May psychedelics help treat mental health and PTSD

While psychedelics epitomized the culture and music of the 1960’s, drug abuse was rampant. As the sun set on the 60s, the US government ramped up its war on drugs and in 1970 President Nixon introduced the Controlled Substances Act, rendering psilocybin, mescaline, LSD and DMT illegal. About 2 weeks ago, John Hopkins School of Medicine received a 17-million dollar grant for study of psychedelics as therapy for PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Included in this study is the party drug of the 1990’s – Ecstcy. Ecstasy works both as a mind-altering drug like LSD and as a stimulant like amphetamine. Chemically, ecstasy is a synthetic drug, officially known as 3-4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine, or “MDMA.” It is chemically similar to methamphetamine, methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), and mescaline.

Before prescription drugs, there was alchemy. Alchemy was the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the belief that there are four basic elements in nature: air, fire, water and earth. Pantheists used these elements as treatments and cures of sicknesses back then. Consisting of magic potions and secrecy. Now recently marijuana has been associated for relief of pain, nausea, and anorexia. In this rejuvenated plant-based society, chemistry and alchemy find that psychedelics might help treat mental health and PTSD, according to recent research in 2017 and 2018.

Connectedness is considered a key factor of psychological well-being. The authors propose that psychedelic therapy addresses a core factor of mental health – specifically connectedness – and that this is why psychedelics show promise for so many mental health diseases, including depression, addiction and anxiety.

Alchemy used consciousness potions and leaves that induced altered consciousnesses for relaxation, fevers, and undefinable ailments. They were also used for pacts of peace and alliance.

These were psychedelics. For recreation, most psychedelics were prohibited in the 1950’s, as dosages could be fatal and addictive.

According to Yale University research, published January 2020, The results of a field study of more than 1,200 people attending multi-day arts and music festivals in the United States and United Kingdom confirm previous laboratory research indicating that psychedelic substances enhance feelings of social connectedness and improve mental well-being, the authors say.

With veteran soldiers and victims of abusive PTSD, psychedelics may prove to be beneficial. Some cases of PTSD are considered untreatable. But researchers are seeing dramatic results from therapy that uses psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD, depression and addiction. Therapy involving substances like Psilocybin and MDMA, better known as ecstasy, show 80 percent success rates years after treatment.

Yet these trials are done with small and tight clinical trials. According to PubMed, ” Even with an expanding evidence base confirming safety and benefits, political, regulatory, and industry issues impose challenges to the legitimate use of psychedelics.”

Proponents of treatments with psychedelics espouse that these therapeutics also support plant life, in April 2018.

Magic mushrooms are having a therapeutic moment. In North America, at least four organizations, each with unique strategies, are working to expand access to psilocybin for anyone with mental health issues, dying or not. These groups hope to undo decades of psilocybin prohibition by removing criminal penalties for possession or cultivation, or by providing access to psilocybin in a therapist’s offices, or both.

A group of private donors has given $17 million to start the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine, making it what’s believed to be the first such research center in the U.S., and the largest research center of its kind in the world. In the absence of federal funding for such therapeutic research in people, the new center will rely on the gifts announced today to advance the emerging field of psychedelics for therapies and wellness.

Psychedelics might be an alchemy PAC that is funding research into therapeutic psychedelics. Yet, for those suffering with chronic PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders, alchemy may be forging a reluctant friendship with the traditional medical community.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s research demonstrated that neurotransmitters were behind the causes of depression, anxiety, and others. The top 3 neurotransmitters are serotonin, nor-epinephrine, and dopamine.

Ecstasy activates these:

Dopamine—produces increased energy/activity and acts in the reward system to reinforce behaviors

Norepinephrine—increases heart rate and blood pressure, which are particularly risky for people with heart and blood vessel problems

Serotonin—affects mood, appetite, sleep, and other functions. It also triggers hormones that affect sexual arousal and trust. The release of large amounts of serotonin likely causes the emotional closeness, elevated mood, and empathy felt by those who use MDMA.

While antidepressants may target any one of these, psychedelics target all. In addition, dosing was not controlled. This often may have led to lethal consequences.

MDMA is a synthetic drug, meaning that it’s made of chemicals. It comes in colorful pills, tablets, or capsules that sometimes have cartoon-like images on them. Sometimes each pill, or batch of pills, can have different combinations of substances in the mix and cause unknown consequences.

Ecstasy is purely lab produced. Psilocybin comes from certain mushrooms. Both are illegal. Ecstasy, also called Molly or MDMA are sometimes found in dietary supplements. RollSafe’s recommended MDMA supplements. Supplements like Alpha Lipoic Acid, ALCAR, Vitamin C, Co-Q10 and some others have been shown to reduce or prevent MDMA-induced neurotoxicity in rodent studies. According to RollSafe, research based information on MDMA (Molly/Ecstasy) dosage: read why you should take less than 120 mg of MDMA per session. None were human studies and this is a shill, marketing ploy, in my opinion.

Of course, water, salt, pepper, are chemicals. Psilocybin is a phytonutrient found in a certain breed of mushrooms. Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic substance people ingest from certain types of mushroom that grow in regions of Europe, South America, Mexico, and the United States. The phtonutrient itself isn’t illegal but body conversion is. After the gut ingests and absorbs psilocybin, the body converts it to psilocyn. The hallucinogenic effects of psilocybin usually occur within 30 minutes of ingestion and last between 4 and 6 hours.

While there are no extensive studies of therapeutic effects within controlled scientific environments, there’s yet no reliability that psychedelics play significant roles in treatment of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. There have been a few smaller studies in recent years that offered hope.

The big flaws are in humans themselves. Exceeding dosages, all these drugs are abused. Also, no side-effects have been clinically shown.

It might be nice if psychedelics played significant roles in treating these common chronic ailments. Finances may be biased and skewed as the are sourced from MAPS, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.

The Johns Hopkins grant lends a respectable medical institution, one that played an important role in isolating the first neurotransmitters. Solomon Snyder Laboratory at Johns Hopkins, cited evidence that information processing in the brain reflects communication among neurons via neurotransmitters.

Metformin and diabetes scare

Diabetes is a pandemic with prevalence in USA and most of the world. Metformin is one of the oral pills prescribe by doctors as an alternative to injected insulin. Metformin is a treatment for Diabetes 2. In order to get cured, a diet and exercise regimen must be integrated as a routine lifestyle. Sadly, most people continue taking pills, drink soda, eat Oreo, and watch TV. Then they wonder why Metformin dose increases as Diabetes grows worse.

More than 100 million U.S. adults are now living with diabetes or prediabetes, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). People with type 1 diabetes don’t produce insulin, and are born with it. People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin, according to Healthline. There have been higher incidences of Diabetes Type 2. Type 2 diabetes has several causes: genetics and lifestyle are the most important ones. A combination of these factors can cause insulin resistance, when your body doesn’t use insulin as well as it should. You may not feel it. Could be major or minor. A blood test at your primary care physician is the best way to get clues.

So you’ve got the results of your blood test. Basic glucose is in normal range. Your triglycerides are in the normal range. But the Hemoglobin A1C is getting mighty close to the pre-diabetic range. The A1c test evaluates the average amount of glucose in the blood over the last 2 to 3 months by measuring the percentage of glycated hemoglobin in the blood and has been added to blood tests over the past 10 years. Now your doctor recommends starting Metformin on prescription. Metformin is a commonly prescribed drug. Metformin works to lower the amount of sugar in the blood of people with diabetes. It does this by lowering the amount of sugar produced in the liver, and also increasing the sensitivity of muscle cells to insulin. In your blood test, it helps reduce your Hemoglobin A1c score. Does it make you non-diabetic?

There are a few things to consider:

Metformin leads to significant reduction in testosterone levels, sex drive and induction of low testosterone-induced erectile dysfunction. Of course so can diabetes.

Commonly reported side effects of metformin include: lactic acidosis, diarrhea, nausea, nausea and vomiting, vomiting, and flatulence. Other side effects include: asthenia, and decreased vitamin B12 serum concentrate. 77% of metformin users with vitamin B12 deficiency also had peripheral neuropathy, a common form of nerve damage associated with type 2 diabetes. Peripheral neuropathy is a type of nerve damage most often characterized by pain, tingling, and numbness in the hands and feet. Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is a nutrient you need for good health. It’s one of eight B vitamins that help the body convert the food you eat into glucose, which gives you energy.

Impaired renal function can lead to the accumulation of metformin, and elevated concentrations of metformin have been associated with lactic acidosis.: Metformin may have an adverse effect on renal function in patients with type 2. Metformin is not considered intrinsically hepatotoxic. In fact, metformin may be beneficial in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Damaged liver diseases may not work with metformin.

Metformin has been around since the 1920’s. It is based on natural sources. Metformin was originally developed from natural compounds found in the plant Galega officinalis, known as French lilac or goat’s rue. Metformin was also marketed as Glucophage. Generic metformin and Glucophage are prescription medications for Diabetes Type 2, and are taken orally.

