Baffling, cunning and confusing addictive thinking ruins lives.

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Animal who cannot Sleep

“The importance of insomnia is so colossal that I am tempted to define man as the animal who cannot sleep" - E. M. Cioran Born on this day, in 1911 📷 Henri Cartier-Bresson thanks to

My Drinking Careen: Mungo Jerry - You Better Leave That Whiskey Alone


My Drinking Careen: Mungo Jerry - You Better Leave That Whiskey Alone:    Category Music Standard YouTube License Music "You Better Leave That Whisky Alone" by...

Alcohol changes how the brain creates memories


Alcohol changes how the brain creates memories, researchers say

A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

19 November, 2018

A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.

This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction. 

A new study from Brown University suggests that alcohol changes how the brain processes memories, potentially influencing how we become addicted to it. 

While the study was carried out on fruit flies, it could eventually lead to new ways to help people who struggle with alcohol.

How to make a fruit fly a bar fly

Fruit flies are commonly used in experiments as they provide many advantages over more complex animals. 

In this case, they have small brains, only 100,000 cells, which can be more easily monitored than a larger animal and a genome that is well known and can be manipulated with few hidden variables.

The flies were taught how to locate alcohol and then turned loose to enjoy the stuff after some of their genes had been turned on and off. 

By controlling what genes were working, the scientists could isolate what systems were required to activate the reward response. 

They then examined the flies' brains to see how the alcohol affected the active systems in their brains.

It was found that the Notch protein was affected by the alcohol. The activation of the
 Notch protein is the first step in several brain processes, including one that causes the brain to recognize the release of dopamine, the "feel-good" neurotransmitter.
In one particular process the neurotransmitter dopamine-2-like, which helps file memories as good or bad, is activated. 

When the flies started drinking, however, this neurotransmitter was very subtly altered. One "letter" of a single amino acid was changed.

While the team doesn't know for sure what that one change does, it could prove very important for understanding why people keep drinking even after the adverse effects start piling up. 
Dr. Karla Kaun, one of the authors of the study and an assistant professor of neuroscience at Brown, explained the findings to Newsweek:

While you are drinking, you are forming memories for cues in your environment, like the feel of the glass or the bouquet of your wine, that become associated with the feeling of being intoxicated. 

Our study provides genetic and biochemical evidence that fairly low doses of alcohol can activate a highly conserved cell-signaling pathway in the brain, leading to changes in expression of genes important for learning and memory.

What does this mean for larger animals, humans for example?

While, with few exceptions, the brain of a fly is very different than that of a human being, the findings may be applicable for other animals. 

Dr. Kaun explains how this information might relate to human memory and addictions:
We think these results are highly likely to translate to other forms of addiction, but nobody has investigated that. 

If this works the same way in humans, one glass of wine is enough to activate the pathway, but it returns to normal within an hour. 

After three glasses, with an hour break in between, the pathway doesn't return to normal after 24 hours. 

We think this persistence is likely what is changing the gene expression in memory circuits.

If our brains work like fly brains do, then alcohol affects how we process memories of drinking it. 

Perhaps the change in a single amino acid makes most memories of drinking good ones, leading to cravings even when you know you shouldn't drink. 

Perhaps the duration of the effect prevents us from recalling just how bad that last hangover really was. 

More research is needed to know if and how this effect relates to addictions. Someday, it could prove the basis for a new pharmacological approach to treating addiction.

The authors acknowledge that this isn't the end all study, and hope their work leads to further investigations on animals closer to us on the evolutionary tree. 

Dr. Kaun said that "We hope our work inspires other scientists to translate these findings to mammals in order to understand if the same mechanisms occur in our brains."

Despite the nasty side effects that alcohol can cause the morning after we have a bit too much, many of us keep reaching for the bottle anyway. 

If this study is on the right track, it's because we tend to view our experiences with drugs through rose-colored glasses. 

Perhaps someday the findings of this study will lead to a way to help us all see drugs with dry eyes. 
Until then, drink responsibly.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Alexander Shulgin was a pioneer in Psychedelic Medicine

  Sasha Shulgin was the grandfather of this track of investigation in America:

Advances in Psychedelic Medicine: State-of-the-Art Therapeutic Applications

edited by Michael J. Winkelman, Ben Sessa MD

More than a decade ago, the U.S. government lifted its ban on all testing of psychedelic substances. Winkelman and Sessa now provide updated scientific research and applications of these substances, now moving into approved categories of medicine. The text is an up-to-date assessment of the latest advances in the field of psychedelic medicine, covering the use of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, and other substances to augment psychotherapies for a range of disorders. It discusses medical and psychiatric concerns, clinical efficacy and safety, ethical considerations, and neuroscience findings regarding the psychedelic compounds.

