid dumped into the water supply after being mislabeled "fluoride"
Children are being wildly poisoned by the dumping of hydrofluosilicic acid into the water supply. This is incorrectly called "fluoride" but it's actually a toxic byproduct of the chemical fertilizer industry or aluminum smelting industry.

As Natural News has proven, fluoride is sold as an insecticide chemical and a metals smelting chemical. It is one of the most toxic substances yet discovered, which is why it kills insects so effectively.

Fluoride is so toxic that dumping it into a river or stream in the United States would be considered an act of ecological terrorism. Yet, somehow, it is legal to dump it into the water supply of human beings who then urinated it back into the rivers and streams where it poisons the environment.

#8) Toxic indoor air environments at homes and schools: Formaldehyde, molds, glues and synthetic pollutants
Indoor air pollution is a significant source of toxic chemical exposure for children. Carpets, paints, wood floor and even furniture all give off toxic fumes that can promote cancer and aggravate allergies.

Many homes, schools and commercial buildings are contaminated with toxic molds that are also ingested by infants and children. Even hospitals circulate potentially deadly superbugs that can kill children.

#9) Video gamesMake no mistake that children -- especially boys -- are being mentally poisoned by video games. These games teach boys that violence is normal through the relentless assault of ultra-realistic first-person shooters that put players in the position of violently murdering other human beings.

These games desensitize children to the real world, and they train children to grow up and join the military. Some of the most popular games are actually engineered and published by the military as recruiting systems for teens.

Take a look at the ultra realism (and violence) of "Far Cry 3" in this teaser video. This is what your kids are playing when you buy them an Xbox:

#10) Mind-altering psychiatric drugsOne of the greatest crimes against children today is found in the realm of psychiatry. That dark art of anti-medicine pretends to "diagnose" children with "disorders" which are then claimed to be treated by mind-altering psychiatric drugs such as Ritalin and Prozac.

The entire industry of modern psychiatry is a criminal drug ring conducted for the sole purpose of generating profits by treating children as pharmaceutical disposal objects. Most of the psychiatric disorders found in the DSM-V manual are completely fabricated works of fiction. The drug industry and modern psychiatry run their fraud as a tag-team of criminals who prey on children.

The most effective group fighting this today is the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), found at

I have also recorded and produced a music video on the psychiatric drugging of children which you can see on YouTube.

Yes, in addition to being the editor of Natural News, I'm also an established activist rapper. See more of my songs and music videos at

Learn more:

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

7 Anger Cool Downs To Practice

Work environments can be places of stress for those who struggle to deal with anger in a reasonable manner. With today’s violent media modeling acts of horror in movies, the unbalanced person who has not developed good coping skills can act out a fantasy of getting even.

But getting even is not an answer. People need to control their anger and learn how to manage it. Here are seven cool down strategies taken from my small book on Breaking Free from Anger and Unforgiveness that has sold close to 100,000 copies.

Take A Breath
We are taught this as children and it works. Count to 10, breathing slowly and calming down your body. The key is to try and slow yourself down, relaxing the body.

Time Out
Get away from the situation but your self-talk matters during the time-out. You have to calm yourself, not rev yourself up with what may feel like an injustice. Self-talk like, “It will be OK. I can handle this. I need to be more forgiving. I am not a victim and can deal with this…” are the types of calming statement to tell yourself while you are in time-out.

Pray (...or meditate for the non-religious amongst us)
When you are frustrated and angered, pray.

Practice Restraint
Don’t act impulsively or meditate on ways to get even. Be the bigger person and use restraint. 

Write A Letter You Do Not Send
If you need an outlet for rage; write a letter that you don’t send. It may help you release those feelings and is a safe way to vent. But venting anger, often gives rise to more.

If you feel unfairly treated, misunderstood or victimized, think of ways to solve the problem without violence. Most times, you have options.

Violent media do contribute to our desensitization of violence and do increase aggression. If you struggle with anger impulses, be sensible and don’t consume media that feeds that struggle.

