The Abundant Life
Regeneration or Degeneration,
|exercise therapy; and
He has also unveiled a very important cause of mind and memory degeneration, and gives ways to avoid that cause. His claims have been clinical validated, and will help you to:
|become more productive and optimistic,
|overcome age-associated memory loss,
|increase your brain’s strength and vitality, and
|meet the world with energy and joy.
We will review the highlights of each of the above means, and next we will see why stress management is so vitally important.
The Cortisol Connection and Statistical Trends
"Cortisol is one of the hormones secreted by the adrenal glands. It’s secreted in response to stress. In moderate amounts, cortisol is not harmful. But when produced in excess, day after day – as a result of chronic, unrelenting stress – this hormone is so toxic to the brain that it kills and injures brain cells by the billions." Hence, we see the need for being at peace in the midst of the storms of life. Dr. Khalsa has unveiled that the secretion of excess cortisol is a major cause of memory loss problems. He also believes that this "is one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease. His four complementary means allow you to correct this very serious and wide-spread problem in our society.
What an enormous blessing such a regeneration of the mind would provide for this country – as well as the world. As Khalsa points out, "Wisdom comes naturally to older people. It is the natural product of experience. Your neurons are biologically built for wisdom. As the years of your life... unfold..., each of your neurons... sprout... new dendrites, and...[make] new dendritic connections with other neurons... Living long is the only way to achieve this abundance of multi-branched dendrites, with billions of connections." Hence, we see that wisdom can come with age if we haven’t suffered serious degeneration and if we have used our brains to process worthwhile information.
Otherwise, the current statistical trends are gloomy. Khalsa tells of an article by the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Institute on Aging, citing that now the government spends 50% of its tax dollars on the elderly and in ten years that is anticipated to grow to 75%. The article also said that "almost 50 percent of all people older than eighty-five have Alzheimer’s..." Khalsa says, "Over the next few decades, an unprecedented number of people will join the ranks of the elderly. Unless current trends in cognitive decline are reversed, this ‘graying of America’ will create a public health crisis." Currently, there are 4 million persons with Alzheimer’s. This is expected to increase to 10 million over the next 15 years. With the above trends, over 30 years, 20% of the population will be over 65 and about 90% of them will have Alzheimer’s. Of this Khalsa says, "To me, that notion is absolutely horrifying. If it happens, it will be a social holocaust. In the Epilogue of his book, Khalsa recoups, "...I do not believe [these trends] will [continue]. I believe that millions of us, working together, and working on our own, will reverse these trends... As we age, we will remain healthy. We will remain productive."
In the beginning of his book, Khalsa optimistically says, "...I think [it] is very possible, Alzheimer’s will once again become a relatively rare disease. The people rescued from Alzheimer’s will also experience a very positive phenomenon. They won’t grow less intelligent as they age; they’ll just grow wiser. Their ever-increasing neuronal ‘branches’ will give them a rich, complex sense of understanding. Their vast experience will endow them with a deep, abiding comprehension of life. They will achieve the status all elderly people yearn for, that of valued elder adviser."
How Does Stress Hurt You?Khalsa learned that "There are three essential ways that stress destroys optimal function of the brain, and blots out memory: "First, when cortisol is released in a stressful situation, it inhibits the utilization of blood sugar by the brain’s primary memory center, the hippocampus. If there isn’t enough blood sugar,... the brain has no way to chemically lay down a memory. A person can experience an event, but have almost no recall of it... Second, cortisol overproduction interferes with the function of the brain’s neurotransmitters. Thus, even if a memory has been properly laid down..., it can no longer be easily accessed. In effect, the ‘lines are down,’ just like downed telephone lines in a storm. Brain cells just can’t communicate with one another, and the mind becomes muddled. This is why cortisol is called the ‘concentration killer.’ It’s why people often become temporarily befuddled in high-stress situations. Third, too much cortisol kills brain cells. This happens when cortisol disrupts normal brain cell metabolism, and causes excessive amounts of calcium to enter brain cells. This excess of calcium eventually produces molecules called free radicals, which kill brain cells from within. Over long periods, excess cortisol can kill billions of brain cells this way."
Dr. Khalsa initially learned this from Dr. Robert Sapolsky of Stanford University. Sapolsky had proven it for animals. Two biologists in Montreal proved that Sapolsky’s findings carried over to humans, and Dr. Alfred Kazniak of the University of Arizona "showed that stress levels in elderly people correlated directly with their levels of memory loss. Subsequently, Khalsa – using his stress management program – has achieved "unparalleled clinical success" with a significant number of human beings. He is now recognized as a major pioneer in the field of Brain Longevity. His book is the best that I am aware of in this regard. His work – along with others like him – could change the world for good in a major way – showing the way to achieve brain regeneration and to the avoidance of brain degeneration.
Once Dr. Khalsa learned this vital connection of the effects of cortisol on brain degeneration, he began "to develop a full-scale protocol for brain longevity, he with intensity says, "I threw myself into this task heart and soul, and found it the most rewarding and exciting work of my life.
"For months I focused the entirety of my intellect and spirit on this challenge. I pored through volumes of medical textbooks. I consulted with a number of researchers. I began following the latest trends in memory research and neurogeriatrics. I also intensified my study of complementary medicine, because I was convinced that Eastern medicine, with its emphasis on the integration of mind and body, offered special therapeutic insights...
"...Because my pilgrimage into the world of brain aging was motivated by the desire to help others, and because it consumed every fiber of my intellect and emotions, it became, quite literally, a spiritual experience..." He subsequently, to this massive research effort, has validated his findings clinically and has had great success – now with a large number of patients, who were previously suffering from brain degeneration, dementia, Alzheimer’s, and the like.
Ever since Dr. Marion Diamond of UC Berkeley showed, in her pioneering work, that you can grow the brain at any age, there followed hundreds of papers and supportive research that has given both great insights into how the brain works, but also great hope for brain regeneration at any age. In particular, her work is inspiring as it relates to the marvelous growth the brain may achieve at early ages in a properly stimulative environment – wholesome music, for example. Dr. Khalsa has provided a clinical way to achieve this regeneration to both grow the brain and to repair and/or replace damaged or dead brain cells.
