by Amy L. Lansky, PhD

The following is an excerpt from: Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within [1] **R.L.Ranch Press, September 2011, http://www.activeconsciousness.com**

One piece of evidence for the holographic nature of nonstandard fields that have been proposed in recent years — the *zero-point field* (a candidate for the unified field [2]), the *psi field* of psychic phenomena, Ervin Laszlo’s *Akashic field* [3], and the *morphic field* proposed by Rupert Sheldrake [4] — is that they all share a common feature: sensitivity to *similarity in vibration*. If a holographic image has many different holograms embedded within it, shining a laser of a specific frequency upon it will cause only those holograms made with lasers of the same frequency to stand out. That’s because things with the same vibration naturally resonate and reinforce one another — just as two violin strings at the same pitch resonate with one another. This property of resonance has also been used to explain how each of us might interact with mysterious fields like the psi or Akashic fields … People pick up only that with which they personally “resonate.” Each individual’s resonant frequency, determined by their life experience, physical body, and energy body, limits what they can perceive. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of morphic resonance also depends upon similarity in vibration. Members of the same species, being “on the same wavelength,” are able to tap into information that pertains uniquely to them. And while members of an entire species might be able to tune into a fairly broad spectrum of frequencies (think of Carl Jung’s notion of the *collective unconscious* that humans supposedly tap into [5]), smaller, more tightly connected groups — such as members of the same family or loving couples — resonate in more focused zones of vibration; they have access to their own “private frequency.” In fact, Sheldrake goes even further and suggests that morphic fields can explain how human memory operates. Instead of being stored in our brains, he suggests that memories are stored in the morphic field. Our brains then pick them up via resonance, like radios tuning to their own private stations. The existence and importance of similarity in vibration has also popped up in psi experiments. For example, individuals gifted at psychokinesis — the ability to affect physical objects with the mind — have described the experience as a feeling of resonance with those objects. A fascinating body of evidence has also been uncovered by Dean Radin and his colleague Roger Nelson at Princeton’s PEAR lab. Researchers at PEAR found that connected couples can influence random event generators (REGs) more effectively than individuals working alone. Because of this phenomenon, Radin and Nelson decided to test for even larger field effects by using these random devices as “antennae.” First they placed REGs at events where people were all focused on the same thing and therefore “vibrating” similarly — for example, at music festivals, religious events, and even at the Academy Awards. The results were as predicted; these venues did indeed cause the machines’ outputs to deviate from the norm [6, 7]. Then, in 1997, they decided to place REGs at fifty locations all over the world, run them continuously, and see if they could pick up on major world events. The results were astounding. Over the next ten years, Radin and Nelson studied the machines’ reactions to 205 major world events and discovered that they did indeed respond to events that were intense on a global level — especially those that were tragic. The most striking effects occurred in response to the events on 9/11, which caused the largest daily average correlation between the machines’ outputs. Even more amazing, this correlation became noticeable a few hours *before* the first of the twin towers was hit! [8, 9] An instance of collective precognition?
Whereas world events less horrific than 9/11 probably evoke more varied vibratory responses in people (and therefore do not resonate and amplify each other as well), truly frightening events tend to evoke a more common, coherent response. As this study showed, when nearly all of the people on Earth “got onto the same wavelength” on 9/11, even machines noticed. **Synchronicity and Fields of Meaning**Similarity in vibration has also been used to explain the phenomenon of synchronicity — “coincidences” of seemingly unrelated events that share a common meaning. A well-known illustration of this phenomenon was described by psychiatrist Carl Jung, the originator of the notion of synchronicity [10]. One of Jung’s patients was recounting her dream about a golden scarab beetle when he heard a rapping on the window. When he opened it, a rose chafer beetle — the insect most similar to a scarab in Jung’s region — flew into the room. Jung quickly put two and two together. He realized that the mythological meaning of the scarab — an ancient Egyptian symbol for rebirth — was highly pertinent to his patient’s problems. And this was also the reason why the insect had appeared in waking life. The phenomenon of synchronicity demonstrates a key point — the universe may not be operating like a cold, meaningless machine after all. Instead, the reality we experience each day may be flooded with *fields of meaning*. One field might embody the horror and violence of 9/11. Another field might be associated with a hope for rebirth. Each field of meaning has a particular vibration to it, and objects, individuals, emotions, dreams, and events with similar vibrations will tend to resonate with one another and then co-occur. This is what creates synchronicities. In fact, various theories of quantum physics *require* the existence of synchronicities [11].