What coping strategies for anger do you have?

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Coping Strategies: Rejection

By: Roseanna Leaton

Acceptance and being liked are important to our sense of self worth and self image. We like to be liked. We feel better when we know that we are accepted. This is something that comes naturally to us, an instinct that we have from our earliest years. Babies seek acknowledgement, approval and love. 
Thus rejection is a bitter pill to swallow. It doesn't matter what age you are. Rejection is something that grates against our very nature and grinds away at our sense of self worth.

Even when a person knows that they are in a relationship that isn't working, if their partner decides to extricate him or herself from their bond, the rejection is still difficult to come to terms with. An outsider may well think that you should be rejoicing as you have been released from a difficult, or inappropriate, relationship. You too might also at a logical level know that you should feel that sense of relief, and yet your emotions are unlikely to reflect that logic. Rejection is hard to take.

Sometimes rejection comes as a complete surprise to a person who thought and believed that he or she was one part of a solid partnership, only to discover that this was not really the case. There is little to rejoice in such a circumstance even when perceived from a logical standpoint.

Even when all you had was a secret hope that your interest in another might be mutual, to be rejected by that other person can still hurt in a very deep and burning manner. Rejection, it would seem, is extremely disturbing to one's emotional equilibrium, no matter what the circumstances are.

Thus the big question here is how can you help yourself to get over these feelings? How can you come to terms with this situation, bounce back and move on? 
One very basic factor to appreciate is that if you keep thinking about all of the good times, or the great things about your ex you will naturally perpetuate your feeling of loss and rejection. If instead you were to focus upon the bad times or the bad things about your ex then you will naturally change the emotions that you are experiencing.

Instead of loss and rejection, your emotions may vary from anger to frustration to relief. The more you intentionally focus in this way, the more swiftly your emotions will change and you will feel yourself bouncing back to your normal self. And so every time you catch yourself day dreaming about the good times it is important that you STOP and intentionally switch your focus.

I'm not saying that this is easy. But it is EASIER than allowing yourself to wallow in rejection.

If you need a little help to get over your ex then hypnosis can be a helpful tool to employ. Hypnosis is a natural state of relaxation and will help soothe your emotional turmoil.

Hypnosis also provides you with access to your subconscious mind, the part that thinks and acts automatically and spontaneously. This means that you can make suggestions to interrupt your instinctive train of thoughts, to put that STOP in place so that switching your focus becomes a far easier task. Suggestions can also be made to build your confidence and feel optimistic about the future.

Rejection is never easy, no matter what the circumstances are. There are things that you can do to help to change your focus, lift your mood and bounce back.

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Significance of Dreams: 12 Famous Dreams

Paul McCartney Finds "Yesterday" In a Dream
Paul McCartney is one of the most famous singer/ songwriters of all time. According to the Guinness Book of Records, his Beatles song "Yesterday" (1965) has the most cover versions of any song ever written and, according to record label BMI, was performed over seven million times in the 20th century.

The tune for "Yesterday" came to Paul McCartney in a dream...

The Beatles were in London in 1965 filming Help! and McCartney was staying in a small attic room of his family's house on Wimpole Street. One morning, in a dream he heard a classical string ensemble playing, and, as McCartney tells it:

"I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, 'That's great, I wonder what that is?' There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th -- and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot, but because I'd dreamed it, I couldn't believe I'd written it. I thought, 'No, I've never written anything like this before.' But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing!"

(Note: I had also read that Paul McCartney dreamed of his mother sometime after her death that inspired another very famous song. He had been struggling to come to terms with her loss, but in the dream she appeared before him with the message 'Let It Be'. 

Sources: Paul McCartney -- Many Years From Now, Barry Miles (NY, Henry Holt, 1997)
The Committee of Sleep, D. Barrett, 2001

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Inspired By a Dream

In the summer of 1816, nineteen-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and her lover, the poet Percy Shelley (whom she married later that year), visited the poet Lord Byron at his villa beside Lake Geneva in Switzerland. Stormy weather frequently forced them indoors, where they and Byron's other guests sometimes read from a volume of ghost stories. One evening, Byron challenged his guests to each write one themselves.