In regard to stress, Dr. Khalsa offers some techniques, as part of his stress management program, that allow you to live in a stressful environment, but be at peace. These techniques, I believe, are very valuable – plus, they cost you nothing. They are techniques that you can learn and implement with great benefit to your Brain Longevity. Below, I will review some of these.
THE FOUR COMPLEMENTARY MEANS FOR BRAIN REGENERATION
(1) Nutritional Therapy and Brain Regeneration
"What’s good for the heart is good for the head," says Khalsa. This is the single most important dietary rule for brain longevity. "The brain is critically dependent upon abundant blood flow, because it requires about 25 percent of all blood pumped by the heart. Therefore, any disruption of cerebral circulation has a profoundly negative effect upon the brain." The traditional American diet is the killer – causing us to lead the world in arteriosclerosis related diseases and other indulgent diseases, which include heart attacks and heart disease, strokes, diabetes, arthritis, kidney and liver diseases, osteoporosis, the big "C" (cancer), and others. All of these can be avoided and reversed through proper diet and herbal remedies (see http://www.allanstime.com/Health/diet_plant.htm)
Khalsa says, "...vascular plaque caused by excessive fat contributes to decreased blood flow to brain cells." This is a common malady coming from the typical American diet. When you consider that the brain is only about 2% of our body weight, then this implies that our central processing unit (CPU = our brain) gets more than 12 times as much blood per unit mass and time than the rest of the body – on average. Clearly, clean, healthy blood is critical to the brain.
"I recommend a diet that revolves around whole grains, vegetables, non-animal protein, fruits, and an occasional serving of fish," counsels Dr. Khalsa. In addition, he recommends antioxidant vitamins and minerals. These include vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, choline-rich lecithin, trace minerals that include Magnesium, coenzyme Q-10. He says that type A personalities are prone to Magnesium depletion.
"Antioxidants are crucial," he says, "because they can protect neurons... [Free] radical molecules... kill neurons... Antioxidants are... ‘free radical scavengers.’ Other free radical scavengers include... selenium, zinc, and chromium."
Other natural medical tonics and herbs that he recommends are: Ginkgo biloba, Asian ginseng, phosphatidyl serine, phosphatidyl choline, and acetyl-L-carnitine. In addition, wheat-grass juice, blue-green algae, and spirulina "are the richest possible sources of partial proteins called peptides, which the brain converts to neuropeptides... Many of these natural medicinal tonics have dramatic effects upon cognitive function..."
Also, most Americans run around dehydrated and don’t know it. Dr. Batmanghelidj has documented the extreme importance of drinking enough water. It seems too good to be true that such a simple procedure (drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day, or enough to assure that your urine is clear) could provide such astounding benefits. From a preventative, as well as curative point of view, the list: is most impressive: digestive system problems; pain from arthritis, lower back, neck, angina, and headaches; stress related problems and depression; high blood pressure and hypertension; excessive cholesterol levels and many heart problems; excess body weight and over-eating problems; asthma and allergy problems; nerve disorders, including multiple sclerosis (MS); both insulin-dependent and insulin-independent diabetes and improper tryptophan balance; the latter may tie to the prevention and cure of AIDS; and lastly, but not the end of the list, is the BIG C (cancer).
If this seems overly simplistic, I understand. I felt exactly the same way before reading Dr. F. Batmanghelidj’’s book, Your Body’’s Many Cries for Water with subtitles: You are not sick, you are thirsty! and Don’’t treat thirst with medications. I would suggest that you read his book. Even though the book is written for a lay audience, it is quite technical. Quoting from one of a large number of inspiring testimonials in this book (several of whom are Doctors), M.D. Dan C. Roehm says, "...it is very apparent that this work is revolutionary and sweeps nearly all diseases before it. As an Internist/Cardiologist I find this work incisive, trenchant and fundamental. This work is a God send for all."
It is very encouraging that "relatively simple nutritional changes can have a profound effect upon the brain." Proper choices can help provide healing (regeneration) and/or help provide prevention against those diseases mentioned above. This information is so incredibly valuable that I felt motivated to write this article.
(2) Stress Management and Brain Regeneration
Because of the seriousness of excessive stress being the indirect cause of the death of billions of neurons, we have two remedial actions we can take:
avoid or remove as much stress as we can, and
learn how to keep unavoidable stressors from inducing stress in our lives.
Stress can move us into a deadly spiral. In other words, being stressed can lead us into a mental state where it is harder to deal with stress. In so doing, large scale amounts of neurons are being killed, and we become anxious about our declining mental abilities. This anxiety leads to more stress. A large number of people are dying in America due to this deadly spiral. The wonderful message of Dr. Khalsa’s book is that this is totally avoidable.
When stressors occur, we don’t need to be stressed. I am reminded of the scripture, "Perfect love casteth out all fear."(1 John 4:18) There is the profound cryptic phrase, "Attitude determines altitude!" We can move into the depths of despair, anxiety, fear, and irrationality, or we can move to the heights of hope, love, peace, and rational thinking. I was delighted to read that Dr. Khalsa has witnessed in his patients the great power of prayer in moving us to these heights.
As an incredible example, Delbert Lambson, our son-in-law’s grandfather, was the turret gunner in a B-17 bomber. They were attacked by a German fighter plane during WWII. Delbert was hit by a 20mm cannon shell from the fighter. The left arm and leg of his padded "flying suit was ripped to shreds, and was soaking up the blood that poured from [his] wounds." He said a prayer and was enveloped with a feeling of peace that he would make it. He immediately started doing what he had to do to survive. He had not heard the bail-out order from the pilot because his headphone lines had been severed. He rotated the turret so that he could get into the belly of the plane; put on his chest parachute because he could not wear one in his tiny environment; was inspired to help the radio operator get out (who was immobilized because of panic), jumped from the plane seconds before it exploded; had the presence of mind to free-fall from 30 thousand feet to 5 thousand feet so that he would have oxygen to breath and so that he would not freeze to death. After pulling the rip-cord, he went unconscious. After surviving the ordeals as a prisoner of war, he came home to his loved ones. I personally know that God is always there to hear our prayers, and that He loves us and cares.
