2012年2月29日 星期三

How to Determine the Signs of Autism

Autism is a mental condition wherein social and communication skills of the child are underdeveloped. It is not a disease but rather a Pervasive Developmental Disorder or PPD. However, pinpointing signs of autism is crucial so you need to make sure that the child receives the proper care that he or she deserves.

There are signs of autism that should look out for early on in the child's development. If the child does not babble nor gesture by 12 months of age, he or she should immediately be evaluated and diagnosed for autism. Another one of the immediate signs of autism is when the child still does not talk by 16 months of age. Another sign is when the child does not say two-word phrases without the aid of adults by 24 months of age. When you notice these signs, you should definitely go pay a visit to the doctor to receive proper medical advice.

In addition, there are signs of autism that are not sure indicators, but should still be looked out for. These signs include impaired social interaction, impaired verbal and nonverbal communication, obsessions, and sensory symptoms. Impaired social interaction includes lack of imaginative or social play, unwillingness to make friends, and lacks stranger or separation anxiety. Impaired verbal and nonverbal communication includes repetitive language and refusal to listen. Obsessions include repetitive movements, fixations on specific objects, and adherence to highly specific routines and rituals. Sensory symptoms include hypersensitivity and its opposite, hyposensitivity which leads to self injury.

These signs of autism start to manifest clearly once the child has reached roughly 18 months of age. Studies also show that 20 percent of children experienced a regression. This means that they were developing normally, but at a certain age, starting losing social or communication skills. As a parent, you should not deny these signs of autism. It is difficult to accept that your child has a medical condition, but not doing so would only make life harder for your child. Without proper care from the parents, the child would have a difficult time being integrated into the community.

Once you see signs of autism, whether they are sure indicators or possible signs, consult your doctor immediately. Treatment for autism is mostly focused on therapy, with the occasional medication to suppress any harmful actions such as self injury. The earlier that the child receives such treatment upon confirmation of the signs of autism, the easier it would be for the child and the parents to accept autism as a condition. For more tips GO HERE.

If you want to know more, visit Tantrumtoddlers.blogspot.com.

Chadwick Wilson

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Optimizing Memory in the Adult Brain for Effectiveness in a Multitasking Society

Michelle walked into the kitchen, paused, and looked around. Just moments before, she knew that there was something she had to do in here. Now it completely slipped her mind. She searched for clues, something to prompt her memory. She opened cabinets and drawers, fingered the cool marble countertop, mentally retraced her steps. What had she been thinking about before she came in here? A mild anxiety crept over her. She shuddered to shake off the feeling that this was the beginning of the end. At 43 she feared she was beginning to lose her mind.

For many people the first sign of aging is a "senior moment" like the one described above-a sudden, inexplicable lapse of memory. Forgetting names or appointments, misplacing car keys or reports, not knowing why they entered a room or opened a drawer leads hundreds of thousands of Americans in their 40s and 50s to enroll in memory training courses every year. Small wonder-for many people memory loss is closely associated with more severe signs of senility, including loss of control over bodily functions, regression into infantile behavior, reversal of parent/child roles, and loss of mental competency. The specter of Alzheimer's disease looms large even in people who have no family history of the illness.

Research about Alzheimer's has lead to new insights into what it takes to maintain a healthy brain or at least slow down the aging process. Important physical factors include a diet rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A and E, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress-free relaxation. It's also important to stay socially active and mentally challenged.

Why then are the "baby boomers" (age 40+)-who are still actively engaged at work and in their communities, who recognize the value of good nutrition and healthy life styles-crowding into classrooms to learn how to remember strings of numbers and never forget a face or name? More than simple vanity and the refusal to grow old, these high-functioning, high-energy participants recognize the demands that our multitasking society of instant messages and global networks makes on them. Their refusal to be left behind and "put out to pasture" has lead to additional studies on the effectiveness of training the adult brain to function better and remember more clearly.