Mary's story, inspired by a dream, became Frankenstein.

"When I placed my head upon my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think... I saw -- with shut eyes, but acute mental vision -- I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavor to mock the stupendous Creator of the world.
...I opened mine in terror. The idea so possessed my mind, that a thrill of fear ran through me, and I wished to exchange the ghastly image of my fancy for the realities around. ...I could not so easily get rid of my hideous phantom; still it haunted me. I must try to think of something else. I recurred to my ghost story -- my tiresome, unlucky ghost story! O! if I could only contrive one which would frighten my reader as I myself had been frightened that night!
Swift as light and as cheering was the idea that broke upon me. 'I have found it! What terrified me will terrify others; and I need only describe the spectre which had haunted me my midnight pillow.' On the morrow I announced that I had thought of a story. I began that day with the words, 'It was on a dreary night of November', making only a transcript of the grim terrors of my waking dream."

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, from her introduction to Frankenstein

Dream Leads to Nobel Prize
Otto Loewi (1873-1961), a German born physiologist, won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1936 for his work on the chemical transmission of nerve impulses. In 1903, Loewi had the idea that there might be a chemical transmission of the nervous impulse rather than an electrical one, which was the common held belief, but he was at a loss on how to prove it. He let the idea slip to the back of his mind until 17 years later he had the following dream. According to Loewi:

"The night before Easter Sunday of that year I awoke, turned on the light, and jotted down a few notes on a tiny slip of paper. Then I fell asleep again. It occurred to me at 6 o'clock in the morning that during the night I had written down something most important, but I was unable to decipher the scrawl. The next night, at 3 o'clock, the idea returned. It was the design of an experiment to determine whether or not the hypothesis of chemical transmission that I had uttered 17 years ago was correct. I got up immediately, went to the laboratory, and performed a single experiment on a frog's heart according to the nocturnal design."

It took Loewi a decade to carry out a decisive series of tests to satisfy his critics, but ultimately the result of his initial dream induced experiment became the foundation for the theory of chemical transmission of the nervous impulse and led to a Nobel Prize!

Dr. Loewi noted: "Most so called 'intuitive' discoveries are such associations made in the subconscious."

Sources: The War of the Soups and the Sparks: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters and the Dispute Over How Nerves Communicate, Elliot S Valenstein
Otto Loewi, "An Autobiographical Sketch", Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Autumn, 1960

Abraham Lincoln Dreamt of His Assassination
President Abraham Lincoln recounted the following dream to his wife just a few days prior to his assassination:

"About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary.
I soon began to dream.
There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break?

I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.

'Who is dead in the White House?' I demanded of one of the soldiers "The President" was his answer; "he was killed by an assassin!" Then came a loud burst of grief form the crowd, which awoke me from my dream."

Lincoln ascribed powerful meanings to his dreams. One of his recurring dreams in particular he considered foretelling and a sign of major events soon to occur. He had this dream the night before his assassination. On the morning of that lamentable day, President Lincoln was discussing matters of the war with General Grant during a cabinet meeting and believed that big news from General Sherman on the front would soon arrive. When Grant asked why he thought so, Lincoln responded:

"I had a dream last night; and ever since this war began I have had the same dream just before every event of great national importance. It portends some important event that will happen very soon."

His friend and law partner, Ward Hill Lamon, noted that Byron's "The Dream" was one of Lincoln's favorite poems and he often heard him repeat the following lines:

Sleep hath its own world,
A boundary between the things misnamed
Death and existence: Sleep hath its own world,
And a wide realm of wild reality,
And dreams in their development have breath,
And tears, and tortures, and the touch of joy;
They leave a weight upon our waking thoughts,
They take a weight from off waking toils,
They do divide our being;

Source: Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 1847-1885, Ward Hill Lamon, 1911

Kekulé - Dreams of Molecules & Benzene Structure
Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz is a remarkable figure in the history of chemistry, specifically organic chemistry.

