Why Your Brain Needs to Dream by Matthew Walker


Research shows that dreaming is not just a byproduct of sleep, but serves its own important functions in our well-being.

We often hear stories of people who’ve learned from their dreams or been inspired by them. Think of Paul McCartney’s story of how his hit song “Yesterday” came to him in a dream or of Mendeleev’s dream-inspired construction of the periodic table of elements.

But, while many of us may feel that our dreams have special meaning or a useful purpose, science has been more skeptical of that claim. Instead of being harbingers of creativity or some kind of message from our unconscious, some scientists have considered dreaming to be an unintended consequence of sleep—a byproduct of evolution without benefit.

Sleep itself is a different story. Scientists have known for a while now that shorter sleep is tied to dangerous diseases, like heart disease and stroke. There is mounting evidence that sleep deprivation leads to a higher risk of obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. Large population studies reflect a saddening truth—the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. Not only that, sleep helps us to hold onto our memories and to learn facts and skills faster, making it important for everyone including infants, students, athletes, pilots, and doctors.

Much of this I outline in my new book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, which summarizes the many findings we have about sleep and its function in our lives.

But what about dreaming? Does it also have a purpose?

Recent work in my neuroscience lab and the work of other scientists has shown that dreams may have a very particular function important to our well-being. Here are the two main ways dreams help us.

Dreaming is like overnight therapy

It’s said that time heals all wounds, but my research suggests that time spent in dream sleep is what heals. REM-sleep dreaming appears to take the painful sting out of difficult, even traumatic, emotional episodes experienced during the day, offering emotional resolution when you awake the next morning.

REM sleep is the only time when our brain is completely devoid of the anxiety-triggering molecule noradrenaline. At the same time, key emotional and memory-related structures of the brain are reactivated during REM sleep as we dream. This means that emotional memory reactivation is occurring in a brain free of a key stress chemical, which allows us to re-process upsetting memories in a safer, calmer environment.

How do we know this is so? In one study in my sleep center, healthy young adult participants were divided into two groups to watch a set of emotion-inducing images while inside an MRI scanner. Twelve hours later, they were shown the same emotional images—but for half the participants, the twelve hours were in the same day, while for the other half the twelve hours were separated by an evening of sleep.

Those who slept in between the two sessions reported a significant decrease in how emotional they felt in response to seeing those images again, and their MRI scans showed a significant reduction in reactivity in the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain that creates painful feelings. Moreover, there was a reengagement of the rational prefrontal cortex of the brain after sleep that helped maintain a dampening influence on emotional reactivity. In contrast, those who remained awake across the day showed no such dissolving of emotional reactivity over time.

That in itself doesn’t say anything about the role of dreaming. But we had recorded each participant’s sleep during the intervening night between the two test sessions, and we found that specific brain activity that reflected a drop in stress-related brain chemistry during the dream state determined the success of overnight therapy from one individual to the next.

Dreaming has the potential to help people de-escalate emotional reactivity, probably because the emotional content of dreams is paired with a decrease in brain noradrenaline. Support for this idea came from a stud done by Murray Raskind on vets with PTSD, who often suffer debilitating nightmares. When given the drug Prazosin—a medication that lowers blood pressure and also acts as a blocker of the brain stress chemical noradrenaline—the vets in his study had fewer nightmares and fewer PTSD symptoms than those given a placebo. Newer studies suggest this effect can be shown in children and adolescents with nightmares, as well, though the research on this is still in its infancy.

The evidence points toward an important function of dreams: to help us take the sting out of our painful emotional experiences during the hours we are asleep, so that we can learn from them and carry on with our lives.

Dreaming enhances creativity and problem-solving

It’s been shown that deep non-REM sleep strengthens individual memories. But REM sleep is when those memories can be fused and blended together in abstract and highly novel ways. During the dreaming state, your brain will cogitate vast swaths of acquired knowledge and then extract overarching rules and commonalties, creating a mindset that can help us divine solutions to previously impenetrable problems.

How do we know dreaming and not just sleep is important to this process?

In one study, we tested this by waking up participants during the night—during both non-REM sleep and dreaming sleep—and gave them very short tests: solving anagram puzzles, where you try to unscramble letters to form a word (e.g., OSEOG = GOOSE). First, participants were tested beforehand, just to familiarize them with the test. Then, we monitored their sleep and woke them up at different points of the night to perform the test. When woken during non-REM sleep, they were not particularly creative—they could solve very few puzzles. But, when we woke up participants during REM sleep, they were able to solve 15-35 percent more puzzles than when they were awake. Not only that, participants woken while dreaming reported that the solution just “popped” into their heads, as if it were effortless.

In another study, I and my colleagues taught participants a series of relational facts—such as, A>B, B>C, C>D, and so on—and tested their understanding by asking them questions (e.g., Is B>D or not?). Afterwards, we compared their performance on this test before and after a full night’s sleep, and also after they’d had a 60- to 90-minute nap that included REM sleep. Those who’d slept or had a long nap performed much better on this test than when they were awake, as if they’d put together disparate pieces of a jigsaw puzzle in their sleep.

Some may consider this trivial, but it is one of the key operations differentiating your brain from your computer. It also underlies the difference between knowledge (retention of individual facts) and wisdom (knowing what they all mean when you fit them together). The latter seems to be the work of REM-sleep dreaming.

“It’s said that time heals all wounds, but my research suggests that time spent in dream sleep is what heals” ―Dr. Matthew Walker
Dreaming improves creative problem solving, too, according to another study. Participants learned to navigate a virtual maze using trial and error and aided by the placement of unique objects—like Christmas trees—at certain junctions in the maze. After this learning session, the group was split in two, with half napping and half watching a video for 90 minutes. Nappers were occasionally awoken to ask about the content of their dreams; those watching a video were also asked about thoughts going through their minds.