Less than a generation ago, conventional wisdom advised people to "grow old gracefully," to accept that their bodies and minds would deteriorate at a predictable rate and in a predictable way. Subsequent studies have proven that regular exercise and proper nutrition can slow down and sometimes even reverse some of the aging process. Additional studies by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH), have demonstrated that adult brains may be just as resilient and adaptable as the rest of their bodies, given the necessary resources and proper training.

In an unprecedented two-year program involving 2,802 participants, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association (November 13, 2002 issue), researchers examined the short- and long-term effects ten hours of training in concentration, memory, or problem solving had on healthy, independent seniors ranging in ages from 65 to 94. Randomly assigned to groups of approximately 700, participants were either given no training (control group) or received specific instruction in one of the following: verbal episodic memory, ability to solve problems that follow a pattern, or visual search and identification. Researchers selected specific memory, reasoning, and speed of processing programs because they related well to daily living tasks such as "telephone use, shopping, food preparation, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, medication use, and personal finances."

The memory group learned strategies for remembering lists of words and the main ideas and specific details in stories. The reasoning group focused on detecting patterns and using that information to solve problems. Such skills are useful for filling out order forms and reading schedules. The speed of processing group practiced locating and identifying visual information as related to looking up telephone numbers, reading directions on prescriptions, and responding to traffic signs and signals.

After receiving group specific training for two hours a week for five weeks, testing showed 26% improvement in the memory group, 74% improvement in the reasoning group, and 87% improvement in the speed of processing group as compared to the no-training control group. Moreover, particularly with additional "booster" sessions, the training effects continued to be maintained as demonstrated by testing done two years after the initial study-counteracting, as Dr. Karlene Ball of the University of Alabama at Birmingham said, "The degree of cognitive decline that we would expect to see over a 7- to 14-year period among older people without dementia." However, the training showed no significant effect on the daily living tasks already performed by these independent seniors.

One might conclude that training which focuses on specific types of cognition-e.g. memory, reasoning, concentration-can improve efficiency even as we age, but does not make us significantly more effective. A reason for these mixed results may be that the specific types of training selected emphasized tasks primarily performed by the frontal lobes of the brain. The frontal lobes make up 40% of the adult brain. It was the last part of the human brain to evolve and is the last part to mature. It is where we plan, organize, correct, control, and generate options. It is also the first part of the brain to shut down and deteriorate with physical and/or emotional stress caused by the demands of modern life.

The 74% improvement in reasoning based on pattern detection and the 87% improvement in the speed of processing that emphasized visual search and identification in the NIA study would not have surprised Ian Robertson, a professor of psychology at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and the director of the Institute of Neuroscience. He has written extensively about the brain's potential for reorganizing itself through attention. In Opening the Mind's Eye: How Images and Language Teach Us How to See, he said "Precisely because imagery tends to be underused, it tends to be less habitual, less automatic-and hence, potentially at least, more flexible." The underused part of the brain being referred to is the parietal lobes where sensory input is integrated, analogies are constructed, eye-hand coordination guided, and attention oriented. Although attention is under the control of the frontal lobes, and is key to learning and remembering, the parietal lobes play a central role in directing attention, controlling gaze, and integrating the components of what is seen. In conjunction with the temporal lobes, they enable the recall of strings of numbers and visual and other non-verbal memories.

Parietal lobes are extremely active in preschoolers, who think more visually than verbally. Formal education, with its focus on reading and writing, shifts the emphasis to language development. Unfortunately, this also tends to slow down the learning process and creative thinking. Studies show that combining words and pictures in our heads improves recall and understanding. Moreover, visual memories actually survive longer with age than language-based memories. This may be due in part because brain activity drops in the frontal lobes when attention is divided, as occurs when people multitask.

