Can breathing make us superhuman?

Can breathing make us superhuman?

Can Breathing Make You Super Human?

With Dr Marc

The Wim Hof Method has been written up by Discovery Magazine who calls for more research and I am hoping to respond with the RMIT University survey of the Wim Hof Method (available at www.whmsurvey.org).

The ability to consciously control the breath and be comfortable in extreme situations may be a key to wellness and I agree that;
“Promising research is ahead, however, and Hof and others already hint at the possible rewards. . . These studies might end up confirming once and for all what practitioners of yoga and other physical and mental practices have known intuitively for years. It may be that the duality of breath — at once automatic and controllable — runs even deeper. It’s not just our lungs that we can consciously grasp hold of, it’s our physiology as a whole.”

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BPA’s & the Endocrine System

BPA’s & the Endocrine System

I have heard that EDC such as BPA and phthalates may be dangerous and interrupt the endocrine system. What are they and how can I avoid them?

with Dr Marc

Endocrine disrupting chemicals are a broad class of chemicals that can interfere with the natural hormonal control systems of the body and effect cell metabolism, reproduction, development and behaviour. Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates are endocrine disruptors that are in widespread use and found in our environment, food, and consumer products as well as in most people in the modern world.

BPA is a key ingredient in polycarbonate plastics and is used in many common products including baby and water bottles, medical and dental devices, CDs and DVDs, thermal receipt paper, household electronics, as well as in the lining of almost all food and beverage cans. Phthalates are a group of plasticizer compounds that are used to soften PVC plastics as well as being used in a wide variety of consumer goods such as children’s toys, personal care products, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, textiles, detergents as well as food products and packaging.

Exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals can lead to a range of conditions such as infertility, reproductive abnormalities, various cancers, obesity, impaired intellectual development and impaired immune function with the effects varying according to the age at exposure, the extent of exposure and the mixture of chemicals. While the consequences of being exposed to endocrine disrupting chemicals is not yet fully understood, it is known that a small dose of an endocrine disrupting chemical during pregnancy that may not significantly affect the mother, can profoundly affect the developing fetus in ways that may not become evident much later. This was recently demonstrated by a study done at Columbia University that found that the level of phthalates in mother’s urine during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy correlated with the intellectual development of her child at aged 3.

The latent effects of fetal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals may also extend into adulthood and early exposure to such chemicals in animal studies has been found to damage natural weight-control mechanisms and foster dietary choices that favour high fat intake and the development of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. Thus exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals has been suggested as a contributing factor for the global epidemic of diseases such as obesity, diabetes and ADHD.

While it may be impossible to completely avoid exposure to BPA and pthalates in the modern world recently there has been moves internationally to restrict their use and there are some simple lifestyle measures that can also help reduce exposure. These measures begin with reducing the amount of plastics used, choosing only natural organic homecare products and choosing glass, ceramic or stainless steel food and beverage containers and avoiding canned food and food packed in plastic. If plastic containers are used, do not to put them in the dishwasher or microwave and where possible select products that are labeled BPA free.

A recent study found that families eating fresh unpackaged, organic food were able to drop their BPA levels by 66% and phthalate levels by 55% in just 3 days. Similarly, American toddlers eating mostly organic food were found to have less than one sixth the pesticide residues in their urine.

While it may not be possible to completely eliminate BPA and pthalates from your life, the above measures may go a long way to reducing your exposure and increasing your consumption of fresh non-packaged food is likely to have many additional health benefits.

Green spaces nurture minds

Green spaces nurture minds

Green Spaces Nurture Minds

With Dr Marc

Nature is a physician with seemingly unlimited healing power. This insight, often attributed to Hippocrates who spoke of the vis medicatrix naturae, is now being confirmed by modern science. A review of the literature suggests that “ access to nature plays a vital role in human health, wellbeing, and development that has not been fully recognised” and that “ . . . the positive effects on human health, particularly in urban environments, cannot be over-stated.” A more recent update on the science further concludes that; “access to safe, high quality green space benefits individuals across every stage of the lifespan, enhancing their physical, mental, social and spiritual health and wellbeing.”

Connection with nature is one of the most powerful ways to improve mood, cognition and general health. Our brains seem to be tuned to respond to natural signals and when we are immersed in nature we become healthier, happier, and smarter. A recent article in National Geographic discusses this effect and highlights research such as a University of Michigan study that demonstrate improvements in cognition after exposure to natural environments. Of course doctors who have followed in Hippocrates footsteps have known about nature’s healing abilities for centuries, with Voltaire proclaiming the art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.

What Voltaire, Hippocrates and others recognised, is that through connecting with mother nature we connect with our own true nature; the primordial “deep inner well of our being”, where we can find wholeness, love and peace. Yet, with the bulk of humanity now living in cities and the art of medicine giving way to science and corporate interests, we have become disconnected from nature and human health and our natural environment are suffering the consequences. While it maybe little wonder that the world’s top health and wellness retreats are embedded in beautiful natural surroundings, the sad truth is that there are no truly pristine environments left.

The whole planet is polluted to some degree and the time has come for us to turn the tables and have humans start healing nature. The work of earth repair is an intergenerational project that will require a collective human effort, perhaps aided through the co-opting of artificial intelligent systems and the most talented and innovative human minds. Then perhaps, through reconnecting with mother nature, we can reconnect with and heal ourselves.

Chuck Norris Goes Green

Chuck Norris Goes Green

Chuck Norris Goes Green

With Dr Marc

Chemical companies had better clean up their act. Chuck Norris, the former Texas Ranger has gone green and is now on their case. Who would have thought that Chuck Norris would be promoting consumption of organic food and referring to data from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the World Health Organisation and Britain’s Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists?

Chuck Norris has yet to be entirely pissed off. Why? Because we would call that event “The Apocolypse”, yet if the man who eats lightning and farts thunder gets serious about reducing chemical exposures, then I think we can expect to see some positive changes a foot . . .

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