Afterwards, the participants again tried to solve the maze, and those who napped were significantly better at it than those who didn’t, as expected. But the nappers who reported dreaming about the maze were 10 times better at the task than those who napped and didn’t dream about the maze. There’s a reason you’ve never been told to stay awake on a problem.

Looking at the content of these dreams, it was clear that the participants didn’t dream a precise replay of the learning experience while awake. Instead, they were cherry-picking salient fragments of the learning experience and attempting to place them within the catalog of preexisting knowledge. This is how dreaming helps us be more creative.

While the benefits of dreaming are real, too many of us have problems getting a full eight hours of sleep and lose out on these advantages. Alternatively, we may think we’re the exception to the rule—that we’re one of those people who doesn’t happen to need a lot of sleep. But nothing could be further from the truth. Research clearly shows that people who overestimate their ability to get by on less sleep are sadly wrong.

Five ways to enhance your sleep
So how can we be sure to get enough sleep and experience a dream state? While we may be tempted to use sleeping pills to get to sleep, this has been shown to be detrimental to dreaming. Instead of taking pills, here are some simple ways to enhance your sleep:

1 Make sure your room is dark and that you are not looking at bright light sources—i.e., computer screens and cell phones—in the last hour or two before going to bed. You may even want to start dimming lights in your house in the earlier parts of the evening, which helps to stimulate sleepiness.

2. Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day. This helps signal to your body a regular time for sleeping. It’s no use trying to sleep in a lot on weekends. There is no way to make up for regular sleep loss during the week.

3. Keep the temperature in your house cool at night—maybe even cooler than you think it should be, like around 65 degrees. Your body temperature needs to drop at night for sleep, and a lower room temperature helps signal your brain that it’s time to sleep.

4. If you have trouble falling asleep, or wake in the night feeling restless, don’t stay in bed awake. That trains the brain that your bed is not a place for sleeping. Instead, get up and read a book under dim light in a different room. Don’t look at your computer or cell phone. When sleepiness returns, then go back to bed. Or if you don’t want to get out of bed, try meditating. Studies suggest it helps individuals fall asleep faster, and also improves sleep quality.

5. Don’t have caffeine late in the day or an alcohol-infused nightcap. Both of these interfere with sleep—either keeping you awake or stimulating frequent wake-ups during the night.
Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to rest our brain and physical health each day. Atop of sleep, dreaming provides essential emotional first aid and a unique form of informational alchemy. If we wish to be as healthy, happy, and creative as possible, these are facts well worth waking up to.

This essay was adapted from Matthew Walker’s new book, Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams (Scribner, 2017).

This article was first published on Greater Good Magazine.

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7 Days to Peaceful Sleep – Day 7


Take a comfortable seat and close your eyes. Together, let’s take some long, deep conscious breaths, taking in the love of everyone around us and exhaling that love out into the world. Inhale and exhale, slowly and deeply.

In your mind’s eye, envision the faces of people around the world, on continents far away, in topography that may be new or different for us, in mountain villages, rainforests, high desert regions, and cities we may have only seen in photos.

Bring into your awareness your highest vision of perfect health. See it infusing your own body; you, perfectly healthy, vibrant, and full of joy.

Take that feeling of perfect health that surrounds you and send it along this network of unity, so that everyone feels the nurturing sensations of your vibrant love.

Let’s form our intention that the vitality and joy we have experienced throughout this journey benefit the entire global community.

7 Days to Restful Sleep – Day 1


Published on Apr 30, 2017

Did you like this meditation? Join our Ananda meditation community and create your own customizable meditation experience at https://www.deepakchopra.com/7DTRS

Through meditation, we have a variety of experiences, but one that offers the greatest benefit is that we find ourselves in that place between our thoughts, called “the gap,” pure consciousness. In the gap, we can plant the seeds of our most heartfelt intentions and take from it the stillness of the true Self back out into activity. And, we do all this without effort, simply by closing our eyes and repeating our mantra.

So, today, as we prepare to meditate, let’s set our own personal intentions for perfect health. It can be anything you want, but make it as specific as possible. For instance, if you want to incorporate more exercise into your life, your intention could be, “I intend to walk 20 minutes every day.” Whatever is important to your wellbeing, create that intention and then release it into the womb of creation before you begin your meditation, and watch how it manifests in your life.

Super Genes: Unlock the Astonishing Power of Your DNA for Optimum Health and Well-Being by Deepak Chopra M.D. (Author), Rudolph E. Tanzi Ph.D. (Author)

November 10, 2015
The authors of the New York Times bestseller Super Brain present a bold new understanding of our genes and how simple changes in lifestyle can boost genetic activity. The leap into “radical well-being” is a promise waiting to be fulfilled.

“You are not simply the sum total of the genes you were born with,” writes Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi. “You are the user and controller of your genes, the author of your biological story. No prospect in self-care is more exciting.”

Learning how to shape your gene activity is at the heart of this exciting and eagerly-anticipated book from the bestselling duo behind Super Brain, View Here which became a nationwide hit on public television.

For decades medical science has believed that genes determined our biological destiny. Now the new genetics has changed that assumption forever. You will always have the genes you were born with, but genes are dynamic, responding to everything we think, say, and do. Suddenly they’ve become our strongest allies for personal transformation. When you make lifestyle choices that optimize how your genes behave, you can reach for a state of health and fulfillment undreamed of even a decade ago. The impact on prevention, immunity, diet, aging, and chronic disorders is unparalleled.

DEEPAK CHOPRA MD, FACP, founder of The Chopra Foundation and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation. He is the author of more than 80 books translated into over 43 languages, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. Two of his books, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind (1993) and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success (1995) have been recognized on The Books of The Century Bestsellers List. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, Assistant Clinical Professor, in the Family and Preventive Medicine Department at the University of California, San Diego, Health Sciences, Faculty at Walt Disney Imagineering and Senior Scientist with The Gallup Organization. TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century” and credits him as “the poet-prophet of alternative medicine.” ​ ​The WorldPost and The Huffington Post global internet survey ranked Dr. Chopra #40 influential thinker in the world and #1 in Medicine.