In addition to knowing God is always there for us, Khalsa points out that a social support structure (family and friends) is very important also. "In one interesting experiment, monkeys were subjected to a flashing light, followed by an electric shock. Soon they began to react to the flashing light with a copious secretion of cortisol. If a monkey had one companion, however, the cortisol secretion was markedly lower. And if a monkey had five companions, no cortisol secretion at all occurred."
God opens the door for peace in the midst turmoil, conflict and even war. "...my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you..." (John 14:27) The inner peace that comes from Him is the ideal stress suppressor.
Stress is not, of itself, necessarily bad. Stress is integral to God’s design of our bodies – to deal with danger, etc. It is the constant diet of stress that is so destructive to our brains, to our immune systems and to our lives. The peace the Lord gives as we come unto Him, gives us balance and perspective. We are given His perspective as we ask, seek and knock (Matt. 7:7) to find His will in our lives.
We were each given a mission before we came to this life (See Roy Mills Soul’s Remembrance referenced above). Following the perfect example of our Savior, as we seek to do the Father’s will for us in our lives, we will find the details of that mission. The way will be opened for each of us to accomplish all that the Lord wants for us to do. That path will not only be His path of peace, in the midst of the storms of life, but it will lead us back to Him and will provide the greatest blessing to all of His children whom we are privileged to love and serve. He can do so much more with our lives as we choose to come to Him – submitting our will to His – but He will not force us. Matthew 7:7 becomes our key as we go forward in faith. If we choose not to ask, nor to seek, nor to knock, we cannot expect to receive, find and have opened to us those Devine truths that will lead us on the right path for our lives.
He respects our agency, and will not violate it. His plan is about freedom (body, mind, and spirit) through proper choices. As we come unto Him, then we can become "...free indeed." (John 8:36). The Adversary’s plan is about control, and is the opposite to the freedom given us through the atonement of Jesus Christ. We can be guaranteed that anything that binds us down (body, mind, or spirit) is perpetrated by the Adversary. In the Father’s grand eternal plan, He desires that our bodies be fully functional, that our spirits be free of sin (commission and omission), and that our minds be clear and the receptacles of truth, light, understanding, wisdom, and virtuous principles.
It is the world with its demands upon us that leads to excess stress. The Lord will never ask more of us than we can do, but the world will. This is why Matt. 7:7 becomes so vitally important in our lives. As we seek to do His will, we find the peace we seek, the path of love and service, and doors open that we never dreamed possible. We also get answers as we ask to know of His truths that will help us to understand our purpose in life and how we can best serve Him by serving others. As we unconditionally give ourselves to Him, He can do so much more with our lives than we, by our own devices, ever could. As we do His will, we will find not only the greatest joy, but the abundant life as well.
Because of the importance of stress management, there is a lot of research going on. There is a lot of information on stress management on the web. For those desiring to know of some useful traditional techniques, I have listed some of the excellent work of Dr.Melissa Stoppler in Appendix A. Clutter and feeling like we are losing control of our lives often induces stress. There is a fun and useful book, Clutter's Last Stand: It's Time to De-Junk Your Life! by Don Aslett available from Amazon for $4. Then there is the classic book, Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, which has sold over 9 million copies. In it is his inspiring story of how he maintained control – even when he was in a Nazi prison camp, lying on the ground with the butt of the guard’s gun at his throat. The guard had lost control in his anger, while Frankl was in control of his emotions.
Brain Waves and Meditation Directions: In a simplistic model, scientists believe that there are five basic brain-wave frequency categories. These are gamma, beta, alpha, theta, and delta, with corresponding decreasing frequency ranges of from 50 to 30, 40 to 15, 14 to 9, 8 to 5, and 4 to 1.5 Hertz, respectively and inclusively. (See the following link for more detailed information: http://www.new_mindmachines.com/NeuroTechDigitalPro/Brain%20Wave%20States.htm)
Gamma is characterized by a highlevel of hand/eye coordination and mental focus. Beta waves are generated when the brain is aroused and actively engaged in normal mental activities. They are characteristics of a strongly engaged mind. A person in active conversation would be in beta. A debater would be in high beta. A person making a speech, or a teacher, or a talk show host would all be in beta when they are engaged in their work. Beta represents arousal. Alpha represents non-arousal. A person who has completed a task and sits down to rest is often in an alpha state. A person who takes time out to reflect or meditate is usually in an alpha state. A person who takes a break from a conference and walks in the garden is often in an alpha state. Theta brainwaves are typified by a person who has taken time off from a task and begins to daydream. A person who is driving on a freeway, and discovers that they can't recall the last five miles. The repetitious nature of things can move one into this state. They are prone to a flow of ideas. This can also occur in the shower or tub or even while shaving or brushing your hair. It is a state where tasks become so automatic that you can mentally disengage from them. Delta is the last brainwave state. Deep dreamless sleep would take a person into this state.
Generally, meditation moves our minds to the lower frequencies, where very good things happen for managing stress. For example, it has been documented that in these meditative lower frequencies, there is a dramatic increase in the production of a whole variety of beneficial brain chemicals, including pleasure_causing endorphins — as well as a number of others proven to slow aging and increase longevity and well_being. At the same time, the excess secretion of cortisol – the brain killer – is suppressed. One opens up a natural pharmaceutical source of useful chemicals – generated by one’s own body – by moving into these desired states – typically the theta state.
Again, simplistically, we can move into a desired meditative state in, nominally, one of three ways: First, by doing as Dr. Khalsa recommends, "Putting mind over matter." There are a large variety of meditative procedures. His have proven to be very effective, clinically. He uses "naad yoga." This is well described by him – both in his book and on the audio tape of his book. Hearing the audio tape is very useful. Deep breathing exercises fall into this same area of relaxing the body and mind. Second, there are very important ways, spiritually, to move into these desired states. This mode, for me, is very important, but is personal, and I will not discuss it here. Third, one can take advantage of what has been learned technologically. Since the brain’s frequencies can be measured and the spectrum deduced, one can provide an audio environment that has been successfully shown to move one into this desired stress removal state.