Think about it. There may be another fundamental mechanism at play in our universe besides cause and effect. Most of us think that everything that occurs in our world is due to some causal mechanism. A causes B causes C. However, *synchronicity* — the co-occurrence of events within the same field of meaning — *may be another fundamental reason why things tend to happen*. Many things in life that we think are due to cause-and-effect or mere coincidence may actually be due to synchronicity.
Here’s an example that occurred while I was writing this book. My husband Steve and I had long admired Rupert Sheldrake’s work on morphic fields but had never met him. To us, he was a brilliant scientist living far away in England. However, in September 2008, just as I was working on the section of this book that describes his work, Steve got word that Sheldrake would be giving a talk at his research laboratory at Sun Microsystems. Now please understand; talks about things like the morphic field are not commonplace in computer research labs. In fact, Sheldrake’s talk was poorly attended. But it just so happened that one of the lab’s researchers had met Sheldrake in Scotland and had invited him to speak the next time he was in our area. When Steve heard about Sheldrake’s visit, he asked if I could also attend, and we both received an invitation to have lunch with him the next day. Before I could even finish writing about Rupert Sheldrake, I was sitting and having lunch with him! Coincidence? Or synchronicity?
**A Meaningful Cure** The powerful influence of similarity in vibration has also made its way into healing. In fact, it is the very foundation of *homeopathy* — an alternative medical system originally developed in Germany in the early 1800s. The word “homeopathy” literally means *similar* (homeo) *suffering* (pathy), and practitioners of homeopathy choose medicines for their patients based on a principle of cure called the *Law of Similars*. This principle can be described as follows: > *If a substance is shown experimentally to cause a specific pattern of emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms in healthy test subjects, then that substance can be prepared so that it can cure individuals suffering from the same pattern of symptoms.* In other words, homeopathy is the science of healing based on similarity of vibration. The Law of Similars essentially says: “likes cure likes.” Bring two things of like vibration together — a remedy and a patient — and the effect will be a cure of the patient’s disease. Here’s a simple illustration. We all know the common effects of drinking coffee: wakefulness, a mind full of thoughts, excited happiness, acute senses, and sometimes heart palpitations and diarrhea. These symptoms are manifestations of the vibration of coffee, and coffee imparts these qualities to those who drink it. Now, if a patient comes to a homeopath seeking help for chronic insomnia, and their insomnia is characterized by an overactive mind, excitement, acuteness of the senses, heart palpitations, and diarrhea, it is likely that the homeopath will prescribe *Coffea Cruda* — a remedy prepared from coffee. That’s because this patient manifests the same vibrational qualities as coffee. And if the remedy is truly homeopathic to the patient — that is, if coffee’s symptoms match his or her overall emotional, mental, and physical state — it has the potential to completely cure their insomnia, not just palliate it as a sleeping pill would do. Of course, the most controversial thing about homeopathy is not the Law of Similars, but the way in which homeopathic remedies are made. The process, called *potentization*, involves a sequence of steps in which a substance is repeatedly diluted and vigorously shaken. In fact, for most remedies, these dilutions are so extreme that they do not contain even a single molecule of the original substance! Nevertheless, homeopaths have found that the higher the dilution, the more potent a remedy can be. They believe this is possible because the *energetic signature* of a substance is captured by the potentization process. In other words, potentization enables the innate vibrational quality of a substance in nature to be unleashed and harnessed. It is this vibration that evokes the symptoms caused by a remedy, and it is also this vibratory signature that enables the remedy to cure a similar vibratory state in a patient. *Like vibrations cure like vibrations*. **Water: A Potent Carrier of Information** Although homeopathy has been the target of skeptics and critics since it was developed by physician Samuel Hahnemann in the early 1800s, open-minded scientists are finally beginning to get an inkling of how the remedies might be working. Recent studies have shown that