DR. RUDOLPH E. TANZI, Ph.D. is Professor of Neurology and holder of the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Neurology at Harvard University. He serves as the Vice-Chair of Neurology and Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Tanzi is a pioneer in studies aimed at identifying genes for neurological disease. He co-discovered all three genes that cause early-onset familial Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), including the first AD gene, and currently spearheads the Alzheimer’s Genome Project. He is also developing new therapies for treating and preventing AD based on his genetic discoveries. Dr. Tanzi was named to TIME magazine’s TIME 100 Most Influential People” for 2015, and to the list of Harvard 100 Most Influential Alumni. He has also received the highly prestigious Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for his pioneering studies of Alzheimer’s disease. He is the co-author of the New York Times best seller Super Brain with Dr. Deepak Chopra, has professionally played keyboards with Joe Perry and Aerosmith, and is the host of Super Brain on public television.

An Introduction to Super Genes by Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi

Published on Oct 6, 2015

Deepak Chopra, M.D., and Dr. Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., the authors of the New York Times bestseller Super Brain, discuss their book Super Genes.

About Super Genes:

“You are not simply the sum total of the genes you were born with,” write Deepak Chopra and Rudy Tanzi. “You are the user and controller of your genes, the author of your biological story. No prospect in self-care is more exciting.”

Learning how to shape your gene activity is at the heart of this exciting and eagerly-anticipated book from the bestselling duo behind Super Brain, which became a nationwide hit on public television.

For decades medical science has believed that genes determined our biological destiny. Now the new genetics has changed that assumption forever. You will always have the genes you were born with, but genes are dynamic, responding to everything we think, say, and do. Suddenly they’ve become our strongest allies for personal transformation. When you make lifestyle choices that optimize how your genes behave, you can reach for a state of health and fulfillment undreamed of even a decade ago. The impact on prevention, immunity, diet, aging, and chronic disorders is unparalleled.

Learn more at http://www.chopra.com/book/super-genes.

The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success by Mario Martinez PsyD (Author)

Why is it so difficult to change our beliefs and behaviors even when we know they no longer serve us? How can certain individuals reverse incurable disease while others suffer the effects of childhood wounds despite years of therapy? These are the questions readers will explore in the much-anticipated new book from clinical neuropsychologist and biocognitive science founder Dr. Mario Martinez.

In The MindBody Code, Dr. Martinez challenges us to embrace a radically new paradigm for health and well-being. Readers will not only learn the basics of this fascinating cutting-edge science, but they will also learn to communicate with the body in its own biosymbolic language for results that until this point may have been elusive at best. Martinez reveals the way our cultural beliefs impact our immune system, the pathway to healing the archetypal wounds of shame, abandonment, and betrayal, and much more.

Dr. Martinez is a licensed clinical psychologist and bestselling author of “The MindBody Code: How to Change the Beliefs that Limit Your Health, Longevity, and Success” and the psychological novel “The Man from Autumn“.

He specializes in how cultural and transcendental beliefs affect health and longevity. He lectures worldwide on his theory of Biocognition and on investigations he has conducted of alleged cases of stigmata for the Catholic Church, the BBC, Discovery, and National Geographic. Also, based on how the immune system makes decisions under conditions of uncertainty, he developed a unique model of organizational science he calls “The Empowerment Code”, to teach executives of global companies how to maximize productivity while enhancing wellness.

BROWSE HERE

How Our Cultural Beliefs Affect Health & Longevity: Interview with Tami Simon

Tami Simon speaks with Mario Martinez, a clinical neuropsychologist whose breakthrough research examines how cultural beliefs affect our health and longevity. Mario is the founder of biocognitive science, a new paradigm that examines the dynamic relationship between thoughts, culture, and the body. In this episode, Tami speaks with Mario about the idea that culture creates biology; how we can access the antidote to shame, abandonment, and betrayal through healing fields in the body; and the concept of “the drift”—how we can navigate chaos with uncertainty as our guide.

Dr. Mario Martinez & Dr Deepak Chopra: The Mind Body Code

Published on Aug 25, 2015
How culture, context and interpretation shape our biology.

Spiritism and Mental Health: Practices from Spiritist Centers and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals by Emma Bragdon, PhD.

Practiced in community centers and psychiatric hospitals throughout Brazil, Spiritist therapies are gaining increasing recognition internationally for their ability to complement conventional medicine. This pioneering text is the first comprehensive account of the philosophy, theory, practical applications and wider relevance of Spiritist therapies to be published in the English language.

Leading practitioners and researchers in the field describe the history, principles and diagnostic processes of the Spiritist approach to mental health, and provide an extensive summary of the various methodologies used, including spiritual mediumship, energy work, prayer, homeopathy, past life regression and the practice of integrating spirituality into counselling and psychotherapy. Considering the ways in which Spiritism aligns with contemporary science, they show that the Spiritist model has the potential to bring about a positive transformation in the ways in which mental health care is conceptualized and delivered around the globe. The final part of the book explores how Spiritist centers and psychiatric hospitals are established and financed, with specific examples from Brazil and the USA.

Providing important new insights into the rich tradition of Brazilian Spiritism, this authoritative text will be of interest to mental health professionals, counselors, therapists and alternative and complementary health practitioners.

Biography
Now living in Vermont after 30 years in California.

Education: PhD in Transpersonal Psychology
License: Marriage, Family Child Therapist

Interests: We need to redefine madness and understand that some people who appear mad, or unconventional, may be visionaries and capable of taking us to a whole new level of functioning in society. For example: being a medium or psychic doesn’t mean you are crazy. But, if you try to squash that natural ability, and never learn to harness it to help others, then, chances are, you may have some problems related to repression. If you integrate this God-given ability and are fortunate to have excellent supervision and fellowship, you can be of great service to others. Brazilian Spiritists have taught me alot about this!