One program that I found to be particularly interesting in regard to this third way is called "Holosync." Based on the research of some scientists, some work sponsored by the Defense Department, and the work of a Nobel Prize winner, the Centerpointe Research Institute has developed some audio recordings that, when listened to, move you into these desired stress relieving states. Their advertisement reads:
Unlike stress management techniques such as Transcendental meditation or meditation music, Holosync® audio technology will easily take you to states of profoundly deep (& extremely pleasurable) meditation & reduce stress & anxiety quicker & with less effort than you ever imagined possible _ guaranteed. Amazing Holosync® audio technology... Creates states of deep meditation and gives you the benefits of long_term, deep meditation in a greatly accelerated time frame. Boosts intelligence and creativity Dramatically lowers stress. Creates new levels of self_awareness and inner peace. Heals unresolved emotional issues at the deepest level. Guaranteed...or your money back!
This may work for some and not for others. On the surface, it sounds very encouraging to me because – not only does it help you deal with stress, but it gets the whole brain working together and causes the secretion of desired brain needed chemicals and the suppression of excess cortisol. Again, it is like a built in set of natural pharmaceuticals needed for a healthy brain. There are some cautions; for example, exposure of an epileptic to some frequencies can induce seizures.
Along the lines of evolution, there are claims for this holosync technology that it evolves the brain very rapidly to a new state of learning, retention, and whole-mind thinking. I take a different point of view. We came to this life with an enormous data base of knowledge, wisdom and information inherent within our pre-mortal intelligence. That was down-loaded at birth, and moving into these meditative states opens up the opportunity for us to couple into, what we call, our spiritual DNA structure that is a part of our eternal makeup.
(3) Exercise Therapy and Brain Regeneration
Physical Exercise and the Brain
Dr. Khalsa says that, "Aerobic exercise has direct beneficial effects upon the brain and endocrine system. It increases blood flow to the brain, and even spurs growth of new brain cell ‘branches.’ ...protects the body against the stress response, and also ‘burns off’ harmful stress hormones.
"...it causes the release of various neurological and endocrinological secretions, including norepinephrine, the stimulating brain chemical that acts as a neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the laying down of new memories, and is especially important in moving memories from short-term to long-term storage. Norepinephrine is also extremely important in the maintenance of a good mood.
"...exercise is unequivocally effective at dispelling depression... [it] is also an effective buffer against stress... For approximately four hours following exercise, people experience a ‘tranquilizer effect’ that diminishes their physical responses to stress... Too little exercise (less than half an hour) doesn’t effectively evoke the tranquilizer effect." On the other hand, "...it’s a mistake to exercise too strenuously. ...researcher theorize that strenuous exercise actually increases formation of free radical cells, through ‘oxygen toxicity.’"
Dr. Andrew Weil, in his excellent book Spontaneous Healing, recommends that walking be the primary form of exercise. It takes a little longer to get the same aerobic benefit than some other forms, but it has the very desirable advantage that you can walk and talk with someone else – making it very enjoyable. Making the exercise experience pleasant also contributes to well being and stress management.
There are five ways for the body to get rid of poisons. Exercising enhances the excretion of these poisons in a major way. If we are eating properly, exercising adequately, breathing deeply (clean air), and drinking sufficient water, then we will have frequent-healthy bowel movements, our urine will be clear, our lungs will be clear, and we will be working up a sweat daily.
Getting rid of these poisons is critical to our health – including the optimum functioning of our brains. We can see that the excretion of these poisons is supported in principal ways by the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, the digestive system and in harmony with all other systems of the body. When these are all working well, we are well. In this regard, one form of exercise that often gets missed is that to stimulate a healthy lymphatic system. It has been shown that up and down motion provides a pumping action on the lymphatic system, as would occur in jogging, in a good walking rate, or on a re-bounder (mini-trampoline).
Meditation Exercise and the Brain
One of Dr. Khalsa’s fortes is mind/body exercise. He says, "Even more effective than standard aerobic exercise ...is [the] use of a series of yogic mind/body exercises... My clinical experience strongly indicates that these unique mind/body exercises increase mental fitness... [They] restore the brain’s biochemical ability to lay down new memories, and to focus intensely for extended periods. They also stimulate access to existing ‘remote’ memories of long-past events."
He recommends four to five mind/body exercises out of more than 2000 that he examined. These are specifically designed to enhance brain power. They "drive nutrient-rich blood to the brain and to particular endocrine glands. This creates an immediate surge of mental energy, increasing concentration, short-term memory, and learning ability... Aftereffects of this burst of energy can last up to twenty-four hours. Because of this prolonged effect, I recommend some of these exercises as part of a daily wake-up routine. Personally, I love these mind/body exercises,... I receive a profound sense of rejuvenation from them." He says that they are important contributors to both his physical and spiritual well-being.
Dr. Khalsa’s mediation exercises were so successful that he offered a course for doctors getting ready to take their board exams. He says, "I showed all of them how to meditate, and how to apply the mental training techniques of peak performance. ...the doctors taking my course had over a 90-percent pass rate, compared to the ntaional average of about 50-percent.."
His guidelines for how to meditate are very simple:
|Find a quiet place with no distractions;
|Allow 10 to 20 minutes; don’t use an alarm;
|Sit comfortably and relax all of your muscles from bottom of toes to the top of your head;
|Stop all internal dialog and mind chatter;
|To help you stop thinking and calm down, silently repeat a pleasant word or phrase – like
peace, love, that have religious significance;
|Don’t be concerned if thoughts intrude; inhale and bring yourself back, relax, and
|When you finish, sit quietly for a minute or two, and try to merge your calm state of mind
with your normal outlook.
"That’s all there is to it. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is." These are his simplest set of guidelines for meditation. His "naad Yoga" program is more complicated, but it apparently is much more effective. Even so, it is not that difficult either.
He also describes some advanced meditation forms in his book. He says that the value of meditation "is that it allows you to experience a continuous flow of energy. This happens because your mind becomes very still. It is a quick way to achieve a profound state of deep relaxation and stress relief.
