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Quantum Medicine Research

Posted by Maddalena Frau on May 10, 2015 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

This is a resource dedicated to research the latest and most important information on natural health, in natural medicine and alternative medicine, holistic medicine, alternative therapies, herbal medicine, natural healing, herbs, fitness, medicinal herbs, nutritional therapies, complementary therapies, longevity research, physical, mental and spiritual health.


Everyone has access to the information and research that is essential in order to prevent, treat and even recover from all diseases as well as maintain health and long life.


Living in harmony with the InFinity and his manifestation is the secret to Natural Health and Happiness.

Maddalena Frau

Posted by Maddalena Frau on May 8, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Psychologist, Transpersonal Therapy, Quantum Medicine,


Psycho Vibrational Therapy *PVT* .


Researcher, Scio Therapist, Nutrition.


Immune Internationally Licensed Therapist


Maddalena is a researcher of Integrative and Quantum Medicine, where all of her energy is dedicated to consolidating her knowledge of conventional medicine, natural medicine, nutrition, quantum physics and advanced biofeedback into a model of Integrative Medicine. She has dedicated her life to the promotion of natural health and the prevention of disease, and to bringing depth and understanding to the field of Integrative Medicine. She has researched new approaches to medicine and she an ardent promoter of innovative methods of evaluation as a way to integrate quantum consciousness into the art of healing.

Quantum Psychology

Posted by Maddalena Frau on November 6, 2014 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Connoisseurs know that my work on quantum consciousness has much to say about how to frame a scientific psychology that integrates all of psychology and most of psychotherapy.


What is quantum psychology?

Quantum psychology is based on quantum principles. Its primary premise is that all objects of our experience—sensing, feeling, thinking, and intuiting—are quantum objects that have a two realm existence—possibility and actuality. As quantum possibilities, they are embedded in a holistic nonlocal consciousness; as actualities they make up four independent worlds: the physical (for sensing), the vital (for feeling), the mental (for thinking meaning), the archetypal or supramental (for intuiting). These worlds do not directly interact; their interactions are mediated by the signaless communication of nonlocal consciousness.


Why quantum psychology?

Quantum psychology is necessary to resolve all the dichotomies of our experiences and in this way integrate all the psychologies that treat all the varieties of our experiences piecemeal.


Where do we apply quantum psychology?

Well, there is politics here and vested interests that want to keep away the new. The new makes people defensive especially when we are talking about big changes like a paradigm shift. I think the application will begin with you the lay-reader first who like self-help for which quantum psychology is appropriate as you will see when the project is finished. Individual therapists will adapt some of the practices of quantum psychology piecemeal next.

With time, as the philosopher Thomas Kuhn said, old paradigmers never change, but they do die. I think the new generation of psychologists will see the strength of the quantum integral approach quickly, one unified science within consciousness quickly and from then on, there is no going back. When the younger generation takes over the academe, academe will change.


When will the transition be complete?

A few decades perhaps.



We need activism. There is a danger in what is happening with materialist science, especially psychology, that surreptitiously is killing the individualistic human spirit that has made America, but few people notice it. Materialist psychology is objective; for materialists it is best if everybody were just the average Joe or Jane because prediction and control would be so simple then. Today, journalists and politicians talk about rampant individualism, but what they mean is narcissism, a very predictable self-centered mold in which everybody fits in. The alternative psychologies, especially depth psychology, humanistic psychology, and positive psychology promote and uphold the individual through the emphasis of their very individual creative pursuit of the timeless archetypes.

The average approach in any garb, be it cognitive/behavioral science or Ken Wilber’s type of integral psychology, that tries to undermine the age-old archetypes is ultimately the biggest threat to the real American individuality, to the American dream.


As James Hillman said, “{Ordinary] activism looks to the facts, psychological activism inquires into essences.” Depth psychologists already talk about archetypal activism. If we don’t save the absolute archetypes of timeless truth, we get Fox news. Quantum psychology has an even more general suggestion: quantum activism.

The motto of quantum activism is to change yourself to excel in your individuality (Carl Jung called this individuation) and simultaneously help the society to become a collection of heterogeneous individuals, not homogeneous machines!


When Integral Psychology is at hand, what then?:

The Vision of Quantum Psychology.


In quantum psychology we recognize the full import of what the humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers first hinted: to become a person, we need to be the proud creative producer of a new idea that is my idea. Until that happens, face it: we are just repeating and analyzing other people’s ideas and opinions. To become a quantum society we have to change the essence of society from conditioning to creativity; we have to help others in the society to be creative.


What if somebody has neurosis so severe that creativity is impossible, the rigor of the creative process is unbearable.

The quantum psychotherapist (and I don’t necessarily mean a professional) has to lend to such a person his or her creative acumen. If not you, who will? Remember the cognitive/behavioral therapists will always try to adapt their clients to the established cultural complex.


How to do it?

Quantum physics has given us two ideas with which to move from “I” to “we” consciousness. The first idea is nonlocality. When I am influencing somebody through local means, local communication, I try to homogenize the person with me—simple human nature. When I communicate with someone with nonverbal and nonlocal consciousness, I empower him or her with the creative power of downward causation.


Have you noticed how in the current culture, locality has taken over as our means of communication?

Locality gives us a sense of connectedness—that part is good. But the tendency to homogenize is the problem. We should use the local to connect, but use the connection to trigger and explore our nonlocal consciousness so all of us can prosper individually to fulfill our own creative agenda.


For the therapist or activist helper, what works better is establish a tangled hierarchical connection of circular causality with the client and investigate the archetype of wholeness together. If that sounds intriguing, it is not that hard, you will see.


Ken Wilber gave us the idea of a four-quadrant consciousness that introduced the notion of “we”-psychology.

Unfortunately, Wilber meant the cultural we, the local homogeneous we. Quantum psychology is much more ambitious, much more in tune with the creative purpose of the evolution of consciousness.


The poet John Keats wrote: See the world as Vale for soul-making.


If you do, he wrote to a friend, you will see the purpose of the world. The soul is our archetypal body, the body that we cannot manifest yet except through mental creativity. But so long as we are creative, and helping others to be creative, we are okay, we are into soul-making.



University of Quantum and Integrative Medicine

Posted by Maddalena Frau on November 6, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Quantum University is institution of higher learning to provide degrees and certification programs in Quantum, alternative, energetic, natural, and integrative medicine based on the new emerging science of quantum physics.

Quantum University is a Degree Granting Institution established in 2000 that now serves over eight thousand students in forty one countries all over the world.


Quantum University was founded to meet the need to offer bachelor, master, doctorate and PhD degrees.


Students are offered health classes, certification courses, and degree program in an affordable IPad and/or online learning environment in order to receive the know-how and credentials necessary to become leaders in the natural health and wellness industries.

Quantum Medicine Update: The Scientific Validation of Quatum Medicine

Posted by Maddalena Frau on September 17, 2014 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Quantum medicine provides an energy-based medical paradigm that combines a wide spectrum of multidisciplinary health assessment protocols in an attempt to address the full complexities of chronic illness. Quantum medical practitioners view disease as a disruption, cessation, or distortion of the body's energetic anatomy along caused by a wide range of stress factors (nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, infections, etc.). Instead of suppressing the symptoms of this disharmony (pain, inflammation, etc.), these practitioners approach illness with the intent of eliminating the disharmony with bursts of energy or a specific resonance stimulations that correct the disharmony, eliminate stress or causative factors, and enhancing innate healing.

In the 1920s and 1930s Dr. Harold Saxon Burr of Yale University researched the energetic qualities of different forms of life. For example, Burr observed changes in the electrical field of trees to seasonal changes, sunlight and darkness, cycles of the moon, and sunspots. In humans, he noted that emotional stress affected the body's energy field (Transactions of the American Neurology Association 63, 1939). When observing hormonal changes in women, he was able to record a voltage change just before ovulation and a subsequent drop in voltage just as the egg is released (American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 44, 1942). The most fascinating of his discoveries pertains to the voltage changes that would allow Burr and his colleagues to define malignant tissue and predict when a woman would develop cancer of the cervix (Science, 105, 1947). An excellent review of his 43 years of research is summarized in his book Blueprint for Immortality: The Electric Patterns of Life. This breakthrough book reveals important scientific discoveries:


All living things - from men to mice, from trees to seeds - are formed and controlled by electrodynamic fields that Burr defined as L fields (Yale Journal of Biological Medicine, 16, 1944; Science, 103, 1946; Proceedings of National Academy of Science, 32, 1946).

L fields are the basic blueprints of all life (Yale Journal of Biological Medicine, 17, 1945; Federal Proceedings, 6, 1947; Medical Physiology, 1950).

L fields are informational and can reveal physical and mental conditions in order for doctors to diagnose illness before the usual symptoms develop (Yale Journal of Biological Medicine, 14, 1942; Yale Journal of Biological Medicine, 19, 1947; Yale Journal of Biological Medicine, 21, 1949).

Carlo Rubbia, a 1984 Nobel Laureate, made an astounding observation on the magnitude of biological information fields which he reports is far greater than biochemical or bimolecular information in the human body. Consequently, any medical field that examines only the physical body is only assessing a small and inconsequential part of human anatomy.


An American nenrologist, Albert Abrams, MD who taught pathology at Stanford University's medical school in California, made the following scientific observations (New Concepts in Diagnosis and Treatment, San Francisco, Philopolis Press, 1916):


Unknown resonances or waves were omitted from pathological tissue that can be used with great accuracy to locate an infection or pathology, and

Resonant frequencies or radiations from quinine eliminated the unknown resonances associated with malaria and mercurial salts stopped syphilis radiations (the same was true of other known antidotes).

In a series of 25 clinical trials, Dr. William Boyd confirmed Abrams' research and with 100% accuracy was able to identify chemicals and tissues without visual or any other clues except their resonances. In 1924, the Royal Society of Medicine investigated Boyd's claims and found them valid (Royal Society of Medicine, 1925). The committee was impressed with the new diagnostic capabilities of Boyd's methods.


Nobel Prize double-nominee, Robert O. Becker, MD reported that the electromagnetic resonance behaves in the human body in a similar fashion to magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI) and that the body's innate resonances could be used to heal and explain problematic health issues (Cross Currents: The Perils of Electropollution, The Promise of Electromedicine, Tarcher/Putman, 1990).


A controlled, research study on rats by the US Naval Research Center, Bethesda, Maryland (Biomagnetics, 7, 1986) documented that the magnetic resonance from lithium (not an oral dose) was able to subdue behavior and depress the central nervous system. This study is important because it documents significant biological effects from minute radiations similar to homeopathic medicines.


Another brilliant researcher, George Lakhovsky, published The Secret of Life in 1925 revealing that "every living cell is essentially dependent on its nucleus which is the center of oscillations and gives off radiations." His research has important health implications. Lakhovsky's book defines life and disease as a battle between healthy resonances and the unhealthy resonances of cells against microbes and other toxins. When we consider that the sun is the center of our solar system, and life could not exist without it giving off radiations that set up oscillations in living matter, it becomes obvious that energy principles work on the same universal laws, be they atoms, cells, or solar systems.


Famous US surgeon and founder of the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, George Crile, M.D. supported Lakhovsky's finding with independent studies that were reported in his book The Phenomena of Life: A Radio-electric Interpretation, which was printed in 1936. He states, "electricity is the energy that drives the organism." He likened the cell to a battery and stated "It is clear that in the second half of life the electrical potential of the elderly patient as a whole or of this or that organ, has been very much reduced and that by so much, the margin of safety has been dangerously diminished." In the 1937 British Medical Journal, Sir Thomas Lewis defined an independent cutaneous nerve system of pathways that was not composed of nerve fibers.


Using electromyography (EMG), Dr Valerie Hunt at UCLA discovered that the body emits oscillations between the "noise" of normal muscle contractions. With sophisticated equipment, Hunt was able to monitor fluctuations in the body's electromagnetic energy levels (Progress Report: A Study of Structural Integration from Neuromuscular Energy Field and Emotional Approaches, UCLA, 1977).