Deeply involved with metaphysics, energy healing, spiritual healing and meditation since 1964.

When I was a psychotherapist. I used various therapeutic modalities including accupressure and breathwork.

Since 2001 I’ve been exploring spiritual healing in Brazil and experiencing how contemporary Spiritist Centers and Psychiatric Hospitals work. I am currently leading groups for health professionals to visit Brazil and learn more about Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals and Centers.

I think Spiritism offers a lot of components that would enhance the way medicine is practiced worldwide…that’s why I’ve written books and produced films about it.

My calling is to contribute to reforming our health care systems in the USA–to inspire others to include more of the components we find in Spiritist Centers in Brazil by addressing the roots of illness, optimizing wellness through spiritual practices and loving community.

LOOK INSIDE

Interview with Emma Bragdon

Kirsten DeMelo interviews Emma Bragdon, PhD.
Dr Bragdon is the director of Spiritual Alliances, LLC and of The Foundation for Energy Therapies, Inc. Since 2001, through Spiritual Alliances’ tours, Dr. Bragdon has been an advocate and spiritual counselor for those traveling to Brazil to see John of God. In 2011, she published Spiritism and Mental Health: Practices from Spiritist Centers and Spiritist Psychiatric Hospitals in Brazil.

The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda: An Easy Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle by Michelle S. Fondin (Author)

Ever wondered why you’re feeling out of balance, stressed-out, sick, and exhausted but still can’t sleep? Western medicine often ignores the underlying issues that can lead to fatigue, illness, and disease, but there is a way to revitalize your body and mind without drugs or dangerous side effects.

Ayurveda, the “science of life,” is a complete wellness system that includes all that we associate with medical care — prevention of disease, observation, diagnosis, and treatment — as well as self-care practices that are generally absent from Western medicine. This truly holistic approach considers not just diet, exercise, and genetics but also relationships, life purpose, finances, environment, and past experiences.

In this thorough and practical book, Michelle Fondin guides you gently through self-assessment questions designed to zero in on your needs and the best practices for addressing them, such as eating plans, addiction treatment, detoxification, and techniques for improving relationships. She outlines easy steps you can take, with minimal cost, to heal common ailments such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, excess weight, anxiety, and depression. These time-tested methods for body, mind, and spirit wellness offer benefits to anyone at any age.

Author of The Wheel of Healing: An Easy Guide to an Ayurvedic Lifestyle and owner of The Ayurvedic Path Yoga and Wellness Studio since 2008,
Michelle Fondin practices as an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Counselor, yoga and meditation teacher. She holds a Vedic Master certificate from the Chopra Center and has worked with Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simon at Chopra Center events teaching yoga and meditation. Michelle also writes for Chopra.com. Michelle regularly sees clients in Herndon, Virginia, teaching them how to live an Ayurvedic Lifestyle and achieve optimal wellness. She’s a member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, The Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America and Yoga Alliance.

LOOK INSIDE

Michelle Fondin – The Wheel of Healing with Ayurveda

Published on May 11, 2015

Michelle Fondin, author of THE WHEEL OF HEALING WITH AYURVEDA shares the three things she most hopes readers will take away from her book.

What is Ayurveda? Author Michelle Fondin Explains

Can Spirituality Protect Against Negative Emotions in Heart Disease?

By: Traci Pedersen

There is no doubt how strongly our negative emotions affect our physiology. When we feel anxious, there is a gnawing sensation in our gut. When depressed, our whole body seems to slow down into deep fatigue — our thinking becomes sluggish and cloudy. Even heart attacks have been tied to rage and suppressed anger. But once these negative feelings have settled into physical symptoms and disease, can spirituality (a force of positive emotions) help us heal emotionally?

In a new study, researchers examined the connection between negative emotions in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and seven dimensions of spirituality. Not only do feelings of anger, anxiety and depression contribute to CHD, but these emotions tend to remain prominent as the disease progresses.

The research involved 293 individuals with CHD who were being treated at one of the three largest hospitals in Bandung, Indonesia. The participants answered widely-used psychological tests to measure levels of depression, anxiety, anger and social support.

They also completed the Spiritual Attitude and Involvement List (SAIL). This test measures a person’s attitudes on seven dimensions of spirituality: meaningfulness, trust, acceptance, caring for others, connectedness with nature, transcendent experiences and spiritual activities.

On a scale of 1 to 6, patients rated how strongly they agreed with 26 statements about their spiritual lives, including the following:

  • I approach the world with trust .
  • Whatever happens, I am able to cope with life.
  • When I am in nature, I feel a sense of connection.
  • I have had experiences in which I seemed to merge with a power or force greater than myself.
  • I meditate or pray, or take time in other ways to find inner peace.

The researchers discovered that patients with higher overall levels of spirituality had fewer symptoms of depression, anxiety and anger. There were surprisingly specific connections as well. For example, high levels of trust were strongly related to fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety. Higher levels of caring for others and spiritual activities were linked to less anxiety, and higher levels of connectedness with nature were tied to fewer feelings of anger.

The study, entitled “Spirituality and Negative Emotions in Individuals with Coronary Heart Disease” reveals the unique, important roles that specific spiritual attributes can play in helping us guard against negative emotions. It is published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing .

And although these particular findings relate to patients with coronary heart disease, the connection between spirituality and emotions (and their subsequent effects on physiology) applies to everyone. Gently replacing our negative feelings with thoughts of meaningfulness, caring for others and spiritual activities can work wonders.

As healer and author Karla McLaren said “When your emotions are allowed to take their proper place in your whole life, all healing is possible, because all energy is available.” In other words… As within, so without .

Traci Pedersen is a professional freelance writer who specializes in psychology, science, health, and spiritual themes. Some of her most recent work includes covering the latest research news in science and psychology, writing science chapter books for elementary students, and developing teacher resource books. When she is not researching and writing, she is spending time with her family, reading anything and everything, and going to the beach as often as possible.