Topics covered include an overview of psychiatric applications of psychedelics; treatments for addictions and depressive disorders; effects of psychedelics on inflammation and neuroplasticity; evidence for clinical applications of DMT, ayahuasca, and cannabidiol; psychedelic treatment of sociopathic disorders; microdosing psychedelics; training psychedelic therapists; and community-based harm reduction approaches to managing psychedelic crises.

Mazatec Mushroom Usage: Notes on Approach, Setting and Species for Curious Psilonauts 

 Sam Gandy

“There is a world beyond ours, a world that is far away, nearby and invisible. And there is where God lives, where the dead live, the spirits and the saints, a world where everything has already happened and everything is known. This world talks. It has a language of its own. I report what it says. The sacred mushroom takes me by the hand and brings me to the world where everything is known. It is they, the sacred mushrooms, that speak in a way I can understand. I ask them and they answer me. When I return from the trip that I have taken with them, I tell what they have told me and what they have shown me.”
 – Maria Sabina


The approach used in modern therapeutic psilocybin sessions can be summarised as “trust, surrender, let go”. Expanding on this, Dr William Richards (senior Johns Hopkins psychedelic researcher at Johns Hopkins) offers the following insight:

“The same force that takes you deep within will, of its own impetus, return you safely to the everyday world,” the manual offers at one point. Guides are instructed to remind subjects that they’ll never be left alone and not to worry about their bodies while journeying, since they will be monitored. If you feel like you’re “dying, melting, dissolving, exploding, going crazy etc.—go ahead, embrace it: Climb staircases, open doors, explore paths, fly over landscapes.” And if you confront anything frightening, “look the monster in the eye and move towards it. . . . Dig in your heels; ask, ‘What are you doing in my mind?’ Or, ‘What can I learn from you?’ Look for the darkest corner in the basement, and shine your light there.”1

This approach has been successfully applied in therapeutic psilocybin sessions at Johns Hopkins, N.Y.U. and Imperial College London and other institutions exploring the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, and appears to buffer against the adverse reactions sometimes associated with recreational use of psilocybin. The recommended setting is a comfortable room with subdued lighting, with the participant lying down wearing eyeshades on a bed or sofa, listening to playlist of carefully selected, predominantly instrumental music (avoiding human vocals) playing through headphones, ensuring comfort and encouraging the experiencer to focus inwards. The lyrical narrative of human vocals is avoided as they tend to be emotive and powerfully influence people’s experiences in certain ways. This approach has its merits and the results of some of the modern studies speak for themselves.2,3,4,5,6 However, this is a stark divergence from the approach employed by Mazatec curanderos, or shamans.

Several indigenous groups in Mexico are known to practice the ceremonial use of Psilocybe mushrooms, or what they refer to as los Santos Niños (“the Little Saints”) or nti si tho (“the little ones who spring forth”): the Nahuatls in the states of Mexico, Morelos and Puebla; the Matlazincs in the state of Mexico; the Totonacs in the state of Veracruz; and the Mazatecs, Mixes, Zapotecs and Chatins in the state of Oaxaca.7 Of these, the epicentre of usage in Mexico can be considered among the Mazatec, who are considered to possess the greatest knowledge of mushroom lore. They employ mushrooms for problem solving, physical, psychological and spiritual healing, and seeking lost or stolen objects.

Ancient tradition calls for fasting prior to ingesting mushrooms, with the exception of fruit and water if necessary. Alcohol and other drugs are avoided before and after the ceremony, or velada. One is recommend to bathe prior to the experience and wear clean white or brightly coloured clothing, while black is avoided. Powdered San Pedro (Nicotiana rustica) tobacco may be used alongside the mushrooms, applied topically to the wrists and forearms by the shaman as a tonic for the body. The tobacco is believed to have magical and remedial qualities, and is also used as an offering on the altar. Sexual abstinence is usually recommended for several days before and after a ceremony, and pork tends to be avoided during this time.