"Other physical effects of meditation are decreases in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rate... ...meditation also causes a decline in cortisol production. This decline usually persists long after the period of meditation ends. Furthermore, among people who meditate regularly, cortisol levels tend to remain low, day after day.
"This medley of physical effects cause by meditation creates lifelong health advantages. Meditation has been shown to slow the aging process significantly, and to increase not just lifespan but ‘health span.’"
"...meditation can... ...significantly heighten learning ability and creative problem-solving." As one moves into the "Theta brain-wave" state, "deep personal insights,... creative ideas, and [an adeptness] at creative problem-solving" often occur. "Theta brain waves combine a pleasant, relaxed feeling with extreme alertness." With practice, people can move into the theta, brain-wave state at will.
Exercising the Brain as a Muscle
In the pioneering work of Dr. Marian Diamond of UC Berkeley, she was able to show that one can actually grow the brain at any age. It is much like a muscle; use it or lose it.. In her famous book Magic Trees of the Mind, she discusses how that growth process can be augmented. For a very brief report see: http://www.allanstime.com/Spiritual/BookReports/magic_trees.htm. Dr. Diamond discusses the seven different areas of brain development and how they can complement each other. When they do, then brain growth is significantly enhanced. These areas are: 1) language, 2) math and logic, 3) spacial representation, 4) music, 5) physical skills, 6) interpersonal and intra-personal skills, and 7) knowledge of nature. We have, for example, all heard of the Mozart effect – how listening to Mozart helps us retain and learn about the material we are studying. The best dendrite growth occurs when the environment is pleasant and positive.
Following up on Dr. Diamond’s work, Dr. Khalsa recommends "at least a couple of hours each day doing some form of mental exercise." This is especially valuable for older people. He says that, "Studies have shown that when people do engage in moderate pleasant forms of mental exercise, it increases not just their knowledge, but also the efficiency and power of their brains."
Prayer – a Fundamental Brain Exercise
We have been doing some very exciting physics on how prayer works. This is written up, in part, on the following link: http://www.allanstime.com/Spiritual/
God_Created_Man.htm. We have achieved some experimental validation for this work. Even so, we very much feel like we are in our infancy in understanding. None-the-less, it is very exciting.
I was so happy to read of Dr. Khalsa’s great support of the power of prayer. He has a whole section on The Healing Science of Prayer. He points out some excellent documented sources of the power of prayer in healing and in moving one into a healthy meditative state. He prays for his patients, and believes that health care is just that – truly caring for his patients.
He discusses four kinds of prayers: (1) colloquial conversation with God; (2) petitioning God; (3) ritualistic prayers (employing a prepared script); and (4) meditative prayer. He says that all four can "elicit the meditative state, and the relaxation response.
"It appears, however, as if the formal meditative prayer – which involves listening to God more than talking to Him – is the most effective style of prayer for creating a subjective perception of closeness to God. Survey respondents were twice as likely to feel a ‘strong relationship with God’ if they used the meditative style... The style that least elicited a subjective sense of connection to God was the petitionary style."
I derive a significant level of peace and enjoyment by early morning meditation, prayer, and study of the scriptures. I find that when I am in the low-frequency meditative states when I am waking – which is usually around 4:00 or 5:00 a.m. for me – I receive some of my most profound insights and creative thoughts. This coupled with the beautiful colors associated with the sunrise – refracting through the clouds with spectrum of red hues and reflecting off of snow covered Mount Nebo in shades of pink – is a inspirational sight to behold.
In addition, an extremely useful morning ritual for me has been to exercise while listening to the scriptures in French. This pulls together inspirational material with the language development area of the brain. I include in these Dr. Batmanghelidj’s recommended back exercises, as I am dealing with a back injury. I also jump on a rebounder. Plus, I drink my 8+ glasses of water each day – away from meals as much as praticable. The amount you need to drink depends, of course, on body weight, etc., and the 8+ is good for me at 170 pound, 67 year old Sr. citizen! The "+" indicates what is needed to make sure you replace what you sweat away and to make sure the urine is clear. To get up a sweat, I like to mountain bike in our local mountains (beautiful scenery), cross-country ski, or walk with my Sweetheart. These routines have provided great benefit to me mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
(4) Pharmacology and Brain Regeneration
Dr. Khalsa discusses how the brain works, and then why he recommends certain pharmaceuticals to act – as it were – as rebuilding agents or nutrients for the brain. These include natural herbal remedies as well and which, fortunately, have little or no side effects. Let us remember that it has been documented that the body can generate some of these, naturally, especially during a healthy state of meditation and otherwise at times – especially if we have a proper diet – avoiding the toxicity of the typical "American diet." and moving to organic-nutritional foods that nourish the brain as well as the body.
Dr. Khalsa provides "a list of the most appropriate natural medicinal tonics for brain longevity, with general dosages." He also describes the benefits of each. Clearly, different folks have different needs, and each should follow his or her own heart after studying these out as to what may be appropriate. And, if you feel the need, discuss your feelings with your health-care specialist.
NATURAL MEDICAL TONIC DAILY DOSAGE
Gingko biloba 60-320 mg
Phosphatidyl choline (from lecithin) 1.5-10 g
Chlorophyll based green juice products one serving per day
Coenzyme Q-10 100 mg
Ginseng (moderates cortisol) 0.75-1.5 g
Green tea 1-2 servings
DMAE (helps produce acetylcholine) 50-100 mg
Ching Chun Bao 4-8 tablets
Phosphatidyl serine (intelligence tests) 100-300 mg
Acetyl L-carnitine (aid right-left connect) 0.25-1.5 g
(Note: 1,000 mg = 1 g)
(See also Appendix B for additional-important brain regeneration suggestions)
As he shows in his book, "...brain function can be powerfully affected by nutritional therapy." He often uses dosages recommended by the Europeans, because they are much more free than is America in using natural remedies, and their data base is much better in working with humans.
He points out the mistake that is being made in our society wherein "Caffeine... is the most widely used cognitive-enhancement product" with many long-term damaging effects. He further points out that in small amounts (100 mg or less per day), it is probably harmless.