Source:http://spiritualityhealth.com

Speaking with Nature : Awakening to the Deep Wisdom of the Earth By Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts

Connecting with nature and nature beings to help heal us and the Earth

• Provides experiential practices to communicate with nature and access the creative power of the Earth

• Shares transformative wisdom teachings from conversations with nature beings, such as Snowy Owl, Snake, Blackberry, Mushroom, and Glacial Silt, exploring the role of each in bringing balance to the planet

Nature and the Earth are conscious. They speak to us through our dreams, intuition, and deep longings. By opening our minds, hearts, and senses we can consciously awaken to the magic of the wild, the rhythms of nature, and the profound feminine wisdom of the Earth. We can connect with nature spirits who have deep compassion and love for us, offering their guidance and support as we each make our journey through life.

Renowned shamanic teachers Sandra Ingerman and Llyn Roberts explain how anyone can access the spirit of nature whether through animals, plants, trees, or insects, or through other nature beings such as Mist or Sand. They share transformative wisdom teachings from their own conversations with nature spirits, such as Snowy Owl, Snake, Blackberry, Mushroom, and Glacial Silt, revealing powerful lessons about the feminine qualities of nature and about the reader’s role in the healing of the Earth. They provide a wealth of experiential practices that allow each of us to connect with the creative power of nature. Full of rich imagery, these approaches can be used in a backyard, in the wilderness, in a city park, or even purely through imagination, allowing anyone to communicate with and seek guidance from nature beings no matter where you live.

By communing and musing with nature, we learn how to speak to the spirit that lives in all things, bringing balance to us and the planet. By tapping into the feminine wisdom of the Earth, we evoke a deep sense of belonging with the natural world and cultivate our inner landscape, planting the seeds for harmony and a natural state of joy.

Sandra Ingerman, M.A., is a renowned shamanic teacher who gives workshops internationally on shamanic journeying, healing, and soul retrieval. An award-winning author of 10 books, including Awakening to the Spirit World and Soul Retrieval, she lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. –

Llyn Roberts, M.A., is an acclaimed teacher of healing and shamanism who facilitates sacred journeys to work with indigenous people throughout the world. She teaches at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York, and at Esalen in Big Sur, California. The award-winning author of several books, including Shamanic Reiki and Shapeshifting into Higher Consciousness, she lives near the Hoh Rain Forest in Washington State.

Read Instantly Here

Shamanic Studies: Basic Shamanic Journeying by Sandra Ingerman

Sandra Ingerman introduction to Shamanic studies online courses for International Metaphysical University at Intermetu.com!

These People Live Longer Than Anyone. Here Are 9 Things They Do

The people of Okinawa, an island southwest of Japan’s main landmass, are known for their longevity. Having studied the habits of particularly long-lived people, I’ve taken nine lessons from the Okinawans that I believe help them live long, happy lives.

1. Embrace an ikigai.

An ikigai is one’s reason for being, or one’s purpose in life. Older Okinawans can readily articulate the reason they get up in the morning. Their purpose-imbued lives gives them clear roles of responsibility and feelings of being needed well into their 100s.

2. Rely on a plant-based diet.

Older Okinawans have eaten a plant-based diet most of their lives. Their meals of stir-fried vegetables, sweet potatoes, and tofu are high in nutrients and low in calories. Goya, with its antioxidants and compounds that lower blood sugar, is of particular interest. While centenarian Okinawans do eat some pork, it’s traditionally reserved only for infrequent ceremonial occasions and taken only in small amounts.

3. Get gardening.

Almost all Okinawan centenarians grow or once grew a garden. It’s a source of daily physical activity that exercises the body with a wide range of motion and helps reduce stress. It’s also a near-constant source of fresh vegetables.

4. Eat more soy.

The Okinawan diet is rich foods made with soy, like tofu and miso soup. Flavonoids in tofu may help protect the heart and guard against breast cancer. Fermented soy foods contribute to a healthy intestinal ecology and offer even better nutritional benefits.

5. Maintain a moai.

The Okinawan tradition of forming a moai, or a gathering of people, provides secure social networks. These safety nets lend financial and emotional support in times of need and give all of their members the stress-shedding security of knowing that there is always someone there for them.

6. Enjoy the sunshine.

Vitamin D, produced by the body when it’s exposed on a regular basis to sunlight, promotes stronger bones and healthier bodies. Spending time outside each day allows even senior Okinawans to have optimal vitamin D levels year-round.

7. Stay active.

Older Okinawans are active walkers and gardeners. The Okinawan household has very little furniture; residents take meals and relax sitting on tatami mats on the floor. The fact that old people get up and down off the floor several dozen times daily builds lower body strength and balance, which help protect against dangerous falls.

8. Plant a medical garden.

Mugwort, ginger, and turmeric are all staples of an Okinawan garden, and all have proven medicinal qualities. By consuming these every day, Okinawans may be protecting themselves against illness.

9. Have an attitude.

A hardship-tempered attitude has endowed Okinawans with an affable smugness. They’re able to let difficult early years remain in the past while they enjoy today’s simple pleasures. They’ve learned to be likable and to keep younger people in their company well into their old age.

This is an excerpt from Blue Zones: Lessons For Living Longer From The People Who’ve Lived The Longest by Dan Buettner, Copyright 2008, all rights reserved.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Source: Mind Body Green

What Can Alzheimer’s Disease Teach us About The Brain, Mind, And Self? – Rudolph Tanzi


Published on Dec 10, 2014

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia affecting the elderly and is characterized by global cognitive decline in learning, memory, reasoning and judgment. AD is strongly influenced by both genetic factors and lifestyle. While certain rare genemutations guarantee onset of AD before 60 years old, most cases of AD involve genetic susceptibility factors that interplay with each other as well as environmental factors and life exposures to determine life-long risk. Lifestyle factors include diet, levels of exercise, intellectual stimulation and social engagement, as well as sleep patterns.