Further documentation of the body's electromagnetic energies came from photographic techniques discovered by Semyon Kirlian in Russia. With the interaction of a high-frequency electric discharge and a photographic plate he captured the energetic imprints of living organisms on the film. Further research by scientists at the Kirov State University of Kazakhstan and by M.K. Gaikin, MD correlated these measurements with Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts of energy flow. I found some of the most impressive work with Kirilian photography in Peter Mendel's book Energy Emission Analysis. Mandel's work was important for the following reasons:


His findings were based on over 800,000 photographs (energy emission analysis or EEA), which documented the beginning and end points of classical acupuncture.

All irregularities of bodily functions were depicted on the photographs

He based his therapeutic intervention on either the positive or negative EEA macrographs.

Validation and Anatomical Documentation of Meridian Pathways


While some researchers have documented the electromagnetic resonances of life, other have documented what ancient Chinese medical wisdom has taught for thousands of years. The following are highlights of some of the research that validates the existence of the acupoints and meridian pathways:


During the 1960s Professor Kim Bong Hen studied the acupoints of animals. He injected radioactive p[32] (an isotope of phosphorus) into an acupoint and followed the uptake of the substance into surrounding tissue. With microautoradiography techniques, he discovered that the p32 followed the path of the classical acupuncture meridians (The Acupuncturist, 1, 1967).


In 1985, Pierre de Vernejoul at the University of Paris injected radioactive markers in acupuncture points. Using a gamma-camera imaging, he tracked the movement of the isotope. His findings indicated that the tracer followed the pathways of the classical meridian lines at the speed of 30 cm in 4-6 minutes. As a control, he also made random injections in the skin, vessels, and lymphatic channels documenting that there was no migration at these sites. (The Kirilian Aura, Doubleday, 1974; Bulletin of the Academy of National Medicine 169, 1985).


Using electronographic body scans, researchers documented meridian pathways (Electrographic Imaging in Medicine and Biology Neville Spearman Ltd.,1983).


In studies similar to Dr. Burr, Professor Kim found that the meridian ducts were formed within fifteen hours of conception in the embryonic chick before the rudimentary organs were formed (Design for Destiny Ballentine Books, 1974).


In another experiment, Professor Kim severed the liver meridian in a frog and observed the subsequent changes in the liver tissue. Shortly after severing the meridian, he discovered enlarged liver cells. Three days later he noted serious vascular degeneration throughout the entire liver.


Dr. William Tiller of Stanford University observed close to a twenty-fold drop in electrical resistance at the acupoints (Energy Field Observations, 1988).


Dr. Hiroshi Motoyama AMI Machine (short for Apparatus for Measuring the Functions of the Meridians and Corresponding Internal Organ) research on over 5,000 patients documented strong correlations between weaker meridians and underlying disease states in associated organ systems (Science and the Evolution of Consciousness, Autumn Press, 1978). Reinhold Voll, MD, who discovered electroacupuncture techniques, spent two decades studying acupuncture points and their related meridians. Voll's discovery that almost all Chinese acupuncture points could be detected by a change in skin resistance was of incredible importance to the birth of Quantum Medicine (American Acupuncture 8, 1980).


All the above studies support the teachings of Chinese medicine. In brief, doctors of Chinese medicine believe that illness is caused by energetic imbalances. Certainly Kim's research supports the concept that meridian changes precede physical organ dysfunction. Thus the integrity and balance of the acupuncture meridian system is crucial to detecting illness in the earliest possible stages before organ degeneration take place. Yet it is important to note that traditional Chinese theories were developed thousands of years ago when the planet was not as polluted and food was not genetically-engineered, toxic or depleted in nutrients. Hence, we may not be able to rely solely on old Chinese remedies and theories now and in the 21st century. Over the past decade, my research with the Yanick Quantum Energy Method[reg.] on thousands of natural products that were tested against stressed organs. glands and systems of the body, revealed that over 90% of supplements currently available were toxic or had poor energetic and biochemical bioactivity. This research was confirmed by in vitro screening studies of 196 natural products that found 191 toxic or ineffective with only 5 or 2.5% nontoxic (Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. Vol 2:1, 25-41, Winter, 1996). For the best clinical results, quantum medical practitioners use non-toxic, clinically effective supplements that contain the correct resonances of healthy organs, glands and systems of the body and the correct nourishment to support and strengthen weak physiology This powerful synergism in supplement choices allows the body to discharge toxins, eliminate opportunistic infections, and correct nutritional deficiency states in the shortest time possible.


Assessing the Stress-related Origins of Disease


Most standard medical textbooks attribute 50 to 80% of all disease to stress-related origins. Emerging from Quantum Medicine and its attendant philosophy is the view that a wide spectrum of stressors can be assessed by observing subtle energy systems that govern physiology and give rise to chronic disease. Causative agents that are not always detectable at the biochemical level, commonly manifest an attendant perturbation at the energetic level. Foundational research that supports the basis of Quantum Medicine has provided a clear mandate for the necessity of considering the variables of energetic anatomy in attempting to comprehend complex multisystem disease. From such research it is evident that the energetic context of health disorders, needs to be considered with the traditional biochemical model and that neither can stand alone. For example, using the meridian system as a way to determine biochemical stressors and organ responses to stress factors can synchronize enzymes and create an amplified crystalline resonant field that propels nutrients deep within the cells of the body, Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients. April. 2000. thereby improving nutrient uptake. As an added bonus, matching the correct resonant frequencies to meridian representations of organs and systems of the body enhances electron transfer functions and stabilizes molecular defenses, thereby reducing oxidative stress. The next column will discuss lymph stasis, lymphedema, and lymphotoxicosis as common underlying causes of obesity, thyroid insufficiency, and chronic pain syndromes and their assessment via regulation thermography and the best sequence of testing to determine one's lymphatic status via the meridian pathways.

By Paul, Jr. Yanick


Herbs and Supplements for Depression

Posted by Maddalena Frau on March 25, 2014 at 1:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Depression is a serious medical condition characterized by low mood, lack of energy, sadness, insomnia, and an inability to enjoy life.

Although anyone may experience one or more of these symptoms upon occasion, true depression (sometimes called clinical depression, or major depression) lasts for weeks or more. Until the introduction of antidepressant medications in the mid-20th century, modern medicine could offer few solutions to reverse the debilitating effects of the disease.

With the realization that depression is a physiological disorder caused by disturbances in brain neurotransmitters, rather than a purely psychological disease, scientists worked to develop medications to correct these imbalances. Modern antidepressant drugs work by boosting brain cells’ access to brain messenger chemicals such as serotonin and norepinephrine.

Although modern science has only recently learned to address the underlying causes of depression, for centuries folk medicine has offered some mildly effective treatments. Among these are St. John’s Wort, the omega-3 fatty acids, and other herbal and nutritional supplements.

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

This venerable herb has been cultivated in Europe for centuries, where folk healers have used it to dispel melancholia (which we now call clinical depression) since the days of ancient Greece.

In modern Germany, St. John’s wort is routinely prescribed to treat mild to moderate depression among both children and adults. Some studies have concluded that the herb may be as effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression as modern antidepressant drug therapy with fewer side effects. 

One caveat: St. John’s wort interacts with numerous drugs, and should never be taken without a doctor’s approval, especially by someone who is presently taking other medications.

Chemicals in the herb are believed to relieve depression, much like modern antidepressant medications, by blocking the reuptake of serotonin by nerve cells, making more serotonin available to the brain. For this reason, it should never be taken with a prescription antidepressant, as a rare, but potentially dangerous excess of serotonin could result.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Countless well-controlled studies have concluded that omega-3 fatty acids, obtained primarily from fatty cold-water fish and fish oil supplements, are crucial for proper regulation of a number of brain functions, including mood.

The omega-3 fatty acids are a group of three chemicals, EPA, DHA and ALA, which are essential nutrients. They must be obtained through the diet, and the body must have an adequate supply to function properly. EPA and DHA are especially important. The brain is nearly 60 percent fat by weight, much of that fat consisting of omega-3 fatty acids, which serve as structural components of the brain’s cells and tissues. As integral components of nerve cell membranes, they play a crucial role in allowing the efficient passage of messenger chemicals.

Many medical professionals believe that depression is rooted in faulty brain chemical signaling, and that, as a result, an adequate supply of omega-3 fatty acids promotes optimal functioning. Studies show that supplemental omega-3 fatty acids may help regulate mood and reduce the likelihood of depression, while also improving the effectiveness of antidepressant medications, should they become necessary. Some studies suggest that an intake of at least 2 g of mixed EPA/DHA per day is beneficial.

SAM-e & Folate

S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM-e) is a common chemical present in every cell in the body. Through simple chemical reactions, it is converted in the body into other important chemicals, including the mood-regulating brain chemicals, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Available as a prescription drug in some European countries, SAM-e is sold as a safe, well-tolerated supplement in the U.S.

Studies have shown that levels of SAM-e are abnormally low in the brains of people diagnosed with depression. Clinical trials suggest that oral supplementation with SAM-e reverses this deficit and significantly improves mood. Some trials have concluded that SAM-e may be as effective as older tricyclic antidepressant medications with fewer side effects and a quicker onset of action.

Therapeutic doses may range from 400 mg to 1,600 mg per day. For best results, SAM-e should be taken with B vitamins, including B6, B12, and folic acid. Adequate levels of these vitamins will ensure that SAM-e is not converted to the amino acid, homocysteine, which has been implicated in atherosclerosis, a root cause of cardiovascular disease. Folic acid, also known as folate, is also under investigation as a therapy for mild depression. Folate is often abnormally low among people with depression, and some clinical trials indicate that adding folate to the diet may improve the effectiveness of modern antidepressant drugs.

How to Treat Hives Naturally

Posted by Maddalena Frau on March 25, 2014 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Although the cause of hives is not always known, they are often a response to the body releasing histamines, which it does when we have an allergic reaction to food, medicine or other allergens. Histamine is also sometimes the body's response to infections, stress, sunlight and changes in temperature, among other things. Hives typically manifest as small, swollen, itchy, red areas on the skin that may occur singularly or in clusters.

Left untreated, hives usually fade within a few hours, but new ones may appear in their place. Most hive outbreaks resolve themselves completely within a few days. You can treat hives naturally to get relief from the symptoms.

Treat Hives Naturally Step 1.jpg

Apply a wet, cold compress to the hives to reduce the swelling and cool the inflamed skin.

  • Dampen a paper towel with cold water and lay it on your affected skin for 15 minutes at a time.
  • Reapply the cold compress every few hours as needed to reduce pain and swelling. If hives are terrible it's easiest to take as cold of a bath (covering hives with water) for 20-30 minutes and then stay cool.

