A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice. The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.
The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.
"We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system." In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.
Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to "relaxing" music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.
The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making. The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.
Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.
But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can "recover" some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been "lost" through excess noise.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Much of what it stressful about "non-quiet" is the sub-atomic turbulance underlying it. Regular use of our Clean Sweep spray neutralizes these types of life-sucking energies and frees up positive energies in the body. Quiet time is much more effective with Clean Sweep.
When drugs aren't enough for pain...
"Now what we see is these patients transition from intermittent episodes of pain to really chronic pain. And we think there's a transition where the cause of their pain changes. It's actually mediated by abnormalities in the pain system itself."
Translation: the body becomes so sensitive to pain that it's like an over active car alarm, going off at the slightest vibration. So Dr. William Zempsky with researchers at the University of Washington are studying the effect of something called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, on a group of teenage patients.
"Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches kids strategies to control their pain with their mind. So it looks at cognitions–the way you think about your pain–and tries to change the way kids think about their pain, and the way they act or behave when they experience pain so that their pain has less of an impact on them."
Zempsky has enrolled about 30 teens to go through one online module a week for eight weeks. They're learning about breathing, guided imagery, meditation, how to relax before bed, and more. It's too soon for results, but CBT seems to be helping another group of people with chronic pain--female veterans.
"So the group is called Mind-Body Resilience Training for Women Warriors," says Dr. Lauren Schlanger. She's an internist at the Providence VA. "And it's a group that focuses on mind-body skills in order to relieve and improve physical symptoms."
Schlanger started this group for female veterans with chronic pain to try to teach them some techniques for managing that pain. One of those is a kind of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT. Schlanger explains what they do.
"We go through recognition of feelings in our body that are related to stress in order to increase awareness as to when we are stressed," says Schlanger. "And then looking into what are our thought patterns, particularly the negative automatic thoughts, ways of thinking that are not necessarily accurate, and certainly not helpful."
And then says Schlanger the group finds new thoughts to replace those negative ones. They use other techniques like mindful breathing or meditation to stay aware of their body, before problems creep up.QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: A two-pronged approach is what we recommend when it comes to pain amelioration: 1. Use mind techniques to de-construct the pain; and 2. Use our E-3 Energy Cream to relieve the pain physically on contact. This is a powerful combination!
Have you given up living for a "normal" life?
If you feel like you're stuck in a rut, or constantly looking back on your glory days as the best of times, chances are you have traded the adventure of living for going through the motions of a normal life. "To live is an action," founder of Access Consciousness® Gary Douglas explained recently on the Voice America Empowerment channel. "It's not something you've done or been."
"A lot of people don't embrace living," Dr Dain Heer added. "They try to get the conclusion that is a life and live from that."
How many people seek the perfect romantic partner their entire lives? Then they get married and everything else in their life stops and falls into atrophy, until one day they wake up and wonder what happened? "You've got to continue to create more and create more and create more," Dain said; living is different from having a life where all the fun stuff is usually in the past. What stops you from truly living? Anything you have decided is the foundation of your life.
If you are a woman the foundation of your life is your relationship; without a relationship you are nothing. If you are a man, it is sex. What else is possible? The other foundation of people's reality is money. Money is considered the criterion for whether they do or don't have a life.
"A lot of people have this limited foundation that they have decided will create their lives. More likely that they bought from somebody else," Dain pointed out. In Dain's case his foundation with regard to money was very different than his family's. Dain grew up in a family where poverty was considered superior to wealth. Their basic point of view was they couldn't have money--if only to prove they were better than the rich folks!
"Once you let go of the foundation of limitation and allow there to be a platform of possibilities, things change really dynamically. There starts to become a sense of space when you don't have to keep going back to the heaviness of whatever has been," Dain said.
QUANTUM HEALTH TIP: Letting go of limitations or worn-out foundations requires asking the questions that open up more possibilities. Let our Meditation Elixirs help you with that.
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