Stay Positive

"In the midst of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer." - Alert Camus

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Art of Living Every Minute of Your Life

 loaded on Jun 26, 2008

Explore measures that can be taken
to not only live longer but also live better with Dr. Rachel Naomi
Remen, an early pioneer in the mind/body holistic health movement.
Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [6/2008] [Health and
Medicine] [Show ID: 14533]

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Diet Can Reverse the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis Lynda Lube

How Can the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis Be Managed?

Diet Can Reverse the Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis

Lynda Lube
Thousands of people, like myself, are reversing their symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis through dietary changes. I did not believe that my Multiple Sclerosis symptoms could be managed back in the 90's. I remember calling Dr. Ashton Embry, scientist and author of the "Best Bet Diet" and listened with apathy and skepticism. I believed there was no hope. I was wrong in judging him. His web site can be visited at for valuable information and his son's personal story. My story is only one of many who are healing through dietary changes.
My symptoms included spasms, fatigue, balance problems, pain, numbing, tingling, weakness leading to a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 1996. Other health issues included irritable bowel syndrome, restless leg syndrome, interstitial cystitis,depression, thyroid nodules and during my early 20's a diagnosis of Bells Palsy.
To date I am no longer taking any medicines, including a daily injection to manage my MS symptoms. I am NOT suggesting that you go off your medications but only read with an open mind. I choose not to listen to Dr. Embry back in 1997 which led to years of Doctor shopping, unpleasant drug side effects and years of feeling hopeless. Today I am feeling hopeful and empowered. The following is a brief list of resources to help you decide whether changing your diet will help you heal and feel hopeful.
1. Visit Dr. Ashton Embry's web site at Dr. Embry is the scientist behind the research and creation of the" best bet diet." He is the founder of Direct-MS. You will find free information, free recipes, a power point presentation, best bet diet, online support groups. To join the online forum send an email to The MS-Diet support group believe that MS can be efficiently managed by changing your diet and taking some supplements. IT"S NOT A CURE, but it can slow or maybe halt the progression of the disease. Free recipes can be found at (best bet diet.)
Dr. Emby's work is based on pioneers who knew that diet changes could help manage MS symptoms. Dr. Swank, Judith Graham and Roger MacDougall are a few who changed their lives through diet. MacDougall was a playwright, film writer, composer diagnosed with MS in 1953. He was confined to a wheelchair until he took his health in his own hands and reversed his MS symptoms. He died in his eighties with no MS symptoms at the time of his death.
2. Pick up the book entitled, "Identify the foods that will heal your disease. The MS Recovery Diet. Take control of your health, change what you eat, and live symptom-free," by Ann D. Sawyer and Judith E. Bachrach. Both of these women are living symptom free by eating differently. Ann stopped the progression of MS which included numbing, tightness, pain, weakness, fatigue. Judith spent many of her days in bed from the debilitating symptoms of MS. Today she is hiking. The book is a combination of scientific studies, theories, inspirational recovery stories and a great cookbook.
3. Get a RAST or ELISA blood tests to determine your food sensitivities. Ask your Doctor or go to Dr. Embry's Web site to find labs that do the tests. Also determine the level of your Vitamin D through a blood test. See Dr. Embry's power point presentation about why Vitamin D is essential to your healing.
4. Visit Monosodium Glutamate, aspartame, sulfites, L-cysteine are neurotoxins that cross the blood brain barrier and cause health problems. I discovered through keeping a food diary that I can not tolerate the above mentioned ingredients. Remember MSG or free processed glutamate acid is hidden in food using other names, such as broth, hydrolyzed, natural flavoring, calcium caseinate, carrageenan only to name a few. For a complete list visit Presently, there are videos on Youtube about the dangers of MSG. One is a 60 minute investigation of MSG, which is a rebroadcast from 1992. A direct link to YouTube can be found at MSG continues to be on the Generally Regarded as Safe List with the FDA.
5. Visit Debbie Anglesey suffered ill health for many years. Symptoms ranged from migraines, chest pains to irritable bowel. She has a very informative web site and book entitled, "Battling the MSG Myth". A Survival Guide and Cookbook.
During my research I discovered articles that concluded food sensitivities are worsened by ingesting MSG. It has been suggested that MS and many other diseases are diseases of the blood brain barrier. Current scientific evidence is inconclusive. The MSG industry claims that glutamate cannot enter the brain because of the protection of the blood brain barrier. According to John E. Erb, author of "The Slow Poisoning of America", there are several areas that do not have a barrier system, one of which is the hypothalamus. Interesting to note that the drug industry has developed new glutamate blockers to counter the effects of glutamate receptors in the brain even though MSG supporters claim that glutamate from processed foods cannot cross the blood brain barrier.
6. Read Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, M.D. book, entitled Excitotoxins The Taste that Kills. He along with other physicians, such as Dr. George Schwartz, author of In Bad Taste: The MSG Symptom Complex, know that MSG is a neurotransmitter which over stimulates brain neurons to the point of death. Their work focuses in on MSG and a correlation to Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Fibromyalgia, MS, asthma, ADD, obesity and other health problems in today's society.
7. I have lesions in my brain but I am living a symptom free life. I continue to follow a diet free of the five trigger foods, which includes, dairy, glutens, legumes, yeast and eggs. I realized that most of these trigger foods also contained MSG. I avoid my known food sensitivities and I avoid MSG, aspartame, phosphoric acid, all artificial sweeteners, sulfites, L-cysteine. Basically, I do NOT eat food in a can, box or jar. I eat fresh or frozen vegetables, fruit, brown rice, salmon, flax, some nuts, green tea. I read ingredients on food labels, aware of hidden sources of MSG. I eat healthy fat, as in Omega 3 found in walnuts,salmon and flax. I keep the omega 6 to a minimum. At this point I do not take any supplements other than pure Alaskan salmon oil liquid form. I may be taking Vitamin D3 in the near future depending on the results of a Vitamin D level. I exercise, get a daily dose of sunshine which is the best source of Vitamin D and I pray.
8. Find a Doctor who will listen and believe in you. Doctors do not know everything. You know your body. If you are able keep a food diary, noting changes in your symptoms when you eat certain foods.
9. Once you are feeling stronger, find an exercise program that fits your life style. I enjoy walking, yoga, jumping on a mini trampoline.
10. End the spiral of despair. Believe you can be healthier by changing your diet. Good luck with your journey.
Published by Lynda Lube
I am way over 18. I live in Tennessee, a transplant from Northern Ontario. Writing inspires me to keep my brain exercised. Sharing information from personal experiences may help others feel hopeful.  View profile