We mention that Diabetes 2 may be linked to poor diets and lack of exercise. Medical News Today notes: Exercise can reduce insulin resistance and improve type 2 diabetes symptoms. However, some research suggests that taking metformin in the short term may reduce the positive effects of exercise on insulin sensitivity. One study showed metformin alone and exercise alone led to 55% and 90% improvements in skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, respectively. Significantly, however, metformin + exercise led to a smaller improvement at 30%.

Is it better to focus on activity lifestyle changes than resorting to Meformin? Does diet factor in?

Per Healthline, Metformin doesn’t really link with helping weight loss. f you’re losing weight while taking metformin, it may or may not be the result of the medication. Weight loss can result from other factors as well. For example, some health conditions may cause loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss. These conditions include:
depression
stress
anxiety
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
cancer
AIDS
Parkinson’s disease

Classic signs and symptoms that suggest you’ve moved from prediabetes to type 2 diabetes include:
Increased thirst.
Frequent urination.
Fatigue.
Blurred vision.

The symptoms of diabetes 2 are something to get depressed and anxious about. The early signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes can include:
Frequent urination.
Increased thirst.
Always feeling hungry.
Feeling very tired.
Blurry vision.
Slow healing of cuts and wounds.
Tingling, numbness, or pain in the hands or feet.
Patches of dark skin.

According to Mayo Clinic, a blood sugar level less than 140 mg/dL (7.8 mmol/L) is considered normal. A blood sugar level from 140 to 199 mg/dL (7.8 to 11.0 mmol/L) is considered prediabetes. This is sometimes referred to as impaired glucose tolerance. If you receive a prediabetes diagnosis, it means you have a higher-than-normal blood sugar level. But, it’s not high enough to be diagnostic for diabetes. If you don’t get treatment for it, prediabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Now Hemoglobin A1C makes it simpler. An A1C level below 5.7 percent is considered normal. An A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent is considered prediabetes. Above that, you’ve Diabetes 2 to contend with.

Hypoglycemia is another non-diabetic form of pre-diabetes. Hypoglycemia is the condition when your blood glucose (sugar) levels are too low. It happens to people with diabetes when they have a mismatch of medicine, food, and/or exercise. Non-diabetic hypoglycemia, a rare condition, is low blood glucose in people who do not have diabetes.

Hyperglycemia is the technical term for high blood glucose (blood sugar). High blood sugar happens when the body has too little insulin or when the body can’t use insulin properly.

More doctors and endocrine specialists are happy to prescribe Metformin merely from A1C test results but when you observe the different mechanisms of diabetes a glucose tolerance test should be recommended. A glucose tolerance test measures how well your body’s cells are able to absorb glucose (sugar) after you consume a specific amount of sugar. Doctors use fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c values to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well as prediabetes. These tests may last 1 to 3 hours on average.

According to Healthline, a two-hour, 75-gram oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is used to test for diabetes. A healthcare provider will take a fasting lab draw of blood to test your fasting glucose level first. They’ll then ask you to drink 8 ounces of a syrupy glucose solution that contains 75 grams of sugar.

You’ll then wait in the office for two hours. The healthcare provider will draw blood at the one- and two-hour marks.

Blood glucose, or sugar, is sugar that is in your blood (easy enough!). It comes from the food that you eat — foods that contain carbohydrate, such as bread, pasta and fruit are the main contributors to blood glucose. The cells in our bodies need glucose for energy — and we all need energy to move, think, learn and breathe. The brain, which is the command center, uses about half of all the energy from glucose in the body. When we eat food, the pancreas (an organ that sits between the stomach and the spine) goes to work, releasing enzymes that help to break down food and hormones that help the body handle the influx of glucose. One of these hormones is insulin, and it plays a key role in managing glucose levels in the blood.

The lifestyle changes are exercises and reducing carbohydrate consumption throughput the day.

There are supplements that may be good alternatives to Metformin use:

Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps the hormone insulin to function at its full potential. Nicotinate and picolinate are two forms of chromium. … Additionally, in a direct comparison against chromium nicotinate, the picolinate source was less effective in supporting the action of insulin.

Cinnamon may help lower blood sugar and fight diabetes by imitating the effects of insulin and increasing glucose transport into cells ( 6 ). It can also help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity, making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.

Vanadium compounds are potent in controlling elevated blood glucose levels in experimentally induced diabetes. However the toxicity associated with vanadium limits its role as therapeutic agent for diabetic treatment.

Bitter melon is linked to lowering the body’s blood sugar. This is because the bitter melon has properties that act like insulin, which helps bring glucose into the cells for energy.

Of course neither of these supplements haven’t received FDA approval to support or deny their claims. Most evidence is derived from small studies in Europe and Asia.

Sunergetic Blood Sugar Support has all the above and more. It helps me keep my A1C scores within normal range. But this claim is by no means scientific.

Large overdoses of metformin can lead to lactic acidosis as well. Suicide with metformin is rare. Intake of 35 g of metformin has been shown to be lethal. Severe liver problems could lead to a buildup of lactic acid. Lactic acid buildup raises your risk of lactic acidosis. Metformin also raises your risk, so taking it if you have liver problems is dangerous.

Because supplements have little supporting research, no figures were established. Properly dosing supplements requires a good licensed nutritionist. It will help recommend dosage to avoid side effects. Doctors, in USA, are not trained with nutritional avenues of alternate medicine. So it’s Metformin or 2 or 3 others on the prescription market.

Dietary restrictions are one way to help get Hemoglobin A1C levels down. You’re better off consulting a nutritionist. They work with your doctors. Philosophy is different. Doctors approach is what you can’t eat. A nutritionist focuses on what you can eat. How and when.

There’s a good 4-letter word for a diet that literally knocks out all those carbs that drives your pancreas crazy if you’re diabetic 2. The word is Keto. According to keto proponents, by slashing the carbs you consume and instead filling up on fats, you safely enter a state of ketosis. That’s when the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones. Your fat-burning system now relies mainly on fat – instead of sugar – for energy.

Proponents claim a keto diet is great for weight loss. Can it reduce diabetes 2 symptoms? The ketogenic diet, according to Healthline, has the potential to decrease blood glucose levels. Managing carbohydrate intake is often recommended for people with type 2 diabetes because carbohydrates turn to sugar and, in large quantities, can cause blood sugar spikes. f you already have high blood glucose, eating too many carbs can be dangerous. By switching the focus to fat, some people experience reduced blood sugar. But fat is also a source of triglyceride. Here again, a nutritionist might be helpful.

One problem with keto are ketones. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones. Theu can be tested with a urine test. When levels get too high, you can develop DKA. DKA may happen to anyone with diabetes, though it is rare in people with type 2. Treatment for DKA usually takes place in the hospital.

Discovering you are pre-diabetic or have diabetes 2 is scary. Is it as scary as doing an hour of cardio-exercise four times a week?

The alternative is to just take Metformin and don’t be frightened until you lose peripheral body parts and lose vision. Yes, that is the long term problems with Diabetes 2.

Your main job is to get your Hemoglobin levels back to safe levels and keep them there. Keep all sugar levels in normal range. Then you’re out of the fear zone. The path is ominous and dark. But you’ve many to co-miserate with. Connect with a diabetes support group and share your experiences. Make friends but don’t go out to dinner. lol

I believe in a holistic attack on diseases. Diabetes 2 is one of them. Diabetes 2 influences your life and your emotions about your life. Change your lifestyle and diet choices. You may soon be clinically diabetes 2 free.

Nurdles are an apocalyptic science fiction but true

Norma sat comfortably but anxious as the Uber drove from the airport to her beachfront community in Siesta Key. She felt warm, though the car seemed to be blasting cool air. She took a issue from her plastic pack of tissues and wiped a tear just beneath her right eye.

It’s been almost a year since Charlie died. She and Charlie were married over 40 years in a coastal town in Maine. When their kids moved, She and C (as she called him) bought the condo off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. This is the first time Norma snowbirded alone, a little early for the season. She felt she couldn’t bear the cold another year without C.

It’s a long trip from the Tampa airport. She pulled a plastic bag from her carry bag. She tried to get an organic roll. She was frustrated trying to remove its plastic Stay-Fresh package but her stubbornness and hunger aided her.

Norma disliked plastic. But she realized how much plastic was reality. She enjoyed non-stick pans and used plastic utensils. Her phone, tablet, and computer are plastic. Not to mention her travel bags, and some of her clothes. My, plastics were all around!

She and C respected proper disposal of plastic products. Their children were both conservationists, as scientists for studying climate change. “But”, Norma said to herself, “So many people don’t recognize that we need to balance benefits and act responsibly with consequences.” She placed the emptied package into her carry bag.

It was mid-morning as the sun peered through her windows. “From 25 to 80”, she smiled. Norma was dressed and ready for the beach.

“Odd,” she thought as she approached the sandy area. “there’s nobody around”. The sand beneath her feet wasn’t fine and flat. It felt coarse, as if walking on salt. She thought that there might be a maintenance issue. She never reads her e-mail memos.