the encoding of information in homeopathic dilutions is not about their chemical composition; it’s more about the bonding structures between the molecules within them. Apparently, the shaking process (also called *succussion*) performed during homeopathic potentization is the critical step that develops these structures. In 2007, a prominent researcher in the field of structured water, Professor Rustum Roy of Pennsylvania State University, showed for the first time that extreme homeopathic dilutions are not mere water, but highly structured arrangements of water molecules. In fact, various types of instruments in Roy’s laboratory were able to pick up the distinct signatures of different remedies, even at levels of dilution in which no remedy substance likely remained [12]. Homeopathic experience has shown that these unique signatures can then be transmitted to dry pills, and that the power and distinct effects of these pills remain stable indefinitely if they are stored properly. Interestingly, the potentization process can be used to capture the energetic signature of any substance, not just those used to make homeopathic remedies. This has been shown repeatedly by several independent scientists in replicated studies. For example, consider the work of Jacques Benveniste, a French physician and medical researcher in the field of immunology who helped discover platelet-activating factor in 1972. Unfortunately, Benveniste’s career was set upon a rocky course when a colleague encouraged him to study the phenomenon of potentization. His first paper about the subject described how antibodies of immunoglobulin E (anti-IgE) could be potentized beyond Avogadro’s number (the point at which it is unlikely to find a single molecule of a substance remaining in a dilution) and still cause substance-specific effects. When Benveniste published these results in the prestigious journal *Nature* in 1988 [13], he came under a barrage of attacks that lasted for the rest of his life. But perhaps this wasn’t surprising. Benveniste’s work had essentially shown that any drug could be potentized and still remain effective. That means that billions of doses of any drug could be produced for pennies — information that drug companies would spend a fortune to attack and suppress. And in fact, there is evidence that a world-wide campaign to discredit homeopathy has been funded by the pharmaceutical industry for this very reason [14, 15]. Despite the attacks on Benveniste and his subsequent loss of government funding in France, he continued his work and came up with even more astounding results. Because he suspected that the potentization process conveys an electromagnetic signal into the water of a dilution, he developed an apparatus that could digitally record it. He then transmitted this signal electronically — via E-mail — to a distant laboratory, and had it “replayed” into water there. Amazingly, the resulting water caused the same effects as the original substance. Benveniste eventually conducted several blinded experiments using this protocol. He published a paper in the *Journal of Clinical Immunology* in 1997 that described one such experiment, in which a specific antigen was potentized, recorded, E-mailed to Chicago, and replayed into water in a Chicago laboratory [16]. This water did indeed cause antigen-specific effects on isolated guinea pig hearts. I saw Benveniste present this paper at Stanford University Medical School in 1999. The large lecture hall was standing-room only, but the audience was politely incredulous. Of course, Benveniste’s new results in what he called “digital biology” were even more mind-boggling and threatening than his original paper in *Nature*. Not only could billions of doses of a substance be prepared cheaply using potentization, but its signature could be E-mailed and imprinted into water essentially for free … Despite the fact that other initially-skeptical scientists have successfully replicated his work [17, 18], acceptance of Benveniste’s work remains for the future. Perhaps, with the growth of a new consciousness in the scientific community, that future will arrive sooner rather than later. Indeed, in 2009, some new research conducted by Nobel prize winner Luc Montagnier confirmed the same kinds of effects that Benveniste described [19]. **The Meaning of Disease** The power of potentization is indeed one of the landmark discoveries of Homeopathy. It provides us with a method for capturing the energetic signature of any substance in nature. But perhaps even more significant is homeopathy’s therapeutic principle, the Law of Similars — because it says something specific about how fields of meaning operate and interact. There may even be a direct relationship between the Law of Similars and synchronicity. The late psychiatrist Edward Whitmont was a student of Carl Jung and eventually became a homeopath. In his book, *Psyche and Substance*, he speaks at length about the relationship between homeopathy and synchronicity [20]. Psychiatrists have long known that patients sometimes alternate between specific physical symptoms and specific mental or emotional symptoms. In fact, when mental symptoms are present, physical symptoms often vanish, and vice versa. This phenomenon is an illustration