  • Symptoms of Multiple Scleroisis can be managed and reversed.
  • Avoid five food triggers, including hidden sources of MSG
  • Get a RAST or ELISA test to identify food sensitivities.

 MS may be a disease of a comprised blood brain barrier. MSG, aspartame, L-cysteine are neurotoxins that are causing health problems, including MS. MS can be managed through dietary changes. There is a blood test to determine one's Vitamin D level

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Levon Helm, Keith Richards, Scotty Moore, D. J. Fontana & The Band: Deuc...

Uploaded on Nov 5, 2010

Keith talks about how great this
session was in his new book! Recorded at Levon Helm's home in Woodstock,
NY July 5-7, 1996 with Scotty Moore and D. J. Fontana joined by Garth
Hudson, Levon, Rick Danko of The Band and many friends and family, (too
many). Keith brought along his dad, Bert, so he could meet the man who
made his son want to play the guitar - Scotty Moore. Stan Lynch, drummer
of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, was on hand to keep the peace,
except with Garth, and for producing the music. Someday the film will be
completed of the making of the great, Grammy-nominated CD All the
King's Men but for now I have the music and can show these stills which
were shot for promotional use - so I am using them for promotional use

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Vitamin D value questioned

Vitamin D supplements' benefits panned in review of studies

Most Canadians probably not vulnerable to low vitamin D levels, experts say

CBC News Posted: Jan 24, 2014 3:48 PM ET Last Updated: Jan 24, 2014 3:48 PM ET
Taking vitamin D supplements to prevent cancer, heart disease, fractures and premature death provide few if any benefits, a new review of studies says.
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, has been supplemented in foods like milk for decades to prevent rickets in Canada and northern Europe.
Vitamin D pills became popular after observational studies linked its use to a reduced risk of multiple sclerosis, diabetes and breast and prostate cancers. But more rigorous randomized control trials don’t support a cause-and-effect relationship between taking the vitamin and gaining health benefits.