Twice Kekulé had dreams that led to major discoveries!

Kekulé discovered the tetravalent nature of carbon, the formation of chemical/ organic "Structure Theory", but he did not make this breakthrough by experimentation alone. He had a dream! As he described in a speech given at the Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft (German Chemical Society):

"I fell into a reverie, and lo, the atoms were gamboling before my eyes! Whenever, hitherto, these diminutive beings had appeared to me, they had always been in motion; but up to that time, I had never been able to discern the nature of their motion. Now, however, I saw how, frequently, two smaller atoms united to form a pair; how a larger one embraced the two smaller ones; how still larger ones kept hold of three or even four of the smaller; whilst the whole kept whirling in a giddy dance. I saw how the larger ones formed a chain, dragging the smaller ones after them, but only at the ends of the chain. . . The cry of the conductor: “Clapham Road,” awakened me from my dreaming; but I spent part of the night in putting on paper at least sketches of these dream forms. This was the origin of the Structural Theory."

Later, he had a dream that helped him discover that the Benzene molecule, unlike other known organic compounds, had a circular structure rather than a linear one... solving a problem that had been confounding chemists:

"...I was sitting writing on my textbook, but the work did not progress; my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed. Again the atoms were gamboling before my eyes. This time the smaller groups kept modestly in the background. My mental eye, rendered more acute by the repeated visions of the kind, could now distinguish larger structures of manifold conformation; long rows sometimes more closely fitted together all twining and twisting in snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had seized hold of its own tail, and the form whirled mockingly before my eyes. As if by a flash of lightning I awoke; and this time also I spent the rest of the night in working out the consequences of the hypothesis."

The snake seizing it's own tail gave Kekulé the circular structure idea he needed to solve the Benzene problem!

Said an excited Kekulé to his colleagues, “Let us learn to dream!”

Source: From Serendipity, Accidental Discoveries in Science, by R.M. Roberts, as used by

Madame C.J. Walker - From Dream to Millionaire
Madame C.J. Walker (1867-1919) is cited by the Guinness Book of Records as the first female American self-made millionaire. She was also the first member of her family born free.

Madame Walker founded and built a highly successful African-American cosmetic company that made her a millionaire many times over. Walker was suffering from a scalp infection that caused her to loose most of her hair in the 1890’s. She began experimenting with patented medicines and hair-care products.
Then, she had a dream that solved her problems:

“He answered my prayer, for one night I had a dream, and in that dream a big, black man appeared to me and told me what to mix up in my hair. Some of the remedy was grown in Africa, but I sent for it, mixed it, put it on my scalp, and in a few weeks my hair was coming in faster than it had ever fallen out. I tried it on my friends; it helped them. I made up my mind to begin to sell it.”

Walker was an entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist. She best sums up her rise from a childhood in the poor south to being the head of an international, multi-million dollar corporation in the following quote:

"I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and preparations....I have built my own factory on my own ground."

Sources: On Her Own Ground: the Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker, A'Lelia P. Bundles, 2001

Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture, Kathy Peiss, 1999, Owl Books

The Sewing Machine
Elias Howe invented the sewing machine in 1845. He had the idea of a machine with a needle which would go through a piece of cloth but he couldn't figure out exactly how it would work. He first tried using a needle that was pointed at both ends, with an eye in the middle, but it was a failure. Then one night he dreamt he was taken prisoner by a group of natives. They were dancing around him with spears. As he saw them move around him, he noticed that their spears all had holes near their tips.

When he woke up he realized that the dream had brought the solution to his problem. By locating a hole at the tip of the needle, the thread could be caught after it went through cloth thus making his machine operable.

He changed his design to incorporate the dream idea and found it worked!

