Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lake Michigan

Friday, October 24, 2014

Recognize and Appreciate

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Can Marijuana Help Combat Brain Aging?

While there are many health products that make claim to having antioxidant and anti-aging properties, none come close to the benefits of cannabis.
As studies have shown, cannabinoids – the active chemicals in marijuana – possess a unique ability to counteract the brain’s aging process as well as a variety of diseases that may arise during later stages of life.

What is Aging?

Aging is influenced by the balance between the generation and clearance of toxic molecules that tend to build up as one gets older. Brain cells (also known as neurons) are especially sensitive to this, since they are fully developed once an individual reaches adulthood and do not divide past this point. Neurological diseases are an inevitable result of an imbalance of toxic molecules within your brain.

Marijuana: A Powerful Antioxidant

We’ve all heard of an essential aspect of our diet known as antioxidants, but not many truly understand why they are necessary for good health. As it turns out, the term “anti-oxidant” itself provides a pretty thorough explanation of its biological role.

Antioxidants interact with free radicals to prevent cellular damage.

Antioxidants are compounds that counteract the damaging effects of a biological phenomenon known as oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is the build-up of natural by-products called free radical molecules, which can only be cleared by a healthy intake of antioxidants.

Brain cells are particularly sensitive to oxidative stress. In fact, studies have linked the build-up of free radicals to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Cannabinoids found in marijuana – specifically THC and CBD – have been shown to possess potent antioxidant properties. Interestingly, the antioxidant action of marijuana is believed to occur independently of cannabinoid receptors, meaning that you don’t need to get high in order to reap the antioxidant benefits of cannabinoids.

Oxidative stress is believed to contribute to a variety of inflammatory and degenerative diseases, both in the brain and elsewhere in the human body. Likewise, pre-clinical trials have highlighted the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in diseases such as collagen-induced arthritis, infarction, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, myocardial ischemia and atherosclerosis.

Anti-inflammatory Properties

Another notable anti-aging aspect of cannabis is its role in inflammation. Along with oxidative stress, inflammation is another biological phenomenon that contributes to the progression of many age-related disorders.

Imagine the possibilities if Cannabis was as mainstream 
as harmful prescription pills and over-the-counters.

Cannabinoid receptors have been identified on immune cells and, when activated, these receptors work to suppress inflammatory responses. Immune cells of the brain (also known as glial cells) are involved with inflammation of the brain, which has also been linked to the progression of various neurodegenerative diseases including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Activity of the cannabinoid system has been shown to decrease inflammation, both in the brain as well as other parts of the body.

Role in Neurogenesis

The hippocampus plays a role in memory, learning and spatial orientation. 

Contrary to historical findings, recent studies have identified a growth of new brain cells that occurs throughout adulthood – a process known as neurogenesis. Indeed, while it was once thought that the brain stopped developing after a certain point, scientists now believe that the hippocampus – a specific part of the brain – is capable of producing over 5,000 new brain cells each day. Scientists also believe that marijuana can promote neurogenesis, while the regular use of alcohol, nicotine and opiates are known to suppress neurogenesis.

This is an important consideration for older individuals, as the process of neurogenesis has been found to slow as you age. Furthermore, increased neurogenesis has been linked to improvements in aspects of memory and learning, while decreased neurogenesis has been linked to anxiety and depression disorders.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Which Season Were You Born?

"Cheerful, Depressed? The Season In Which
 You Were Born Might Hold the Key"

by Laura Tedesco/Yahoo Health

Even if you don’t buy into astrology, recent research suggests that the time of year you were born does actually play a big role in who you become. Specifically, your season of birth may be linked to your moods later on in life, according to a new study presented at the European College of CNP Congress in Berlin. 