Time for a short dip. She walked into the water. Although the water was warm, she screamed. When she came ashore, Norma was bleeding and bruised.

Was it a sea creature? A baby shark? A monster from the deep? An alien?

Actually, it was more ominous and dark. It was of this planet and they seemed to be everywhere. They are man-made creatures called Nurdles.

Nurdles are small plastic pellets about the size of a lentil. Countless billion are used each year to make nearly all our plastic products but many end up washing up on our shores. A nurdle is a pre-production plastic pellet.

Plastic resin pellet pollution is a type of marine debris originating from plastic particles utilized in manufacturing large-scale plastics. Commonly referred to as nurdles, these plastics are released into the open environment, creating pollution in the oceans and on beaches. These are manufactured at factories near large bodies of water. In the USA and in other manufacturing countries.

Nurdles the pre-production building blocks for nearly all plastic goods, from soft drink bottles to oil pipelines. Nurdles are bought in bulk for melting, molding, extruding for millions of products used world-wide. Plastics originating as nurdles are in your car, in rails, boats and jets. They may be disguised as metallic or wood. When you touch them, they are plastic.

The Earth Day statisticians state: More than 480 billion plastic bottles were sold worldwide in 2016. That is up from about 300 billion only a decade ago. About one trillion single-use plastic bags are used annually across the globe. That’s nearly 2 million every minute. The amount of bubble wrap used around the world may be wrapped around the equator 10 times. All these and more may owe their origins to nurdles.

Researchers say nurdles weigh an average of approximately 20 milligrams each, and may be found virtually everywhere. It is estimated that more than 250,000 tons enter the ocean annually. If marine life ingest nurdles, they may be endangered. Research shows that nurdles can absorb chemicals like DDT, a now widely banned insecticide; PCBs, a group of manmade industrial chemicals; and mercury.

A report commissioned by Fidra in 2016 estimates that up to 53 billion nurdles may be spilled each year from land-based sources in the UK alone. That’s equivalent to losing up to 88 million plastic bottles to sea over the course of a year.

At the small-end of nurdles infestation is pollution can also lead to significant economic losses, for example through losses in revenue from tourism and the cost of beach cleaning.

So what’s the source of nurdle pollution?

In consideration that nurdles are pre-production synthetic cells that make up most plastic products, pre-production plastic factories are the main source.

A plastic pellet is manufactured. A catalyst is combined with ethylene or propylene in a reactor, resulting in “fluff,” a powdered material (polymer) resembling laundry detergent. After that the polymer is fed to an extruder where it is melted. Melted plastic is cooled then fed to a pelletizer that cuts the product into small pellets. Pellets are shipped to customers. But as a byproduct of manufacturing, pellets make their way to waterways near factories.

Nurdles that become lost during transit or manufacturing are also an environmental hazard. In the ocean and along coastal waterways, they absorb toxic chemicals and are often mistaken for food by animals. At an average size of a 2mm ball these may be mistaken for food.

According to Business Insider, In 2018, thousands of pounds of nurdles wound up in a stream in Pennsylvania after a semi-truck that was carrying them crashed along a highway. The following year, piles of nurdles washed up on Sullivan’s Island beach near Charleston, South Carolina. The state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control later attributed the pollution to a spill from a local shipping company.

Finding actual sources are difficult. There are a few in and near Texas’ gulf coast. Thes pre-production plastic factories provide employment to depressed communities. Generally, pre-production plastic manufacturers have an unaccountable worldwide network.

Much like Earth Day is the annual Global Nurdle Hunt. The Great Global Nurdle Hunt is an annual event (first run in 2019) which aims to build upon the worldwide engagement around the issue of nurdles and support calls for effective mitigating action at industry and government levels. It is scheduled for March 13 – 22 in 2020. The Nurdle Hunt collects data and advocates solutions, albeit mostly focused towards increasing personal responsibility. Nurdle Hint has no legislative authority.

Climate change has some very precarious resources from volcanic vents to nurdle pollution. These will definitely impact the planet in 2050 and prevention requires serious, stern, and authoritative accountability so humans can survive many centuries. At this point, Nurdle Pollution and unacceptability to legislation is as serious as nuclear war.

As far as Norma’s beach incident, she’s fine. Fortunately, the community has a filtered swimming pool. Common charges will increase as staff places netting to prevent further nurdle pollution to accumulate. Sand will be replaced. Yes, new labor for a disconcerting future. Norma is happier.

Global warming from within ocean hydrothermal vents

Climate change is a comprehensive issue. Has the world always had climate changes? They were reported in the biblical book of Genesis of the Old Testament. Of course they didn’t track weather patterns then. Burning forests may be the result of human error – an incorrectly disposed cigarette. Hydrothermal vents deep in our seas and oceans are recent discoveries where molten magma meets nearly frozen water. Are warming waters a problem from these natural hydrothermal vents?

Climate change is one of the major challenges confronting the future of planet Earth as we know it. All those Deep Planet videos we might watch demonstrate that beneath the oceanic depths are cracks, fissures, nooks, crannies as dangerous as the highest mountains above sea levels. Discoveries of hydrothermal vents at the ocean bottoms raise serious questions of warming waters and melting ice. Are we cooking from within?

Seismologists track the planet surface movements 24/7 at hundreds of points. Their information is critical predicting earthquakes and earthquake severity. Some movements are like hums while others crackle and pop. Global warming from within occurs during those innocent hums. That’s when hydrothermal vents form.

Hydrothermal vents occur at both diverging and converging plate boundaries. Heat is released as magma rises and cracks the ocean floor and overlying sediments. Seawater drains into the fractures and becomes super-heated, dissolving minerals and concentrating sulfur and other compounds. Sea creatures in those depths either thrive or die. At those greater depths via exploration equipment technologies many thrive.

Cold water meshes with extremely hot molten rock magma as vents burst through ocean floor. Discovered only in 1977, hydrothermal vents are home to dozens of previously unknown species. Huge red-tipped tube worms, ghostly fish, strange shrimp with eyes on their backs and other unique species thrive in these extreme deep ocean ecosystems found near undersea volcanic chains. These are the fit that have survived the initial heat blasts of formed hydrothermal vents. For us, these vents are as foreign as radio waves from galaxies 900 million light years away. But they exist throughout our planet.

For the most part these occasional hydrothermal vents for magma are relatively small…a few centimeters. For the most part, earth crust at ocean temperatures act as potent barriers. Then there’s human impact. In the past, the main human impact affecting deep-sea ecosystems was the dumping or disposal of litter into the oceans. If it were only litter. Humans have tossed some heavy items and waste that landed on ocean floors. All it takes is a tiny crack and a century to make a hydrothermal vent.

Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor may have some impact at releasing volcanic heat into our water systems, impacting ice formations and weather patterns as extreme heat converges with extreme cold. The severity is there may be communities of these hydrothermal vents deregulating a regulation system formed over millions of years.

People use hydrothermal energy for survival. Regulation of body temperature in vertebrates is a function of a central mechanism and the main thermoregulatory organ is again the hypothalamus, particularly the preoptic area (POA), where the sensory input on the brain temperature and core temperature is integrated. Other parts of the central nervous system, such as the brainstem and spinal cord, are also involved in thermo-regulation. Our bodies sweat because our skin has pores that help maintain thermoregulation.

Your hypothalamus is a section of your brain that controls thermoregulation. When it senses your internal temperature becoming too low or high, it sends signals to your muscles, organs, glands, and nervous system. They respond in a variety of ways to help return your temperature to normal.

The problems encountering ocean floor regularization are that if there may be one vent then there may be more hydrothermal vents forming a community. Each involves a hot/cold exchange and regulation is a war of average potentials.

And that process helps sustain a deep ocean balance. Most living things on earth depend on sunlight as the ultimate source of energy. Green plants use sunlight to make food by the process of photosynthesis. In the darkness of the ocean depths there is no sunlight for photosynthesis. So how do living things survive in such an environment? The answer is found in bacteria that can use another source of energy to make food.

Water coming out of a vent is rich not only in dissolved minerals but also in chemosynthetic bacteria. These bacteria are capable of utilizing sulfur compounds to produce organic material through the process of chemosynthesis. The bacteria are autotrophs that oxidize hydrogen sulfide in vent water to obtain energy, which is used to produce organic material (i.e. grow themselves).

Chemosynthetic bacteria are the primary producers and form the base of vent food webs. All vent animals ultimately depend on the bacteria for food. So hydrothermal vents are very beneficial to creatures living at the dark oceanic depths. For all we know, these vent/water exchanges have been present since the earth first developed its crust. Billions of years ago, according to science theoretical models.

Presence of hydrothermal vents probably have little to do with global warming. Releasing noxious gas and waste into our ecosystems may have had more impact. These vents may be natural players that rewrite regulation parameters of planetary climates. Climate change refers to the changes in the global climate which result from the increasing average global temperature. For example, changes in precipitation patterns, increased prevalence of droughts, heat waves, and other extreme weather, etc.