Communion with the mushroom is to be approached with humility and respect, but not fear. One should remain calm and be prepared for mental turbulence that can accompany entry into the bemushroomed realms. It is good to remain silent and speak as little as possible, at least in the beginning phase of the mushroom velada. Excessive talking can detract from the focus and energy of the experience, so conversations are reserved for later. Only the mushroom imbibers should be present, and overall, the fewer the better, as too many people may taint the atmosphere.

A single species of Psilocybe is employed in a given ceremony, and mixing of different species is avoided. Mushrooms are cleansed in copal smoke prior to ingestion, and are consumed fresh, in pairs on an empty stomach. People are encouraged to take their time to chew the mushrooms thoroughly, which allows one’s system to adjust to the experience. Unsweetened cacao is often consumed alongside the mushrooms, this being a custom practiced by the Aztec as part of their mushroom ceremonies, and according to some it greatly intensifies the visionary aspect of the mushroom. Following consumption of the mushrooms, candles are blown out, and total darkness descends. Mazatec shamans may chant and perform bodywork on participants during the velada with their hands. 

Natalia blessing mushrooms in copal smoke. Credit: Christopher Casuse

Unlike the clinical therapeutic approach, the shaman ingests psilocybin alongside their patients. At the present time, patients are only permitted 1-3 psilocybin sessions in a research study context, whereas in the traditional Mazatec context, people have the option of repeated and regular sessions. The Mazatec often consume mushrooms in family groups, which is rare outside the traditional context of the velada.

The Mazatec velada setting is usually in the shaman’s home, in a room with an altar. Sessions take place during the night, often in darkness, or sometimes with candle light. This is to minimise distractions and focus the mind. A velada may begin in pitch darkness, to ensure that visions are bright and clear (an approach that well-known psilonaut Terrence McKenna also recommended), with candles lit at a later time. The presence of candles is important…beeswax candles are favoured by the Mazatec. Candle flames serve as a neutral and absorbing focal point for a tried and tested means of anchoring awareness in the present. Candle flames have been employed in this context by many cultures and traditions, such as in yogic Trataka meditation, Buddhist Kasina meditation and in Jewish ceremonies going back many centuries. The night is recognized as the time most conducive to visionary insights and deep inner work. Despite regional, cultural and linguistic differences between various indigenous groups, this setting and timing is a shared common element.

In the context of a Mazatec mushroom velada, the focal point of the setting is a traditional altar, comprising a table adorned with images of religious figures, local cultural deities, candles, flowers and saints. The syncretic nature of the post-Colombian Mazatec tradition made it easy for them to assimilate Christian imagery into their rituals following the Spanish invasion and the spread of Catholicism that accompanied it. Psilonauts are encouraged to focus on the candles and images, with sustained attention and avoiding “falling” into the trance, maintaining their intention on invoking the sacred. The typical Western approach, where people close their eyes and allow the music to guide them, has been described by Mazatec elder shaman Natalia Martinez as a “lazy approach”, which does not allow the full potential of the mushroom to manifest.

Of course, some Westerners may not be comfortable with pictures of religious figures, but an altar can be tailored to one’s personal resonance. For example, those with a more pantheistic perspective maybe prefer natural objects, such as shells, crystals, pine cones, flowers or feathers.

Mazatec style altar.

For those training with her, Natalia offers a full dinner plate of derrumbe (“landslide”) mushrooms (P. caerulescens) and encourages experiencers to maintain awareness throughout the experience. This is deemed an invaluable exercise in training one’s perception, in order that one can navigate their experience with a clear and centred mind, and allow one to work with what the mushroom presents to an undistracted mind. This is considered an essential part of the training for those who wish to provide mushroom veladas themselves. One sits erect on a small stool before the altar, maintaining awareness and open-eyed focus on the candles and images on the altar while remaining present. The altar acts as an anchor, providing a powerful means for orientating the experience and navigating challenging content when necessary. Natalia has been doing this work up to three times a week, for the past 40 years, and has amazing energy for an 87 year old woman.

Consuming mushrooms in the Mazatec setting can result in powerful experiences and openings, and this approach may yield a very distinct set of experiences from that of the Western therapeutic approach. Consumed regularly and consistently, weekly in some cases, the practice results in a set of progressive and deepening experiences, with each building upon the previous. Working with mushrooms in this way is considered by some to constitute a form of theurgy. In the US, taking mushrooms in this traditional manner means it may qualify as a sacred plant tradition, which would be protected under the Religious Freedom Act.