  1. Treat Hives Naturally Step 2.jpg
    Drink herbal teas for a natural hive treatment. Purchase tea bags or buy herbs loose and brew your own tea. In general, you should use 1 teaspoon of herb for each cup of hot water. Steep leaf or flower herbs for around 10 minutes, and root herbs for 20. Drink 3 to 4 cups of tea a day for optimal effect.
    • Green tea, commonly known for its health benefits, including antihistamine effects, is available both with and without caffeine.
    • Licorice root may reduce inflammation caused by hives and supports your immune system to help your body recover from symptoms more quickly. If you suffer from high blood pressure, a heart condition, edema, or are taking certain medications such as warfarin or diuretics, do not take licorice root.
    • Goldenseal, best known for its gastrointestinal benefits, has also been found to be beneficial for people with food allergies to eliminate or reduce allergic reactions.
    • Devil's claw, also known as harpagophytum procumbens, may reduce the inflammation and can be helpful if skin lesions occur from severe hive outbreaks. If you have diabetes or are taking blood pressure or blood-thinning medication, do not take devil's claw.
    • Chamomile tea is commonly used by people to treat hives, although there is no scientific evidence to prove its benefits in hive treatment. If you are taking warfarin, do not take chamomile without first getting approval from your doctor.
  2. 3
    Try other herbal antihistamines. Most of these remedies can be ingested in pill form. They should offer either temporary relief from itching or reduction in redness. Natural herbal antihistamines include:
    • Stinging nettle. This may sound weird, because touching nettles in the wild can produce a rash not unlike hives. Some doctors, however, recommend taking a freeze-dried preparation of stinging nettle, which is known for its ability to reduce the amount of histamine the body produces.
    • Coldsfoot may be effective as a natural antihistamine. Europeans have a long history of using the plant to cure skin conditions. The leaves can either be ground up into a paste or coldsfoot extract can be ingested in pill form.
    • Basil may also work as a natural antihistamine. Heat a couple sprigs of basil leaves up under some steam and apply gently to the hives. Basil may help reassure the body that the foreign agent causing the hives is not something it should be fighting.
  3. Treat Hives Naturally Step 3.jpg
    Soak in a warm, not hot, oatmeal bath to relieve itching and sooth your skin. This is especially helpful if the hives cover a large portion of your body or are concentrated on your legs and lower body.
  4. Treat Hives Naturally Step 4.jpg
    Apply aloe vera topically to the hives as well as to the skin surrounding any affected areas. Aloe Vera helps the effected skin to heal quicker and decreases the chances of hives developing on unaffected areas.
  5. 6
    Use ginger. Known as a "wonder drug" around the world, ginger can be taken in a variety of ways: incorporated into food, taken as a pill, or used in steam treatments. Try buying fresh ginger, cutting off the skin so that the meat is exposed, and gently daubing the ginger onto the inflamed skin. Place your ginger in the refrigerator beforehand for a cooling effect.
  6. Treat Hives Naturally Step 5.jpg
    Enrich your diet to boost your immune system, decrease your chances of getting hives, and help your body recover from attacks.
    • Eat a well-balanced diet that follows recommendations established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or recommendations your doctor makes, for optimal health.
    • Increase the amount of vitamin C in your diet by eating more oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, red peppers and green leafy vegetables.
    • Eat foods that contain acidophilus and other probiotics for optimal digestive health to shorten the length of the hives when they occur as a result of food allergies. Yogurt that contains live active cultures, cottage cheese and sauerkraut are some good sources.
  7. Treat Hives Naturally Step 6.jpg
    Seek professional help for hive treatment if your attempts at providing relief are not effective or if you have extremely painful or chronic hives. An experienced homeopath can asses your condition and determine which homeopathic remedy is your best natural hive treatment.
    • Acupuncture may decrease the frequency or severity of hives caused by allergic reactions, including angioedema. This is an extreme hive outbreak which also causes swelling of the soft tissue membranes around the lips, tongue and larynx, which can cause breathing problems.

Part 2 of 2: Preventing Hives in the Future

  1. 1
    See a qualified allergist to take an allergy test. An allergy test should include both kinds of dust mites, all foods, and trees and grass, as these are very common allergens. An allergy test should help you conclude which allergens to avoid in the future. You may be allergic to:
    • Food or additives. Strawberries are common triggers of hives, as are food colorings, or salicylates, sulfites and polysorbates.
    • Medications. If you take a medication, especially an antibiotic, that causes you to break out into hives soon afterward, you could be allergic to it.
    • Insect bites. The venom of certain insects may cause an allergic reaction.
  2. 2
    Avoid stress. The exact medical reasons aren't completely understood yet, but scientists do think there is a link between stress and the immune response. Try to find natural outlets for your stress if you feel overwhelmed, helpless, and frequently exasperated. Exercise, sports, art, and meditation may help avoid a stress-induced breakout.
  3. 3
    Avoid triggers. Your allergist might be able to help you figure out what natural, chemical, or animal interactions give you hives, but many people are completely in the dark about their triggers.
    • After you have an incident, write down all the foods that you have eaten in the past three days, as well as all the detergents, beauty products, and hygiene products you have used or consumed. Write down every detail you can remember. Bring this list in to your allergist as documentation.
    • If your allergist is unable to come up with a culprit, do some investigation yourself. Start out with a completely bland diet — rice, potatoes, chicken, etc. — for a few days, and then begin introducing different items into your diet, one by one. In the beginning, only wash with unscented, not-chemically-treated soaps; expand to some different detergents if you think they might be the culprit.
    • If you have a big outbreak of hives that is effecting a large part of your body, the quickest way to cool the skin is take a cool shower. Start with warm water and gradually lower the temperature until it is comfortable cool or cold. Avoid taking a hot shower, which could cause further itching and irritation to the sensitive tissue.
    • Try to identify the source of the allergen if you think an allergic reaction is causing your hives. The best way to treat hives is to avoid them. Common food allergens include shellfish, fish, eggs, milk, nuts, berries and tomatoes. You could also be allergic to a preservative, food dye, medicine or other chemical ingredient in prepared products. Keep a food diary and use process of elimination to identify offending foods, or see a doctor for allergy testing.
    • Make a thick paste out of baking soda and water or rice water. Spread on infected area.

How to manage anxiety

Posted by Maddalena Frau on February 5, 2014 at 2:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Everyone occasionally experiences some anxiety. It is a normal response to a stressful event or perceived threat. Anxiety can range from feeling uneasy and worried to severe panic. The aim of this Tip Sheet is to inform people about what anxiety is and to provide some tips to help manage anxiety when it becomes a problem.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of fear or impending disaster and reflects the thoughts and bodily reactions a person has when they are presented with an event or situation that they cannot manage or undertake successfully. When a person is experiencing anxiety their thoughts are actively assessing the situation, sometimes even automatically and outside of conscious attention, and developing predictions of how well they will cope based on past experiences.

Although some anxiety is a normal response to a stressful situation, when the anxiety level is too high a person may not come up with an effective way of managing the stressful or threatening situation. They might "freeze", avoid the situation, or even fear they may do something that is out of character.

Anxiety generally causes people to experience the following responses:

  • An intense physical response due to arousal of the nervous system leading to physical symptoms such as a racing heartbeat.
  • A cognitive response which refers to thoughts about the situation and the person's ability to cope with it. For someone experiencing high anxiety this often means interpreting situations negatively and having unhelpful thoughts such as "This is really bad" or "I can't cope with this".
  • A behavioural response which may include avoidance or uncharacteristic behaviour including aggression, restlessness or irrational behaviour such as repeated checking.
  • An emotional response reflecting the high level of distress the person is experiencing.

What causes anxiety?

There is no one cause of high anxiety. Rather, there are a number of factors that may contribute to the development of anxious thoughts and behaviour. Some causes of anxiety are listed below.

Hereditary factors 

Research has shown that some people with a family history of anxiety are more likely (though not always) to also experience anxiety. 


Biochemical factors

Research suggests that people who experience a high level of anxiety may have an imbalance of chemicals in the brain that regulate feelings and physical reactions. Medication that helps to correct this imbalance can relieve some symptoms of anxiety in some people.


Life experiences

Certain life experiences can make people more susceptible to anxiety. Events such as a family break-up, abuse, ongoing bullying at school, and workplace conflict can be stress factors that challenge a person's coping resources and leave them vulnerable to experiencing anxiety.


Personality style

Certain personality types are more at risk of high anxiety than others. People who have a tendency to be shy, have low self-esteem, and a poor capacity to cope are more likely to experience high levels of anxiety.


Thinking styles

Certain thinking styles make people more at risk of high anxiety than others. For instance, people who are perfectionistic or expect to be in constant control of their emotions are more at risk of worrying when they feel stress.


Behavioural styles

Certain ways of behaving also place people at risk of maintaining high anxiety. For instance, people who are avoidant are not likely to learn ways of handling stressful situations, fears and high anxiety.


What are the symptoms of anxiety?

The experience of anxiety will vary from person to person. Central features of anxiety include ongoing worry or thoughts that are distressing and that interfere with daily living. In addition to worry or negative thinking, symptoms of anxiety may include:

  • Confusion
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Faintness/dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Avoidance behaviour
  • Irritability

How is anxiety treated?

Psychological treatment, particularly cognitive-behaviour therapy, has been found to be very effective in the treatment of anxiety. Cognitive behaviour therapy is made up of two components. The first component, cognitive therapy, is one of the most common and well supported treatments for anxiety. It is based on the idea that a person's thoughts in response to an event or situation causes the difficult feelings and behaviours (i.e., it is often not an event that causes distress but a person's interpretation of that event). The aim of cognitive therapy is to help people to identify unhelpful beliefs and thought patterns, which are often automatic, negative and irrational, and replace them with more positive and helpful ways of thinking. The second component of cognitive-behaviour therapy involves assistance with changing behaviours that are associated with anxiety, such as avoidance or restlessness. These may be dealt with through learning relaxation techniques and through changes in the way that certain situations are handled.

Other treatments used to address anxiety include medication and making lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise, reducing caffeine and other dietary changes.

Your general practitioner or psychologist will be able to provide you with more information on these treatment options.

Tips on how to manage anxiety

Identification of stress and trigger factors

The first step in managing anxiety is to identify the specific situations that are making you stressed or anxious and when you are having trouble coping. One way to do this is to keep a diary of symptoms and what is happening when anxiety occurs. It is also helpful to identify any worrying thoughts as this can lead to finding ways to solve the specific problem that is of concern.

People tend to have a greater ability to manage stressful events than they sometimes realise. Once you have identified a specific situation that is causing the anxiety, problem-solving is a useful technique to help resolve anxiety by addressing the problem. Structured problem solving involves the following steps:

  1. Identify the problem. When you have identified the situations that are contributing to your anxiety, write down the problem and be very specific in your description, including what is happening, where, how, with whom, why, and what you would like to change.
  2. Come up with as many options as possible for solving the problem, and consider the likely chances that these will help you overcome your problem.
  3. Select your preferred option.
  4. Develop a plan for how to try out the option selected and then carry it out.
  5. If this option does not solve the problem remember that there are other options to try.
  6. Go back to the list and select your next preferred option.

Breathing exercises

When people feel anxious they often breathe more rapidly. This rapid breathing can lead to many of the unpleasant feelings such as light-headedness and confusion that may be experienced when anxious. Learning a breathing technique to slow down breathing can often relieve symptoms and help a person to think more clearly.

The following simple breathing technique can slow down breathing and reduce symptoms of anxiety. You should begin by timing your breathing and then complete the following steps.

  • Breathe in through your nose to the count of three (3 seconds) and say to yourself: "IN, TWO, THREE".
  • Breathe out through your nose, again counting to three, and say to yourself: "RELAX, TWO, THREE".
  • Keep repeating this for two to three minutes, and then time your breathing.

This breathing technique can be used to slow down breathing whenever a person feels anxious and can be done anywhere without anyone else noticing.

Relaxation techniques

People who feel anxious most of the time report that they have trouble relaxing. Knowing how to release muscle tension is an important anxiety treatment. Relaxing can bring about a general feeling of calm, both physically and mentally. Learning a relaxation technique and practising it regularly can help a person to maintain a manageable level of anxiety. A psychologist or other health professional can teach you relaxation techniques or they can be self-taught by using books or CDs that guide you through the steps.

Thought management

Thought management exercises are useful when a person is troubled by ongoing or recurring distressing thoughts. There is a range of thought management techniques. For instance, gentle distraction using pleasant thoughts can help take attention away from unpleasant thoughts. Alternatively, one can learn ‘mindfulness techniques' to redirect attention from negative thinking. A simple technique is ‘thought replacement' or using coping statements. Develop a set of statements that will counteract worrying thoughts (e.g., "This is difficult but I have been through it before and have got through it okay", "Hang in there, this will not last much longer"). Substitute one of the reassuring or coping statements for the troubling thought. The choice of thought management technique will depend on the type of anxiety problem. A psychologist can help you decide on thought management strategies that are likely to be most helpful.