The debate is serious. On the nay side, earth’s weather patterns have only been recorded for the past 150 years. Yet, since the industrial revolution, about 300 years ago, new chemicals found their way into our vast ecosystem. Also, we are discovering more fluctuations of the space of our solar system and scientists are exploring phenomena such as hydrothermal vents. So there are statistical outliers that boggle finite conclusions. But, in our lifetimes, changes in climates have been observed.

Within hydrothermal vents, influences on water temperatures are vague. Hydrothermal fluid temperatures can reach 400°C (750°F) or more, but they do not boil under the extreme pressure of the deep ocean. As they pour out of a vent, the fluids encounter cold, oxygenated seawater, causing another, more rapid series of chemical reactions to occur.

Based on global water temperature statistics: The average temperature of the entire ocean surfaces usually ranges from 15 to 17 degrees Celsius (59 to 62.9 degrees Fahrenheit). There is a barrier between the surface water and deeper layers of the ocean that are not mixed. The barrier begins around 100 meters and can extend another few hundred meters downward. The average temperature of deep-ocean water is only 2°C (36°F). The water coming directly from a hydrothermal vent can reach up to 350°C (662°F) and is rich in dissolved chemicals. The hot spring water forms a plume above the vent, somewhat like smoke rising from a chimney into the air. Temperature-sensing instruments, towed behind research vessels, can detect these hot-water plumes and aid oceanographers in locating hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor.

Like hot springs and geysers on land, hydrothermal vents form in volcanically active areas—often on mid-ocean ridges, where Earth’s tectonic plates are spreading apart and where magma wells up to the surface or close beneath the seafloor.

These hot plumes of water from reactions with hydrothermal vents may contribute to ocean water temperatures from within.

As far as carbon dioxide releases into the air, results revealed that dissolved organic carbon is efficiently removed from ocean water when heated. The organic molecules are broken down and the carbon converted to carbon dioxide. The entire ocean volume circulates through hydrothermal vents about every 40 million years, according to theorists studying at University of Georgia.

Climate effects from vast forest fires, waste disposal, and gluttony for fossil fuels may be stressing our planetary biomes. They may arise from ignorance, irresponsibility, profit, convenience, and other factors. The vast fires of Australia may have been started by campers and smokers. 14 people have been arrested. Humans and humanity may be more significant drivers of climate changes than hydrothermal vents.

On seismology offices the earth is humming. Is it a happy or sad tune?

Do not touch me Sensory Processing Disorder SPD

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My early research was in sensitivities. I wasn’t all that interested with allergies, the immune system, and emotions. I was interested in how our 5 senses plus nerves/muscles interact and adapt to our environments, learning, talents, relationships, and mobility. How did our brains process our awareness? Adaptations and conflicts? My interests focused on hyposensitivity (Hyposensitivity to touch and movement refers to low or abnormally decreased sensitivity to motion and sense of touch) and Hypersensitivity (high sensitivity to the environment can be defined as acute physical, mental, and emotional responses to one’s external (environmental, social) stimuli. Highly sensitive people feel and sense things far more strongly than others do). That was a pretty full plate about 30 years ago. Stemming from peers, more sensory research and advanced technologies brought about a new condition affecting children and adults. Sensory Processing Disorder or SPD has opened new scopes of research that in some ways bridge and compete with autism, obsessive-compulsive and attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.

Estimates believe that 1 in 20 may have SPD or 5% of the population as studied. While some may be hypoactive, most studies focus on hyperactive situations that lead to learning disorders and advanced interactive conflicts. ADHD is fairly close at 12.9 percent of men will be diagnosed with ADHD, compared to 4.9 percent of women. ADHD has treatment via prescription pills. Thus far, SPD does not. Hypersensitive behavior in people is found in 15 to 20% of the population. So the focus is justifiable.

There appears to be a tendency, made popular by ADHD and Autistic Spread Spectrum, to cluster unique behaviors in children and adults. SPD is a malfunction of body awareness, perceptions, and related balance. Some kids seem to have trouble handling the information their senses take in—things like sound, touch, taste, sight, and smell. Some of those kids take it to adulthood.

Is it due to behavior? Genetics? Upbringing? Maybe. Few studies have been able to validate or invalidate why SPD develops. Those with Sensory Processing Disorder, sensory information goes into the brain but does not get organized into appropriate responses, according to neuroscience studies. In these ways neuroscience has established how SPD is associated with Autism Spread Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD).

SPD is not one specific disorder, but rather an umbrella term that covers a variety of neurological disabilities. Because the child with SPD has a disorganized brain, many aspects of his behavior are disorganized. Being classified as a disability would require extensive documentation as SPD isn’t fully recognized in children and adults.

Modern theorists point to our individualistic characteristics and development. For example fingerprints are very unique to the individual. Many things are unique, such as blood and tissue types, features, diseases. Brains filled with many neuronal networks may have deviated “wiring”, making ASD, ADHD, SPD and other diseases like DDX3X difficult to treat. It may be the result of genetics and hereditary as causes. Deviated wiring may be the effect among kids that otherwise appear normal and happy. Yet, in school or social settings, they tend to perform with difficulties. Children with SPD struggle with processing stimulation, which can cause a wide range of symptoms, including hypersensitivity to sound, sight and touch. Yet, knowing this, may indicate that SPD may be more of a problem than ADHD or ASD. Think of it as a form of dyslexia of the brain.
SPD can be hard to pinpoint, as up to 90 percent of children with autism also are reported to have atypical sensory behaviors, and SPD has not been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by psychiatrists and psychologists.

One of the things common in SPD and ASD (but not seriously studied in ADHD) is bursts of overload attacks. Think of variation of brainwaves that allow us to remain alert, relaxed, and asleep. These kids are always on beta (alert) waves that may be painful and distracting.

Scientists are just beginning to understand and tinker with how people can live and excel with SPD, with some very good successes from very small samples. Use of medicines, special diets, lifestyle changes were included but no firm method. Traditionally, SPD made use of occupational therapy but with mixed results.

Historically, SPD gained little attention as diagnostics were poorly developed. Scopes and PET scanners were only diagnostic tools. As the 21st century rolled in more studies recognized SPD, despite its absence from the DSM. In 2013 a breakthrough study hypothesized that there were more SPD cases than ASD cases in schools.. Yet, how did scientists test for SPD and were those tests reliable?

For adults ADDitude made a self-test survey that adults could fill out. Surveys are subjective and not considered scientific. Provides guidelines of what questions were answered more or less.

In children, SPD may be observed by parents as toddlers experience problems. Parents notice that a child has an unusual aversion to noise, light, shoes that are deemed too tight and clothes that are irritating. They may also notice clumsiness and trouble climbing stairs, and difficulty with fine motor skills like wielding a pencil and fastening buttons.

Of course there are many child development disorders that offer similar symptoms but SPD subtly differs at sensitivities to light, touch, noises, and clothing.

Diagnosis may be a little tricky. Most doctors may jump at ADHD or ASD, as there is some symptom overlap. More thorough exams may explore genetics to reveal DDX3X, dystrophies, and other possibilities. If you report hypersensitive issues to many sensory stimuli, doctor may refer you to an occupational therapist. These professionals can assess children for SPD. They will likely use a series of questions and observations to make a diagnosis. They may observe how your child reacts to certain stimuli. Occupational therapy (OT) is considered a viable therapy for SPD prospects. Beware, their observations may be skewed. OT has had mixed results at efficacy as a treatment.

Adults with SPD also get confused with misdiagnoses. OT is less effective. They have already adjusted to dressing comfortably. Some find role-play effective for compromising actual situations involving mobility at work or shopping or other things that require mobility. Interaction is generally mild. Hypersensitivity means people with SPD people have very low thresholds to variances of others and loudness.

People with SPD experience over reactive processing which can amplify the senses and create over sensitivity to stimuli resulting in sensory overload. To a person without SPD, a train is loud but tolerable, but to a person with SPD, that sound can be stifling, intolerable and even painful, creating anger and avoidance. Travel by public transportation is usually avoided. Yes, a crowded elevator or interior space may be unnerving.

Dating and intimacy are particularly challenging to the SPD and the other. Does the person reveal she has SPD? Some might prefer something out-of-the-box, something people call kinky. Socially, sadomasochistic communities and dominant/submissive relationships may be an integrative comfort zone for a person with SPD. While they are not mutually SPD friendly, the SPD dater doesn’t necessarily share an SPD diagnosis.

Someone dating someone with SPD is flaunting with unique everyday challenges. If you think, “Not tonight, dear, I have a headache” is a flimsy excuse, what would you think about “Not tonight, dear, you’ve put the wrong sheets on the bed again and the refrigerator sounds terrible, and you smell like you just got off an airplane, and my cocoa had lumps in it, and therefore I’m overwhelmed and can’t bear to be touched”?