There is little justification for prescribing vitamin D supplements in the general population, a new review of trials concludes. (Shutterstock)

Now a review and analysis pooling findings from 40 trials on the effect of vitamin D supplements concludes the pills likely provide few, if any, health benefits.
“In view of our findings, there is little justification for prescribing vitamin D supplements to prevent myocardial infarction or ischaemic heart disease, stroke or cerebrovascular disease, cancer or fractures, or to reduce the risk of death in unselected community-dwelling individuals,” in the general population, Dr. Mark Bolland, of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and his co-authors concluded in Friday’s online issue of the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.
Critics claim certain people could still benefit from vitamin D supplements, said Glenville Jones, a biochemistry professor at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

Vulnerable groups

Jones was part of the Institute of Medicine’s panel in 2011 that concluded the majority of Canadians and Americans are getting enough vitamin D based on national surveys of blood tests.
Vitamin D supplements continue to be important for people living close to the North Pole, those who suffered rickets in childhood and adulthood, osteoporosis or chronic kidney disease, he said.
Jones suggested that people consult their doctor to determine whether their vitamin D levels are low.
"Remember that Canadians can't make vitamin D between October and April, so if we're vulnerable at all it would be at this time of the year. But most of us are probably not vulnerable."
The scientific and medical debate about vitamin D is driven in part by differences in defining vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, Jones said. A current U.S. government-funded trial of 20,000 people should provide more definitive answers.
The Institute of Medicine's recommendation to the Canadian and U.S. governments is for 600 IU to 800 IU of vitamin D from foods such as salmon, fortified foods or supplements, depending on age.
In a journal editorial on multivitamins last December, Dr. Edgar Miller, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., wrote that proponents of supplements, including vitamin D, hope the pills will overcome poor diet or behaviour, but the latest research isn’t supporting that.
"Unfortunately, consumers continue to take supplements and it's hard to turn that ship even in the face of strong evidence from trials," Miller said in an interview.
With files from CBC's Kas Roussy and Amina Zafar

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Repairing Damaged Tissues

Decades of research into nerve physiology, MS tissue damage and the biology of glial cells – the numerous brain cells that support nerve cells – have been laying the groundwork for finding ways to restore normal function in individuals with MS.

Nervous System Repair and Protection teams funded by the Society’s Promise: 2010 initiative took this research to the next level, placing nerve tissue-protective treatments in clinical trials by the year 2010.

Other research on this topic focuses on:

- the micro-environment of the brain and 

- conditions conducive to stimulating natural repair, and 

- the potential for cell therapies. 

Exploring glia, which include cells in the nervous system that make nerve-insulating myelin, is a cornerstone of MS research. 

Myelin appears to be the main target of the immune attack in MS. 

The cells that make myelin—oligodendrocytes—also are lost in MS. 

Researchers study aspects of myelin that make it an immune target, and ways that some brain cells can contribute to the immune attack. 

They are also looking at factors that are important to the growth and development of oligodendrocytes and myelin, to find ways of promoting myelin repair.

Read more about myelin as an immune target and nervous system repair efforts in our brochure, “Research Directions.”

The aim of repairing the nervous system is to achieve an actual reversal of the damage caused by MS and to restore function. 

When myelin is damaged or destroyed, electrical conduction along the nerve fiber is impaired or stopped. 

Decades of research on myelin and myelin-making cells make it clear that natural myelin repair occurs, and key molecules and growth factors are being identified that may serve as targets for stimulating myelin repair.

In recognition that during the course of MS, the nerve fibers, or axons, are also damaged, a new research focus has emerged: - in order to repair the nervous system, we must learn how to regenerate axons as well as myelin. 

Insights into complex mechanisms involved in nervous system development now make it feasible to aggressively address the task of repairing axons as well as myelin in MS.


Cell therapy 

Approaches to repairing the nervous system are varied. Some are aimed at inducing the body’s own cells to more adequately carry out the repair function. 

Another approach is to introduce replacement cells from a different source. 

Research into the potential of cell therapy is proceeding rapidly, using cells obtained from a variety of adult and non-adult sources. 

It is currently not clear which source of cells, if any, will be of value in treating people with MS. 

Similarly, if more than one source proves to be valuable, it is not clear which will be best.

International consensus on the future of stem cell transplantation research for people with MS was published in 2010
, based on a summit held in London in May 2009 which was organized by the MS Societies in the UK and USA, and supported by the MS Society of Canada, Italy, France, Australia and the MS International Federation.

  Read more about this effort.

In conjunction with the efforts to repair axons are new efforts to protect them from degeneration in the first place. 

For example, it is not clear whether axonal degeneration in MS results from a direct attack on axons by the immune system or, alternatively, if the loss of myelin by itself is enough to cause axonal degeneration (i.e., whether myelin has a protective effect on axons which is lost in the MS disease process). 