The genetic and environmental factors contributing to risk for AD will be reviewed along with emerging therapeutic strategies for treating and preventing this devastating disease. In addition, the effects of Alzheimer’s disease on the brain, mind, and consciousness will be considered. In particular, the question of how the concept of “self “can be further refined in view of the effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain and mind will be discussed. Further elucidation of the relationship between brain function, mind, consciousness, and the cosmos will also be presented based on the concepts put forward in our recent book “Super Brain”, as well as our new book (in preparation), “Super Genes”, both co-authored with Dr. Deepak Chopra.

The Natural Health Matrix : Eastern Concepts for Western Minds – A Journey to Wellbeing By Thomas Mueller

“The Natural Health Matrix” is an informed, comprehensive guide to the ancient Indian science. It also describes Mueller’s journey and how he began to explore and use the benefits of Ayurvedic philosophies to radically change his own life. His book also includes meditation exercises, massage techniques, food preparation techniques as well as how textures and colour can affect wellbeing and mood.

BROWSE HERE

Thomas Mueller ‘The Matrix Of Silence’ – Interview by Renate McNay

Published on Sep 11, 2014
Thomas Mueller ‘The Matrix Of Silence’ – Interview by Renate McNay
Thomas Mueller is the author of The Natural Health Matrix: Eastern Wisdom for Western Minds. He is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, Meditation and Yoga Teacher and the Founder of AYUWAVE. In this interview he tells us his journey for health and peace and his path to waking up. He spent 10 years in the Ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the Vedic University in Holland and taught hundreds of students around the globe Ayurvedic therapies, meditation and yoga. The biggest thing he learnt was TRUST, and listening to the Song of Silence became the Matrix leading him to an incredible source of energy and peace.

The Ayurvedic Approach to Stress Management

Thomas Mueller on “The Ayurvedic Approach to Stress Management”

The Spiritual Life of Water : Its Power and Purpose By Alick Bartholomew

Water’s wisdom on renewal, communication, and holism

• How water, as a conscious organism, unites all of creation in one vast communication network

• Includes the research of Masaru Emoto and Viktor Schauberger

• Discusses the energetics of water, water treatments, finding the best-quality water, and the perils of bottled and distilled water

Once held sacred the world over, water contains a wisdom few today acknowledge. Driving everything from our metabolic processes to weather patterns and climate change, its real significance lies in its role as a medium for metamorphosis, recycling, and exchanging energy and information.

Seeking a return to our ancestors’ reverence for water, Alick Bartholomew explores water’s sacred uses, its role in our bodies and environment, and the latest scientific studies to reveal that water is a conscious organism that is self-creating and self-organizing. Examining new discoveries in quantum biology, he shows how water binds all of life into one vast network of energy, allowing instant communication and coherence. Covering the research of water visionaries such as Viktor Schauberger, Mae-Wan Ho, and Masaru Emoto, he examines the memory of water and reveals how the same water has been cycling through Earth’s history since the dawn of time, making water nature’s greatest recycling and reclaiming agent. With information on the energetics of water, water treatments, finding the best-quality water, and the perils of bottled and distilled water, this book offers us a path to reclaim the spirituality of water.

Alick Bartholomew studied geology and geography at the University of Cambridge and University of Chicago. He was part of the editorial team that in 1962 published Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. In 1971 he founded the Turnstone Press, publisher of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, with a vision to reconcile science with a spiritual view of the world. The author of several books, including Hidden Nature: The Startling Insights of Viktor Schauberger, he lives near Bath, England.

Click here to browse inside.

Drink Living Water

Published on Apr 26, 2012

We need the best quality water for our health. Water filters remove physical pollutants, but not the energetic. Nature removes harmful energy by vortexing the water. This is a demonstration of how we can make living and re-energised water at home.

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington[Updated May 22, 2014]

In Thrive, Arianna Huffington makes an impassioned and compelling case for the need to redefine what it means to be successful in today’s world.

Arianna Huffington’s personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye — the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group — one of the fastest growing media companies in the world — celebrated as one of the world’s most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echo cardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this really what success feels like?

As more and more people are coming to realize, there is far more to living a truly successful life than just earning a bigger salary and capturing a corner office. Our relentless pursuit of the two traditional metrics of success — money and power — has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, and an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. In being connected to the world 24/7, we’re losing our connection to what truly matters. Our current definition of success is, as Thrive shows, literally killing us. We need a new way forward.

In a commencement address Arianna gave at Smith College in the spring of 2013, she likened our drive for money and power to two legs of a three-legged stool. They may hold us up temporarily, but sooner or later we’re going to topple over. We need a third leg — a third metric for defining success — to truly thrive. That third metric, she writes in Thrive, includes our well-being, our ability to draw on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving. As Arianna points out, our eulogies celebrate our lives very differently from the way society defines success. They don’t commemorate our long hours in the office, our promotions, or our sterling PowerPoint presentations as we relentlessly raced to climb up the career ladder. They are not about our resumes — they are about cherished memories, shared adventures, small kindnesses and acts of generosity, lifelong passions, and the things that made us laugh.

In this deeply personal book, Arianna talks candidly about her own challenges with managing time and prioritizing the demands of a career and raising two daughters — of juggling business deadlines and family crises, a harried dance that led to her collapse and to her “aha moment.” Drawing on the latest groundbreaking research and scientific findings in the fields of psychology, sports, sleep, and physiology that show the profound and transformative effects of meditation, mindfulness, unplugging, and giving, Arianna shows us the way to a revolution in our culture, our thinking, our workplace, and our lives.

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In 2013, she was named to the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. In 2006, and again in 2011, she was named to the Time 100, Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union. She serves on several boards, including EL PAÍS, PRISA, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Her 14th book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder will be published by Crown in March 2014.