That is not to say that a person with SPD has to kiss intimate relationships adieu. For people with tactile defensiveness (very sensitive to touch, gets irritated) type of SPD, sex is especially difficult. Since sex involves a lot of touching (including kissing, cuddling, fondling…and touching all the way and I have to stop mentioning the obvious details), some people with tactile SPD are averse to sexual activities. But, by adopting masochistic tendencies, may tolerate and exceed their threshold. The pain is rationalized within a supportive relationship.

Adults with sensory dysfunction issues have to cope with the challenges of everyday life while struggling with their neurological responses to such things as ceiling fans, background noise, off-gassing synthetic carpets, too many people talking at once, uncomfortable work clothes, and so on. So…typical dating environments might be like a tunnel of horrors.

Sounds, sights, smells, textures, and tastes can create a feeling of “sensory overload.” Bright or flickering lights, loud noises, certain textures of food, and scratchy clothing are just some of the triggers that can make kids and affected adults feel overwhelmed and upset.

SPD is not a mood disorder. It should not be confused with autism or ADHD, though symptoms overlap. Using Concerta for ADHD may help some symptoms of SPD but not all. SPD clearly stems from a brain that has been developed slightly differently, per University of California San Francisco study.

In studies, SPD is emerging as a new, exciting star but so much more research is necessary. Part of the problem is the condition is not professionally accepted. Although sensory processing disorder is accepted in the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of Infancy and Early Childhood (DC:0-3R), it is not recognized as a mental disorder in medical manuals such as the ICD-10 or the DSM-5. This restricts orthodox treatment.

Sensory processing is the way each of us responds to incoming sensory information. We learn and grow through our senses which include touch, sight, sound, smell, taste, proprioception, and vestibular sensations. We manage our day-to-day activities through all the information our bodies take in. Ninety percent of this information is actually below our conscious level of awareness. A worker with SPD may find these normally unconscious stimuli as disturbing, in a condition that evolves with age.

Many workplaces have ways they can adapt for medical conditions or they can get assistance from an occupational therapist in order to make ADAAA accommodations. Most companies may not even be aware of sensory processing issues and how much they can affect some people’s lives. Awareness is key and simple changes can drastically affect some people’s lives and work performance.

Like individual fingerprints, muscle and nerve issues, skin issues, brains follow specific guidelines when developing. Takes about 3 to 5 years on average. SPD develops in the brain as a form of distortion affecting senses at varying degrees. For the most part, adults with SPD are smart, articulate, and welcoming. Beware the hypersensitivities. You must be super-tolerant.

Being part of the human race, there are so many permutations and combinations that alter ourselves and realities. At our most normal, we disguise our frailties. Throughout conflicts, betweens, and hugs, our bodies and minds have differing capacities. We must join together to battle challenges. From my early efforts of understanding sensitivity in the 1990’s, we’ve slowly crept to understand that when someone says “Do not touch me”, it might be sensory overload or SPD. Answers lie in ever afters.

Pink Tax gender gaps subtly make feminism costly

Expectant parents know the gender of their child early on. Great for figuring what colors to get for clothing and furniture. Blue for boys. Pink for girls. As they grow to teen years, the spread goes beyond color. Pink seems to be a premium. In this post-feminist generation, is there a pink tax?

Being pretty in pink usually refers to a female. Women are leading consumers. Yet, many are unaware of a nearly invisible discrimination. It is called a Pink Tax. The pink tax refers to the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services. Things like dry cleaning, personal care products, and vehicle maintenance.

Watching new westerns, female heroines wear form-fitting jeans as if they were custom made. Haute couture in the feminine wild west? Reality was women wore men’s jeans. Then came the 20th century and women became alluring females. Modern feminine fashion was born and generated billions of dollars toward the economy. All variables changed. Feminism changed the political and economic outlooks. In the debates of life, death, and taxes, women encounter one divisible invisible – a special tax for women – a Pink Tax. According to the New York Times, in 2014 that “women’s” products with the same ingredients and/or materials were often far more expensive than “men’s” products. The pink tax refers to the extra amount women are charged for certain products or services. Things like dry cleaning, personal care products, and vehicle maintenance.

In this modern day and age, the pink tax not only affects women but has also been observed by the transgender population. You need to be rich to compete as a woman among women. Men pay less.

According to a study from NYC Consumer Affair, Products for women or girls cost 7% more than comparable products for men and boys. The Consumer Federation of America indicates A 2015 study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, one of CFA’s members, documented that gender price discrimination exists in a wide variety of consumer goods, from clothing to personal care products. This is essentially a gender tax levied on women that adds up to thousands of dollars over the course of their lives. The department compared nearly 800 products with clear male and female versions from more than 90 brands. They found that in all but 5 of the 35 product categories analyzed, items for female consumers were priced higher than the same items for male consumers.

7% more for toys and accessories
4% more for children’s clothing
8% more for adult clothing
13% more for personal care products
8% more for senior/home health care products

Pink tax refers to this invisible cost that women have to pay for products designed and marketed specifically to them, while the generic or male equivalent of the same products are available for less. It is not just big corporations in the retail space that push women to spend on their appearance. Social scientists and retail experts say that this stems from the fact that society in general, typically, holds women to a higher standard when it comes to their appearance.

According to Healthline, “Gender-based pricing, also known as “pink tax,” is an upcharge on products traditionally intended for women which have only cosmetic differences from comparable products traditionally intended for men.” Scents and packaging are obvious differences. A cologne for men has leather and wood fragrances while women get floral scents. Packaging is black or blue for men. Pastels are used for women.

For example, a five-pack of Schick Hydro cartridges in purple packaging cost $18.49, while the same count of Schick Hydro refills in blue packaging cost $14.99. Again, other than their packaging color, the products look exactly the same.

Is it nature or nurture?

A recent discovery is that women actually have more rods and cones in their eyes than men. This allows women to see more detail, which partially explains why men sometimes see an ordinary room, while women see complete filth. Men simply aren’t able to see dust and finer particles as easily as women, and therefore are unaware of its presence. However, there are other scientific reasons why female perception differs from that of their male counterparts. Many studies cite evidence that there are gender differences among male and female brains. Do these justify pink tax rates?

One of the more curious things about the pink tax is that feminine hygiene products mostly have no sales tax. Contraceptives catering to females do carry a tax.

A typical men’s haircut may be around $30. A typical haircut for a woman might start at %50. While men do get manicures, men are charged around $10. A woman….$15 and up. The discrepancies are staggering!

So while the US Congress was preparing impeachment proceedings on President Trump, the H.R. 2048: Pink Tax Repeal Act was introduced on April 3 2019.

While this act hasn’t been processed by the US Senate, Canada also has a pink tax. The “pink tax” refers to the phenomenon of gender-based price discrimination, where items whose ads target women are often priced higher than similar products advertised towards men. For example, a 2016 study found that women in Canada pay over 40 per cent more than what men pay when it comes to personal care products.

Good Housekeeping Magazine indicates:

“Women are consistently paid less than men for the same work. Currently, women make 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. For women of color, the gap is even wider. Women are also often charged a higher interest rate for mortgage loans, despite their consistently higher credit ratings.”

Feminism changed women’s lives and created new worlds of possibility for education, empowerment, working women, feminist art and feminist theory. The US Congress and US Senate elected more women in 2018 as a historic landmark. Yet, when it comes to cosmetics and fashion women spend considerably more than men. And, worse, are often evaluated critically by other women.

While it is valid that women’s fashion menus are wider than men’s, data was not collected. Conceivably most high fashion designer dresses cost more than 3 men’s suits.

Tailoring clothes are usually higher for women than men for off-the-rack clothing. Many women choose haute-couture limited editions that are custom made at prices that only the rich can afford. A haute couture garment is always made for an individual client, tailored specifically for the wearer’s measurements and body stance. Women wear them to award shows. Designer couture gowns typically start at $30,000. Men suits are usually off the rack. Hemming pants and sleeves are usually $50.

We aren’t even talking shoes and accessories!!

When it comes to appearance, women may dress bolder but far more expensive. Good thing is that one of the women at Golden Globe 2020 is auctioning her dress for charity. I believe more do the same.

The pink tax may be unfair and I hope the repeal passes the US Senate. Yet, it is a tiny step for feminism. Let’s see how future generations fare.

Understanding selfish and selfless

Being selfish is negative. Being selfless is good. Is that so? Selfish and selfless are seemingly close relatives.

Selfish is a marker of establishing territory where you are the center. The two primary characteristics of selfishness are being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself;
Having no regard for the needs or feelings of others.

It is totally different than selfish behaviors of a child that says this toy is mine, this clothing is mine. This room is mine. Kids grow out from that behavior. Well…maybe some.

Ironically, people who are selfish are usually unaware of the fact, believing they are genuinely nice people. A selfish person cares only about themselves (obviously) and creating happiness for them, regardless of how others are affected. Individuals who are extremely caring and emotionally understanding are typically the ones who are “used and abused” by the selfish. In the beginning, they will seem caring and looking to pamper you, but only long enough for you to let your guard down.