The protection of axons from these and other insults are a new area of intense research efforts in MS.


A few examples of repair studies recently funded by the National MS Society:

To accelerate the commercial development of MS treatments, the Society is funding research at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, UK through Fast Forward, LLC, to screen for compounds that can stimulate myelin repair in MS. Myelin is the substance that surrounds nerve fibers and is a target of the immune attack on the brain and spinal cord in MS. 
Read more here.

Researchers, from Johns Hopkins University and other institutions across the country, found that thinning of the back layer of the eye may represent a window to global damage occurring in the nervous system, and suggest that this tool may be useful for tracking nerve protection in clinical trials involving people with MS. 
Read more here.

Researchers transplanted stem cells derived from human skin into the brains of mice with a disorder that prevents them from growing new myelin, the insulating material that surrounds nerve fibers and which is damaged in MS. They found that the transplanted cells developed into myelin-making cells that formed new myelin quickly and efficiently.
 Read more here.


Major Advancements Made in 2013 Toward Understanding and Treating MS

Dec 19, 2013
Significant research progress occurred over the course of 2013,
offering new leads that are driving efforts to stop MS in its tracks, restore function, and end MS forever. 



Trainees in MS Research and Clinical Care Connect at the 2013 Tykeson Fellows Conference

Dec 02, 2013
The 4th Tykeson Fellows Conference on MS brought nearly 100 young National MS Society and MS International Federation research and clinical fellows together with senior scientists to learn about each other’s latest research efforts, as well as interact with the attendees of the Society’s National Leadership Conference.   


Study Provides Strong Evidence for Benefits of Cognitive Rehabilitation to Improve Learning and Memory in People with MS

Nov 25, 2013
Researchers at the Kessler Foundation in New Jersey report results of a clinical trial showing that a specific type of memory training improves learning in people with MS for at least 6 months after the training has ended, and also benefits other aspects of quality of life.

Read More: 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Abstract: generating neural stem/precursor cells (NPCs) from induced pl uripotent stem cells (iPSCs)

 *This is the article that has been made readable by the National M.S. Society article on this blog.  It is presented for any science savvy readers...

 Article preview

Nature Communications | Article

    iPSC-derived neural precursors exert a neuroprotective role in immune-mediated demyelination via the secretion of LIF

    The possibility of generating neural stem/precursor cells (NPCs) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) has opened a new avenue of research that might nurture bench-to-bedside translation of cell transplantation protocols in central nervous system myelin disorders. 

    Here we show that mouse iPSC-derived NPCs (miPSC-NPCs)—when intrathecally transplanted after disease onset—ameliorate clinical and pathological features of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis. 

    Transplanted miPSC-NPCs exert the neuroprotective effect not through cell replacement, but through the secretion of leukaemia inhibitory factor that promotes survival, differentiation and the remyelination capacity of both endogenous oligodendrocyte precursors and mature oligodendrocytes. 

    The early preservation of tissue integrity limits blood–brain barrier damage and central nervous system infiltration of blood-borne encephalitogenic leukocytes, ultimately responsible for demyelination and axonal damage. 

    While proposing a novel mechanism of action, our results further expand the therapeutic potential of NPCs derived from iPSCs in myelin disorders.

    Myelin repair. is the holy grail of MS research

    Researchers from Italy Report that Skin Tissue May Hold Promise for Treating Multiple Sclerosis

    Oct 29, 2013

    Researchers in Milan, Italy reported that stem cells derived from mouse skin tissue were able to reduce nervous system damage in mice with a disease similar to multiple sclerosis, offering further evidence for the possibility that stem cells from patients might in the future be used for cell therapy to treat MS. 

    The study, by Cecilia Laterza, PhD, Gianvito Martino, MD and colleagues at the San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, and the University of Milan, was published in Nature Communications.

    The study was co-funded by the National MS Society, MS Italian Foundation, MIUR Lombardy Region (NetLips Project), ELA Foundation, BMW Italy and NEUROKINE network (EU Framework 7 ITNproject).


     Current therapies for MS reduce the immune system attacks that damage the brain and spinal cord, but they are not effective in progressive phases of the disease, when damage to the protective myelin coating on nerve fibers and the nerve fibers themselves may be widespread. 

    Finding ways to repair the nervous system to restore function is a major research priority.

    The Study: 

    For this study the team used mouse skin stem cells and forced them through “cell reprogramming” to become myelin-making cells. 

    This technique allows differentiated (specialized) cells, such as skin cells, to become embryonic-like stem cells which can become any kind of cell, including neural stem cells, the stem cells of the brain.