The Mazatec and other indigenous Psilocybe using groups tend to take the view that different species of mushroom have different qualities or their own ‘signature’. Some are revered more than others or used for specific purposes. This view is shared by ethnobotanist Kathleen Harrison, who has worked extensively with the Mazatec and various Psilocybe species, and is commonly echoed by experienced growers and psilonauts. In the context of indigenous mushroom usage, the more potent species tend to be revered more highly. There are 53 known species of Psilocybe mushrooms in Mexico, with around a third of these used ceremonially. Only a handful of species are frequently employed in veladas. Of these, the most important and commonly used species are P. caerulescens, P. mexicana, P. cubensis, P. zapotecorum and P. hoogshagenii.7 In the Aztec language Nahuatl the umbrella term teotlaquilnanácatl (“divine mushroom that describes or paints”) is applied across species.

The Mazatec hold P. caerulescens, known as the landslide or derrumbemushroom, in particularly high regard. This species is thought to have likely been used by the Aztecs in their rituals, as documented by 16th century Spanish chronicler Bernardino de Sahagún, and referred to as teonanácatl (“flesh of the gods”). It was this species through which R. Gordon Wasson and Tim Leary had their seminal introductions to psilocybin. It is revered for its potency and its fuerza or force, the mushrooms produce a strong, physically medicinal effect, sometimes experienced as deep waves of warmth and energy in the body.

P. zapotecorum is another highly regarded and potent species, another derrumbe mushroom, known as badao zoo (“drunken mushroom”) by the Zapotec Indians. It is held on par with P. caerulescens by the Mazatec, but is a species held in particularly high esteem by the Zapotecs, from which its name is derived, and it appears to have a long history of usage among them.

P. mexicana, known as pajaritos (“little bird”) is another highly revered species used by a number of Mexican indigenous groups, it being the mushroom from which the great chemist Albert Hofmann first extracted and identified psilocybin and psilocin. It was also the most cherished species of the Mazatec shaman Maria Sabina, responsible for introducing psilocybin mushrooms to the Western world. The Mazatec say of this species ‘que suave’ (‘how smooth’). The Zapotec give this mushroom to their children as they view it as the friendliest and most forgiving. It is known by many different names among the various indigenous Mexican groups that use it, referred to as nize (“little bird”) by the Mazatec.

Another species of note is P. hoogshagenii, which is employed shamanically by the Mixe and Zapotec, and it is known by a variety of different names. In Spanish, it is referred to as los niños or los Chamaquitos (“the little boys”) as pajaritos de monte (“little birds of the woods”) by the Mazatec, and atka:t (“judge”) by the Mixe, who deem it a very wise mushroom, sought after by shamans faced with an important philosophical decision. It is interesting to note that this species (in particular P. hoogshagenii var. convexa) is highly revered by psilonauts that have grown it. It is slow to fruit, but is said to be as easy (if not easier) to cultivate than the more widely known P. cubensis. It was originally assigned the species name ‘semperviva’ which translates as ‘undying’, due to its highly resilient and tenacious nature and its ability to produce many flushes of highly potent mushrooms over many months.

P. cubensis, the San Isidro mushroom was made famous by the McKenna brothers. It has a pan-tropical distribution, growing throughout tropical and subtropical zones of the world, having spread alongside cattle farming as it grows on bovine dung. It is easily cultivated and fruits abundantly, and as a result has been cultivated worldwide. In Mexico, P. cubensis is used widely by a number of different indigenous groups, and is a dependable ally, fruiting abundantly and possessing a long growing season. It is known as di-shi-tjo-le-ra-ja (“divine mushroom of manure”) by the Mazatec. It is certainly not one of the more revered species however, and among Mexican Psilocybe-using groups is widely considered to occupy the lowest rung of the ladder of shamanic mushroom preference. Perhaps this is due to its non-native status (having being brought in with Spanish cattle), its habit of growing on dung, or its lower potency or different experiential qualities compared to other species.