Source: A Popular History of American Invention. (Waldemar Kaempffert, ed.) Vol II, New York Scribner's Sons, 1924

The Strange Dream of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The novelist Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) described dreams as occurring in "that small theater of the brain which we keep brightly lighted all night long."

Stevenson said of his now classic novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, it was "conceived, written, re-written, re-re-written, and printed inside ten weeks" in 1886. And was conceived in a dream as he describes:

"For two days I went about racking my brains for a plot of any sort; and on the second night I dreamed the scene at the window, and a scene afterward split in two, in which Hyde, pursued for some crime, took the powder and underwent the change in the presence of his pursuers."

His wife related picturesquely how one night Louis cried out horror-stricken, how she woke him up and he protested, "Why did you waken me? I was dreaming a fine bogy-tale!" She also related how he appeared the next morning excitedly exclaiming, "I have got my schilling-shocker -- I have got my schilling-shocker!"

Stevenson wrote extensively about how his passion for writing interacted with his remarkable dreams and said that, from an early age, his dreams were so vivid and moving that they were more entertaining to him personally than any literature. He learned early in his life that he could dream complete stories and that he could even go back to the same dreams on succeeding nights to give them a different ending. Later he trained himself to remember his dreams and to dream plots for his books.

A Chapter on Dreams by Robert Louis Stevenson, Across the Plains, 1892, Chattus & Windus
Robert Louis Stevenson a Critical Biography V2, John Steuart, 2005, Kessinger Publishing
The Committee of Sleep, D. Barrett, 2001
The World of Dreams. R.L Woods, 1947, New York, Random House

Jack Nicklaus Finds a New Golf Swing in a Dream
Golfer Jack Nicklaus found a new way to hold his golf club in a dream, which he credits to improving his golf game. In 1964, Nicklaus was having a bad slump and routinely shooting in the high seventies. After suddenly regaining top scores he reported:

"Wednesday night I had a dream and it was about my golf swing. I was hitting them pretty good in the dream and all at once I realized I wasn't holding the club the way I've actually been holding it lately. I've been having trouble collapsing my right arm taking the club head away from the ball, but I was doing it perfectly in my sleep. So when I came to the course yesterday morning I tried it the way I did in my dream and it worked. I shot a sixty-eight yesterday and a sixty-five today."

Sources: Jack Nicklaus, as told to a San Francisco Chronicle reporter, 27 June 1964
The Committee of Sleep, D. Barrett, 2001

Mathematical Genius & Dreamer- Srinivasa Ramanujan
Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920) was one of India's greatest mathematical geniuses. He made substantial contributions to analytical theory of numbers and worked on elliptical functions, continued fractions, and infinite series. In 1914, he was invited in to Cambridge University by the English mathematician GH Hardy who recognized his unconventional genius. He worked there for five years producing startling results and proved over 3,000 theorems in his lifetime.

According to Ramanujan, inspiration and insight for his work many times came to him in his dreams...

A Hindu goddess, named Namakkal, would appear and present mathematical formulae which he would verify after waking. Such dreams often repeated themselves and the connection with the dream world as a source for his work was constant throughout his life.

Ramanujan describes one of his dreams of mathematical discovery:

"While asleep I had an unusual experience. There was a red screen formed by flowing blood as it were. I was observing it. Suddenly a hand began to write on the screen. I became all attention. That hand wrote a number of results in elliptic integrals. They stuck to my mind. As soon as I woke up, I committed them to writing..."

Source: Ramanujan, the Man and the Mathematician, S. R. Ranganathan, 1967

Subliminal Clues From Fossil Perceived In Dream
Louis Agassiz (1807-1883) was a Swiss born naturalist, zoologist, geologist, and teacher who emigrated to the US in 1846. He trained and influenced a generation of American zoologists and paleontologists and is one of the founding fathers of the modern American scientific tradition

While Agassiz was working on his vast work "Poissons Fossiles" a list of all know fossil fish, he came across a specimen in a stone slab which he was, at first, unable to figure out. He hesitated to classify it and extract it since an incorrect approach could ruin the specimen. At that time, Agassiz reports having a dream three nights in a row in which he saw the fish in perfect original condition. The first two nights -- being unprepared -- he did not record his image.