    As in previous studies of this type, after the cells were infused into the spinal cord, they promoted recovery in mice with the MS-like disease EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis). 

    Transplanted cells were able to reduce inflammation and protect the intact myelin from further damage, and were also able to foster the production of new myelin by the brain’s own cells. 

    The team further showed that the protective effect was mediated by a soluble factor released by the transplanted cells, called “leukemia inhibitory factor.”


    “Our discovery opens new therapeutic possibilities for multiple sclerosis patients because it might target the damage to myelin and nerves itself,”  
    stated study leader Dr. Gianvito Martino.

    “This is an important step for stem cell therapeutics,” noted Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Research Officer of the National MS Society. 

    “The hope is that skin or other cells from individuals with MS could one day be used as a source for repairative stem cells, which could then be transplanted back into the patient without the complications of graft rejection,” he added. 

    “There is still a long way to go before reaching clinical applications but we are getting there,” said Dr. Martino. “We hope that our work will contribute to widen the therapeutic opportunities stem cells can offer to patients with multiple sclerosis.”

    “This is an important result for people with MS: rigorous basic science providing insights into the mechanisms involved in myelin and nerve damage is the only way to foster the discovery of new therapies for progressive forms of the disease,” noted Paola Zaratin, PhD, Director of Scientific Research at the Italian MS Society/Italian MS Foundation.

    More work is needed, but this type of research gives hope that this strategy may eventually help restore lost function.

     Read more about research to repair the nervous system:


    National Multiple Sclerosis Society


    Repairing Myelin

    Repairing Myelin: The New Approach to MS Treatment

    Now, some twenty years later, there are an additional nine other FDA-approved treatments in a neurologist’s arsenal providing patients powerful choices for managing their disease.

    If they fail on one, or can’t endure the side effects, there is hope that another might help. Three of those recent additions are oral medications, allowing the needle-phobic patients among the MS population to finally breath a deep sigh of relief as all the others are injectables. Besides the currently approved therapies for MS, there are several others still in trials.

    The more advances that are made, the more powerful the treatments, enabling some MS patients to remain free from relapses for years at a time. Research isn’t stopping there, though.
    Scientists continue to look for a cure, and on the way to finding one, they are also on the path to repairing damage.

    While patients are busy trying to stave off disease progression or halt relapses using the disease modifying therapies (DMTs), researchers are busily working on options that will do so much more one day.

    They know it’s not enough to slow or stop disease activity. The damage to myelin has been done. The scarring has occurred, and, even if the relapses cease, or progression has stopped, the disability remains.

    So the new focus has become myelin repair. This is the holy grail of MS research. If scientists can not only stop the disease, but undo the damage caused to the brain and spinal cord, there is hope that one day disability can be reversed.

    For those with MS, to once again walk, or no longer feel numb, or have their vision restored is almost impossible to imagine.

    But that may one day be a reality. 

    The National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) funds research into all types studies on MS, many of them focusing on myelin repair.

    One such study in Italy published encouraging results on October 31, 2013. They found that using stem cells derived from skin tissue actually reduced the damage done to the nervous system in mice suffering from a disease similar to MS.

    If human studies are able to replicate their success it will mean that they can use the patient’s own stem cells, from their own skin tissue, with no possibility of rejection.

    “This is an important step for stem cell therapeutics,” noted Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Research Officer of the National MS Society in an article on the NMSS website. 

    “The hope is that skin or other cells from individuals with MS could one day be used as a source for reparative stem cells, which could then be transplanted back into the patient without the complications of graft rejection,” he added.

    In a brochure published by the NMSS advances being made in research and the role the society is playing in those efforts are outlined.

    According to the NMSS, “Just a few short years ago, there was little belief that nervous system repair was even possible. Through the tireless efforts of the National MS Society and other funding partners and researchers around the world, there is not just belief, but a whole new field that has emerged to pursue strategies to repair the nervous system and restore function to people with MS.”

    So while research is still being done to find ways to treat MS, and other studies are looking at the triggers or trying to find a cause, there is also advancement being made to undo the damage this disease has inflicted on so many. 

    Maybe one day people living with MS can finally give the researchers the standing ovation they so deserve.


    Simple, everyday activities can strengthen balance


    If you love tennis, golf, running, dancing, or any number of other sports or activities, working on balance buffs your abilities. Not an athlete? Just walking across the room or down the block requires good balance. So does rising from a chair, going up and down stairs, toting packages, and even turning to look behind you.