Of course, some people retain strong visual skills throughout their school years. Many of them become artists, architects, or engineers. The people who shift strongly to verbalization are more likely to have careers in law, administration, or journalism. The good news is that visualization can be improved with practice at any age. A frequently quoted study on London cab drivers ( Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, April 11, 2000 issue) provides evidence that the intentional application of visual and spatial memory over an extended period of time may physically enlarge the hippocampus, a part of the cerebral cortex.

Cabbies are required to spend a minimum of two years learning the meandering geography of London and its landmarks. They then must pass a stringent test to prove they can transport passengers anywhere in the city, via the shortest route, without the use of street maps. Brain scans revealed that the more experienced cab drivers have significantly larger posterior hippocampuses than their less experienced colleagues. Although some have argued that people with unusually large hippocampuses may naturally drift toward cab driving, there is no evidence among cabbies in other cities with less demanding standards to support the claim. The London study was the first to demonstrate that the adult human brain could be substantially changed through experience.

Besides visual and spatial recall, the hippocampus plays an important role in regulating the body's response to life-threatening emergencies. Chronic stress can lead to the loss of hippocampal neurons and the atrophying of dendrites that connect to other brain cells. Some of the post-traumatic stress disorders of war veterans, such as poor memory, are linked to shrunken hippocampuses. But it has also been discovered that new brain cells can be produced in the hippocampus even in adults. The significance of this can be seen in how people in their 20s memorize when compared to people in their 70s. Brain scans revealed that, when asked to memorize lists of words, both age groups utilized the left frontal lobe, but younger people also employed the hippocampus, associated with word-less memories. The young people, who were more used to taking tests, did something else as well that helped them remember better-according to Ian Robertson, they would "sort, shift, and categorize." It is a process that cognitive psychologist Fergus Craik of the University of Toronto calls "depth of encoding." When we actively process and organize information, we engage the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes-thus strengthening the connections among them and enhancing recall.

NASA wasn't specifically interested in enhancing memory when it selected the Designs for Strong Minds™ (DSM) training program in 1999. Rather, the Agency wanted to enhance employee effectiveness under increasingly stressful conditions. It chose DSM because it is the only critical thinking course specifically designed to augment the brain functions of adults. It extensively utilizes graphic puzzles to teach and rehearse various ways of organizing information. DSM puzzles apply the same methods artists have employed for centuries to trick viewers into making assumptions about what they see and understand. But the puzzles are not merely optical illusions. To solve them the participant has to visualize the conditions that make some answers logical and others illogical. NASA received overwhelmingly positive verbal comments from participants in the program. An unprecedented 90% said they would recommend DSM to others, 83% wanted to see the program automated for computer access, and almost all wanted additional training.

When asked about the effects of DSM, numerous participants reported that they learned the following:

• To consider perspectives and points of view other than their own

• To become more open-minded

• To think about alternative understandings

• To become more analytical

• To become more objective

A subsequent focus group comprised of DSM alumni repeatedly emphasized how the training improved their intra-group communication and cooperation skills. NASA's Evaluation Design Consultant concluded that the benefits "stem from the emphasis on how varying perspectives contribute to problem solving."

Research by cognitive neuroscientist Stanislas Dehaene of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) in Paris and cognitive psychologist Elizabeth Spelke of Massachusetts Institute of Technology regarding how human brains perform mathematics may suggest that there is more to the DSM program than merely contributing to an intellectual understanding of varying perspectives. Brain scans indicate that people use different parts of their brains when doing different types of math. Our left frontal lobe "lights up" when we make exact calculations, but our left and right parietal lobes are triggered when we make estimates and count on our fingers. Moreover, people who have difficulty with numbers, a condition known as "dyscalculia," are also apt to have problems conceptualizing time and direction. They tend to be chronically late, easily disoriented in new environments, usually make decisions based on intuition rather than logic, have difficulty planning activities and keeping track of money. It is not a question of intelligence or memory. People with dyscalculia can be highly articulate and excellent writers and readers. The issue is the functional integration of the brain.