Lifestyle changes

  • Plan to take part in a pleasant activity each day.
    This doesn't have to be something big or expensive as long as it is enjoyable and provides something to look forward to that will take your mind off your worries.
  • Increase exercise.
    Regular exercise will help to reduce anxiety by providing an outlet to let off stress that has been built up in your body.
  • Reduce caffeine intake.
    Caffeine is a stimulant and one of its side-effects is to keep us feeling alert and awake. It also produces the same physiological arousal response that is triggered when we are subjected to stress. Too much coffee will keep us tense, and aroused, leaving us more vulnerable to anxiety.
  • Reduce alcohol intake.
    Alcohol is frequently used to help deal with stress, anxiety and depression. However, too much alcohol leaves us more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
  • Improve time-management skills.
    Having a busy lifestyle can add daily pressure to your life and serve to increase stress and anxiety. Much of this stress may be associated with poor time management. Plan and schedule time throughout the day but be prepared to be flexible. Ensure to plan some rest time and some leisure activities and be realistic about time limitations, not scheduling too much into the day.


Other resources on anxiety

Anxiety disorders

For some people the feeling of high anxiety can become severe and interfere with their functioning, making it difficulty for them to cope with normal daily demands. If this high anxiety persists over a long period of time an anxiety disorder may be diagnosed. Almost 30 per cent of the population will experience some form of anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. A range of anxiety disorders can be diagnosed depending on the symptoms experienced. People with an anxiety problem can frequently experience a number of specific anxiety disorders at the same time. If a person is concerned about having an anxiety disorder it is important to seek professional help to determine the best form of treatment to manage the anxiety.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder. This disorder involves persistent and excessive worry, often about daily situations like work, family or health, with associated physical symptoms. This worry can be difficult to control, leading to problems in concentration, restlessness and difficulty sleeping.

Specific phobia. People with a specific phobia experience extreme anxiety and fear if exposed to a particular feared object or situation. Common phobias include fear of flying, spiders and other animals, heights or small spaces.

Panic Disorder. Panic Disorder occurs when a person has sudden surges of overwhelming fear that come without warning. These panic attacks often only last a few minutes, but repeated episodes may continue to occur.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In OCD a person has repeated, upsetting thoughts called obsessions (e.g., "there are germs everywhere"). To make these thoughts go away, the person will often perform certain behaviours, called compulsions, over and over again (e.g., repeated hand washing). These compulsions can take over a person's life and while people with OCD usually know that their obsessions and compulsions are an over-reaction, they can't stop them.

Social Anxiety Disorder. In Social Anxiety Disorder the person has severe anxiety about being criticised or negatively evaluated by others. This leads to the person avoiding social events and being afraid of doing something that leads to embarrassment or humiliation.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD can occur after exposure to a frightening and traumatic event. People with PTSD re-experience the traumatic event through memories and/or dreams, they tend to avoid places, people, or other things that remind them of the event, and are extremely sensitive to normal life experiences that are associated with the event.

How Women Can Prevent or Even Heal Breast Cancer, Explore and Find Love, and Live Healthily Ever After

Posted by Maddalena Frau on January 17, 2014 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)

By Amit Goswami, Ph. D.

The actress Angelina Jolie, by her radical mastectomy because of a high probability for contracting breast cancer, has increased our awareness of the suffering that this tragic disease brings to women worldwide.  The truth is, every year roughly 3 million people contract this disease, and thousands die.

Angelina’s case was special because her situation was hereditary.  But many cases of breast cancer are not hereditary,  (due to any genetic abnormality), and the question arises, could it be that in these cases the physical symptoms—cancerous growths—are not due to any physical cause at all?  If there is a nonphysical cause, and we can understand it, can we treat the disease at the root and heal it?  Furthermore, if we can understand the cause of these cases of cancer, could we prevent the cancer by eliminating or minimizing the cause in the first place?

Conventional medicine practitioners are not very friendly to such questions because of their “everything is matter” and “genetic abnormalities cause most disease” philosophy.

Quantum physics leads us to a different philosophy: Consciousness is the ground of being in which there are four worlds of quantum possibilities: material, vital, mental, and archetypal (which I call supramental).  Choice by consciousness from material possibilities gives us material objects of sensing.  When consciousness chooses from the possibility-movements of the vital world, we experience vital energy movements of feeling.  Choice from the mental world (mind) gives us meaningful objects of thought.  And choice from the supramental gives us the archetypal objects of intuition such as love.

The individual manifest worlds of our experience do not interact directly but only through the intermediary of consciousness with nonlocal, signnalless communication (quantum nonlocality).

This scientific validation of our subtle experiences of feeling, thinking, and intuition, opens the door for the validation of alternative practices of medicine that postulate an important disease-causing role to imbalances of the subtle movements of our experience. (Read my book The Quantum Doctor.)  For example, vital body medicine practices such as Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM], the Indian Ayurveda, and homeopathy claim that many diseases are caused by imbalances or blocks of vital energy movements associated with our organs and their interactions.  Mind-body medicine practices hold that imbalances and blocks in our processing of mental meaning cause some of our diseases.  And so forth.

TCM and What Quantum Physics and Avant-garde Biology Add to TCM Model of Breast Cancer Treatment and Prevention

Now back to breast cancer.  According to TCM, breast cancer is caused by imbalances in the movement of vital energy in the breasts and in the related organs of importance to healthy breast functioning.  Also of importance in TCM is the movement of vital energy in the channels called meridians that connect interacting organs.

In the early days of medicine, when Traditional Chinese medicine was formulated, very little was known about the vital body.  Boldly, the Chinese thinkers used a modified version of the five-elements theory of matter and space (the classification in terms of earth, water, air, fire, and vacuum or empty space) to get a grip.  But being good empiricists, they also took into account what they empirically knew about the organs.  They discovered that organs affect organs in two ways, either in a supportive role or in a controlling role.  Accordingly, they renamed the corresponding vital energy elements as: earth, water, wood, fire, and metal.  Earth nourishes metal in a supporting role, but metal cuts wood in a controlling role.

In this way, TCM practitioners would say that the female breasts, liver, and stomach are connected by support and control.  Therefore, they emphasize the importance of keeping the flow of vital energy in these organs and between these organs unblocked and balanced.  This means we pay special attention to the flow of vital energy in their channels of communication, namely, the liver meridian and the stomach meridian.  Balance in the conceptualization of TCM means a balance between the complementary aspects—yin and yang—of vital energy (chi).

TCM is especially effective as a preventive medicine.  If we keep the vital energy balanced and unblocked in the way described above, we can prevent cancer, is their point.  Empirical data supports their view.

Modern science improves the theory quite a bit.  I have already spoken of how quantum physics and the concept of psycho-physical parallelism make the concept of vital energy scientific.  Balance in this approach means a balance between particle and wave modality of the flow of vital energy, a balance of what is and what is possible, in other words, a balance between conditioning and creativity in the mode of movement.

Now add new insights in the biological theory of form-making, morphogenesis.  The biologist Rupert Sheldrake noted that morphogenesis (how a one-celled embryo, through cell division that creates identical replicas, can grow all the different organs of the body with differentiated functions depending on where in the body the organ lies) gives rise to a paradoxical question—how does the cell know where it is in the body?  Accordingly, there must be new nonlocal, and therefore nonphysical, organizing principles, call them morphogenetic fields, that are instrumental in biological cell-differentiation and form-making.

When we combine the lesson of quantum psychophysical parallelism with Sheldrake’s morphogenetic fields, we can see clearly that the morphogenetic fields are the blueprints of biological form that consciousness uses to make organs.  Each organ then has a “correlated” (through consciousness and quantum nonlocality) morphogenetic blueprint in the vital body.  The conglomerate of these morphogenetic fields associated with all our organs is what we call the vital body.

As the physical body grows through childhood and early adulthood, the movements of these associated morphogenetic fields become conditioned to act in a certain predictable way.  These are yin movements of vital energy.  But the cells die and are replaced from food molecules, disease comes from various sources, environmental changes with seasons and places; in this way, the movements of the morphogenetic fields has to have creative dynamism, a balance of the yang component of chi.

The most serious situation, of course, is created when certain movements of vital energy are entirely blocked; in quantum parlance, these movements are never actualized or collapsed.  We can see, that such blocks of vital energy movement that prevent the functioning of organs would have grave disease-producing consequences.

Now add another relatively new insight of modern biology and medicine, the discovery of the immune system that keeps the body healthy by killing off intruders.   Naturally, modern medicine recognizes the importance of keeping the immune system functioning normally.  Because of occasional mistakes in cell division mechanism, the body is always creating abnormal cells that the immune system kills off routinely as intruders.  But if the immune system does not function properly, these abnormal cells can grow and become malignant causing cancer.

However, modern medicine has only a few legitimate scientific mechanisms for immune system malfunctioning.  The principal one is genetic; if there is a defect in the gene structure, the immune system will go awry with high probability.  This was suspected to be the case with actress Angelina Jolie.

Another mechanism sometimes suggested is the action of a bacteria or a virus that trips off the immune system.  However, there is no concrete case of this happening.  Recently, a red flag was raised in proposing that oral sex can lead to throat cancer through bacterial infection.  The actor Michael Douglas made himself the butt of many jokes when he claimed that his throat cancer was caused by HPV contracted through cunnilingus.

Vital energy medicine can do better.  Blocking of the vital energies associated with the immune system is a likely mechanism for immune system malfunctioning.  What can produce a vital energy block of this kind.

What feelings are associated with immune system functioning?  The job of the immune system in the form of the thymus gland –- its geographical location roughly the same as the female breasts — is to distinguish between “me and not me”. When we fall in love with someone, the movement of the morphogenetic field associated with our immune system is temporarily suspended, suspending immune system functioning as well.  This is experienced as an intense yearning for physical union, a part of all episodes of romantic love.  When the union is achieved, movement of the morphogenetic field (vital energy) resumes, and the immune system functioning returns to normal.

In this way, certain situations in women’s lives can lead to prolonged suspension of immune system functioning, such as a woman in grief from bereavement.  This then can produce breast cancer.

In Eastern psychology, the presence of certain feeling centers along the spine was discovered long ago.  These points are called chakra points.  Notice that the location of the thymus gland is roughly in the same area as the heart.  The corresponding chakra point where we feel romantic love is called the heart chakra.  There are seven such major chakra points.

The identification of unfulfilled romantic love as the source of immune system malfunctioning gives us an extra handle.  It brings to the fore the role of the mind in causing vital energy blocks.  To starve the heart chakra of romantic love until fulfillment is achieved with only the desired partner is often a mental decision that suppresses the feeling of love towards others.  Thus, certain types of cancer, breast cancer in particular, can be recognized as a mind-body disease.

Again, from the perspective of mind-body disease, prevention is the best policy to deal with the problem.  In the olden days, people were encouraged to grieve more than they naturally would.  Now with a cancer-prone environment and an exponential increase of mental stress, we should do the opposite and discourage prolonged mourning.

Is there any healing along these lines once one has contracted breast cancer?  The best results are achieved if we try changing the context of the mental thought that contributes to the negative emotion of grief.

The physician Deepak Chopra discovered the phenomenon of quantum healing as an explanation of many cases of spontaneous healing without medical intervention.  Quantum healing occurs as a discontinuous transition of the mind to the archetypal world to discover a new context for mental thinking that is causing the vital energy block.  Such quantum leaps are part of the creative process.  In the case of mind-caused breast cancer, the quantum leap will let you love again.

The quantum leaps of quantum healing of cancer bring about the normal functioning of the immune system back with such fury that overnight all the cancerous mass is destroyed.

Can we do even better, life-long prevention, once we have rediscovered love?  In TCM, it is recognized that the vital blueprints of the three organs of the lung, liver, and stomach form a special trio of circular hierarchy: the liver blueprint controls the stomach; the stomach blueprint does not control the liver back directly; instead, the stomach blueprint supports the lung blueprint, and the lung blueprint controls the liver blueprint.  Thus the vital blueprints of the three organs form a causal circularity, a situation called tangled hierarchy which produces self-identity.  What this means is that when consciousness collapses the possibility waves of these organs and their associated blueprints (morphogenetic fields), it identifies with the trio as a whole giving the system apparent autonomy.  There is no evidence for any autonomous functioning of the lung, but there is such evidence for the immune system. Clearly, ancient Chinese thought has validity if we substitute immune system for the lung.  In other words, the immune system, the liver, and the stomach form one autonomous system of identification for consciousness.  And it is important to keep each member of the trio and their vital connections healthy to ensure proper immune system functioning.