Specifically, Khalsa says that in regard to the Green Juice Products, some of the common ones are: blue-green algae, wheatgrass, barley grass, oat grass, spirulina, chlorella, and dulse. These are "rich in the nine essential amino acids that cannot be manufactured by the body... ...two of these – tryptophan and phenylalanine – are the primary ‘building blocks’ for the important neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine."
In regard to the pharmaceuticals, he says, "Drugs that have contributed to some my patients’ most remarkable recoveries include deprenyl, piracetam, Hydergine,... pregnenolone, and DHEA. Frequently these nootropic (mental enhancement) drugs are most effective when applied in careful combinations. All have no or very few documented side effects.
"One of the drugs that has proven to be of particular benefit in cognitive enhancement, and in slowing progression of Alzheimer’s, is deprenyl... ...it is virtually free of side effects,... Deprenyl has the ability to ‘rescue damaged neurons before those neurons die."
"Piracetam is... not... approved by the FDA. It is, however, widely prescribed in Europe... Piracetam, which has no known toxicity, has the unique and fascinating ability to enhance function of the brain’s corpus sallosum, the band of nerve fibers that coordinates the brain’s left and right hemispheres. [It} is thus considered valuable in the stimulation of creativity,..." As an interesting aside, the "Holosync" program makes the same claim without chemicals.
"Lucidril," Khalsa says, "is a powerful free-radical scavenger that enjoys a reputation as an intelligence-booster.."– with a "demonstrated effect of increasing learning ability... Lucidril, like deprenyl, has been shown... to increase the life spans of animals by an average of 30 percent."
Khalsa uses Hydergine at the European dosage of 9 mg daily for "stabilizing the brain’s glucose metabolism; therefore it helps protect against the glucose disruption caused by cortisol production. Because of this effect on glucose metabolism, it enhances concentration as well as memory.
He said, "I believe that a great deal of good can come from proper use of pharmacology... To me, though, one of the most impressive things about my brain longevity programs is that they do not rely extensively upon the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Instead, I try to stimulate the patient’s body to heal itself." In due process, he desires to "prescribe fewer drugs, in lower dosages, as [his] patients’ bodies and minds regain their former powers."
DHEA, which is naturally generated by the body, "exists in... inverse proportion to cortisol. DHEA... is one of the most accurate biomarkers of aging, because production of it decreases regularly during each year of life. ...at eighty, people commonly produce only 10 to 20 percent [as much as] they produced during their twenties. Furthermore, serum DHEA levels in Alzheimer’s patients are almost always far lower than those of the general population [at the same age]. Because the brain and endocrine system need DHEA for optimal function, even slightly lowered levels of DHEA can result in decreased ability to concentrate, and in diminished sex drive."
Again, as an interesting aside, the "Holosync" program reports significant increases in DHEA production in studies made on users of their program. Here again, no chemicals are involved.
I wonder, though I have not seen any data to validate it, if Dr. Khalsa’s "naad Yoga" approach generates a lot of the same frequencies as the "Holosync" program, as one chants with your own voice. If that were the case, then you may be able to generate a lot of the needed neuro-nutrients within your own body without the audio tapes. Both Dr. Khalsa’s clinic and the Holosync program have achieved internationally recognized success.
In regard to the Mozart effect, it is used as follows: to improve the health of families and communities; to improve memory, awareness, and the integration of learning styles; to improve listening and attention deficit disorders; for mental and physical disorders and injuries; and for imagery and visualization, to activate creativity, and reduce depression and anxiety. In contrast, "hard rock music" has been demonstrated to be destructive to the brain’s effectiveness.
Don Campbell in Boulder, CO is the leading expert in the utilization of the Mozart effect. In their research, they, pragmatically, observe the effects of Mozart’s beautiful music coupling to our brains and biological systems in healthy ways, but the fundamental reason as to why the effect works as it does seems not to be known.
Though I don’t know either, the thought that occurs to me is that as the spiritual DNA associated with our intelligence couples and integrates itself into the physical (flesh and blood) brain, there are certain resonant relationships inherent therein. In the UFT with which we are working, we see that the brain is a beautiful example of diallel-line coupling between the spiritual and physical dimensions of our beings. Generally, the UFT predicts resonant conditions within the diallel structure, and we have observed such, in specific research experiments. From this perspective, whether one uses beautiful music, meditation, chanting, "naad Yoga," "Holosync" audio frequencies, etc., each of them can have similar healthful effects upon the resonant frequency sensitivities of this marvelous-miraculous structure we call the brain.
Khalsa’s book is also available from Time Warner AudioBooks in audio cassette format. My wife and I have listened to it, and it is outstanding. There is another very interesting and useful book in regard to the health of the brain by Jean Carper, Your Miracle Brain. I highly recommend it as well.
Clearly, the abundant life has as its basic ingredients a healthy body, mind and spirit. In the computer community, there is a phrase, "Garbage in; garbage out!" As is true with computers, it seems to be the same with our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. Don’t feed them "garbage." All three dimensions of our beings need to be nourished properly for balance and the abundant life.. Yet there is much more.
It is fascinating and ironic that in the Christian walk, if you seek first after the things of this world, then you can get badly out of balance. This can include focusing on body and/or mind health in priority over more important things. As an example, where we used to live, in Boulder Colorado, there were lots of folks who had as their top priority the health of their bodies. Eastern religions often focus on meditation and the mind. For me, the Christian way provides the opportunity for the abundant life and for perfect balance. Ironically, as we "loose" our lives for the sake of the work of the Lord; then we "find" our lives at peace with Him and fulfilled to the fullest extent – body, mind and spirit. Then, are we "free indeed."
Our body, mind, and spirit work together in perfect concert as we give ourselves to Christ. We serve Him best when we serve and love one another. The proper nourishment of body, mind, and spirit is a means to a much greater end. It is with this attitude and intent that I have prepared this document and the material that is on our web site (referenced above).
As I have read Dr. Khalsa’s book and researched related materials, I have found it fascinating and very useful in my quest to be efficient and effective for the Lord. I have prepared this in the hopes that it will also be that for you. I know that God loves us, and we are all Heavenly Father’s precious children. It is His work and it is the purpose of the gospel plan (the good news) to open the door for us to return to Him in honor and glory – having fulfilled our own personal missions in mortality, and having been cleansed and purified by our precious Redeemer.