    And good balance helps prevent potentially disabling falls.

    There is a lot you can do to preserve and improve your balance, and it doesn’t take special fitness classes or exercises. Incorporating balance and strength activities into your daily routine could be enough to lower your risk of falling.

    Discover how you can prevent falls by improving your balance and mobility. Better Balance: Easy exercises to improve stability and prevent falls gives you step-by-step instructions for easy, effective workouts that will improve posture, increase muscle strength and speed, sharpen reflexes, expand flexibility, and firm your core. You'll also get tips for fall-proofing your home.

    Researchers in Australia tested a program called Lifestyle Integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) on a group of 317 people, ages 70 and older, who had fallen in the previous year. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: the LiFE program, a structured exercise and strengthening program, or a control “sham” program of gentle exercises.

    Those in the LiFE program incorporated balance and strength movements throughout their day — for example, squatting instead of bending over to close a drawer, or walking sideways while carrying groceries from the car to the house. At the end of one year, the LiFE group had experienced fewer falls than the two other groups – a total of 172 falls, compared with 193 in the structured exercise group and 224 in the control group. People were also more likely to stick with the LiFE program than with the other two programs. To incorporate balance exercises into your daily routine, try standing on one leg while talking on the phone or sitting down in a chair without using your hands.

    For more on ways to improve your balance, buy Better Balance, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.


    Body and brain are crucial to good balance

    One thing is for certain: Balance can’t be taken for granted past a certain age; it must be maintained — both in mind and body.

    If you’ve ever seen a friend or family member fall and suffer a major fracture, you know it’s serious business. It seems obvious that general physical fitness and targeted exercises can improve balance and prevent falls. But you might be surprised to learn that staying mentally active to maintain cognitive fitness also plays a big role.

    A sharp mind helps you to think — and stay — on your feet.

    “We need careful planning of our movements, decision making, reaction time, and attention,” says Brad Manor, Ph.D., an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Mobility and Falls Program, Hebrew SeniorLife of Boston. “Staying mentally active is very important to avoiding falls.”

    How do we keep our balance? The inner ear, which senses head motions, is an important part of the intricate system of balance. So is the body’s somatosensory system, which relays the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. And, of course, vision tips you off to obstacles around you. The brain takes in all this information, plans our movements, and carries them out. “Balance is a complex system,” Manor says. “Especially as we get older, cognition becomes a big part of it.” Keeping the mind fit keeps us mentally sharp and helps us to navigate the ever-shifting obstacle course of the world.

    Manor and his fellow researchers are studying the balance benefits of tai chi, a form of exercise that involves moving gently through a series of poses. Tai chi improves balance because it works both the mind and body. “Tai chi involves planned movements,” Manor explains. “It emphasizes being aware of the movements and how they feel.” Classes in tai chi and a related exercise system, qigong, are widely available. You could also perform daily “standing balance” exercises. These include repeated moves that involve standing on one leg while gently lifting the other.

    Maintaining mental fitness, remaining physically active, and practicing tai chi, qigong, yoga, or some other mind-body exercise can help you keep your balance and avoid stumbling. But if you do lose your balance, recovering requires muscle power. Power is the ability to exert force quickly — the kind of conditioning an experienced ballroom dancer uses to “push off” during quick steps and turns. Rapid, forceful exercises like hopping and side stepping help to build power. For beginners, classes or trainers are valuable to learn how to exercise for power safely.

    You can develop a routine that can help you build better awareness of your body and surroundings, boost your confidence, and tune up your heart and lungs to keep you healthy and independent.

    To learn how, buy Better Balance: Easy exercises to improve stability and prevent falls, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

    Better Balance

    Featured content:

    How balance works
    Balance problems
    SPECIAL BONUS SECTION: Preventing falls
    Activities that enhance balance
    Starting balance workouts safely
    •  ... and more!

    Link: Simple, everyday activities can strengthen balance

    Hopeful Words

    Affirmation of life is the spiritual act by which man ceases to live thoughtlessly and begins to devote himself to his life with reverence in order to give it true value.
    — Albert Schweitzer 

    Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. 

    - Albert Einstein

    Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. 

    - Howard Zinn


      If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.
      For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things throu' narrow chinks of the cavern.
    ― William Blake

    Do Your Best:

    "I always remember an epitaph which is in the cemetery at Tombstone, Arizona. It says: 'Here lies Jack Williams. He done his damnedest.' I think that is the greatest epitaph a man can have - When he gives everything that is in him to do the job he has before him. That is all you can ask of him and that is what I have tried to do."