People who have difficulty visualizing haven't learned how to see. Research by Stephen Kosslyn of Harvard demonstrates that the same parts of the brain that are engaged when we intentionally look at something "light up" when we just imagine seeing it. In other words, when we attentively look at something and try to determine its significance, we may also be improving our visual memories.

Memory enhancement is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the capacity of the adult brain to learn. With practice the average person can memorize extensive lists of words and numbers that have little practical value beyond impressing one's friends at parties. To be truly effective, memory has to be linked to meaning and purpose. Mental training that employs visualization is crucial in developing the agility to use the information we remember in productive ways. Because the modern world demands more of us, we should not settle for less than the optimal use of our brains.

You can find more brain tools, training and resources at the popular brain training website - Designs For Strong Minds. Also, be sure to check out our large selection of sample brain games at http://designsforstrongminds.com/play-sample-games.html.

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2012年2月28日 星期二

Do Not Medicate Your Children With Drugs

Do not medicate your children with drugs - the side effect of which can be many times greater than the original symptoms that caused concern.

There is more than adequate evidence about the dangerous side effects of medicinal drugs and those that are prescribed for mental irregularities in particular. These latter are invasive and can create chemical chaos in the brain to cause serious side effects, far more damaging than the original symptoms the child displayed.

The public generally would like to believe that governmental health bodies are set up with the power and responsibility to protect us from any medication or substances that may prove damaging to our health. Unfortunately this has not proven to be always the case, particularly where the more powerful chemical companies are concerned and to which many doctors have shown to be faithful followers. Those medical researchers and doctors, scientist of integrity however, are strongly questioning many aspects of modern drug medication in the light of the deteriorating health condition of the people of both the U.S. and Australia as well as other western countries where drug therapies are dominant over the traditional medicines.

We would wonder at the government health authorities and powers that are designed to protect the public, but are proving impotent to control the release of drugs that may promise immediate relief but prove to have 'side effects' that are severe and even fatal. This is particularly causing concern where brain chemistry is directly involved and in the case of children's conditions such as hyperactivity where symptoms tend to be exaggerated restlessness, inattention and inconsistent behavior. These states although perhaps could be seen to be based upon known and reasonable causes are quickly diagnosed as ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) for which the most common prescription is Ritalin.

Ritalin or methylphenidate hydrochloride is an oral medication, commonly called kiddles and bits in colloquial terms. It is a class II narcotic and stimulant of the central nervous system. Ritalin is prescribed for hyperactivity disorders. Although it is a stimulant more potent than caffeine it has an apparently temporary calming effect on these children. It is however open to much abuse by young people who resort to snorting or even injecting the crushed tablets similar fashion to cocaine.

Ritalin has many well documented side effects. There are over one million posts on the internet with many scientists and medical doctors warning of the dangers and of an alternative drug choice Cylert or pemoline.

Some research reports Ritalin as highly addictive. Its short term side effects can include insomnia, disturbances of digestion, dizziness, headaches, skin irritations, weight loss, psychotic episodes, and often severe depression upon withdrawal of the medication.

Its predictable long term side effects can manifest as malnutrition through loss of appetite, tremors, convulsions, diabetes, headache, irregularities of heart and lungs, paranoia, hallucinations and sensory distortions. Adverse reactions are mainly related to nervousness and insomnia but also skin conditions, anorexia, headaches, and many other uncomfortable symptoms. Rare reports of Tourette's syndrome and toxic psychosis have also been reported. Cylert is not the first choice medication as it has caused severe liver damage requiring liver transplant. It has caused several fatalities through liver failure.

In spite of this the FDA has given approval for similar drugs to be used in treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorders in young patients from 10 -17 years of age as well as in adults. These are reported amongst the highest selling prescriptions in the US accounting for $14.6 billion in sales in 2008 alone.