Is selfless the exact opposite of selfish? Many intellectuals say no. This is because selflessness isn’t even possible. The choice to ever be “selfless” will always be driven by a form of serving one’s self? No person chooses to be selfless because THEY absolutely hate it or are against doing it. People choose to be selfless because THEY want to, or believe they should be because of some virtue they hold dear, etc. Regardless of the reason for choosing it, the reason always serves some aspect of their self/being.

Many people distinguish selfish people as those who take and selfless people as those who give. Generally speaking, “selfless” gets a warmer welcome and is more widely accepted as “good”. Neither selfishness nor selflessness is good or bad. In fact, the two concepts are intricately linked. A relatively small study using 36 people was researched in Japan by Riken.

These volunteers were asked to choose one of two options, each with a baseline reward to themselves. One option then involved an extra financial reward for the participants and the other, a reward to ‘others’—in this case a series of well-known charities.

The group looked at what happened when a person is giving an extra reward to one of the charities, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a computational modeling method called a connectivity analysis. They discovered that there is a three-stage cascade process involved.

In the first stage, the brain detects a perceived benefit to others. The first stage was accompanied by neural activity in the right temporoparietal junction (right TPJ) and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (left dlPFC) regions. The second stage involves understanding the impact of the offer of value on the outcome. This corresponded to activity in the right anterior insula (salience network). The third stage is the actual decision-making process. Decision-making corresponded to activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), supporting findings from previous studies that have implicated the mPFC in strategic reasoning.

One of the most striking findings was that there was a distinct difference in the neural processes involved in giving to others between prosocial and individualistic subjects. This difference existed even when the two groups chose similar things in the original task.

This isn’t all about selfishness and generosity, but rather perceptions of value, emphasize the researchers. Rather than being altruistic, a generous subject may be perceived more value in social contributions or be subject to predispositions such as inequity aversion and guilt. The team have called the process of deciding to give to others ‘social value conversion’. In the paper, the team predicted that social value conversion is actually a primitive computation that may be essential for different forms of social behavior.

The team’s findings provide building blocks for investigating more complex forms of social decision-making. Exploring ideas about generosity and selfishness would call into question the role of cultural and religious factors, and variations across countries and regions, for example, in accounting for how we each perceive and take on board consideration for others.

Subject volunteers were age 20 to 32 and total subjects were 32. A very small study as fMRI is a very costly device that tracks how the brain is activating neural networks in decision making. Selfishness and selflessness are associated within a brain’s social neuronal networks. So the links are valid but in a small scale.

When psychologists evaluate selfish behaviors, many indicate:
Manipulation. …
Uncaring. …
Plotting and scheming. …
Self-centered and conceited. …
Giving and sharing do not come easily. …
Expectations of others to do things for them.

Psychologists view selflessness as a set of altruistic behaviors as helping others as a reward. Altruism involves acting out of concern for the well-being of other people. In some cases, these acts of altruism lead people to jeopardize their own health and well-being to help others. In many cases, these behaviors are performed unselfishly and without any expectations of reward. This is valued as empathy at being pro-social vs selfish as anti-social. But are the two so very far apart?

Some social psychologists believe that while people do often behave altruistically for selfish reasons, true altruism is possible. Others have instead suggested that empathy for others is often guided by a desire to help yourself. Quite ironic!

The self preservation always wins. Our brains may have a self referential bias. To test for self-referential bias in working memory, the research team, a collaboration between Duke University, the University of Bath in the U.K. and Southwest University in China and funded by Chinese government grants, created a computer program and tested it on 102 study participants.

First, participants learned to associate the colors blue, green and purple to labels of “friend,” “stranger” or “self” with a simple game. Then, two different-colored dots, like green and purple, would briefly flash on the screen. After a five-second pause, during which participants had to remember the locations and colors of the previous dots, a black dot would appear on screen. Participants then indicated if the black dot flashed in the same place as one of the colored dots, and if so, which label fit.

Participants correctly identified the “self”-labeled dots significantly faster than the “friend” or “stranger” dots. That meant their working memory focused on the dots labeled with the “self” color.

Referential thinking is the tendency to view innocuous stimuli as having a specific meaning for the self and is associated with personality traits and disorders.

The SRC (Self Reference Criterion) is an unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values, experiences, and knowledge as a basis for decisions. Closely connected is ethnocentrism, that is, the notion that people in one’s own company, culture, or country know best how to do things.

In the recent US Congress Impeachment decision, the SRC was very high with both parties. Each party’s SRC was so bound in “self” bias hat there were no crossing over party lines.

SRC plays roles in a variety of lifestyles. Each individual owns his/her particular lifestyle behavior as preservation of self identity. These are matched by neurotransmitter studies. with particular focus on serotonin.

What of altruism? One person’s SRC usually outweighs it. Altruistic motivations, for example, contribute to the well-being of another even though it may be at their own expense. Differentiating between altruistically motivated, norm motivated, strategically motivated and self-reported prosocial behaviors are rather confusing. Human prosociality is a complex phenomenon, a fact that is reflected in the number and diversity of measures that are used
to assess prosocial behavior across different disciplines.

Whether self preservation is selfish or selfless, it’s all biased to a pseudo-narcissistic protection of each self, as a master or a submissive of our own fate. From weight management, economy, and friendships, and opinions we may give others unconditional positive regard but we always think of our SRC first and our own conditions for the self.

Whether selfish or selfless, self is always first. Then we choose others. Yet, when cognitive rationing comes into play selflessness becomes more influential.

CRPS Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

When it comes to mid-life, there are changes. There are pains of all kinds. New and old. Some are lifestyle related and some seem to emerge from nowhere. They aren’t fibromyalgia, neuralgia, rheumatism. They fall into the cracks between the planks of established. The pains are more than one. They are syndromes that develop with age. One such syndrome is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS for friendliness.

Having a Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is one of hundreds of physical, mental and emotional syndromes that confuse patients and doctors.

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic (lasting greater than six months) pain condition that most often affects one limb (arm, leg, hand, or foot) usually after an injury. CRPS is believed to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. According to Stanford Medical schools, the main symptoms are severe pain, swelling, and changes in the skin. Although CRPS can occur anywhere in the body, it usually affects an arm, leg, hand, or foot. CRPS can make your life seem very crappy.

In this era of specialization, it is very difficult to localize pain issues and CRPS may become worse or better over time periods of less than one year. When it flares, it is disabling. Yet, insurance approaches have severely limited restrictions on seeing a disease as a singular entity or as a syndrome of several.

One method of diagnosis, apart from the observation of symptoms, is a bone scan. MRI scans and X-rays are also used to detect CRPS, for much the same reasons as bone scans. X-rays may be able to pick up irregularities or mineral loss from bones, while MRI’s can show a number of tissue irregularities.

According to the Mayo Clinic, CRPS is thought to be caused by an injury to or an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS typically occurs as a result of a trauma or an injury. Complex regional pain syndrome occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes. Are these causes due to passed indiscretions (falls, accidents, traumas) that you recovered easily from earlier years? CRPS appears ti the 40’s as changing-life issues develop in women and men. According to the Mayo Clinic, CRPS is divided into two types: CRPS-I and CRPS-II. Individuals without a confirmed nerve injury are classified as having CRPS-I (previously known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome). CRPS-II (previously known as causalgia) is when there is an associated, confirmed nerve injury.

CRPS I, formerly known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)—here, no nerve lesions can be identified. A dystrophy is a muscular disease and RSD is treated as among the hundreds of dystrophies exhibiting muscle weaknesses. Alas, there are no specified treatments or cures for muscular dystrophies.

CRPS II (formerly known as causalgia). The symptoms of this syndrome include evidence of a nerve lesion.

CRPS/RSD is a life-altering chronic condition. Living with CRPS/RSD offers many challenges to those who are affected by it. Challenges include difficulties with diagnosis, coping strategies after diagnosis, caregiver concerns, differences in the problems faced by adults and youths, insurance, workman’s compensation and other issues.

While there are some research studies, data and conclusions are still sparse.

Perhaps one of the most simple of the problems is that most pain management professionals still don’t know how to diagnose CRPS as a syndrome. They only treat symptoms.

There is no single diagnostic tool for CRPS or RSD. Physicians diagnose it based on patient history, clinical examination, and laboratory results. Physicians must rule out any other condition that would otherwise account for the degree of pain and dysfunction before considering CRPS/RSD.

Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment offer the highest probability of effective treatment and possible remission of CRPS/RSD

CRPS symptoms include:
Pain that is described as deep, aching, cold, burning, and/or increased skin sensitivity
An initiating injury or traumatic event, such as a sprain, fracture, minor surgery, etc., that should not cause as severe pain as being experienced or where the pain does not subside with healing
Pain (moderate-to-severe) associated with allodynia, that is, pain from something that should not cause pain, such as the touch of clothing or a shower
Continuing pain (moderate-to-severe) associated with hyperalgesia, that is, heightened sensitivity to painful stimulation)
Abnormal swelling in the affected area
Abnormal hair or nail growth
Abnormal skin color changes
Abnormal skin temperature, that is, one side of the body is warmer or colder than the other by more than 1°C
Abnormal sweating of the affected area
Limited range of motion, weakness, or other motor disorders such as paralysis or dystonia
Symptoms and signs can wax and wane
Can affect anyone, but is more common in women, with a recent increase in the number of children and adolescents who are diagnosed

The Mayo Clinic offers some extensive clinical information on CRPS and/or RSD.