The Third Metric Special Session With Arianna Huffington – The One Young World Summit 2013

Arianna Huffington argues for the need to redefine success beyond money and power to include well-being, wisdom, the capacity for wonder and the ability to give back in this Special Session at the One Young World Summit 2013.

The One Young World Summit 2013 took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Summit brought together 1,250 young leaders from 190 countries to debate and devise solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

The Third Metric: Arianna Huffington

Arianna Huffington shares why it is vital we begin to redefine success beyond money and power.

Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path to Emotional Well-Being by Andrew Weil

A paradigm-shifting guide to peak emotional wellness.

In SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS, Dr. Andrew Weil redefines the notion of happiness and demonstrates the limitations of the biomedical model of mental health. He presents a vast, scientifically proven array of integrative treatment strategies for low mood and depression, drawing on techniques from Ayurveda, Buddhism, acupuncture, psychotherapy, mindfulness training, and much more. Dr. Weil offers advice on lifestyle, behavior, and dietary changes, and helps readers assess their own emotional well-being and build personalized step-by-step plans to manage their moods. Whether suffering from mild to moderate depression, or simply seeking greater contentment, readers can use Dr. Weil’s science-based integrative approach to achieve their goals.

Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, a healing oriented approach to health care which encompasses body, mind, and spirit.

Combining a Harvard education and a lifetime of practicing natural and preventive medicine, Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center, where he is also a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Professor of Public Health and the Lovell-Jones Professor of Integrative Rheumatology. Dr. Weil received both his medical degree and his undergraduate AB degree in biology (botany) from Harvard University.

Dr. Weil is an internationally-recognized expert for his views on leading a healthy lifestyle, his philosophy of healthy aging, and his critique of the future of medicine and health care. Approximately 10 million copies of Dr. Weil’s books have been sold, including “Spontaneous Healing,” “8 Weeks to Optimum Health,” “Eating Well for Optimum Health,” “The Healthy Kitchen,” “Healthy Aging,” and “Why Our Health Matters.”

Online, he is the editorial director of DrWeil.com, the leading web resource for healthy living based on the philosophy of integrative medicine. He can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/DrWeil, Twitter at twitter.com/DrWeil, and Dr. Weil’s Daily Health Tips blog at drweilblog.com.

Click here to browse inside.

Lifestyle and Emotional Well-Being, with Dr. Andrew Weil | Big Think Mentor

Anxiety and depression are widespread in the first world, but virtually unknown in agrarian societies. Why are people in developed nations increasingly unhappy? In this introduction to his Big Think Mentor workshop on Spontaneous Happiness, Dr. Andrew Weil outlines a program designed to protect and enhance emotional well-being through a holistic approach to retraining body, mind, and spirit.

Living Bliss: Major Discoveries Along the Holistic Path by MD PhD C. Norman Shealy (Author), Caroline Myss (Foreword)

Almost a century of research has shown that the most conscientious individuals enjoy longer and healthier lives. The crucial feature of conscientiousness is being organized and responsible, which are the traits that contribute most to society in general. Unfortunately, some individuals fail to achieve their greatest potential because they did not establish the nurturing, bonding system that is most essential for health, happiness, and success. In this book, you will find the tools to optimize your self-esteem, health, and longevity.

In the 1960s, the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) took acupuncture to a new level, revolutionizing pain management. Now the most important acupuncture advancement in 4,000 years is the activation of the hormone oxytocin without needles or electrical stimulation. By using essential oils on acupuncture points, you will create the “bliss” that enables you to fulfill your potential for conscientious living.
Based on research of the past two decades, it is now possible for you to activate five specific acupuncture circuits. Using this method, you will:

  • Restore dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the most important health-enhancing hormone
  •  Boost your calcitonin, the essential thyroid hormone for maintaining bone strength and reducing pain
  • Reduce free radicals, the scavengers that essentially wear out or “rust” your body
  • Balance your aldosterone, the adrenal hormone responsible for water and potassium health
  •  Activate your crucial bonding, nurturing hormone—oxytocin—the ultimate bliss hormone!

 
Using specific blends of natural essential oils, you can do your own trans-cutaneous acupuncture—with no needles and in only 30 seconds!
This is a powerful path to conscientious living that enables you to live a longer, healthier, and happier life—helping yourself, and, as a result, helping others.

C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D., is a neurosurgeon trained at Massachusetts General Hospital. He founded the first comprehensive Pain Rehabilitation Clinic in 1971; was the founding president of the American Holistic Medical Association in 1978; and was the founding president of Holos University Graduate Seminary, where he is now Professor Emeritus of energy medicine. He has 12 patents in the field of energy medicine, and has published 29 books and over 300 articles. He is president of Holos Institutes of Health, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization focusing on research and education in holistic health. His work with Caroline Myss established the scientific foundation for medical intuition.
Dr. Shealy’s other innovations include dorsal column stimulation; transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation; biogenics self-regulation; and the RejuvaMatrix® for rejuvenating telomeres, the tips of DNA responsible for health and longevity. He also developed five acupuncture circuits which, when activated by applying human DNA frequencies, can selectively raise DHEA, aldosterone, neurotensin, oxytocin, and calcitonin, and lower free radicals. Most recently, he has developed five blends of essential oils to activate these circuits, including Dr. sHEALy’s Air Bliss, which helps raise oxytocin when applied to the Ring of Air and is particularly important for overcoming depression and anxiety to bring true bliss into your life.

Click here to browse inside.

Norman Shealy: Energy Medicine

r. Norman Shealy joins Dr. Rita Louise on Just Energy Radio where they discuss energy medicine therapies that can be used to support health and wellness.

About Norman Shealy
Norman Shealy is one of the world’s leading experts in pain management. He was among the first physicians ever to specialize in the resolution of chronic pain. A pioneer in developing safe and effective treatments such as Biogenics, he founded, in 1971, the first comprehensive pain and stress management facility in the country, The Shealy Institute, respected world-wide for its innovative and successful rehabilitation approaches.