By the third night he was ready with pen and paper, and when the fish appeared again in the dream he drew it in the dark, still half asleep. The next day he looked at his drawing which had remarkably different features from the ones he had been working out, hastened to his laboratory and extracting the fossil realized it corresponded exactly to his dream.

Agassiz' creative dream of the fossilized fish may have been induced by having perceived unconsciously a clue in the stone slab which he had ignored while awake.

His dream may have emphasized and drawn his attention to stimuli he had perceived subliminally while he was awake!

Source: Interview with Nikola Tesla, speaking of Agassiz, Tesla, The Modern Sorcerer, Daniel Blair Stewart

Dreams and The King of Horror
Novelist Stephen King describes how dreams affect his writings in an interview with UK reporter Stan Nicholls:

Nicholls: "If the inspiration for Misery didn't come from a real-life incident, where did it come from?"

King: "Like the ideas for some of my other novels, that came to me in a dream. In fact, it happened when I was on Concord, flying over here, to Brown's. I fell asleep on the plane, and dreamt about a woman who held a writer prisoner and killed him, skinned him, fed the remains to her pig and bound his novel in human skin. His skin, the writer's skin. I said to myself, 'I have to write this story.' Of course, the plot changed quite a bit in the telling. But I wrote the first forty or fifty pages right on the landing here, between the ground floor and the first floor of the hotel."

"Another time, when I got road-blocked in my novel It, I had a dream about leeches inside discarded refrigerators. I immediately woke up and thought, 'That is where this is supposed to go.' Dreams are just another part of life. To me, it's like seeing something on the street you can use in your fiction. You take it and plug it right in. Writers are scavengers by nature."

Nicholls comments: "This could explain the line in Bag of Bones that goes,
Perhaps in dreams everyone is a novelist."

During an interview with Naomi Epel for her book Writers Dreaming, King described his use of dreams this way:

"I've always used dreams the way you'd use mirrors to look at something you couldn't see head-on, the way that you use a mirror to look at your hair in the back. To me that's what dreams are supposed to do. I think that dreams are a way that people's minds illustrate the nature of their problems. Or maybe even illustrate the answers to their problems in symbolic language."

[Anne Rice, another leading horror writer, also noted she uses dreams -- both fortuitous ones and those more intentionally provided for her books.]

Sources: Interview with Stan Nicholls, SFX Magazine no 45; December 1998
Writers Dreaming: 26 Writers Talk About Their Dreams and the Creative Process , Naomi Epel, 1994
The Committee of Sleep, D. Barrett, 2001

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

INFOGRAPHIC: Careers For Introverts

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

REVIEW: Choices And Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?

This fascinating book holds an important key. Whether you’re interested in the science of thinking and beliefs, how your own mind operates, how others control your thoughts, why things just don’t work out for you, how you can create the life you've always wanted, how you can realize your true potential, how you can find peace, or, on a grander scale, how you can help make the world a better place, this book provides insights for all. Simply reading it will open your eyes to new worlds of possibilities. You’ll change once you’re exposed to the illusions most live under and by, and putting into practice any of these very simple teachings will open the door for you to achieve your highest potential.

Choices and Illusions tells the story of one man’s journey into the workings of the human mind and our reason for being. The adventure is every bit as exciting as the best scientific discoveries. Eldon Taylor’s approach is pragmatic, and his conclusions are inspirational and soul enhancing. Along the journey, you’ll hear fantastic stories of divine intervention, see why you think and do what you don’t wish to do, and understand the very clear message that it’s never too late to be happy and succeed, regardless of your past actions.

Eldon says, “Many believe that self-help and self-improvement is about rags to riches, failure to success, and so forth, when indeed it’s the beginning of a journey into self-discovery. Inside every human being is an eternal truth and a life purpose. Using our mind power is simply starting the engine on that path toward highest self-actualization.”