San Isidro is the patron saint of the fields, farming and labour (this mushroom thriving in farmland), and some Mazatec will consume this mushroom prior to building a house or tilling a new field, or prior to embarking on some important work to give them clarity and luck. However, not all shamans will work with P. cubensis, including Maria Sabina, who never worked with it in her veladas.8However, Mestizo charlatan shamans have been known to use P. cubensis in ceremonies as a means of generating income from tourists. In 1988, Terrence McKenna had an experience with P. cubensis that was so harrowing that he swore off heroic mushroom doses altogether.9 Psilonauts with extensive experience of the different species almost universally hold the view that those revered by shamans surpass P. cubensis in experiential qualities. This species with its universal accessibility, has been profoundly important, extending its mycelial tendrils into the brains of so many members of our species, but there is more to the Psilocybe mushroom world than it alone.

The Mazatec have over 500+ years of experience of working with mushrooms and far deeper knowledge of their phenomenology and application in healing than Westerners, who are comparative newcomers to the mushroom. There is much to be learned from the Mazatec shamans, and the loss of their knowledge would be a tragedy. Due to the advent of modern medicine however, the increasing domination of Western civilisation in Mazatecan lands, and the subsequent erosion of their cultural traditions, very few of the younger generation of Mazatec are interested in pursuing healing work using mushrooms. The traditional Mazatecan shamanic approach to working with the mushroom may soon become extinct, so we ought to prioritise the preservation and transmission of their knowledge.

Pollan, M. (2015, February 9th) The Trip Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment
Carhart-Harris, R.L., Bolstridge, M., Day, C.M.J., Rucker J., Watts, R., Erritzoe, D.E., Kaelen, M., Giribaldi, B., Bloomfield, M., Pilling, S., Rickard, J.A., Forbes, B., Feilding, A., Taylor, D., Curran, H.V., Nutt, D.J. (2018) Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: six month follow-up. Psychopharmacology, 235(2): 399-408.
Griffiths, R.R., Johnson, M.W., Carducci, M.A., Umbricht, A., Richards, W.A., Richards, B.D., Cosimano, M.P., Klinedinst, M. A. (2016). Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized doubleblind trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(12): 1181–1197.
Griffiths, R.R., Johnson, M.W., Richards, W.A., Richards, B. ., Jesse, R., MacLean, K.A., Barrett, F.S., Cosimano, M.P., Klinedinst, M. A. (2017). Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviours. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 32(1): 49-69.
Griffiths, R. R., Richards, W. A., McCann, U., & Jesse, R. (2006). Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance. Psychopharmacology, 187(3): 268–283.
Ross, S., Bossis, A., Guss, J., Agin-Liebes, G., Malone, T., Cohen, B., Mennenga, S.E., Belser, A., Kalliontzi, K., Babb, J., Su, Z., Corby, P., Schmidt, B.L. (2016) Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 30(12): 1165–1180.
Guzmán, G. (2008) Hallucinogenic Mushrooms in Mexico: An Overview. Economic Botany, 62(3): 404-412.
Schultes, R.E., Hofmann, A., Rätsch, C. (2001) Plants of the Gods: Their Sacred, Healing, and Hallucinogenic Powers. Rochester, Vermont, USA: Healing Arts Press.
McKenna, D. (2012) The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss. Clearwater, Minnesota, USA: North Star Press of St. Cloud.


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PhD ecologist and writer, with a passion for nature and psychedelics.




Friday, March 15, 2019

Dean Ornish ideas rooted in India

India's National Magazine
From the publishers of THE HINDU

Vol. 16 :: No. 06 :: Mar. 13 - 26, 1999


A friend, philosopher and guru


AT least some of Dr. Dean Ornish's ideas in medicare are rooted in India. He was initiated into meditation, yoga and low-fat vegetarian diet by Swami Satchidananda, an India-born yogi who runs an ashram in the United States. Ornish acknowledged in his 1996 book Reversing Heart Disease: "He (Swami Satchidananda) began teaching me in 1972 and since then has remained my teacher and close friend, for which I am deeply grateful."

Swami Satchidananda, 85, who was born C.K. Ramaswamy (Ramu) in Chettipalayam in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore district, has been running the Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, U.S., since 1966. His disciples run Integral Yoga Institutes in several cities in the U.S. "Although they call me swamiji and my place an ashram, there is nothing religious or spiritual in what we teach there," says Swami Satchidananda. "Yoga is a scientific way of cleaning and exercising the body and the mind."

After training in Rishikesh under Swami Sivananda, Ramu was initiated into sanyasa in 1949 when he was 35 and renamed Satchidananda. He was then sent to Sri Lanka to spread the message of yoga. After 13 years, a film producer invited Swami Satchidananda to the U.S. to teach yoga to his son and a group of youngsters who had taken to drugs. Since then Swami Satchidananda has remained in the U.S., teaching and transforming the lives of thousands of people.