of the fundamentally psychosomatic nature of disease — that disease manifests in both the psyche (mind) and soma (body). Homeopathy and other holistic medical systems have long recognized that disease is a body-mind affair. That is why each patient manifests a unique pattern of mental, emotional, and physical symptoms — a pattern that is an outward representation of his or her vibratory state. As Whitmont points out, each homeopathic remedy is also associated with a vibration … The Law of Similars then states that bringing together the vibratory pattern of a patient and the similar vibratory pattern of a remedy can be curative. The reason this is true, Whitmont suggests, is synchronicity … Homeopathic remedies are curative because they share the same synchronistic field as a disease and therefore can replace it within a patient’s body. Hahnemann proposed essentially the same explanation in the early 1800s for the operation of his remedies upon what he called the *dynamis* or *vital force* — the energetic etheric field that encompasses the physical body. The fact that homeopathy has worked for millions of people for 200 years says a lot about the power of the Law of Similars. But it also says something about fields of meaning and their relationship to us in disease and in health. Just as the dream of the golden scarab said something meaningful about the psychological state of Jung’s patient, holistic practitioners recognize that each person’s unique manifestation of disease is not merely the result of genetic inheritance or the accidents of life — it is a reflection of a field of meaning vibrating at the core of their being. **Paranormal Medicine?** A couple of other phenomena witnessed in the homeopathic world are worth mentioning. Because they border on the paranormal, they are rarely openly discussed. Both tend to occur during *proving* — the homeopathic drug trials. The object of these trials is to see what pattern of symptoms a substance will create in healthy volunteers. Today’s provings are conducted using modern techniques like double-blinding and placebo controls. Thus, some test subjects (called *provers*) are given placebo while others are given the actual remedy. Since the trials are also blinded, neither the provers nor their supervisors, who collect symptom information, know who has been given a real remedy or a placebo, nor the identity of the substance being tested. Nevertheless, the following kinds of phenomena have been observed during many trials. First, it has been noticed that the moment a prover forms the intention to participate in a proving, they often begin to experience symptoms that are later found to be characteristic of the remedy — long before the trial actually begins. While this doesn’t happen to all provers, it happens frequently enough to be noteworthy. By simply *intending* to join a remedy trial, a prover may enter into the field of meaning of the remedy substance. Just as paranormal phenomena often defy the normal constraints of time and space, the fields of meaning created by homeopathic remedies may as well. The second remarkable thing about provings is that the symptoms developed by provers often directly reflect the nature of the substance from which a remedy is made. This is most obvious in the case of remedies made from animal substances … Consider, for example, the blind proving of *Androctonus* conducted in 1985. Even though the provers did not know that they were taking a remedy made from scorpion venom, they developed the following kinds of symptoms: overconfidence; contemptuousness and defiance; lack of feeling and cruelty; quarrelsomeness and deceitfulness; the delusion that they were about to be assaulted and a malicious desire to injure others; suspiciousness; a lack of impulse control; anxiety and fear that is ameliorated by walking around; aversion to company; and a feeling that one is alone or separated from the world [21]. Notice how evocative many of these symptoms are of scorpions — violent, cruel, and antisocial. Indeed, this remedy has been effective in treating patients with serious mental illness. In my book about homeopathy, *Impossible Cure*, I describe the case of one man who, thanks to Androctonus, experienced a cure of severe allergies and headaches, as well as a significant lessening of arthritis, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The man was an avid hunter, obsessed with guns and knives. He told his homeopath how he would wait until his prey came to him and how he could sense and communicate with them. Interestingly, scorpions also let their prey come to them, and they can accurately detect their victim’s location by sensing their vibrations. After taking Androctonus, this hunter was not only alleviated of his physical problems, but he also became much less interested in his extensive collection of weapons [22]. Think of it. The process of potentization may provide us with a method for accessing the very essence of the natural world. Just as Merlin the Magician showed the future King Arthur what it was like to be a fish or bird, a prover who takes a potentized remedy may learn what it’s like to be a scorpion, a dolphin, a flower, or even a mineral! Our entire universe may be intricately and intimately interconnected through vibration and meaning. For more information about the author and her books visit: [http://amylansky.com/wordpress/](http://amylansky.com/wordpress/); [www.activeconsciousness.com](http://www.activeconsciousness.com); [www.impossiblecure.com](http://www.impossiblecure.com).   **REFERENCES ** [1] A. Lansky. *Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within*. Portola Valley, California: R.L.Ranch Press (2011), *www.activeconsciousness.com*. - - - - - - [2] E. Laszlo. *Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything*. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, p. 47—53 (2004). - - - - - - [3] E. Laszlo. *Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything*. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions (2004). - - - - - - [4] R. Sheldrake. *The Presence of the Past: Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature*. Rochester, Vermont: Park Street Press, p. 168 (1988). - - - - - - [5] C. Jung. *The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious*. Princeton: Princeton University Press (1981). - - - - - - [6] R.D. Nelson, et al. “Field REG Anomalies in Group Situations.” *Journal of Scientific Exploration*, 10(1), pp. 111–141 (1996). - - - - - - [7] R.D. Nelson, et al. “Field REG II: Consciousness Field Effects: Replications and Explorations.” *Journal of Scientific Exploration*, 12(3), pp. 425–454 (1998). - - - - - - [8] R.D. Nelson, et al. “Correlations of Continuous Random Data with Major World Events.” *Foundations of Physics Letters*. 15(6), pp. 537–550 (2002). - - - - - - [9] D.I. Radin. “Exploring Relationships Between Random Physical Events and Mass Human Attention: Asking For Whom the Bell Tolls.” *Journal of Scientific Exploration*. 16(4), pp. 533–547 (2002). - - - - - - [10] C. Jung. *Jung on Synchronicity and the Paranormal: Key Readings*. London: Routledge (1977). - - - - - - [11] R. Rucker. *The Fourth Dimension: A Guided Tour of Higher Universes*. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, p. 186 (1984). - - - - - - [12] M.L. Rao, R. Roy, I.R. Bell, and R. Hoover, “The Defining Role of Structure (Including Epitaxy) in the Plausibility of Homeopathy.” *Homeopathy*, 96, pp. 175–182 (2007). - - - - - - [13] E. Davenas, et al. “Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum Against IgE.” *Nature*, Volume 333, Number 6176, pp. 816–181 (June 1988). - - - - - - [14] H. Stevenson. “Quackbusters are Busted!” (July 2010). See: See: [http://www.gaia-health.com/articles251/000277-quackbusters-are-busted.shtml](http://www.gaia-health.com/articles251/000277-quackbusters-are-busted.shtml "http://www.gaia-health.com/articles251/000277-quackbusters-are-busted.shtml"). - - - - - - [15] A. Lansky. “Could This Forbidden Medicine Eliminate the Need for Drugs? Or, Why the Skeptics Love to Hate Homeopathy.” Mercola Newsletter (December 22, 2009). See:[http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/22/Why-Skepti…](http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/22/Why-Skeptics-Love-to-Hate-Homeopathy.aspx "http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/12/22/Why-Skeptics-Love-to-Hate-Homeopathy.aspx"). - - - - - -   [16] J. Aissa, et al. “Transatlantic Transfer of Digitized Antigen Signal by Telephone Link.” *Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology*, 99: S175 (1997). - - - - - - [17] V. Brown and M. Ennis. “Flow-Cytometric Analysis of Basophil Activation: Inhibition by Histamine at Conventional and Homeopathic Concentrations.” *Inflammation Research*, 50, Supplement (2), S47–S48 (2001). - - - - - - [18] P. Belon, et al. “Histamine Dilutions Modulate Basophil Activation.” *Inflammation Research*, 53, pp. 181–188 (2004). - - - - - - [19] L. Montagnier, et al.,“Electromagnetic Signals Are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA Sequences.” *Interdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci*, 1: 81–90 (2009). - - - - - - [20] E.C. Whitmont. *Psyche and Substance*. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books and Homeopathic Educational Services (1991). - - - - - - [21] R. Vermeulen. *Synoptic Materia Medica 2*. Haarlem, The Netherlands: Merlijn Publishers (1996). - - - - - - [22] Lansky, Amy L. *Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy*. Portola Valley, California: R.L.Ranch Press, pp. 127–129 (2003), [www.impossiblecure.com](http://www.impossiblecure.com).  
- - - - - -   **ABOUT THE AUTHOR:** *Amy Lansky was a NASA researcher in artificial intelligence when her life was transformed by the miraculous homeopathic cure of her son’s autism. In 2003, she published **Impossible Cure: The Promise of Homeopathy,** now one of the best-selling introductory books on homeopathy worldwide (*[*www.impossiblecure.com*](http://www.impossiblecure.com/index.php)*). Since then, Lansky has broadened her investigations to include ancient and modern teachings about consciousness, psychic phenomena, synchronicity, meditation, and our collective power to evolve and transform our world. The result is her newest book, **Active Consciousness: Awakening the Power Within**, published in 2011 (*[*www.activeconsciousness.com*](http://www.activeconsciousness.com)*).* *  ![amy](https://storage.googleapis.com/expanded-april/uploads/2014/10/amy.tiff)*    