So the quantum recipe for forever healthy living: discover love and expand your center of functioning from your neocortex to include the heart (immune system) center also.  As John Lennon wrote, “all you need is love”.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Chronic Prostatitis/Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome

Posted by Maddalena Frau on January 16, 2014 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

To discuss challenges concerning treatment for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) and review complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies being evaluated for this condition, we performed a comprehensive search of articles published from 1990–2005 using the PubMed, Medline databases. Data from the articles were abstracted and pooled by subject. Keywords cross-searched with CP/CPPS included: complementary, alternative, integrative, therapies, interventions, nutrition, antioxidants, herbs, supplements, biofeedback and acupuncture. Listed articles with no abstracts were not included. Various CAM therapies for CP/CPPS exist including biofeedback, acupuncture, hyperthermia and electrostimulation. Additionally, a variety of in vitro and in vivo studies testing herbal and nutritional supplements were found. Saw palmetto, cernilton and quercetin were the most frequently tested supplements for CP/CPPS. Although many CAM therapies demonstrate positive preliminary observations as prospective treatments for CP/CPPS, further exploratory studies including more randomized, controlled trials are necessary for significant validation as treatment options for this complex disorder.

Introduction and Characterization of Prostatitis

Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS) is of significant interest in urology and accounts for up to 2 million office visits per year . Currently, there are multiple approaches to the management of CP/CPPS depending on the classification of the related symptoms. However, there are no absolute findings or laboratory tests employed and diagnosis is often one of exclusion.

In 1995, the National Institutes of Health established an International Prostatitis Collaborative Network in order to construct a new classification of prostatitis syndromes and better define chronic prostatitis. The categories are now documented as follows:

  • Category 1. Acute bacterial prostatitis
  • Category 2. Chronic bacterial prostatitis
  • Category 3. Chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome
    • A. Inflammatory
    • B. Non-inflammatory
  • Category 4. Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis.

While most patients report a primary subjective symptom of local pain and/or dysuria, the clinical presentation of acute versus chronic prostatitis varies. Laboratory cultures are standardly employed to detect bacterial involvement and this testing along with other diagnostic criteria determines each classification. Men with Category 1, acute prostatitis, frequently present with dysuria, fever, malaise, myalgia (non-specific) and positive culture analysis that often reveals coliform bacteria. This imparts to standard antibiotic treatment with good prognosis for recovery and minimal recurrence.

Patients with Category 2, chronic bacterial prostatitis, present with similar symptoms as those with acute prostatitis. However, the frequency of symptoms (duration >3 months), recurrent urinary tract infections and additional diagnostic tests including analysis of lower urinary tract cultures contribute to its diagnosis as Category 2 prostatitis.

Men with Category 4, asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis, do not present with subjective symptoms. This diagnosis is often discovered via laboratory findings such as the positive presence of white blood cells in prostatic secretions or in prostate tissue during routine evaluation for other disorders.

Comparative to the total number of prostatitis cases reported, the majority of representative cases are Category 3, CP/CPPS. This diagnosis is usually one of exclusion, as bacterial etiology acute or chronic is ruled out. Other exclusion criteria include urogenital cancer, urethral stricture and neurologic disease affecting the bladder. However, the patient may still present with polyuria, dysuria, generalized myalgia or specific pelvic pain, urethral discharge, voiding dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and negative impact on quality-of-life (QOL). The presentation of this symptom set is now termed Category 3, CP/CPPS. Categories 3A and 3B are further differentiated by the presence or absence of inflammatory blood cells in prostatic secretions and seminal fluid, respectively further outlines the characteristics and treatment options of Category 3 prostatitis.

Due to the complexity in diagnosing CP/CPPS, the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases funded the Chronic Prostatitis Collaborative Research Network (CPCRN) in 1995 . This network was fundamental in the construction and validation of the National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI), which was implemented in 1999. The index has become a valid measure that quantifies the qualitative experience of men with CP/CPPS and addresses three different aspects of CP/CPPS: pain, function and QOL.

The formation of the CPCRN and the advent of the NIH-CPSI have better characterized diagnosis and treatment for CP/CPPS, but challenges still exist. While standard treatment options including anti-inflammatory agents, analgesics and alpha-blockers are often prescribed, impact on QOL is another factor often overlooked in the treatment and management of CP/CPPS . The focus on QOL, anecdotal data, epidemiological studies and the increased popularity and validation of herbal, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has led to exploration of the utility of CAM therapies as treatments for CP/CPPS. CAM therapies including biofeedback, acupuncture, heat therapy, electrostimulation, herbal and nutritional supplements will be discussed below.

CAM Background

CAM, as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is further defined as medicine as practiced by holders of MD (medical doctor) or DO (doctor of osteopathy) degrees. Though the list of what therapies or practices considered to be CAM changes continually, the pool of both practitioners of CAM modalities and patients utilizing CAM services continues to grow within the United States and globally.

The inclusion of CAM practices in urology is also being implemented in the clinic. Many groups such as the Committee of Complementary and Alternative Medicine within the American Urological Association (AUA) recognize the integration of non-conventional therapies into urological clinical practice. Additionally, both public demand for CAM therapies and their testing and validation within health science research centers has increased . It has been suggested that many urological conditions possessing subjective and QOL components such as in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), chronic prostatitis, voiding, erectile dysfunction and cancer prevention and survivorship might be particularly amenable to CAM treatment strategies. This review will focus on current CAM therapies found in the literature for CP/CPPS.

CAM Therapies for CP/CPPS


Biofeedback therapy is considered a mind–body technique that utilizes a monitoring machine to assist people in controlling bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. This therapy has been studied for its efficacy in urological conditions such as incontinence, prolapse, pediatric voiding dysfunction and CP/CPPS . The hypothesis of biofeedback's mechanism of action in treating CP/CPPS is based on the principle that maximum muscle contraction prompts maximum muscle relaxation. This mechanism addresses the chronic pain aspect of CP/CPPS and focuses on muscular reeducation, which may ultimately provide symptom relief.

Two studies testing the value of biofeedback therapy for CP/CPPS yielded positive results. The first study assessed 62 patients who were refractory to conventional therapy (such as antibiotics and/or alpha-blockers) for greater than half a year. These patients were treated utilizing the Urostym Biofeedback equipment five times a week for 2 weeks with a stimulus intensity of 15–23 mA and duration of 20 min. The NIH-CPSI index noted a significant overall reduction in score (P < 0.01) and no side effects were reported during the trial.

A second pilot study evaluated biofeedback therapy in 19 men with pelvic floor tension and CP/CPPS. These results demonstrated significant improvement in pain scores as measured by the AUA symptom index (P = 0.001). While this study focused on testing the effect of biofeedback therapy in treating the symptoms associated with CP/CPPS, it also implicated the presence of pelvic floor tension contributing to pain and the paramount importance of muscular reeducation for its treatment. These initial, positive biofeedback studies may warrant larger randomized clinical trials to confirm safety and efficacy as well as explore the mechanism of action of biofeedback therapy.


Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese method of medical treatment involving the insertion of fine, single-use, sterile needles in acupoints according to a system of channels and meridians that was developed by early practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) over 2000 years ago. The needles are stimulated by manual manipulation, electrical stimulation or heat. Currently, acupuncture is often used with TCM and it is a recognized health profession with strict licensure and regulatory status in 40 states. Common applications include acupuncture as a complementary therapy for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy, for conditions involving pain such as migraines and back pain, and for relieving the impact of stress among patients with chronic conditions. The precise physiological mechanism of action of acupuncture is unknown but a variety of hypotheses exist. For example, acupuncture analgesia is thought to be mediated by central nervous system (CNS) mechanisms of pain control via the release of specific neurotransmitters, such as endorphins. Additionally, there are significant data which suggest that acupuncture treatment can decrease inflammation and relieve pain.

Data suggesting the ability of acupuncture treatment to decrease pain, positively impact QOL and potentially modulate inflammation and/or affect the CNS has suggested it as potential therapeutic option for men with CP/CPPS. While a number of studies listed in other journals test the utility of acupuncture treatment for CP/CPPS only two medline listed pilot studies are shown testing acupuncture treatment in patients with CP/CPPS.

The first study examined whether acupuncture improved pain, voiding symptoms and QOL in 12 men with CP/CPPS. This study reported a significant decrease in total NIH-CPSI pain, urinary and QOL scores (P < 0.05) over 6 weeks of treatment and an average 33 weeks of follow-up. The mechanism of action addressed in this paper suggests a neuropathic model of CP/CPPS and the hypothesis that acupuncture, if considered a neuromodulatory therapy, may provide a therapeutic option for men with CP/CPPS.

A second study tested acupuncture treatment for CP/CPPS patients with intrapelvic venous congestion. This study of 10 patients receiving 5 weeks of acupuncture treatment also reported a significant decease in NIH-CPSI pain and QOL scores (P < 0.05, P < 0.01). While the study reported no serious adverse events, the mechanism of action was not addressed. The promising clinical outcome of both studies testing acupuncture for CP/CPPS implies that larger studies are required to confirm the utility of acupuncture in this patient population.

High Frequency Electrostimulation

Only one study in English was found utilizing electrostimulation for chronic prostatitis. This study tested a new, high frequency, urethral–anal prototype stimulation device in men with CP/CPPS twice weekly for 5 weeks. The results demonstrated a significant decrease in the NIH-CPSI (P = 0.0002) with no urethral, anal complaints or other side effects. The authors suggest that due to the positive results, simple technology and ability to be self-administered, this new device may have utility in the treatment of CP/CPPS. However, further studies and standardization of the electrostimulation device are essential.


Anecdotal evidence and a few clinical trials have suggested heat therapy or hyperthermia as a treatment option for men with CP/CPPS. Its mechanism of action is based on the application of heat to the prostate to relieve pain. An excellent review by Zeitlin discusses the lack of literature concerning hyperthermia and CP/CPPS. The review notes a variety of pitfalls in hyperthermia research including variation and lack of standardization of treatment. These concerns are applicable to both the type of heat utilized such as interstitial heat or microwaves and variation in its application, either transrectally or transurethrally. The review also suggests that the hyperthermia instruments used were not validated and outcome measures were subjective. However, the review implies that utilization of a quantitative assessment tool, applied statistics and greater documentation of therapy type may offer hyperthermia a better opportunity to be evaluated as a potential therapy for CP/CPPS.

We also discovered the paucity of literature described by Zeitlin and only three listed clinical trials utilizing hyperthermia. The first study analyzed a group of 45 men with chronic abacterial prostatitis or prostadynia who underwent 6 weekly, 1 h sessions of local deep microwave hyperthermia (42.5 +/−0.5°C) to the prostate. Although the authors report encouraging results in the decrease of pain, these subjective patient assessments were not quantified by the NIH-CPSI or other index for CP/CPPS.

A second abstract discussed a randomized, sham-controlled comparative study utilizing transrectal microwave hyperthermia in 80 men with CP/CPPS. While this abstract noted a 75% symptomatic improvement in the treatment group, the study was available as an abstract only with no statistical significance or descriptive methodology reported. A third study also tested transrectal microwave hyperthermia for both chronic non-infectious and infectious prostatitis. While the study design incorporated obtaining measurement of prostatic secretions, uroflowmetry and transrectal color Dopplerographic mapping, the results from the study were not abstracted as the article was in Russian.

Herbal and Nutritional Supplements

Herbal and nutritional supplement therapies have been most widely investigated for their utility in CP/CPPS and other prostate conditions such as BPH. While many formulations have been cited for their use in a wide variety of urological conditions, saw palmetto, pollen extract and quercetin were the supplements found with specific application to CP/CPPS. While most herbal and nutritional supplements contain a wide variety of synergistic ingredients upon compositional analysis, some of the active components such as phytosterols or antioxidants are listed in.