Remembering that the child patient was considered to be abnormal by first displaying simple indications such as lack of concentration or because of over-activity, it is hard to see the logic in prescribing a drug that in time could produce diseases of mind and body much more severe and impossible to correct either in the child's behavior or in the subsequent physiological symptoms.

Cautions officially are given with the drug. These are usually directed at those with alcohol or drug abuse (presumably referring to teenager patients). Warnings also that serious mental and mood changes can be expected if the medication is stopped. Also warning not to abuse the substance by snorting or injecting the crushed tablets.

Children under six years of age are not permitted to take the drug.

Would you allow your child to take such drugs under any circumstances?

Yet millions of children and minors are now receiving medication for psychological reasons and are vulnerable to severe consequences. It is assessed by the U.S. Surgeon General that 20% of American children have mental illness of some kind and that about 5 million children and young adults suffer from a mental illness that threatens or interferes with their daily life.

There are over 4 million posts regarding mental diseases in children on the internet.

Sally Wilson supports a philosophy that looks to Nature as the ultimate Intelligence that directs us towards health and happiness as we learn to live according to natural laws. Our interests and studies of all natural sciences offer us pathways in gaining knowledge but it is by our choice or action that we are able to apply what we learn in a positive manner in both personal care and self discipline as well as in caring for our children and families.

Health and healing receive primary focus for her writings as do a range of subjects open for further exploration for the purpose of enriching our well being, and also to help us avoid the many health issues that confront us as we recognize the mistakes and causes of illness in the community.

These subjects include Aromatherapy, herbalism and botanical interests, nutrition, flower foods, seaweed supplementation, relaxation and stress relief, exercise therapy, breath control ,self care and the care of our planet by application of many advances in the natural sciences. She also alerts us to negative factors to eliminate or avoid as thse are of equal importance if we are to create well being on all levels of earth life.

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What Is Neuro Feedback?

Neuro feedback is feeding back the brain states in a way that the brain can understand. Neuro feedback does this in a similar way to bio feedback which monitors the heart rate and blood pressure. You would use bio feedback to learn how to control your heart rate using a heart rate monitor. Neuro feedback is learning to control your brain wave states through visual feedback of your brain waves. It is very useful for anything to do with the central nervous system.

It was developed in the 1960's by NASA who had an issue with astronauts having seizures due to the smell of rocket fuel. They developed and pioneered neuro feedback to teach the brains of the astronauts not to fit or go into seizure when they came into contact with the rocket fuel.

In the 1970's scientist became increasingly interested in neuro feedback. A problem arose when spiritual practitioners realised they could use these techniques to advance spiritually. This practice then became the laughing stock to the medical profession and was dropped and ridiculed by medical practitioners. In the 1980's a lot of work was done in ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Activity Disorder). In the 1990's neuro feedback was successfully used for 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder'.

In the early 2000's it was possible to use computers that could keep up to brain speed. Practitioners used sensitive sensors that monitored the brain waves and fed this data back to the computers. The computer then generated a visual output of the left and right sides of the brain. Being able to monitor the brain in this way it became obvious to neuro practitioners that the brain has the ability to change itself. This is known as neuro plasticity. If you give the brain information that it can make sense of, it can change.

The Hindu religion uses similar techniques to meditate and for mental flexibility. It developed into a very precise and high tech set of techniques for moving ahead spiritually and balancing the mind. Hatha yoga is a good example of this, as are breath exercises such as Pranayama. The core thing with all the eastern spiritual techniques is that they balance the central nervous system. In the Buddhist traditions they call this 'Balancing the winds', in the Hindi tradition it is known as balancing the 'Ida and Pingala Nadis', and in the Chinese traditions balancing 'Yin and Yang'.

Neuro feedback is a marriage between science and spirituality. By balancing the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous systems we are able to live trauma free, healthy lives. The sympathetic nervous system is designed to help us in times of danger. In this state we will be ready to fight or run for our lives. Most of our blood will be in our muscles and our digestive, immune and reproductive systems will decrease in function. The parasympathetic nervous system concentrates more on digestion, immune function and reproductive needs. Our muscles will have decreased blood flow because we are resting and digesting.