It represents many CRPS chronic pain issues. So there may be more than 1 source of chronic pain. There may be syndromes. CRPS is one of them.

Dry Needling and acupuncture for chronic pain relief

Sufferers of pain are not masochists. Trying to relieve chronic muscular, skin, and joint pain usually can be masochistic. From hot creams to pills with nasty side-effects and to surgeries with marginal success, people with chronic pain go through many pains to relieve the unbelievable. What about needles as in Dry Needling and acupuncture for pain relief? Yikes! More pain? Actually many see it as longer-term relief.

Chronic pain often comes from physical sources. The lingering may also affect emotional, psychic, and energy.

Some say there’s nothing worse than chronic pain. From pharmacies, there are wide varieties of topical and oral analgesics to help sufferers. Doctors also have stronger prescription drugs for fighting inflammation…purportedly one of the triggers of muscular, nerve, and joint pains. Opioids are also prescribed to deaden pain but also nullify most aspects of living. Then there are surgical procedures. These may average only about 75+% accuracy in fixing the problem.

Chronic pain is not new. For thousands of years, Asian cultures have built philosophies that pain is derived from blocked energies. Acupuncture has been one that has survived through to our present era. Acupuncture uses needles placed at energy meridians. Some consider it kinky. Many see it as no alternative. Others swear by therapeutic validity. Many health and wellness centers add acupuncture to their menus of care options. In the West, it is called Dry-Needling.

Based on traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture seeks to balance one’s energy flow — chi — through pathways known as meridians in the body.

Dry needling employs a Western philosophy of attacking pain trigger points, the bands of tight fascia or muscle commonly known as knots.

Originally, anesthesia was injected through hypodermic needles. Researchers discovered it was the needles, not the medication, that did the work. Eventually, doctors and therapists switched to the very thin acupuncture — or dry — needles.

After needles are inserted, an electrical stimulation unit is connected by alligator clips.

The needles act like probes.The electric current does the magic.

The muscles twitch under the low current, sometimes making the needles appear to bounce. What’s happening is knotted muscle is being released, then the electrical stimulation clenches and unclenches the muscle hundreds of times to work out kinks and provide relief.

The vibrations are similar to using a TENS unit — transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation — in which the doctor or therapist places sticky pads on the target area.

Pain management is a medical discipline, They use painful steroid injections to combat some pain areas. An epidural steroid injection (ESI) is a minimally invasive procedure that can help relieve neck, arm, back, and leg pain caused by inflamed spinal nerves. ESI may be performed to relieve pain caused by spinal stenosis, spondylolysis, or disc herniation.Under X-ray guidance, a small needle is then advanced into the epidural space. Pressure is the usual sensation felt during this procedure. If pain is felt, more local anesthetic will be used. Epidural injections may last for averages of up to one year. Some found relief for up to 5 years. Research to determine the effectiveness of these treatments in the lumbar spine has shown average success rates between 50 percent and 90 percent. Side effects vary from one person to another.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a relatively new procedure used to reduce pain under medical pain management. An electrical current produced by a radio wave is used to heat up a small area of nerve tissue, thereby decreasing pain signals from that specific area. RFA has proven to be a safe and effective way to treat some forms of pain. It also is generally well-tolerated, with very few associated complications. There is a slight risk of infection and bleeding at the insertion site. While treatment may be subjectively painful, new techniques are introduced for more accuracy and minimized pain. The healing process can take up to 2-4 weeks. Coolief is a newer version of RFA, claiming more comfort and reduced healing.

Pain management doctors also may prescribe a variety of drugs of different types that may help manage chronic pain.

Acupuncturists are not usually medically trained. They are trained by accupuncture schools. Some have rigorous standards and may take years to complete. The length of training at most schools is about three (3) years for acupuncture and four (4) years for Oriental medicine programs. The study of Oriental medicine includes both acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

For example, Olympc champion Michael Phelps used Cupping, as a technique to prepare hus muscles. According to USA National Institutes of Health, Cupping is a practice used in traditional medicine in several parts of the world, including China and the Middle East. It involves creating suction on the skin using a glass, ceramic, bamboo, or plastic cup. Negative pressure is created in the cup either by applying a flame to the cup to remove oxygen before placing it on the skin or by attaching a suction device to the cup after it is placed on the skin. In “wet cupping,” the skin is pierced, and blood flows into the cup. “Dry cupping” doesn’t involve piercing the skin. Used as a mode of therapy by trained acupuncturists, there is little western scientific evidence to support claims.

There is no scientific proof that the meridians or acupuncture points exist, and it is hard to prove that they either do or do not, but numerous studies suggest that acupuncture works for some conditions. Some experts have used neuroscience to explain acupuncture and associations with neurotransmitters and brain processes. There is also little scientific evidence to support or deny.

Pharmacies devote aisles of analgesics to help reduce chronic pain. Few of these have long-lasting effect and many have uncomfortable side effects…replacing one pain with another,

Statistics show that 1 out of 5 people may sometime develop chronic pain. Generally, when drug companies aim to help solve the problem, they target the pain in several ways.

Pfizer-Lily is one of the leading sources of these drugs. They indicate that when injury or inflammation occurs, a number of biochemical mediators, including prostaglandins, cytokines, chemokines, neuropeptides, and nerve growth factor (NGF), are released. In conditions related to chronic musculoskeletal pain, such as osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), tendinitis, and chronic low back pain (CLBP), these mediators have been identified as key drivers of chronic pain.

Disease can also be the underlying cause of chronic pain. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia are well-known culprits, but persistent pain may also be due to such ailments as cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, and gallbladder disease. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, neuralgia, and fibromyalgia are well-known culprits that trigger pain and are usually co-antagonists partnering the issue. Neuralgia is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve. These nerves are found along the skeleton and impact muscles and joints in many ways.

Radiology has discovered several of the areas that may be catalysts and sources bring the pain. As nothing is 100%, the medical community seeks the least invasive methods to treat chronic pain. They use chiropractics and technologies to help reduce pain. Often something like fibromyalgia are more daunting as challenges. Fibromyalgia may be associated with hundreds of different source areas. And these are studied but it’s a slow process.

Chronic pain is not new. Acupuncture and dry needles were among the earliest attempts to cope or eliminate pain. Acupuncture was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment. Before stones, there may have been hands applying pressure (massage). Acupressure is a type of acupuncture. Both acupressure and acupuncture are based on same fundamental principle of acupoint activation across the meridians So chronic pain treatment may go back over 8000 years.

Today about 20% of people suffer from chronic pain. That’s more people than with diabetes or cardiovascular diseases.

Chronic pain differs from masochism as the pain is totally involuntary. A masochist is a person who is gratified by pain, degradation, etc., that is self-imposed or imposed by others…as an alternate lifestyle, according to the Diagnostic Statistic Manual (DSM). Chronic pain sufferers are most likely NOT masochists.

That does not debunk that chronic pain may not be mind induced. A pain disorder is chronic pain experienced by a patient in one or more areas, and is thought to be caused by psychological stress. The pain is often so severe that it disables the patient from proper functioning. Duration may be as short as a few days or as long as many years. Psychogenic pain is also known as psychological pain or depression. While psychogenic pain is primarily psychological, it is a very real type of chronic pain. … With psychogenic pain, however, there is often no physical cause to find and treat.

Chronic pain is a health condition that many still admit is shrouded by inconclusive sources. The belief that having sterile needles inserted, or electric nerve impulses probed are among many ways people seek to end chronic pain. Alas, there’s no conclusive answer. There are possible methods and acupuncture is among the oldest. Physical or psychological sourced, seeking help is often filled with risks that may be worse than the pain you are already experiencing.

Solutions are anti-masochistic attempts to be pain-free. Only one such solution may eliminate chronic pain. Some seek it. Since 1999, suicide rates have steadily increased, and suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The prevalence of chronic or severe pain has also risen, and researchers believe it could be contributing to the rise in suicide rates. It caught the attention of the CDC or Centers of Disease Control.

During the study period, the CDC identified 123,181 individuals who died by suicide, including 10,789 who experienced chronic pain. From 2003 to 2014, the percentage of suicides with chronic pain rose from 7.4 percent to 10.2 percent. Not a wide variance range so more studies are needed to see how prevalent chronic pain is to suicide rates.