     - Harry S. Truman 

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

    Happiness Thoughts


    If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.
    If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.
    If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.
    If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
    -- Chinese Proverb

     To be in Hell is to drift; to be in Heaven is to steer.
    - George Bernard Shaw

    I am responsible for the achievement of my desires.
    I am responsible for my choices and actions...
    I am responsible for my personal happiness.
    - Dr. Nathaniel Branden

    Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.
    Benjamin Disraeli

    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
    So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
    -- Mark Twain

     If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.                   
     -- Epicurus

     Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
    -- Albert Schweitzer

    Bringing Back Wandering Attention - William James

     William James was interested in mindfulness and attention:  

     “The faculty of voluntarily bringing back a wandering attention, over and over again, is the very root of judgment, character, and will. No one is compos sui [master of himself] if he have it not. An education which should improve this faculty would be the education par excellence.”

    William James, Psychology: Briefer Course, p. 424 (Harper Torchbooks, 1961)

    The Unstoppable Human Spirit:


    Triple amputee veteran completes grueling 10.5 mile endurance race called The Beast over five-hours to honor fallen U.S. soldiers

    • Completed the circuit with 75 obstacles over the weekend
    • As part of an eight man team raising awareness for injured and deceased U.S. servicemen and women
    By James Nye

    Covered in mud, five hours after starting, triple amputee Corporal Todd Love charges to the finish line after competing over ten miles of rugged terrain across 75 obstacles in an event called The Beast.

    Having lost both his legs and an arm in Afghanistan in 2010, this weekend Love took to Leesburg, Virginia, in an extreme endurance test called The Spartan Race with his eight-man other comrades of Team X.T.R.E.M.E.

    Made up of wounded servicemen and women, the team helped Love scale eight-foot high walls, speed along high-wires, crawl through mud and bound across the ground as they honoured their ongoing mission to raise awareness of the nation's wounded heroes.

    Strength: Triple amputee and Marine Corporal Todd Love makes his way to the finish line of The Beast event of the Spartan Race
    Strength: Triple amputee and Marine Corporal Todd Love makes his way to the finish line of The Beast event of the Spartan Race

    Purposefully wearing a mask and visor to restrict his breathing by up to 30-percent - thereby making it more difficult to complete the event - Love who now weighs only 100-pounds after stepping on a landmine - struggled to compete the event.
    'The Team dons gas masks as a way to symbolise perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds,' said Jeremy Soles, Founder of Team Team X-T.R.E.M.E. 

    Marine Corporal Todd Love completed the 10.5 mile race in a little over five hours as he and his colleagues at Team X.T.R.E.M.E. competed for the honor of their fallen comrades
    Marine Corporal Todd Love completed the 10.5 mile race in a little over five hours as he and his colleagues at Team X.T.R.E.M.E. competed for the honor of their fallen comrades

    'Our challenges in the mask last for hours, our Wounded Warriors endure their challenges for a lifetime.'

    The picture of Love drenched and bravely struggling to the finish has been seen by millions on the Internet and has become an inspiration to the able bodied as well as those who have been injured serving their country.
    'I am pretty surprised with how much attention I've got in the last 24 hours,' said 22-year-old Love.

    'I have been trying to keep up with it and I just want to thank everyone that has been with me since the beginning.
    'I will try to keep up the adventures (safely) and inspiration.
    'I will promise I will never let what I can't do interfere with what I can do.'

    Unable to complete every one of the 75 obstacles on his own, the members of Team X.T.R.E.M.E. help Cpl. Love over a wall (left) while he pulls himself up (right)

    Unable to complete every one of the 75 obstacles on his own, the members of Team X.T.R.E.M.E. help Cpl. Love over a wall (left) while he pulls himself up (right)
    Unable to complete every one of the 75 obstacles on his own, the members of Team X.T.R.E.M.E. help Cpl. Love over a wall (left) while he pulls himself up (right)

    Todd Love (left in bed) stood on a landmine while serving in Afghanistan and is visited here by friends while recovering in Maryland
    Todd Love (left in bed) stood on a landmine while serving in Afghanistan and is visited here by friends while recovering in Maryland

    Leesburg is usually reserved for horse-racing, but on the wet and muddy course Team X-T.R.E.M.E. mostly carried Love around, but the former serviceman did conquer obstacles himself - including one heroic solo hill climb at the halfway point.