The scientists’ interest was sparked by a body of research suggesting a link between birth season and something more stable than mood: personality. In a British study, for example, young and middle-aged adults born from October to March tended to seek new, intense experiences more than those born in the other half of the year. Another study, published in Neuroscience Letters, suggests that people born in the winter may be less agreeable.
And the effects of your arrival date aren’t just psychological — there’s also evidence that your birth season can affect everything from your bedtime (spring- and summer-born folks go to bed later) to your risk of developing cancer. According to a 2014 International Journal of Cancer study, a spring or summer birthday is associated with a significantly higher risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in childhood and young adulthood. And an Italian study found that women born in March may begin menopause earlier, while those born in October experience the change later.

So can your season of birth affect daily fluctuations in mood? To answer this, the Hungarian researchers evaluated the temperaments of more than 400 people then matched their moods with their birth months. Here are the most significant trends:
  • People born in the summer are more likely to experience rapid, frequent swings between feeling sad and cheerful, compared to folks born in the winter.
  • Individuals with spring or summer birthdays tend to be excessively positive. In a previous study in the Journal of Affective Disorders, the same researchers observed this quality in people born between April and June.
  • Winter babies grow up to be more irritable adults than people born in any other season.
  • People born in the fall are less prone to bouts of the blues than people who arrived in the winter. In the Journal of Affective Disorders study, October emerged as the birth month least associated with depression, although this finding wasn’t statistically significant. 
If your inner skeptic isn’t convinced, consider this: Your birth season reflects differences in several environmental influences during gestation and after birth — nutrients available, your mother’s level of physical activity, outdoor temperature, types of pathogens, light exposure; all of these factors play a role in nervous-system development, study author Xenia Gonda, a psychologist at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary, told Yahoo Health in an email.

There’s also evidence that the time of year you were born affects levels of various neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, which play a clear role in mood, she added. 
A simpler explanation: Certain times of year may be more conducive to babymaking. “Season influences how likely parents are to procreate,” said Gonda. People with seasonal affective disorder, for example, may be less likely to get busy during the colder months, when they’re feeling down. The result? “Kids inheriting a risk for this illness are less likely to be born during autumn,” she said. “So there may be both environmental and genetic reasons.”

Friday, October 17, 2014

"The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination; 
stuck on this carousel, my little eye can catch one million year old light."

-Richard Feynman
"Let your mind wander in simplicity. Blend your spirit with the vastness."

-Chuang Tzu
Be alive and enjoy the adventure.
Your life is but a reflection of your predominant thoughts.
You are here to experience outrageous joy, to experience the exhilaration of consciously creating your own reality.
You are an eternal Being. You are eternal consciousness. You are in your physical body for the thrill and exhilaration of specific focus and creation.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

"The longer I live the more beautiful life becomes."

-Frank Lloyd Wright
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life. 
He gave me life that I might enjoy all things.
"Appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods 
of life with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy."

-Abraham Maslow
Scientists at The Institute of Hartmath in California has shown that feeling love, gratitude, and appreciation in your heart boosts your immune system, increases vital chemical production, increases physical vitality and vigor, reduces stress hormone levels, high blood pressure, anxiety, guilt, burnout, and improves glucose regulation in diabetics.
"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back 
and realize they were the big things." 

-Robert Brault
Live your life with an attitude of gratitude.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

-Albert Einstein
Write down all your goals and desires on paper.
Write in the present tense. 
Imagine what it would be like to have it now, and be thankful.
Take the time to imagine life how you desire it. 
Visualize as clearly as possible the things you want.
You must match the pictures that you paint with your imagination. Your environment and the conditions of your life at any given time are the direct results of your own inner expectations. You form physical materialization of these realities within your own mind.
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions."

-Albert Einstein

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Rifel River - Sterling, Michigan, United States

Give without expectation. Giving should not come with a price tag.
One of the greatest gifts we can give is an open, loving heart.
The greater the love you feel and emit, the greater the power you are harnessing.
The fruit of taking care of others is enlightenment.
Giving happiness to others is the best way to give happiness to yourself.
If you continually give, you will continually have.