VIDEO New York Times Best Selling Book: Choice and Illusions By Eldon Taylor

BOOK LAUNCH!! Eldon Taylor: Choices And Illusions

Eldon Taylor's latest book 'Choices And Illusions' is being launched today! I find his books to be thoroughly insightful as well as interesting, and definitely recommend recommend adding one to your reading list. Below is the bio of Eldon, a very interesting man. 

Eldon Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author and is considered to be an expert in the field of subconscious learning. He has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics. He is a Fellow with the American Psychotherapy Association (APA) and a nondenominational minister. Eldon has served as an expert witness in court cases involving hypnosis and subliminal communication.

Eldon was a practising criminalist for over ten years specializing in lie detection and forensic hypnosis. Today he is president and director of Progressive Awareness Research, Inc. Since 1984 his books, audio programs, lectures, radio and television appearances have approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, self-responsibility and service.

Be sure to visit the promotional page for Choices and Illusions:

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Factfile

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events.
The type of events that can cause PTSD include:
  • military combat
  • serious road accidents
  • terrorist attacks
  • natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis
  • being held hostage
  • witnessing violent deaths
  • violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.
PTSD can develop in any situation where a person feels extreme fear, horror or helplessness. However, it doesn't usually develop after situations that are simply upsetting, such as divorce, job loss or failing exams.

Symptoms of PTSD

Someone with PTSD will often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and they may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult.
These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
Read more about the symptoms of PTSD.

Treating PTSD

PTSD can be successfully treated, even when it develops many years after a traumatic event.
Any treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and how soon they occur after the traumatic event. The following treatment options may be recommended:
  • watchful waiting: waiting to see whether the symptoms improve or get worse without treatment
  • psychological treatment: such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) (...or of course hypnosis)
  • medication: such as paroxetine or mirtazapine
Read more about treating PTSD.

How common is PTSD?

PTSD affects up to 30% of people who experience a traumatic event. It affects around 5% of men and 10% of women at some point during their life.
PTSD can occur at any age, including during childhood.