Most of us are 'Sympathetic dominant' because of prolonged stress that we experience in our lives (rushing to get to work on time, working on deadlines, layoffs, final exams in school, sports, extreme exercise, increased refined carbohydrates and sugars in our food). To a lesser extent, some of us are 'Parasympathetic dominant'. Ideally we should be at a neutral state so that we can use our sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous systems when they are needed.

Our brains work using different frequencies of brain waves. Our deep subconscious is the Delta waves in our brain pattern. Delta waves develop in the womb. Theta waves are the subconscious brain waves and develop between 3 and 7 years of age. This is creativity and fear. Alpha brain waves are all about being present. This is meditation. Monks have very strong Alpha brain waves. Then come the sensory motor response band of brain waves that include mind and body communication. Beta brain waves are high frequency states. Fight flight states, post traumatic stress, curiosity and high interest. Gamma is where we live, it is who we are. Lambda brainwaves are associated with wholeness and integration. They are also associated with mystical experiences and out of body experiences. Interestingly Lambda and gamma are non synaptic waves.

The Dalai Lama is very interested in Neuro feedback. The 'Mind and Life Institute' was set up by him and by the 2000's the Dalai Lama and his monks had advanced so much in this field that they were teaching neuro scientists about the subject. Interestingly, when the monks are practising their mediation, their Gamma waves jump to about 30 times what had been seen before.

If we look at the different frequencies our brains are made up of, it becomes obvious that if we are stuck in the dense lower brain frequencies we will not be able to experience the higher frequencies such as unconditional love. We need to have a good balance between hemispheres of the brain. We need to make sure we are not stuck in trauma or childhood fears. We should be able to get into what ever state we want to when we want to. Using neuro feedback we can actually see what is happening in both sides of our brain and can therefore train our brain to focus on the different frequencies. In doing this we can train the subconscious to stay in more comfortable states. This training means trauma's can be cleared without having to relive the situations that caused trauma.

Anadi, owner of www.SoundsOrange.com, has spent over 20 years practising meditation. Anadi has lived and studied various practises in Europe, China and India. His love of Mind body and Spirit music combined with his passion of all things New Age led to the creation of SoundsOrange, which offers FREE Relaxation downloads, FREE Reiki Downloads, a FREE Internet Radio and an Holistic Life TV channel, www.SoundsOrange.tv. What more could you want?

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Common Criteria of Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis

Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory neurological disease which generates a wide symptomatic spectrum. Multiple sclerosis primarily affects the central nervous system, interfering with the normal activity of the nervous cells. Multiple sclerosis involves deterioration of the neurons' myelin, a very important substance that facilitates the transmission of nervous signals between nervous cells. If myelin is affected, the connections between neurons are compromised and the body fails to respond promptly to external stimuli.

Multiple sclerosis can cause various dysfunctions in different regions of the body, causing a wide range of physical, neurological and psychological manifestations. The deterioration of myelin can affect the body's motor functions, causing difficulty walking, loss of dexterity, poorly coordinated moves, loss of balance; sensorial functions, causing decreased visual acuity, altered perceptions of external stimuli; and cognitive functions, causing poor mental performance, loss of concentration and even memory loss. In some cases, multiple sclerosis can even interfere with the normal activity of the internal organs, causing renal affections and disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Due to the complex nature of multiple sclerosis symptoms, it is virtually impossible to diagnose the disease relying solely on patients' external manifestations. The symptoms generated by neurological diseases have an unspecific character, thus making the process of multiple sclerosis diagnosis even more difficult. Hence, multiple sclerosis can be correctly diagnosed only after performing elaborate physical examinations and various laboratory tests.