Figure 1

Chemical structures of components found in herbal or nutritional supplements. (a) Structure of beta-sitosterol an active component of S. repens. (b) Structure of quercetin.

Saw palmetto

Saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) garnered much attention in urology based on a great deal of anecdotal evidence regarding its prostate specific properties. It is widely used in many Asian, African and European countries and compositional analysis of the berry of S. repens exhibits sterols and free fatty acids as its major constituents . Initial studies suggested that the efficacy of saw palmetto may be similar to that of the pharmaceutical enzyme inhibitors such as finasteride. This preliminary data prompted the exploration of mechanism, utility and efficacy of saw palmetto in in vitro analysis and in clinical trial settings. While a number of trials have examined saw palmetto use for symptoms related to BPH, only a few have focused on it specifically for CP/CPPS.

The first study compared the safety and efficacy of saw palmetto berry supplement versus finasteride in men with Category 3, CP/CPPS. This prospective, open label 1 year study randomized 64 men to the saw palmetto or finasteride group, respectively. After 1 year of treatment, the NIH-CPSI score decreased from 23.9 to 18.1 in the finasteride group (P < 0.003) and from 24.7 to 24.6 in the saw palmetto group (P = 0.41). While significance was only achieved in the finasteride treatment arm, it was notable that at the end of the trial 41 and 66% of participants opted to continue the therapies of saw palmetto and finasteride, respectively, regardless of achieved statistical significance.

The second clinical trial from China examined the effects of prostadyn sabale capsules containing saw palmetto berry in patients with CP/CPPS. While 125 men reported positive outcome and the NIH-CPSI was used as a primary end point, the article is only available in Chinese and the manufacturer, active constituents of the capsules and statistical significance was not reported.

A third multicenter study testing a saw palmetto abstract called Permixon analyzed the response of Permixon therapy in 61 patients with Category 3B prostatitis. While 65% of the Permixon group reported improvement based on the Patients Subjective Global Assessment (SGA), the total NIH-CPSI and the pain, voiding and QOL/impact domains of the NIH-CPSI, statistical significance was not reported. Additionally, prostate volume was unchanged in both the treatment and control groups. While this multicenter study suggests that Permixon may provide clinical benefit for CP/CPPS 3B, the dosages and components of the Permixon product were not listed in the abstract.

The assessments of saw palmetto studies for CP/CPPS are far fewer than those for BPH. However, marked and continued progress in molecular studies, increased mechanistic data and more clinical trials in CP/CPPS are warranted to ascertain the utility and reproducibility of saw palmetto use in men with chronic prostatitis.

Pollen Extract: Cernilton

Pollen extract is traditionally collected from the flowers of various plant types and it contains carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins and minerals. The particular pollen extract named cernilton has been suggested to benefit a variety of urological conditions. Anecdotal evidence and references from traditional herbal texts have implicated cernilton's potent anti-inflammatory properties and potential in treating symptomatic relief of urinary pain and dysfunction often present in both CP/CPPS and BPH. In vitro studies demonstrate a variety of experimentation on this particular extract including histopathological analysis of its effect on cell proliferation, apoptosis, serum cytokines and testosterone. The literature also lists quite a few clinical trials on pollen extract; however, five are in the Japanese language and one in the German language. While many of these studies report the positive activity of pollen extract and suggest its usefulness for CP/CPPS, data from these studies were not abstracted due to unavailability and translation of the articles.

One available study testing pollen extract reported a 78% favorable response of men with chronic prostatitis taking Cernilton® pollen extract at a dosage of 1 tablet TID for 6 months . While this study reported favorable results, the study was published in 1993 and similar subsequent larger phase clinical trials are not evident to further elucidate the possible utility of pollen extract in men with CP/CPPS.


Quercetin is known chemically as a mixture of 2-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl)-3,5,7-trihydroxy-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one and 3,3′,4′,5,7-pentahydroxy flavone. It belongs to a group of polyphenolic substances known as flavonoids and is a member of the class of flavonoids called flavonols. It is commonly found in the plant kingdom in the rinds and barks of certain foods such as onions, grapes and green tea. Since quercetin is thought to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, immunomodulatory, anticancer, gastroprotective and antiallergy activities it has been studied for a variety of conditions.

One prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was performed to test the action of this bioflavonoid in men with CP/CPPS. This placebo-based study assessed 30 men with CP/CPPS to receive the bioflavonoid quercetin, 500 mg twice daily or the placebo pill for 1 month. Significant change in the NIH-CPSI score was observed in the quercetin (P = 0.003) versus the placebo group, who had an insignificant mean improvement in the NIH-CPSI score. While this was the only clinical trial found testing quercetin for CP/CPPS, the positive outcome supports the need for further study including cost analysis of quercitin therapy in this patient population.

Other Herbal Agents for Prostatitis

Finally, a wide variety of herbal compounds not previously discussed were found during this review, many of which are commonly used in the TCM herbal material medica. Some of the compounds are Nan mi qing capsules containing Rheum palmatum and Rx. astragalus memberanaceus, Ye Ju Hua Shuan, an herbal suppository of Flos Chrysanthemi Indici and a variety of other formulae or capsules of which the ingredients were not listed.

Initial in vitro studies examining some of the herbal compounds effects on markers of inflammation such as thromboxanes (TBX2) and 6-keto-PGF1-α are promising as the link between chronic inflammation in CP/CPPS is still under investigation. While the preliminary reports of additional herbal compounds are encouraging, a number of difficulties exist in the extraction of this data. Namely, the articles are in the Chinese or other language and data including the ingredients, constituents and other practices including good manufacturing are unable to be assessed. While this conundrum exists for many herbal agents despite their historical use in a variety of traditional herbal medicine systems, testing of safety and utility are still necessary. However, the variety of herbal agents available offers a large source to draw from and the possibility that other herbal products might be beneficial in the treatment of CP/CPPS.


A summary of the reviewed literature is outlined in Table 2 and a variety of CAM modalities tested in patients with CP/CPPS include practitioner-based therapies such as biofeedback, hyperthermia, acupuncture and electrostimulation, and biological-based therapies including herbal and nutritional supplements. As the challenges in treating this complex and chronic disorder remain, further evidence of efficacious CAM treatment options for men with CP/CPPS is needed. Thus far, promising data on the function and efficacy of certain CAM therapies suggest their potential as treatment options for this patient population. Further exploratory studies including more in vitro studies of herbal products, mechanistic data, cost analysis and randomized, controlled trials will assist in validation of certain CAM therapies as permanent treatment options for men with CP/CPPS.

Jillian L. Capodice,* Debra L. Bemis, Ralph Buttyan, Steven A. Kaplan, and Aaron E. Katz


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Alpha wave

Posted by Maddalena Frau on December 27, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Alpha waves are electromagnetic oscillations in the frequency arising from synchronous and coherent (in phase / constructive) electrical activity of large groups of neurons in the human brain.

EEG Biofeedback  (often called neurotherapy or neurofeedback) is a learning strategy that enables persons to alter their brain waves by getting a feedback of their present state.

For more information about the topic Alpha wave, read the full article at Wikipedia.org, or see the following related articles:

Electroencephalography is the neurophysiologic measurement of the electrical activity of the brain by recording from electrodes placed on the scalp or, in special cases, on the cortex.

Functional neuroimaging is the use of neuroimaging technology to measure an aspect of brain function, often with a view to understanding the relationship between activity in certain brain areas and specific mental functions.

Rapid eye movement (REM) is the stage of sleep characterized by rapid saccadic movements of the eyes.

A mirror neuron is a neuron which fires both when an animal performs an action and when the animal observes the same action performed by another (especially conspecific) animal.

Sensory neurons are nerve cells within the nervous system responsible for converting external stimuli from the organism's environment into internal electrical impulses.

Phantom limb is a phantom sensation in amputated or missing limbs. A phantom sensation is a feeling that a missing limb is still attached to the body

In vertebrates, motor neurons (also called motoneurons) are efferent neurons that originate in the spinal cord and synapse with muscle fibers to facilitate muscle contraction and with muscle spindles to modify proprioceptive sensitivity.

Narcolepsy is a neurological condition most characterized by Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), episodes of sleep and disorder of REM or rapid eye movement sleep.

The auditory system is the sensory system for the sense of hearing. The sound waves enter the ear canal, a simple tube (but one which amplifies sounds that are between 3 and 12 kHz).

Seizures are temporary abnormal electro-physiologic phenomena of the brain, resulting in abnormal synchronization of electrical neuronal activity.

Note: This page refers to an article that is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the article Seizure at Wikipedia.org. See the Wikipedia copyright page for more details.

Editor's Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

New Tech Lets Cholesterol-Tracking Smartphone Users Take Lifesaving Selfies

Posted by Maddalena Frau on December 26, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

With a new smartphone device, you can now take an accurate iPhone camera selfie that could save your life -- it reads your cholesterol level in about a minute.

Forget those clumsy, complicated, home cholesterol-testing devices. Cornell engineers have created the Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, or "smartCARD," which employs your smartphone's camera to read your cholesterol level.

"Smartphones have the potential to address health issues by eliminating the need for specialized equipment," said David Erickson, Cornell associate professor of mechanical engineering and senior author on a new peer-reviewed study. Thanks to advanced, sophisticated camera technology, Erickson and his colleagues have created a smartphone accessory that optically detects biomarkers in a drop of blood, sweat or saliva. The new application then discerns the results using color analysis.

When a user puts a drop of blood on the cholesterol test strip, it processes the blood through separation steps and chemical reactions. The strip is then ready for colorimetric analysis by the smartphone application.

The smartCARD accessory -- which looks somewhat like a smartphone credit card reader -- clamps over the phone's camera. Its built-in flash provides uniform, diffused light to illuminate the test strip that fits into the smartCARD reader. The application in the phone calibrates the hue saturation to the image's color values on the cholesterol test strip, and the results appear on your phone.

Currently, the test measures total cholesterol. The Erickson lab is working to break out those numbers in LDL ("bad" cholesterol), HDL ("good" cholesterol) and triglyceride measurements. The lab is also working on detecting vitamin D levels, and has previously demonstrated smartphone tests for periodontitis and sweat electrolyte levels.

"By 2016, there will be an estimated 260 million smartphones in use in the United States. Smartphones are ubiquitous," said Erickson, adding that although smartCARD is ready to be brought to market immediately, he is optimistic that it will have even more its advanced capabilities in less than a year. "Mobil health is increasing at an incredible rate," he concluded. "It's the next big thing."

7 Acupuncture Side Effects

Posted by Maddalena Frau on December 9, 2013 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The most common side effects of acupuncture are things everyone wants: better sleep, more energy, mental clarity, better digestion and less stress. One or several of these side effects occur routinely for many, many acupuncture goers.

Following the publication of an article on the most common side effects of acupuncture, AcuTake received multiple inquires from readers about certain unpleasant side effects of acupuncture and whether they too were common.

And indeed, there are other, less-pleasant side effects of acupuncture. These additional side effects are much rarer than the most common side effects of acupuncture, but they can and do occasionally happen.

None are life-threatening, and all typically are fleeting. Still, they are good to be aware of so that if you do experience them, you know they're normal and nothing to be too concerned about.

Infrequent But Possible Side Effects of Acupuncture

In my experience, the following seven side effects can occur after acupuncture.

Worse symptoms

While most people notice a marked improvement in their symptoms following acupuncture, some feel worse before they start feeling better. In natural medicine circles, this is sometimes referred to as a healing crisis. The idea is that as your body starts undergoing the changes involved in moving toward health, things get stirred up. This can cause not only an exacerbation of current symptoms but also the recurrence of previous ailments that had been dormant.

Acupuncture awakens your self-healing capabilities. With that can come an onslaught of bodily awareness. This usually is a positive experience but it also can mean heightened sensitivity or intolerance for things that previously felt normal. An example of this is someone who unconsciously adapts to stress by tightening and hunching up his shoulders. After an acupuncture treatment, once this person's bodily felt sense has been woken up, his mild upper back and neck tension might start screaming.

The good news about this side effect is that it's a sign that things are moving. In the case of acupuncture, this means that the primary objective is being met. That is, you are starting to transition on multiple levels from stuck to unstuck.