Our missions were given to us by our Eternal- Loving Heavenly Father, and they were designed for each of us for our eternal best good. We participated in the design of those missions in the Light of His Eternal Plan of Perfection and Happiness. A knowledge of each of our missions is resident within the spirit DNA intelligence we brought with us from pre-mortal time.
It is now our choice. Will we love and serve and nourish – following the path of light and truth, and seek to fulfill our missions before Him? In so doing we generate and regenerate goodness in the bodies, minds, and spirits of ourselves as well as all those whom we are privileged to serve. Choosing otherwise inhibits our progression, and can cause us to degenerate, as society is generally doing in body, mind and spirit. Some may argue that we are now living longer. I have a great concern about the quality of life for the ever increasing number suffering from dementia, old-age related problems, Alzheimer’s, etc. The current trends are not healthy.
Opposition, trials, and tribulations in this life are there for our growth, if we have the right attitude and with faith in Jesus Christ. On the one hand, Satan will say there is no God, else why would He cause the innocent to suffer. In other subtle ways, Satan leads us (carefully) down the path of selfishness and sin, if we choose to let him. But, Christ will come into our lives, if we will invite Him. He will forgive us of all of our sins, purge us, purify us, sanctify us, perfect us, and make of us pure vessels as we give ourselves to Him to serve Him and Father’s children. No trial, tribulation, or opposing force is too big for Him to help us overcome, if we will invite Him into our lives to help with the challenges we meet. In the overcoming we grow and gain many of life’s choicest experiences – especially as we help one another.
Also, In that process we will find that peace that we seek that comes from being cleansed by Him. True faith and repentance is the Lord’s way of helping us to deal with the stressors in our lives – to bring about the calm and peace that comes only from Him as we truly repent. These stressors may include our mistakes and sins, the trials we face, the oppositions that appear to impede our progress. Remarkably, that repentance process removes all resentments. Holding resentments is poison to our souls
We see His divine purposes and the reason for all that has happened and is happening in our lives. This can and will bring great peace and calm in the midst of the storms of life.
I believe that deep within all of us is the desire for a society and family support structure that provides the opportunity for us to develop our talents, to enjoy the "eternally felt felicity" of family and friends, to enjoy beautiful art and music, to enjoy learning and growing in light and truth and understanding of the great harmonies we see in nature, to have no poor among us and no war, but peace and joy. In such a society, contention, fault finding, and criticism will be gone – being replaced by love, affirmation and the bringing out the best in each other. And most of all, our goal is to come to truly know the Lord, His mercy and the infinite extent of His love. In such a society, the body, mind and spirit will find perfect nourishment. I believe that this will come to all who desire and choose to follow Him, who is our perfect exemplar. He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) – for the abundant life here (John 10:10) and a fullness of joy in the world to come. May we so choose to learn the Father’s will for us and follow Him is my prayer.
As Wordsworth has so beautifully penned, "...trailing clouds of glory do we come From God who is our home." As we find this harmony between the properly nourished body, mind, and spirit, the knowledge and truths we brought with us in our pre-mortal intelligence – now housed in our marvelous and miraculous minds – will unfold the light and truth therein. We will come to know who we really are and our relationship to our loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, whom He gave, because He "so loved the world." The Savior has paved the way and overcome all things. As we come unto Him, He will help us overcome all things as well and present us to the Father "without spot." We will be ONE with Him and with each other, and receive a fullness of joy.
(See We are in Touch with Eternity for additional information about our relationship to the Lord, and about the unified field theory (UFT) mentioned above: http://www.allanstime.com/Spiritual/God_Created_Man.htm)
APPENDIX A: Stress Busters and Stress InducersA well qualified stress management expert, Dr. Melissa C. Stoppler, speaks to two important stress management topics:
I. Eight Instant Stress Busters
1. Watch for the next instance in which you find yourself becoming annoyed or angry at something trivial or unimportant, then practice letting go - make a conscious choice not to become angry or upset. Do not allow yourself to waste thought and energy where it isn't deserved. Effective anger management is a tried-and-true stress reducer.
2. Breathe slowly and deeply. Before reacting to the next stressful occurrence, take three deep breaths and release them slowly. If you have a few minutes, try out a relaxation technique such as meditation or guided imagery.
3. Whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress , practice speaking more slowly than usual. You'll find that you think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly; by slowing down your speech you'll also appear less anxious and more in control of any situation.
4. Jump start an effective time management strategy. Choose one simple thing you have been putting off (e.g. returning a phone call, making a doctor's appointment) and do it immediately. Just taking care of one nagging responsibility can be energizing and can improve your attitude.
5. Get outdoors for a brief break. Our grandparents were right about the healing power of fresh air. Don't be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even five minutes on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating.
6. Drink plenty of water and eat small, nutritious snacks. Hunger and dehydration, even before you're aware of them, can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.
7. Do a quick posture check. Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress. If you're stuck at a desk most of the day, avoid repetitive strain injuries and sore muscles by making sure your workstation reflects good ergonomic design principles.
8. Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day, even if only a relaxing bath or half an hour with a good book. Put aside work, housekeeping or family concerns for a brief period before bedtime and allow yourself to fully relax. Don't spend this time planning tomorrow's schedule or doing chores you didn't get around to during the day. Remember that you need time to recharge and energize yourself - you'll be much better prepared to face another stressful day.
II. The following ten traps can wreck any stress control plan.
Be on the lookout for the following common stress pitfalls, which can sabotage your stress management plan:
1) Skipping Meals
Skipping meals on the run is a common practice among stressed individuals. While it may seem harmless enough, skipping regular meals actually can increase both short_term and long_term stress levels. In the short term, neglecting to eat regularly can lead to episodes of hypoglycemia as well as hunger pangs and headaches, all of which can provoke aggression, anxiety, and increased stress. In the long run, missing meals results in a vicious cycle of poor nutrition, increased susceptibility to infections and other illnesses, and even further stress.