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12-Year-Old Boy Dies From Scrape in Gym Class, But Thousands of Others Are Saved Because of It

Rory’s parents, Orlaith and Ciaran, an Irish couple from Co Louth, decided to establish the Rory Staunton Foundation shortly after he’d passed, hoping to raise awareness about the cause of their son’s death: sepsis.

Sepsis can be caused by any type of infection, be it viral, fungal, or in Rory’s case, bacterial. Young people are particularly susceptible to this infection, and what makes it so deadly is the fact that it inhibits blood flow to the body’s vital organs and raises the risk for blood clots.

With the creation of the Rory Staunton Foundation, Rory’s parents also hoped to help introduce a higher standard of protocol when it comes to the identification and treatment of sepsis, so that others may stand a better chance at avoiding the same fate as their son.

Just a year later on January 29, 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that all New York State hospitals would adopt evidence-based protocols, known as Rory’s Regulations, to help diagnose and treat sepsis infections as fast as possible.

And it seems to be working, according to a New York State report focused on how the introduction of the ‘Sepsis Care Improvement Initiative’ has boosted the performances of New York State hospitals. Sepsis infections are being identified and treated much faster, leading to fewer deaths.

"We have met the people that have been saved by these protocols," said Rory’s father, Ciaran.

"We are happy that their parents are not joining us in this miserable life. We want that fighting chance extended to every family in America".

But, while Ciaran Staunton is happy that regulations and awareness have both been dramatically increased in the state of New York, he says that his ultimate goal is to have similar regulations implemented in every state in the U.S. by the year 2020.

"When our son died, there was no awareness, no sepsis protocols, nothing in the A-Z book on sepsis," he said.

"Now we've shown here's what we can do in New York - we want the US Government to have the same level of anxiety and awareness of sepsis as they do Ebola."

According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), over a million people in the United States suffer from sepsis each year, with anywhere from 28 percent to 50 percent of those people dying as a result.

Rory’s father says that they’re not looking for a miracle, they’re looking to inform people, as he believes that less than half of all Americans have even heard of sepsis before.

"We're not looking for a cure for sepsis, we're looking for awareness," he said.

"Our foundation looks to change that and to reflect how everyone affected in America is being treated".

h/t Independent

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How Hiking Changes the Brain, Based On Science

Those of us who love being outside in nature probably aren’t too surprised that hiking can have benefits for the brain, but now researchers are saying that they’ve found actual positive changes made by the brain after going on hikes.