Friday, 4 October 2013

13 of Psychology's Newest Ideas

1.  Mood freezing
We’ve come to believe that by expressing our emotions we’ll feel better. The idea of “catharsis” also implies that by releasing our anger, we’ll rid ourselves of all hostile feelings. In research on “mood freezing,” participants are made to believe that a pill can alter their moods when, in fact, the pill is a placebo. When these participants are artificially riled up in an experimental situation, and then given the fake pill, they both reduce their angry outbursts and – importantly- say that the feel better. You don’t have to give yourself an actual, fake, mood freezing pill to reduce your own angry outbursts the next time you get mad. If you tell yourself you don’t need to express that anger, though, you can derive the same positive benefit.
2.  Facial feedback
According to one theory of emotions, known as the facial feedback model, the expression on your face helps to control the way you feel inside. This theory was put to the test in a study of people who had received Botox treatments, a cosmetic injection that numbs the muscles of the face. The Botoxed participants were less able to empathize with the emotions of others because, presumably, they were unable to flex their facial muscles. The results weren’t accounted for, either, by a selection bias because people getting Botox don’t show unusual patterns of emotion detection prior to their injections.
3.  Self-affirmations
The value of self-affirmations was made famous by SNL character Stuart Smalley (now Senator Al Franken): “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and gosh-darn it, people like me.” Often, a self-affirmation can boost your inner strength and make you more likely to succeed. However, this strategy may come with a risk. A recent study showed that people who utter self-affirmations may be less inclined to pursue a goal after they experience failure. To the extent that you internalize your failure, you may then feel that you actually have less, rather than more of a chance at succeeding in your future efforts.
4.   Hindsight bias
One of our most common human tendencies is to think that we were right about predicting an event’s outcome even in actuality we were wrong.  Hindsight bias takes the common form of “I knew it all along.” Psychologists have long known about hindsight bias, but a recent study shows that you can be prevented from the lure of hindsight (and the possible negative consequences it can create) by relatively simple reality-testing interventions before you commit this cognitive faux pas.
5.  Mind-wandering
The term mind-wandering isn’t particularly new to 2013, but recent studies show that it can actually benefit your thinking. We tend to believe that it’s bad for our daily performance, but these studies are showing that you can make better plans for yourself and solve problems more creatively by occasionally letting your mind drift far and wide.
6.  Double foot-in-the-door
The foot-in-the-door is a well-known strategy to manipulate people into fulfilling a large request by first presenting them with a small one. However, we hear less about the double-foot-in-the-door.  In a recent study, researchers found that they could convince participants to engage in energy-saving activities more effectively using the double-foot-the-door. In this process, you make your request in three phases- small, medium, and large- rather than just going from small to large. That staging of your request makes it seem less intimidating, and even if you have to stretch it out over a week or two, in the long run, it will pay off more for you.
7.  Affect heuristic
A heuristic is a “rule of thumb” that allows people to make judgments and solve problems. The affect heuristic refers to our very illogical tendency to predict risk on the basis of how frightening something seems to be rather than on its probability.  For example, people will be more likely to take steps to avoid a rare, very frightening disease, than to avoid a more probable one that carries with it less obvious pain and suffering.
8.  Target template
When we’re searching through a complex set of stimuli, such as a busy street that we’re trying to cross, we need to pick out the sources of danger. The “target template” is a guide to searching these types of complex stimulus arrays. Despite what you hear about videogames being bad for your attention, researchers are finding that action games can actually improve your scanning abilities of these complex scenes. In fact, the more action-oriented the game, the bigger the attentional boost.
9. The dark triad
The combination of narcissismpsychopathy, and Machiavellianism, or the “dark triad,” sounds bad, and in many cases, it is bad. People high on dark triad traits tend to be unpleasant to be with and can cause you much heartache should you have the bad fortune of falling in love with them.  However, in a longitudinal study of personality traits and career success, it was those high in the dark triad traits who tended to succeed in moving up the career and income ladders. They even out-performed their more conscientious, somewhat obsessive-compulsive, counterparts.
10.  Relationship churning
We can’t completely give psychology credit for this term, as the study in which I found it was conducted by sociologists.  However, it clearly applies to the psychology of relationships. Relationship churning occurs when you are in a series of on/off relationships.  Unfortunately, young adults most likely to experience relationship churning may also be the ones most likely to suffer relationship abuse, both physical and verbal. 
11.   Fear of happiness
Although we seem to idolize happiness as the be-all and end-all of life’s desired outcomes, some people, particularly from certain cultures, actually fear the state of happiness. In cultures that believe worldly happiness to be associated with sin, shallowness, and moral decline will actually feel less satisfied when their lives are (by other standards) going well. 
12.   Self-monitoring
In self-monitoring, as the term implies, you pay careful attention to your steps toward progress in achieving improvement or a desired goal. This term may seem to violate my commonsense principle, above. However, I nevertheless found it interesting that in a study using a behavioral approach to online weight control for people objectively considered obese, it was the participants who stuck to the program by taking advantage both of chatting and online logging-in who achieved the greatest weight gain. The biggest losers, in this study were the ones who got started early on the self-monitoring aspect of the program, which seemed to give them that all-important initial boost.
13.   Vocational callings
I’ll leave you today on this inspirational note that when you think of your job as a “calling,” you’ll be more satisfied with it. People who feel they have a calling believe that their work (be it as a homemaker or in employment outside the home), are more likely to feel the most satisfied and the most motivated. The key to this particular kind of job satisfaction is not only that you feel you have a calling, but that you are able to live out that calling.  Once you have that congruence of your desire and your experiences, you’ll feel more in control of your career’s direction which, in turn, can further help you feel connected to a larger purpose in life.
With this sampling of a mere 13 cool psychology ideas, you can see why psychology has so much to offer and how it can help all of us lead more fulfilling lives.

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