Chronic pain sufferers, as long as there remain remedies for chronic pain. seek them out. It is yet another important reason why national health insurance is necessary. Research suggests that anywhere from 30 to 50% of people with chronic pain also struggle with depression or anxiety. Because chronic pain can affect an employee’s work performance and job satisfaction, it’s important that chronic pain is addressed and accommodated at a company. In 2012, NCBI through PubMed, posted a study conclusion: The body of evidence identified from the systematic review indicates that CP has a substantial negative impact on work-related outcomes, supporting the importance of interventions to reduce the burden of CP. Well-designed prospective studies specifically assessing the direct consequences of CP on employment are needed to confirm these findings.

While research is sparse, CP or Chronic Pain is an issue that USA needs to address. In an era where Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is prevalent beyond veterans. A 2013 study found that illness-focused pain coping mediated the relationship between post traumatic stress disorder and both pain interference and pain severity.

Chronic pains are issues that need to be thoroughly examined. Sometimes untraditional traditions need to be included in research.

Concerta concert for ADHD

Somewhere in the recent 20th century, the medical community begat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) as an umbrella term for school age children with certain behavioral conditions. ADHD was first coined in 1902. ADHD became popular when APA recognize ADHD in the late 1960’s in the 1968 Diagnostic Statistics Manual. By the 1980’s, ADHD was a popular psychiatric condition for children who misbehaved.

ADHD is a chronic condition marked by persistent inattention, hyperactivity, and sometimes impulsive behaviors. ADHD begins in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. As many as 2 out of every 3 children with ADHD continue to have symptoms as adults.

According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), Millions of US children have been diagnosed with ADHD. The estimated number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD, according to a national 2016 parent survey, is 6.1 million.. This number includes: 388,000 children aged 2–5 years. 4 million children aged 6–11 years.Statistics, however, toll 4.4% of adults in the USA may have the ADHD diagnosis. Is it under-diagnosed among adults?

There are many chronic conditions. Some are genetic such as muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and Palsy. Neuralgia and arthritis may be developmental. Perhaps the biggest US pain (besides politics) is back pain. Compressed and or herniated spine discs are diagnosed as stenosis. Approximately, according to Medscape,250,000-500,000 US residents have symptoms of spinal stenosis. This represents about 1 per 1000 persons older than 65 years and about 5 of every 1000 persons older than 50 years. About 70 million Americans are older than 50 years, and this number is estimated to grow by 18 million in the next decade alone, suggesting that the prevalence of spinal stenosis will increase. Few have 100% treatments for pain relief of these.

ADHD seems to shift greatly when it comes to kids and adults under this umbrella. The term chronic, as through lifespan, brings great market potential for drugs and accessories to commonly treat ADHD sufferers. From ages 3 to 12, most of those sufferers are reported by parents. Concerta and Adderall are commonly prescribed drugs for those that fall beneath the ADHD umbrella.

There are a few prescription drugs used for treating some symptoms of ADHD. One of the first was Ritalin. In the 1980’s, if you’re child wasn’t taking Ritalin (a stimulant), it was considered odd. Ritalin was later replaced by Adderall and Concerta. Concerta was first to promote an Extended Release version that helped minimize side effects. The generic name of Concerta ER is methylphenidate extended-release tablets.

Current prescription drugs are designed for children and adults with ADD. Adderall contains amphetamine-like chemicals that stimulate the brain and central nervous system, producing a calming effect in adults and children with ADHD. Concerta is a stimulant that acts in a similar manner, but the effect is milder than that of amphetamines. Concerta is more common than Adderall.

According to Drugs.com, medical advice is urged. The “Do not use” information is vast:

Do not use Concerta if you have used an MAO inhibitor in the past 14 days. A dangerous drug interaction could occur. MAO inhibitors include isocarboxazid, linezolid, phenelzine, rasagiline, selegiline, tranylcypromine, and others, as well as methylene blue injection.

You should not use Concerta if you are allergic to methylphenidate, or if you have:

glaucoma

a personal or family history of tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome; or

severe anxiety, tension, or agitation (stimulant medicine can make these symptoms worse).

Stimulants have caused stroke, heart attack, and sudden death in certain people. Tell your doctor if you have:

heart problems or a congenital heart defect;

high blood pressure; or

a family history of heart disease or sudden death.

To make sure Concerta is safe for you, tell your doctor if you or anyone in your family has ever had:

depression, mental illness, bipolar disorder, psychosis, or suicidal thoughts or actions;

motor tics (muscle twitches) or Tourette’s syndrome;

blood circulation problems in the hands or feet;

seizures or epilepsy;

problems with the esophagus, stomach, or intestines;

an abnormal brain wave test (EEG); or

a history of drug or alcohol addiction.

It is not known whether Concerta will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is unknown whether the active drug enters breast milk.

Suppose you pass precautionary tests, what might side effects be?

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking methylphenidate (the generic chemical found in Adderall and Concerta):

More common
Fast heartbeat

Less common
Chest pain
fever
joint pain
skin rash or hives

Rare
Black, tarry stools
blood in the urine or stools
blurred vision or other changes in vision
crusting, dryness, or flaking of the skin
muscle cramps
pinpoint red spots on the skin
scaling, severe redness, soreness, or swelling of the skin
seizures
uncontrolled vocal outbursts or tics (uncontrolled and repeated body movements)
unusual bleeding or bruising

Incidence not known
Confusion
depression
feeling like surroundings are not real
numbness of the hands
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
paleness or cold feeling in the fingertips and toes
red, irritated eyes
red, swollen, or scaly skin
seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
severe or sudden headache
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
sudden loss of coordination
sudden slurring of speech
tingling or pain in the fingers or toes when exposed to cold
unusual behavior
unusual tiredness or weakness
weight loss
yellow skin or eyes
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur while taking methylphenidate:

Symptoms of overdose may include:
Agitation
anxiety
bigger, dilated, or enlarged pupils of the eyes
confusion as to time, place, or person
dark-colored urine
diarrhea
dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
dry eyes, mouth, nose, or throat
false or unusual sense of well-being
fast, slow, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
holding false beliefs that cannot be changed by fact
increased sensitivity of the eyes to light
loss of consciousness
muscle pain or stiffness
muscle twitching
nervousness
overactive reflexes
pounding in the ears
rapid, shallow breathing
sweating
tremors
unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness

WOW! All these possible life threatening possibilities you might encounter as you try to resolve ADHD!

If ADHD is a disease at all, it is likely associated with several. Neuralgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis may be associated with 100’s of unknown but possible conditions. Is ADHD an actual disease or is it a trumped up classification?

Physicians who migt read labels are cautioned: CNS stimulants, including methylphenidate extended-release orally disintegrating tablets, other methylphenidate-containing products, and amphetamines, have a high potential for abuse and dependence. Assess the risk of abuse prior to prescribing, and monitor for signs of abuse and dependence while on therapy. Yes, these meds do help ADHD patients feel more normal but addiction is high.

ADDitude Journal is a great repository of ADHD information. Some small studies show that ADHD brains have low levels of a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is linked arm-in-arm with dopamine. Dopamine is the thing that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure center. The ADHD brain has impaired activity in four functional regions of the brain.

Some neuroscientists ask why has ADHD developed to such great proportions? Today’s ready access to electronic digital devices and the internet often substitute for social interaction. Such situation, if it starts in early childhood, in certain vulnerable individuals, who crave immediate rewards, can decrease the ability to maintain prolonged attention and tolerate delayed gratification, thus reinforcing future addictive behaviors. Essentially, many parents don’t realize that all those Smart devices that is “their world” also modifies how their brains process reality. Rewards and punishments are more pertinent from social media than traditional studying.

Assessing ADHD is generally subjective. Currently, clinical interviews and collateral histories from parents and teachers drive the standards. Only occasionally do we use objective assessments, such as continuous performance tasks and neuropsychological assessments, to evaluate whether or not a child can sustain attention, and whether their deficits lie in either or both auditory and visual domains. Other factors may be involved, such as motivation, low blood glucose, lack of sleep, or medication they are taking.

Thus, in the neuroscience perspective, actual ADHD diagnoses may actually be blown up to 5-times of those patients diagnosed with ADHD. Yet most Primary Care doctors hear the symptoms and prescribe Concerta ER.

As many world ADHD studies are relatively small, more work will need to establish whether Concerta ER is best for treatment. The manufacturers will hotly debate any results.

While diagnoses of ADHD may be more or less accurate, available evidence suggests that ADHD is genetic — passed down from parent to child. It seems to “run in families” — at least in some families. At least one-third of all fathers who had ADHD in their youth have children with the condition. The majority of identical twins share the ADHD trait.

All this aside, ADHD adults are smart, articulate, and hold responsible jobs. Perhaps ADHD-Adult may be more of a mix than most doctors realize. Yet…doctors are the professionals patients interface with. Problems could be elsewhere.

I believe ADHD has become more of an umbrella term among doctors and parents, regarding the behavior of their children. Personalities differ as do cultural and parental interaction. Most important, this is a digital age and kids can access and use devices more efficiently than parents. ADHD may be a reality today. Kids are kids. How they behave unlocks new doors from 1 gen to the next. Who knows how these kids develop and whether ADHD will be the problem it is today. Who knows if the Concerta concert will be valid.