Eckhart Tolle: Please comment on Western medicine.


Published on May 11, 2014

As humanity awakens many things will change.

Countdown to Coherence: A Spiritual Journey Toward a Scientific Theory of Everything by Hazel Courteney [Updated May 5, 2014]

Inspired by her own near-death experience and its incredible aftermath, a leading spiritual writer explores the nature of the universe and its rich possibilities for human development. Using cutting-edge scientific and spiritual evidence, Hazel Counteney examines the growing belief that our world is nothing but a holographic projection, and that we are biological computers operating inside a preprogrammed simulator.

Hazel Courteney is an award winning, respected health and metaphysical author, journalist and speaker based near Henley on Thames in the UK. She was inspired to become a journalist in 1993, after suffering a lifetime of illnesses, which she healed by alternative means. Courteney was the UK’s first Alternative Health Agony Aunt with her column ‘What’s The Alternative?’ in the national Daily Mail.
During her late thirties she also began researching the science behind more esoteric subjects such as psychic phenomena, the power of the mind, telepathy and energy healing.
In January 1997 Courteney joined The Sunday Times, Britain’s foremost broad sheet, with a weekly column, and was voted Health Journalist of the Year. After answering almost 30,000 readers’ letters during five years as a weekly columnist, her knowledge grew.

In 1998 Hazel underwent a near death experience, which forced her to leave her weekly column. Her book Divine Intervention, originally published in 2000 and now republished with a new Foreword by Professor Gary Schwartz in America and the UK, tells this incredible story. The sequel to this book The Evidence for the Sixth Sense was first published in March 2005, and was republished in the UK and America in 2011. Hazel’s recent spiritual science book Countdown to Coherence is also available in the UK, America and other countries. Also a/v on Kindle.

To date she has also written numerous features for various publications, regularly speaks on National Radio and has written four health books including her bestselling 500 Of the Most Important Health Tips You’ll Ever Need (Cico Books) and in Feb. 2012 her new Health Cookery Book 500 of the Healthiest Recipes and Health Tips You’ll Ever Need ( Cico Books) is being published.

Click here to browse inside.

Countdown to Coherence – Hazel Courteney

“Countdown to Coherence: A Spiritual Journey toward a Scientific Theory of Everything.”

Hazel Courteney was the UK’s first alternative-health advice columnist with her column ‘What’s the Alternative?’ in the Daily Mail, and she soon became an acknowledged expert on health and metaphysical issues. In 1998 she underwent a near-death experience that triggered huge amounts of paranormal phenomena to occur in her presence. She tells this incredible story in her book Divine Intervention and the sequel, The Evidence for the Sixth Sense. Hazel is also well known for a number of very successful health books including 500 of the Most Important Health Tips You’ll Ever Need. Her latest book is entitled, Countdown to Coherence: A Spiritual Journey toward a Scientific Theory of Everything.

In this podcast, Merryn Jose speaks with Hazel Courteney on various topics covered in her book Countdown to Coherence. Such topics include:

•Hazel’s near-death experience
•How her NDE was part of a “Spiritual Emergency”, a term coined by Dr.’s Stan & Christina Grof
•Hazel’s “Divine Intervention” and how other’s can learn from her experience
•The purpose of the Thalamus
•She discusses her visit with Dr. Bill Tiller and his theory on “Coherence”
•Spiritual Science
•Hazel talks about Dr. Jude Currivan’s work
•Her visit to Damanhur
•And much more!

Sonia Doubell Asks Hazel Courtney “Countdown to Coherence”

Sonia Doubell asks Hazel Courteney to share on “Coherence”
The Uk’s First alternatives Agony Aunt in the national press, with column “whats the Alternative” in the Daily Mail. She moved to the Style Section of the Sunday Times and was thrilled to be voted Journalist of the year. Following, a near death experience changed her life completely. Hazel shares on her journey, books and life.

Angel Astrology 101 Discover the Angels Connected with Your Birth Chart by Doreen Virtue, Yasmin Boland

Learn about the archangels who work with your birth chart in Doreen Virtue’s Angel Astrology 101. Co-authored by the widely published astrologist and Angel Therapist Yasmin Boland, this is the first book to combine angelology and astrology.

The 12 beautifully illustrated and easy-to-understand chapters describe the personality characteristics of each of the sun, moon, and rising signs, as well as which archangels to call upon in association with them. Angel Astrology 101 is perfect for anyone who is new to these subjects-but it also offers plenty of fresh insights and material for those who have long worked with either astrology or the angels.

Doreen Virtue, Ph.D., is a spiritual doctor of psychology and fourth-generation metaphysician who works with the angelic, elemental, and ascended master realms. She is the author of 22 books on mind-body-spirit themes, including Healing with the Angels, Divine Guidance, Angel Therapy, The Lightworker’s Way, and Archangels & Ascended Masters.
Dr. Virtue is the founder and former director of WomanKind Psychiatric Hospital at Cumberland Hall Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee, and she served as an administrator at Woodside Women’s Hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area. Both all-women psychiatric hospitals specialized in treating women’s psychological issues. Dr. Virtue also directed three outpatient psychiatric centers, including an adolescent drug & alcohol abuse center. Dr. Virtue has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, Good Morning America, The View with Barbara Walters, Donny & Marie, Roseanne, and many others. You can also call Doreen on a weekly live radio show on http://www.HayHouseRadio.com

Click here to browse inside.

Angel Messages for 2014 with Doreen Virtue

A 30-minute video of Doreen Virtue giving messages about 2014, a 12-month angel card reading, and a guided meditation to help you to have more confidence to move forward with your priorities in the new year.

Angel Therapy for Healing By Doreen Virtue

Doreen Virtue – Guardian Angels are always around

Doreen Virtue is a well known angel therapyst. She talks about the way science is regarding angels those days, the role of fallen angels and the John Milton book: Paradise lost.

http://www.angeltherapy.com

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