2) People-Pleasing Trying to make everyone else happy at the expense of your own needs can be a major stress-inducer. Whether it be due to spouses, friends, kids, coworkers, or parents, many people wind up with impossible schedules and epic to-do lists because they have a built-in need to please others or an inability to refuse requests. While accommodating others' wishes and needs is fine to an extent, be sure you are able to reserve enough time and energy for your own well-being, even if it means saying 'no' more often.
3) Poor Organization Skills
A poorly-organized home, desk, office, or even closet can cost time and energy that can better be used elsewhere. The few hours needed to effectively restore order to your chaos are well worth the investment - in addition to all the time you'll save by not searching endlessly for needed items, you'll save aggravation and frustration and ultimately reduce your day-to-day stress.
4) Road Rage This relatively recent phenomenon is a definite stress management pitfall. Bolstered by the anonymity of traffic situations, many people vent their anger and frustration through aggressive driving practices or even downright dangerous traffic maneuvers. In most cases of road rage, no one feels vindicated and everyone suffers - a true lose-lose situation. Try to accept the fact that some people drive rudely or aggressively, and resist the temptation to "teach them a lesson." In the best case scenario, road rage causes you to arrive stressed and angry at your destination. In the worst case, you're risking tickets, fines, auto damage, or even your safety.
5) "Self-medication" It's a known fact - persons under stress drink more, smoke more, and are more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors such as drug use than nonstressed individuals. While people justify these actions as releases or escapes from day-to-day stress, "treating" yourself with substances such as alcohol, tobacco, or drugs is an unhealthy and dangerous practice guaranteed to sabotage your efforts to control stress. Our bodies and minds are not independent entities; damage to your physical health only increases your potential for mental stress and poor functioning.
6) Blaming Others While the behaviors of family, coworkers, and even strangers can contribute to your high stress levels, only you can take responsibility for managing and controlling your stress. Realize that the degree of stress you experience is largely due to your own reactions to the situations around you. Blaming others for your stress is a defeatist tactic that absolves you of any responsibility or ability to change. If your stress is out of control, only you can act to improve things.
7) Junk Food
Similar to skipping meals, subsisting on junk food while on the run can have short- and long-term health consequences that ultimately only increase your stress levels. Fast food, typically rich in fat, sodium, and calories, eaten regularly can lead to elevated cholesterol, weight gain, increased cancer risk, and other medical problems.
If you have no time to cook or eat regular meals, make the things you do eat count by choosing vitamin- and fiber-rich takeout offerings (salads, yogurt, fruits) instead of fat and calories.
8) Martyrdom While some people are constantly striving to please others at their own expense, some folks simply aren't able to recognize and meet their own emotional needs for a variety of reasons. Stress can ensue if you're constantly denying yourself things you need or would enjoy because there is no time, they are too expensive, others need them more, or you feel you are just not worth it. Try to achieve a healthy balance between your own needs and those of others, and make time for relaxation and rejuvenation a regular part of your schedule.
9) The Need to Win Arguments Learn to argue and discuss without the need to convince everyone that your opinions are the only correct ones. Conflict is a regular part of life, and your reactions to conflict can influence your stress level. Trying to convince stubborn people to change their views or win everyone over to your side can be emotionally draining and anxiety-provoking. Accept the fact that arguments need not have "winners" and don't bottle up anger trying to prove something to an unreceptive audience.
10) Comparing Yourself with Others A last way to guarantee a high stress level is to compare yourself with everyone else. Although you may find instances where you'll come out on top, everyone can find someone who appears, at least outwardly, to be more successful, happier, richer, better adjusted, or to possess whatever quality you find wanting in yourself. Set your own goals based upon what you want and need, and don't use others' lives as benchmarks.
Appendix B: BRAIN DETERIORATION AND REGENERATIONS IDEAS: Some Causes and Simple Cures
The main cause is a decrease in neurotransmitters. Probably the most important one is acetylcholine. It is the primary carrier of memory. Other neurotransmitters than become depleted are serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
Restoring these neurotransmitters, in some cases, can be easy and quick – even in hours. Dr. Khalsa tells the story of a 55 year-old patient who improved significantly within one hour as he was given concentrated nutrients (phosphatidyl choline, phosphatidyl serine, and acetyl L-carnitine), and the patient was amazed.
To restore acetylcholine, Dr. Khalsa says to take phosphatidyl choline. It has no side effects and is non-toxic. In fact, he says that phosphatidyl choline is so essential to the brains neurotransmission system that the brain will literally cannibalize brain cells to obtain this crucial nutrient.
A cheaper source of choline is from lecithin. Lecithin is also useful in the digestion and transport of fat. It occurs naturally in several foods – the best of which are soy and wheat products, and in chlorophyll green drinks. It is difficult to get enough lecithin for a brain recovery program just from regular eating, as the average consumption rate is about one gram per day. One needs about 10 to 12 grams (1 gram = 1,000 mg) per day. This can be accomplished by taking supplements. One gets about 2 grams of lecithin from a chlorophyll-based green-drink
Vitamin C and B-5 (pantothenic acid) help to convert the choline into acetylcholine. He recommends a gram (1,000 mg) of vitamin-C three times per day and from 100 to 500 mg of B-5. Pantothenic acid has no toxicity. He says that vitamin B-6 and Zinc also aid in the synthesis of acetylcholine. Usually B-6 and Zinc occur in a good multi-vitamin.
DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) is another important supplement. It is a stimulant, but rarely has rebound effect. It goes well with choline and B-5. He recommends at least 40 mg, twice a day of DMAE, and that level can be taken up to 200 mg/day. It’s benefits may take a couple of weeks to notice.
Other vitamins and minerals, for general brain feeding, that Dr. Khalsa recommends are:
Vitamin and/or Mineral Consumption Rate
Vitamin A 1000 to 2000 IU per day
Magnesium 200 to 300 mg per day
Selenium 100 to 500 micrograms per day
Zinc 30 to 50 mg per day
Multi-vitamin As recommended
Protein powder One serving per day
For reliable sources of these supplements, he recommends: Naturally Vitamin Supplements in Scottsdale, AZ (which I could not find), and
754 Washington St Eugene, OR 97401-2552
Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa can be reached at (520) 749-8374