Reducing negative thought patterns

How many of us have a bad habit of being incredibly hard on ourselves or always thinking negatively? It can be hard to control that inner dialogue that is constantly churning, constantly saying negative things. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences discovered that being outside in nature helps reduce the amount of negative, obsessive thoughts that an individual has throughout the day.

The study focused on the rumination levels of people who spent time hiking in the great outdoors versus people hiking through urban environments. Subjects who spent 90 minutes walking in a natural environment said they had less feelings of rumination and showed reduced subgenual prefrontal cortex activity, which is the part of the brain closely tied to mental illness. Subjects who spent their time in the urban environment did not report decreases in rumination.

Creative problem solving and exercise

Exercise is often touted as one of the most, if not the most, important things for humans to do regularly. Why? Because it helps improve your health in almost every way. And hiking is a great way to get outside and pursue active goals while also helping to boost one’s mental health.

Research out of the University of British Columbia has discovered that exercise helps reduce and prevent memory loss in older folks and has similar benefits for people of all ages. Particularly, exercise is great for boosting one’s self esteem while reducing stress and anxiety.

Another great benefit was discovered by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David Strayer, who found a strong link between one’s capacity for creative problem solving and ditching technology while being out in nature. Subjects in their study were asked to backpack through a natural environment for at least 4 days without using any sort of technological device. Along their trip, they were tasked with problems that forced them to problem solve in creative and complex ways.

What they found? Creative problem solving performance rates went up by about 50 percent for everyone who participated in the free-hike adventure. This lead the researchers to note that technology and the ambiance of urban environments often keep an individual from focusing, which eventually leads to mental fatigue. Long hikes in nature without these disturbances help calm the mind, reduce fatigue and ultimately increase one’s ability to think and creatively problem solve.

So, are you ready to start hiking yet? Put your boots on, grab your pack and get on the trail! You won't regret it.

h/t Collective Evolution

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This Is What Happens When You Stop Using So Many Cosmetic Products

Photo Credit: tomwang / 123RF Stock Photo

Researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas recently conducted a study that illustrated the dramatic changes that happen to one’s body after even just a short break is taken from using cosmetic products such as shampoo, sunscreen, soap and other personal hygiene amenities.

Published in Environmental Health Perspectives journal, the study had 100 teenage Latina girls try out personal care and cosmetic products that did not contain chemicals commonly found in traditional and conventional personal care products, such as phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone. Studies involving animals have shown that these chemicals can actually directly affect the body’s endocrine system, which is why they are being targeted for study regarding human use now.

“Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals,” said associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health and study lead author, Kim Harley.

“Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”

What the study discovered

After just three days of the Latina girls using products without the chemicals mentioned above, their bodies had significant reactions. Urine samples revealed decreases in all levels of these chemicals in the body. Methyl and propyl parabens fell by 45 percent, metabolites of diethyl phthalate fell by 27 percent, and triclosan and benzophenone-3 both had 36 percent decreases.

“The results of the study are particularly interesting on a scientific level, but the fact that high school students led the study set a new path to engaging youth to learn about science and how it can be used to improve the health of their communities. After learning of the results, the youth took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members, and presented their cause to legislatures in Sacramento,” says Kimberly Parra, co-director of the study.

Maritza Cardenas, one of the high school students who helped design and develop the study (and who is now an undergraduate at UC Berkely), says that raising awareness about these chemicals and their effects was part of the motivation behind the study:

“One of the goals of our study was to create awareness among the participants of the chemicals found in everyday products, to help make people more conscious about what they’re using. Seeing the drop in chemical levels after just three days shows that simple actions can be taken, such as choosing products with fewer chemicals, and make a difference.”

If you want to avoid buying these products, the best thing you can practice is checking the ingredient list. Unfortunately, many cosmetic products do not contain their ingredient list on them, so if you have any brands in particular that you like to use, it may behoove you to contact their manufacturer directly.