Multiple sclerosis diagnosis involves the accumulation of various suggestive data through the means of specific medical procedures and laboratory analyses. The first step in the process of multiple sclerosis diagnosis usually involves the examination of patients' motor functions. People with this type of neurological disease generally have trouble walking and maintaining their balance. Loss of dexterity, muscle weakness and poorly coordinated moves are also suggestive signs for multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Furthermore, sensorial dysfunctions, such as decreased vision, are very common to people with neurological diseases and an important multiple sclerosis diagnosis criterion involves looking for signs of internuclear ophthalmoplegia (double, blurred vision).

The process of multiple sclerosis diagnosis often involves MRI scans and lumbar puncture. MRI scans (magnetic resonance imaging) are an important step in confirming the multiple sclerosis diagnosis. MRI scans verify the integrity of the nervous system, using magnetic waves for generating pictures. If MRI scans can sometimes be inconclusive in the process of multiple sclerosis diagnosis, lumbar puncture is a reliable criterion in verifying the presence of neurological disease. Through the means of lumbar puncture, doctors are able to inspect the state of the spinal cord's fluid, checking for evidence of inflammation at the level of the nervous system.

Neuropsychological tests are also very important in the process of multiple sclerosis diagnosis. The aim of these tests is to find evidence of compromised mental performance due to destruction of myelin. Most patients with neurological diseases often suffer from poor concentration, decreased judgment and even short-term memory loss and the main purpose of neuropsychological tests is to reveal the presence of these symptoms. Another important step in establishing the multiple sclerosis diagnosis involves looking for signs of depression, as more than 80 percent of people affected by this type of neurological disease eventually become depressed.

Multiple sclerosis diagnosis is very complex and requires various medical procedures and tests for revealing conclusive signs of the disease. Most patients are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis only if more than two specific tests confirm the presence of neurological dysfunctions.

We recommend you clicking this site www.multiple-sclerosis-center.com for more multiple sclerosis subjects like multiple sclerosis information or multiple sclerosis treatment

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2012年2月27日 星期一

Trauma in Children - A Guide For School Nurses

Educators are faced with new challenges in the 21st century as students are exposed to growing numbers of images and stories related to violence, turmoil, and trauma. They live not only within a stressful global environmental context, but also have personal histories and living conditions that, in too many cases, are problematic. We would be dangerously ignorant to believe, simply, that "children are resilient," and that these global and personal conditions are not impacting our students' abilities to learn and behave in the classroom as expected.

Research conducted over the past two decades has explicitly revealed how stress and trauma change the brain and, ultimately, affect learning and behavior. I have witnessed the demonstrative effect of these changes in the many years I have worked as a school and clinical psychologist. When I receive referrals from teachers, nurses, administrators, and others, I always begin examining the problem by taking a detailed developmental history starting at the very beginning of the story: conception, gestation, birth, and the very first months and years of life. I thoroughly ask specific questions about accidents, falls, injuries, hospitalizations, and medical or dental procedures. When I do, I am reminded that an ever growing number of students' academic and behavioral challenges began with a crisis or with one or more traumatic events. Without considering these early sources of the problem when developing interventions, I have seen firsthand that, regardless of excellent intentions, we needlessly exacerbate problematic conditions for our students.

No matter how ill informed or unprepared we may feel at times when trying to help students who experience the residual effects of trauma, we need not despair. There are many simple yet powerful ways we can make a difference. Science is now showing us that even our facial expressions, body language, and willingness to maintain supportive physical proximity to our students make a measurable positive impact on brain and nervous system functioning. When we smile at a student, for example, and thereby show compassion for their struggle or suffering, even if little can be done, their heart rate and blood pressure decrease, settling their nervous system into a more effective state.