Recently in Chennai to inaugurate the Dr. Dean Ornish Heart Care Sup-port and Holistic Health Foundation, Swami Satchidananda gave a lecture on the integrated yoga system for the reversal of heart disease.

The most striking aspect of his methods is that they are neither spiritual nor religious but are based on the principles of logic and science and can be easily practised. For instance, the theory that pranayama, or breathing exercises, can be therapeutic and life-enriching makes sense in scientific terms. He says: "During normal breathing only 500 cu cm of oxygen is taken in. But during pranayama, 3,700 cu cm of oxygen is drawn in." The large amounts of oxygen one inhales during pranayama, he says, burns up even traces of addictive elements, such as nicotine, in the lungs, and obviates the need for heart surgery - or as he puts it, enables one to "bypass the bypass (heart surgery)". Pranayama, he says, can be a link between the body and the mind. Similarly, he says, meditation, the vibration caused by the chanting of mantras, exercise and a low-fat vegetarian diet have a positive effect on the mind and the body.

Says Swami Satchidananda, "I have heard doctors prescribe certain brands of cooking oil to patients after a bypass surgery. It does not make sense. The disease will recur after six months to a year. A bypass for blocked arteries is not an end by itself, unless you root out the cause of the problem." The solution, he says, is a combination of yoga, meditation, a low-fat vegetarian diet and abstinence from alcohol and nicotine.

Swami Satchidananda.

Ornish, whom the swami calls one of his prime disciples, writes in Reversing Heart Disease that Swami Satchidananda gave him a fresh lease of life in 1972, when the swami gave a lecture in Ornish's living room, on an invitation from his sister Laurel, who was learning yoga from the swami. "Since then," says Ornish, "when I wake up in the morning, I consciously choose to live."

Combining his own medical training with such lifestyle interventions as yoga, meditation and dietary changes, Ornish proved, through a number of scientific studies, that these methods could not only stop the progress of coronary heart disease but reverse it. In India, the Delhi-based Dr. Bimal Chhajer, attached to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has since 1991 been applying Ornish's methods in his Science and Art of Living programme. He conducts a three-day non-residential programme in all major Indian cities. According to Chhajer, his programme (which costs Rs.10,000 per person) has demonstrably reduced coronary risk factors such as serum and HDL ("bad") cholesterol levels, hypertension, obesity, serum triglycerides and diabetes.

Says Chhajer: "The conventional approach does not treat the heart disease process but only gives a respite from symptoms. The side-effects of medicines can also be immense." The programme has also been shown to give relief from many stress- and diet-related problems, such as spondylosis, gastritis, insomnia, allergy and gout.

It was after going to one of Chhajer's programmes in Chennai in 1997 that Prof. A. Jayaveerapandian, who suffered from coronary heart disease and was advised a bypass surgery, opted for Ornish's methods. He attended Ornish's programme in Berkeley (in the U.S.) in July 1998. His disease was progressively reversed. In February 1998, Jayaveer-apandian launched in Chennai the Dr. Dean Ornish Heart Care Support and the Holistic Health Foundation, combining the methods of Ornish and Swami Satchidananda. The Foundation plans to start a one-day programme in March.

A yoga school run by Swami Satchidananda at R.S. Puram in Coimbatore offers similar programmes. He has also started the Satchidananda Jothi Niketan school in Mettupalayam, on the foothills of the Nilgiris, where special emphasis is given to the teachings of Satchidananda and Ornish.

According to Jayaveerapandian, in 1991 India had 4.04 crore people with cardiovascular diseases. This is projected to increase to 5.25 crores by 2001. Considering that the average cost of undergoing a bypass surgery is Rs.1.5 lakhs, the total costs would be enormous. On the other hand, lifestyle and dietary changes can lead to big gains in health at practically no extra cost.

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Friday, November 23, 2018

  Link: https://youtu.be/eF3l06cxJbo


Multiple vials of naloxone now required to resuscitate Metro Vancouver opioid users

On the worst days, ambulances have been dispatched to as many as 135 overdoses across B.C. in a 24-hour period.

Public health experts are expecting between 1,400 and 1,500 deaths in 2018, similar to 2017.