People can feel wiped out after acupuncture. A more common result is increased energy, but sometimes the "acu land" effect hangs on a little longer. This is your body telling you that it's depleted. Feeling fatigued after acupuncture is not cause for concern, but it is a warning sign that you need to rest.

If you have this experience, take it easy for the remainder of the day. Take a bath that night. Go to bed early. Come morning, the combination of acupuncture and rest will leave you feeling born again.


Body parts where acupuncture needles get inserted can feel sore after needles are removed. I've found that this most commonly occurs with points in the hands and feet, especially Large Intestine 4, an acupuncture point located between the thumb and index finger. You also may experience muscle soreness away from the needling site if a trigger or ashi point was released during your treatment.

Soreness from acupuncture typically dissipates within 24 hours. However, big trigger point releases can cause residual soreness that lasts a few days. Most acupuncturists will warn you about this before you leave your appointment.


Although less common than soreness, bruising can occur at the needling site. Sometimes bruising is the result of a hematoma, a localized collection of blood that gets initiated when the needle punctures the skin. Bruises, unfortunately, usually last longer than soreness from an acupuncture needle. Still, they generally are not anything to worry about beyond the aesthetic inconvenience.

It is unknown why some people bruise from acupuncture. I have a few patients who, no matter what I try in terms of needle brand, size or technique, they bruise every time. (Again, I often see it happen at Large Intestine 4.) Others -- the majority -- never experience bruising anywhere.

Muscle twitching

Every time I get acupuncture, no matter where the needles are placed, my right quadricep muscle twitches like crazy. Don't ask me why. People may experience involuntary muscle twitching during or after acupuncture. I've seen this occur in muscles that receive acupuncture needles and, as in my case, on seemingly random parts of the body that are far away from any needles.

Muscle twitching is different from full-on muscle spasm. If during or after an acupuncture treatment you feel that one of your muscles is acutely spasming, especially if it's a muscle that was just needled, tell your acupuncturist. He or she might be able to release it before you go on your merry way.


This is pretty rare, but it can happen -- and on very rare occasions, post-acupuncture lightheadedness can result in fainting. Getting up quickly from the acupuncture table can cause lightheadedness, as can coming for acupuncture on an empty stomach. Remember that eating is one of the key things to remember before an acupuncture appointment.

When your acupuncture session is over, take your time getting up and move gently as you gather your things to leave. If you find yourself feeling lightheaded after the treatment, sit in your acupuncturist's waiting room for a few minutes and take some deep breaths. Acupuncture can be a physically and emotionally intense experience, and sometimes our bodies are not fully recovered at exactly the moment our hour is up. It is okay if you need a little extra time.

Emotional release

Sometimes people cry in acupuncture. Not because they're in pain, but because their emotions, which can get stifled while powering through life, become free-flowing. The emotional release that can happen in acupuncture usually is a positive experience, but it can be surprising, especially for people who tend to be more emotionally stoical.

Feeling extra sensitive or tear-prone in an acupuncture session, or in the days that follow, is completely normal. It's also a sign that the acupuncture is working. Even if you're seeking acupuncture for a physical ailment, increased emotional expression is an indication that healing is happening. From an acupuncture perspective, physical and emotional health are interconnected, so emotional shifts suggest forthcoming physical changes as well.

While these side effects are rarely cause for concern, you know your body best. If any of the above side effects feel like they're too severe or lasting too long -- or if you notice any additional negative reactions to an acupuncture treatment -- you should contact your acupuncturist.

Sara Calabro

Mental stress raises cholesterol levels in healthy adults

Posted by Maddalena Frau on November 14, 2013 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)

There is good evidence to show that stress can increase a person's heart rate, lower the immune system's ability to fight colds and increase certain inflammatory markers but can stress also raise a person's cholesterol? It appears so for some people, according to a new study that examines how reactions to stress over a period of time can raise a person's lipid levels.

This finding is reported in the November issue of Health Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA). In a sample of 199 healthy middle-aged men and women, researchers Andrew Steptoe, D.Sc., and Lena Brydon, Ph.D., of University College London examined how individuals react to stress and whether this reaction can increase cholesterol and heighten cardiovascular risk in the future. Changes in total cholesterol, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), were assessed in the participants before and three years after completing two stress tasks

This finding is reported in the November issue of Health Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA). In a sample of 199 healthy middle-aged men and women, researchers Andrew Steptoe, D.Sc., and Lena Brydon, Ph.D., of University College London examined how individuals react to stress and whether this reaction can increase cholesterol and heighten cardiovascular risk in the future. Changes in total cholesterol, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), were assessed in the participants before and three years after completing two stress tasks.

 The study found that individuals vary in their cholesterol responses to stress, said Dr. Steptoe. "Some of the participants show large increases even in the short term, while others show very little response. The cholesterol responses that we measured in the lab probably reflect the way people react to challenges in everyday life as well. So the larger cholesterol responders to stress tasks will be large responders to emotional situations in their lives. It is these responses in everyday life that accumulate to lead to an increase in fasting cholesterol or lipid levels three years later. It appears that a person's reaction to stress is one mechanism through which higher lipid levels may develop."

The stress testing session involved examining the participants' cardiovascular, inflammatory and hemostatic functions before and after their responses to performance on moderately stressful behavioral tasks. The stress tasks used were computerized color-word interference and mirror tracing. The color-word task involved flashing a series of target color words in incongruous colors on a computer screen (ex. Yellow letters spelling the color blue). At the bottom of the computer screen, four names of colors were displayed in incorrect colors. The object of the task was to match the name of the color to the target word. The other task used was mirror tracing, which required the participant to trace a star seen in a mirror image. The participants were told to focus more on accuracy than on speed in both tasks.

At the follow up three years later, cholesterol levels in all the participants in the study had gone up, as might be expected through passage of time. However, individuals with larger initial stress responses had substantially greater rises in cholesterol than those with small stress responses. The people in the top third of stress responders were three times more likely to have a level of 'bad' (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol above clinical thresholds than were people in the bottom third of stress responders. These differences were independent of their baseline levels of cholesterol levels, gender, age, hormone replacement, body mass index, smoking or alcohol consumption.

The authors found no sex differences among the participants in their cholesterol levels and response to stress. Steptoe and Brydon speculate on the reasons why acute stress responses may raise fasting serum lipids. One possibility may be that stress encourages the body to produce more energy in the form of metabolic fuels - fatty acids and glucose. These substances require the liver to produce and secrete more LDL, which is the principal carrier of cholesterol in the blood. Another reason may be that stress interferes with lipid clearance and a third possibility could be that stress increases production of a number of inflammatory processes like, interleukin 6, tumor necrosis factor and C-Reactive protein that also increase lipid production.

Even though these lipid responses to stress were not large, said Dr. Steptoe, "the levels are something to be concerned about. It does give us an opportunity to know whose cholesterol may rise in response to stress and give us warning for those who may be more at risk for coronary heart disease."

Article: "Associations Between Acute Lipid Stress Responses and Fasting Lipid Levels 3 Years Later," Andrew Steptoe, D.Sc., and Lena Brydon, Ph.D., University College London; Health Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 6.

Cleve Backster - Primary Perception And The Consciousness Of Plants

Posted by Maddalena Frau on November 7, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (0)

If you are a medical doctor, a physician or surgeon, or a professional who deals with human beings and their problems, this book is a must-read. For the rest of the intelligent population, this book is a should-read. Personally, this reviewer highly recommends that you buy and read this interesting report by Cleve Backster about Cleve Backster's life's work.

This reviewer's first information about Cleve Backster came from reading about his early work in Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird's The Secret Life of Plants. It was amazing to me then, and still is, that a person skilled in the use of a polygraph (equipment used for lie-detection) would think to hook up the polygraph to a plant to measure the plant's response. Backster was about to water a Dracaena plant in the office and wondered whether he could measure the movement of the water into the plant leaves. From such an initial thought came a life's work and changes in the way we must view universal life. You will enjoy the story as told by Backster. From viewing the traces of the polygraph sensor, the results were different than Backster expected and he noted a surge response that was somewhat like one would measure when questioning a person. As Backster relates: "Well, if this plant wants to show me some people-like reactions, I've got to use some people like rules on it and see it I can get this to happen again."

Later Backster decided to try something that the plant could really feel like using a flame to burn a leaf. It was astonishing to note that it was the THOUGHT of burning a leaf to which the polygraph showed an immediate response! From this bit of history, it must be stated that science now has years of data on plant, animal, and even microscopic life forms and their ability to respond to thought processes.

One interesting example was Backster's observation of a plant's reaction on the polygraph when he poured boiling water down the sink. What could hot water going down a sink have to do with a response from his measurements? The answer led into a new series of investigations. It had to be that live microscopic organisms in the drain were killed by the hot water - thus the response. Astonishing that bacteria could emit signals that could be received many feet away by another life form.

As a scientist I can understand why it has taken so long for the enormously important discoveries being made by Cleve Backster to begin to be accepted by the scientific community. It is strongly a part of science's understanding of life that some type of a brain or nervous system would be required to respond to (or emit) stimuli. How could a plant, an egg, a cup of yogurt, or just some white cells from a person's mouth either respond to or emit detectable stimuli?

Cleve Backster's book is both a trail of discovery and the slow and grudging partial acceptance by some scientists of the fact that all living cells appear to have some sensitivity to the well-being of other life forms. Science has not, as yet, accepted Backster's discoveries. A scientific fact is best defined as: A series of observations of the same phenomena. This definition implies replication. Backster's book reports on a variety of replications of his work both by other investigators and by military laboratories.

At the beginning of Chapter 8, Backster includes the following quote from Max Planck: A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and the new generation grows up that's familiar with it.

Unfortunately, even the best of scientists among us have some problems with accepting dramatic changes resulting from new discoveries. This author is well acquainted with the difficulty of "teaching old dogs new tricks." We become so immersed in making incremental advances in our own scientific specialties that we often lose sight of the dramatic changes that are being discovered and, hopefully, gradually accepted.

Backster ends with a discussion of what is needed for the further development and acceptance of biocommunication. What is needed is inexpensive monitoring devices (so that high school students, for example, can replicate and/or extend some of Backster's work). Simple sensing devices are pretty well developed. Yards of chart paper is expensive and so are chart-type recorders. This reviewer suggests that the use of some of the megabytes of computer memory can store an enormous amount of data and should be used for recording and display of sensory changes.

In the Secret Life of Plants, this reviewer read about how a carrot being sliced could emit signals that could be picked up by another life form being monitored. However, if prayer was first used, then the carrot did not emit such signals. Perhaps, the bible has some interesting reason for suggesting that one prayer over the food. Do you pray before slicing your carrots? You may want to after reading Cleve Backster's life's work. Backster also indicates how some cells also go silent under some other circumstances. This effect sometimes makes it more difficult to replicate a given experiment.

Again, this reviewer strongly recommends that you read about biocommunication. It may just change the way you view all of the living world. You may become nicer to your plants.


Posted by Maddalena Frau on October 25, 2013 at 1:20 AM Comments comments (0)


Most hormones are produced by a group of glands known collectively as the endocrine system. Even though these glands are located in various parts of the body, they are considered one system because of their similar functions and relationship to each other.

Hormones are extremely potent substances. It takes only a minute amount to initiate an action. Hormones are secreted into the bloodstream by the glands. From there, they travel to all parts of the body. But only the cells sensitive to that hormone—called the target tissue--will respond to the chemical signal the hormone carries. Traveling through the blood, hormones enter cells through “receptor” sites, much as a key unlocks a door. Once inside, they get to work, flipping the switches that govern growth, development, and mental and physical functions throughout life. All that changes when your hormones become unbalanced due to physical and emotional stress or the effects of aging. Signals do not reach the right place at the right time. Sometimes cell functions shut down completely. In other cases, cells are over stimulated. All this chaos causes unpleasant symptoms, at the very least. In severe situations, these imbalances can lead to chronic disorders or disease.