While “organic” and “natural” are typically good indicators, these words are also often used by marketers to sell products, meaning they might not actually be as natural or organic as you’d hoped. Buying products from health food stores is your safest bet, but again, it is wise to ask someone about what you are purchasing.

Ideally, many of the products with high amounts of chemicals will eventually be phased out as more and more people make the switch!

h/t Collective Evolution

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Common Relationship Problems Based on Your Zodiac Sign

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Aries, you’re a fiery sign that is intent on getting your way. That means you have a hard time accepting defeat and will flat out deny anything that isn’t going according to your plan. Sometimes your partners will struggle to keep up with all of your wants and needs, and leaving toxic relationships is difficult because of your willpower and determination to save them.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Taurus, you tend to be very dramatic when a partner has wronged you, but you always choose to settle the matter instead of simply calling it quits. You will sometimes struggle to communicate effectively with your partners and can be judgmental of their actions and words. You also like what you like and rarely ever see the point of compromising.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

Gemini can struggle in relationships because of their unrealistic expectations and tendency to become a little self-absorbed. You sometimes forget about your partner’s needs and desires while simultaneously fantasizing about passionate, everlasting love. Bickering over small things is normal and you can get territorial when you share living spaces.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Cancers like to strut the boundary between not feeling loved enough and feeling too loved. You have irrational fears about your partners leaving you and want their affection often, but you also get uneasy when you’re shown too much affection. In a similar style, you regularly think about starting a family and settling down, but fear that you’re missing out by not staying single.

Leo (July 23 - August 22)

Leos can be hard to be with romantically because they hold a lot of their emotion inside, hidden from the rest of the world. They want things to look like they are fantastic. Financial security and a happy home life are sought after, but Leos tend to expect more from their partners than they receive. They also have a common internal struggle of never knowing whether or not someone is enough for them.

Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

Virgo have an unhealthy tendency to take on more than they can handle. They regularly get upset and hurt over the heavy burdens they take on and are prone to angry outbursts that they usually end up apologizing for. Virgos are also usually the people who want to constantly be with their partner, even though this can be a toxic habit.

Libra (September 23 - October 22)

Libras have the good and bad habit of looking through rose-colored lenses: they always choose to see the good. This sometimes has them blinded to the toxicity of the people they choose to be with. But, this makes sense, because Libras would rather lie than speak the painful words of truth. You also want to save broken people, but also expect a lot in return.

Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

Betrayal is at the top of the list when it comes to the best ways to hurt a Scorpio. They tend to excommunicate anyone who knowingly hurts them. Scorpios tend to be the most passionate in a relationship when it first starts, but can lose interest as time passes if things aren’t going well. They like to hold grudges and rarely ever see negative comments as anything other than personal attacks.

Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

As the free spirited among the zodiac, Sagittarius struggle in relationships with maintaining that freedom. Wanting to travel and be in open relationships are common problems the Sagittarius will encounter. You’re not keen on reconciling differences and your relationships sometimes become exhausted due to feelings of being burnt out.

Capricorn (December 22 - January 20)

Capricorns will often sacrifice many of their own needs and desires to satisfy their partners. Along this same thought, they also tend to become comfortable in doing so. They don’t like to argue or fight, so they tend to just let problems go unsolved or assume their partner will deal with it alone. And they always have an excuse for every part of the toxic relationships they sometimes find themselves in.

Aquarius (January 21 - February 18)

Aquarius like relationships that never become stale. They need a partner who is always on their page because they’re great at communicating and absolutely hate when people can’t understand them. Staying in a stagnant relationship is not something they will do, especially because they already have a big fear of being with someone for too long and missing out on everything life has to offer.

Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Pisces can be hard to be with because of how much they struggle to understand and express their own emotions. And when things are stressful or not going well, they tend to become quiet and reserved, potentially leading to even more confusion. If your feelings aren’t reciprocated by your partner, you feel as though the relationship is one-sided with you caring more, which can be breed feelings of resentment.

h/t Thought Catalog

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