    One of the mantra's of the team is to never leave anyone behind and throughout The Beast, each event had to be completed by all eight members before they moved on.

    The race is designed to push all the participants to their limit, mentally and physically and the fact that a man with no legs and only one arm managed to complete all 10.5 miles and 75 obstacles has inspired millions.

    Marine Cpl. Todd Simpson of Acworth, Georgia is a third generation marine.

    In addition to his endurance sports, Cpl. Love enjoys skydiving and skiing with a specially modified device

    In addition to his endurance sports, Cpl. Love enjoys skydiving and skiing with a specially modified device

    When Cpl. Love is not involved in an iron man competitions, skiing, surfing, or skydiving, he wrestles alligators in Florida

    When Cpl. Love is not involved in an iron man competitions, skiing, surfing, or skydiving, he wrestles alligators in FloridaIn addition to his endurance sports, Cpl. Love enjoys skydiving and skiing with a specially modified device

    On his return home five months after his accident, the triple amputee was treated like a hero by his family and hundreds of well-wishers.

    He said 'I don't know what to say right now.Thank you so much. It's nice to be home. I love y'all.'

    At Dallas Park, Love even joked about his injury. He said: 'I was up front with the minesweepers searching for explosives and I found them. I guess that’s the easiest way to put it.

    'I'm still the same man.I was a boy when I left, but now I'm man. I haven't lost anything in my eyes.'

    Since the incident, Love has been recovering at the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He's been in outpatient rehabilitation and helped by his brother Brandon.

    Cpl. Love has decided not to become a victim of his injuries and travels the world charity fund raising - experiencing new extreme sports for his fellow injured veterans
    Cpl. Love has decided not to become a victim of his injuries and travels the world charity fund raising - experiencing new extreme sports for his fellow injured veterans

    As part of his rehabilitation he learned to play Bach on the piano with one hand and no legs
    As part of his rehabilitation he learned to play Bach on the piano with one hand and no legs

    An extreme sports enthusiast, Love has gone skiing in Pennsylvania and Colorado three times since losing his legs, using adapted skis.
    He has refused to let his injuries prevent him from living his life to the fullest of his abilities.

    In addition to the skiing, Love has participated in skydiving and surfing in Hawaii and even wrestled a 400-pound alligator in Florida.
    Touchingly, the injured veteran has also learned to play piano, displaying his skills at performing Bach on a YouTube video.


    Staying in the Now: Mental Health Through Mindfulness presented by Dr. Stuart Eisendrath

    Definition of Mindfulness:

    i) Mindfulness means paying attention, in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.

    ii) Nonevaluative awareness to one's inner and outer environment.

    Uploaded on Jan 21, 2010
    Dr. Stuart Eisendrath, director of the UCSF Depression Center, explores mindfulness as a technique for maintaining mental health.

    Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [2/2010] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 17626]

    Monday, January 6, 2014

    What A Wonderful World With David Attenborough - BBC One FULL HD

    When you feel down and out waiting for a cure or atleast some hopoe, this sort of video can cheer you up.

    Originally uploaded by the BBC on Dec 7, 2011 on their youtube channel: re uploaded for everyone thats not located in the UK and can't view it there. So, here you go:

    Original description A celebration of Natural History on BBC One with David Attenborough.


    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    A Brief Interview with Stephen Hawking

    on Dec 30, 2013
    We asked Stephen Hawking one question, and his answer was amazing.

    Visit Prof. Hawking's website:

    Subscribe to PHD TV:

    Read this comic about ALS:

    Ph.Detours, Episode 12: A Brief Interview With Stephen Hawking

    Producer and Host: Alexandra Lockwood
    Series Producer/Camera: Matt Siegler
    Created by/Camera: Jorge Cham

    Produced by Piled Higher and Deeper

    Sincere thanks to: Caltech (, Kip Thorne, Tom Mannion, JoAnn Boyd and Prof. Hawking.



    A Brief Interview with Stephen Hawking

    on Dec 30, 2013
    We asked Stephen Hawking one question, and his answer was amazing.

    Visit Prof. Hawking's website:

    Subscribe to PHD TV:

    Read this comic about ALS:

    Ph.Detours, Episode 12: A Brief Interview With Stephen Hawking

    Producer and Host: Alexandra Lockwood
    Series Producer/Camera: Matt Siegler
    Created by/Camera: Jorge Cham

    Produced by Piled Higher and Deeper

    Sincere thanks to: Caltech (, Kip Thorne, Tom Mannion, JoAnn Boyd and Prof. Hawking.