Most hormones cannot be stored in the cells of the body. Therefore, they must be made and released into the blood at the precise time they are needed. To maintain the intricate systems in which hormones operate, the body must constantly fine-tune hormone release to keep levels within proper limits. This balance is accomplished through an intricate series of positive and negative feedback mechanisms. For example, an overproduction of one hormone usually prompts the release of one or more complementary hormones in an effort to restore balance. Because of the complexity of these interactions, a hormonal issue rarely stems from only one type of hormone. More often, the problem involves a series of hormones. In addition, a disruption in the balance of hormones produced by one gland or set of glands can cause other gland systems to malfunction.

Hormone Balance: The Key to Health

You've probably heard more about hormones and hormonal imbalances recently - as researchers have become more aware of evidence showing this may be the root cause of many chronic health issues you could be experiencing.

Your hormones should exist in harmony with each other. When levels of each hormone are in the right proportions, body systems are stable. When balance is lost, hormone deficiencies and excesses can cause chronic symptoms and disorders, and raise risks for disease.

A whole host of symptoms may signify an imbalance:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Weight Gain
  • Irritability
  • Infertiliy
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of libido (sex drive)
  • Depression

The symptoms of hormonal shifts occuring in our bodies can be very strong and can even make you feel out of control at times.

If you have tried to figure out what is happening or perhaps treated your symptoms in ways that don't seem to work, testing your hormones may be the first step to feeling better.

Saliva and blood spot testing reliably identify hormone imbalances. Hormones exist in harmony with each other – partners in a delicate balancing act. When levels of each hormone are in the right proportions, body systems are stable. When balance is lost, hormone deficiencies and excesses can become toxic to the body causing unwanted symptoms, disorders and disease.

Female Hormone Imbalance

The ovaries produce many hormones. Chief among them are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone interact to coordinate a woman’s menstrual cycle during her reproductive years. The brain produces the hormones follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which trigger hormone production from the ovaries. When any of the hormones coming from the brain or the ovaries are imbalanced, symptoms may occur. Imbalances are most common in puberty and menopause, but imbalances can happen at any age. Several conditions are well known to be associated with hormonal imbalance including: polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, breast disease, and menstrual irregularities.

Symptoms of female hormone imbalance 

  • Acne or oily skin
  • Bloating
  • Bone loss
  • Decreased fertility
  • Depression
  • Excess facial and body hair
  • Hot flashes
  • Heavy or painful periods
  • Irregular periods
  • Irritability
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Loss of scalp hair
  • Low libido
  • Memory lapses
  • Mood swings
  • Nervousness
  • Night sweats
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tender or fibrocystic breasts
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Weight gain

ZRT offers simple tests for hormone imbalances using saliva, dried blood spots, and dried urine strips, which can be performed easily at a health care practitioner's office or at home.  The sample is then sent to ZRT for analysis.  With ZRT's innovative testing, there is no more wasted time and resources going to a lab for a painful blood draw.

Male Hormone Imbalance

The testes produce nearly 95% of all male testosterone. The balance is supplied by the adrenal glands. They also produce small amounts of estrogen. The brain produces the pituitary hormones follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) which trigger hormone production from the testes. As a man gets older, testosterone levels fall and estrogen levels tend to rise. Lower testosterone levels may affect bone density, muscle strength, body composition and sex drive. The imbalance that occurs when testosterone is low in relation to estrogen may also contribute to prostate problems.

Symptoms of male hormone imbalance

  • Bone loss
  • Decreased mental clarity
  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Decreased stamina
  • Decreased urine flow
  • Depression
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Hot flashes
  • Increased abdominal fat
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Irritability
  • Low sex drive
  • Mood swings
  • Night sweats
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbances

When hormones are out of balance, these imbalanced interactions may provoke a wide range of symptoms.


Quantum biology: Do weird physics effects abound in nature?

Posted by Maddalena Frau on October 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Perfume chemist The multi-billion-dollar fragrance industry might just benefit from the ideas in quantum biology

Disappearing in one place and reappearing in another. Being in two places at once. Communicating information seemingly faster than the speed of light.

This kind of weird behaviour is commonplace in dark, still laboratories studying the branch of physics called quantum mechanics, but what might it have to do with fresh flowers, migrating birds, and the smell of rotten eggs?

Welcome to the frontier of what is called quantum biology.

It is still a tentative, even speculative discipline, but what scientists are learning from it might just spark revolutions in the development of new drugs, computers and perfumes - or even help in the fight against cancer.

Until recently, the delicate states of matter predicted by quantum mechanics have only been accessed with the most careful experiments: isolated particles at blisteringly low temperatures or pressures approaching that of deep space.

The idea that biology - impossibly warm, wet and messy to your average physicist - should play host to these states was almost heretical.

But a few strands of evidence were bringing the idea into the mainstream, said Luca Turin of the Fleming Institute in Greece.

"There are definitely three areas that have turned out to be manifestly quantum," Dr Turin told the BBC. "These three things... have dispelled the idea that quantum mechanics had nothing to say about biology."

SEM of chloroplast
Deep within plants' energy-harvesting machinery lie distinctly quantum tricks

The most established of the three is photosynthesis - the staggeringly efficient process by which plants and some bacteria build the molecules they need, using energy from sunlight. It seems to use what is called "superposition" - being seemingly in more than one place at one time.

Watch the process closely enough and it appears there are little packets of energy simultaneously "trying" all of the possible paths to get where they need to go, and then settling on the most efficient.

"Biology seems to have been able to use these subtle effects in a warm, wet environment and still maintain the [superposition]. How it does that we don't understand," Richard Cogdell of the University of Glasgow told the BBC.

But the surprise may not stop at plants - there are good hints that the trickery is present in animals, too: the navigational feats of birds that cross countries, continents or even fly pole to pole present a compelling behavioural case.

Experiments show that European robins only oriented themselves for migration under certain colours of light, and that very weak radio waves could completely mix up their sense of direction. Neither should affect the standard compass that biologists once believed birds had within their cells.

What makes more sense is the quantum effect of entanglement. Under quantum rules, no matter how far apart an "entangled" pair of particles gets, each seems to "know" what the other is up to - they can even seem to pass information to one another faster than the speed of light.


The weird world of quantum mechanics

Albert Einstein

Quantum mechanics starts with the simple idea that energy does not come in just any amount; it comes in discrete chunks, called quanta. But deeper into the theory, some truly surprising - and useful - effects crop up

  • Super'chooses' one particular state
  • Entanglement: Two particles can become entangled so that their properties depend on each other - no matter how far apart they get. A measurement of one seems to affect the measurement of the other instantaneously - an idea even Einstein called "spooky"
  • Tunnelling: A particle can break through an energy barrier, seeming to disappear on one side of it and reappear on the other. Lots of modern electronics and imaging depends on this effect
  • How Einstein changed our ideas about the entire Universe

Experiments suggest this is going on within single molecules in birds' eyes, and John Morton of University College London explained that the way birds sense it could be stranger still.

"You could think about that as... a kind of 'heads-up display' like what pilots have: an image of the magnetic field... imprinted on top of the image that they see around them," he said.

The idea continues to be somewhat controversial - as is the one that your nose might be doing a bit of quantum biology.

Most smell researchers think the way that we smell has to do only with the shapes of odour molecules matching those of receptors in our noses.

But Dr Turin believes that the way smell molecules wiggle and vibrate is responsible - thanks to the quantum effect called tunnelling.

The idea holds that electrons in the receptors in our noses disappear on one side of a smell molecule and reappear on the other, leaving a little bit of energy behind in the process.

A paper published in Plos One this week shows that people can tell the difference between two molecules of identical shape but with different vibrations, suggesting that shape is not the only thing at work.

What intrigues all these researchers is how much more quantum trickery may be out there in nature.

"Are these three fields the tip of the iceberg, or is there actually no iceberg underneath?" asked Dr Turin. "We just don't know. And we won't know until we go and look."

'Hugely important'

That question has ignited a global push. In 2012, the European Science Foundation launched its Farquest programme, aiming to map out a pan-European quantum research structure in which quantum biology plays a big role.

And the US defence research agency, Darpa, has been running a nationwide quantum biology network since 2010. Departments dedicated to the topic are springing up in countries ranging from Germany to India.

European robin
Do European robins use the molecular equivalent of a pilot's heads-up display?

A better understanding of smell could make the hit-and-miss business of making new fragrances more directed, and learning from nature's tricks could help with developing next-generation quantum computers.

But what the next wave of quantum biologists finds could be truly profound.

Simon Gane, a researcher at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital and lead author of the Plos One paper, said that the tiny receptors in our noses are what are called G-protein coupled receptors.

"They're a sub-family of the receptors we have on all cells in our body - they're the targets of most drug development," he explained.

"What if - and this is a very big if - there's a major form of receptor-drug interaction that we're just not noticing because we're not looking for a quantum effect? That would have profound implications for drug development, design and discovery."

Jim Al-Khalili of the University of Surrey is investigating whether tunnelling occurs during mutations to our DNA - a question that may be relevant to the evolution of life itself, or cancer research.

He told the BBC: "If quantum tunnelling is an important mechanism in mutations, is quantum mechanics going to somehow answer some of the questions about how a cell becomes cancerous?

"And suddenly you think, 'Wow!' Quantum mechanics is not just a crazy side issue or a fringe field where some people are looking at some cranky ideas. If it really might help answer some of the very big questions in science, then it's hugely important."

By Jason Palmer and Alex Mansfield

BBC News and BBC Radio Science Unit

Quantum Theory

Posted by Maddalena Frau on October 14, 2013 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Quantum Theory (or Quantum Mechanics or Quantum Physics - the terms are interchangeable) is an extension of physics in order to cover the behaviour of microscopic objects. Physics as it was before Quantum Theory is called Classical Physics.

On some versions Quantum Theory includes Classical Physics as a special case. From the start the theory was subject to controversy and developed into a wealth of different forms, mostly agreeing at the level of practical calculation but disagreeing wildly as to the interpretation.

The question "what is quantum theory" is therefore a difficult one.

Both Classical and Quantum Physics describe how the observable properties of a system change with time.

The "system" (which here means "thing") can be anything from an atom to the universe; its properties are quantities like position, momentum, energy, the internal arrangements of its parts and so on.

In Classical Physics there is a set of properties for any given system (namely the positions and velocities of all its parts) which completely determines its time-development and the properties at any later time.

In Quantum Physics there is no such complete set of properties. Instead

1. At any given time there are many different possible sets of properties, any one of which sets can be observed; but it is not possible to observe all the properties simultaneously. For instance, position and velocity cannot be observed simultaneously; the first gives a particle-picture the second a wave-picture.

2. Any properties at a later time cannot (except in special circumstances) be determined by observing properties at an earlier time. Only their probabilities are fixed by the earlier observation.

The term observed means different things in different versions: e.g. "manifested," "recorded by a macroscopic instrument," "brought to (human?) consciousness" and so on. The last possibility links quantum theory with theories of mind. At any given time there is a well defined specification of the probability of observing any given property. This collection of probabilities is fixed by (or in some versions is identical with) the quantum state, but this state is not itself observable. Interpretations differ as to whether the state is real or a mathematical abstraction, with profound consequences for the whole notion of reality in physics.

The earliest interpretations, dating from workers in Copenhagen, used a two-tier world: a small system obeying non-Classical Physics and an observing laboratory obeying Classical Physics. The many pre-1965 theories tend to call themselves "The Copenhagen Interpretation." Later interpretations tried to achieve a more unified view. This history introduced a succession of alternative structures: the collapse of the state, many worlds, environmental diffusion and so on. These have almost all been superseded.

Systems with infinitely many degrees of freedom (in particular, fields such as the electromagnetic field) are described by quantum field theory whose states can all be constructed out of a special state of the field in question called the vacuum for that field. The vacuum has zero energy (except in Dirac's theory which enjoyed brief popularity).

Prof. Chris Clarke is visiting Professor in the Faculty of Mathematical Studies, University of Southampton. He is the author of 'Reality Through the Looking Glass' (1995).