Anything we can do to help students function within this "more effective state," or what some researchers call the "Zone of Optimal Arousal," is more than worthwhile. Learning and adaptive behavior are only possible within this "zone" because it is there that the most important capacity for learning and adaptive behavior is possible: self-regulation. No one can sit still, concentrate, assimilate information, and remember what they just heard when arousal levels are "stuck on high," as they are for traumatized students, but that doesn't mean they have ADHD, Bipolar Disorder or learning disabilities. It simply means they lack the necessary capacity to modulate their arousal.

When students experience trauma, especially when repeated or prolonged, their brain's amygdala continues to fire messages of fear to the rest of the brain whether they are in actual danger or not. The amygdala "turns on" our students' fight or flight response for survival, and "turns off" the neocortex, the part of the brain critically necessary for school functioning. This is why too many of our students have poor attention, poor impulse control, and a hairline trigger for anger. They live in a constant state of fear when their brain's first and only priority is survival.

Without the healthy operation of the neocortex, the part of the brain responsible for foresight and planning, impulse control and mastery of language, it is nearly impossible for students to learn and behave as expected. Reduction of their anxiety and arousal through simple soothing techniques that keep them in the optimum zone is necessary. For instance, recent findings in the field of neuroscience highlight the biological importance of resources to the brain's optimal functioning. Some of the most important resources to our students, especially those who have experienced one or more traumatic events, include safety, competence, and sensory awareness.

Educators can provide a sense of relative safety for their students through explicit rules and regulations, limits, and boundaries that are consistently enforced. Traumatized students have experienced an event(s) that was unpredictable and beyond their control, contributing to their sense that the world is not only dangerous, but deadly. We can offset this experience by making their world at school more predictable and less scary with our consistency and compassion. Posted "If-Then" charts, for example, can make it clear: "When you do 'that,' 'this' WILL happen" 100 % of the time. Though they will challenge these limits and test the boundaries, they will eventually come to see that their world is more predictable than they thought. This is calming to students and aids in their ability to settle into the optimum zone.

Creating opportunities for success, mastery and competence is an important part of what we can do to counteract our traumatized students' sense of hopelessness, failure, and despair. Finding out what students are good at and providing them with chances to engage in those things has biological necessity, according to the latest neuroscientific research. Success and mastery change the brain, in all the ways that promote achievement and prosocial behavior.

Many educators already know the importance of incorporating sensory awareness into what they do, whether they teach reading through the Lindamood-Bell reading program or promote the critical capacity of self-regulation through the occupational therapy program called, "How Does Your Engine Run?" Teaching sensory awareness engages the part of the brain hijacked by trauma, and re-integrates it with the rest of the brain, making learning and adaptive behavior possible.

One tool I have found especially helpful and effective in developing and expanding upon our students' resources in order to promote self-regulation is what I call a "Resource Inventory."

I keep a record of what resources are available to students, as well as those that are missing and need to be created or restored. I never develop an intervention plan for a student without this information because of how imperative resources are to the optimal functioning of the brain. In addition to taking a detailed developmental history and resource inventory, as well as enhancing safety, competence, and sensory awareness, we can also provide important psychoeducation to colleagues and parents. Our psychoeducation about the effects of trauma on the brain and the importance of resources to ameliorate these effects is invaluable. I do this through conversations that emphasize strengths, what is working, and what we would never want to change. Neuroscience has proven the metaphysical hypothesis that what we focus on expands.

Finally, we cannot do any good work without taking care of ourselves. Let us first ask of ourselves, "Am I operating in this moment from my own zone of optimal arousal? What do I need to do to resource myself right now so that I am self-regulating my internal state and having a positive impact on my students?" We cannot give what we do not possess. To prevent my own burn-out, I ask myself every hour of the day, "What do I need right now? Do I need to go to the restroom? Do I need something healthy to eat or drink? Do I need to sit down quietly for a moment and take a few long, deep breaths?" Incorporating this simple self-care ritual has completely changed the way I experience my day and the people in it, including the traumatized students I serve who are, let's face it, some of our greatest challenges.

© Regalena Melrose, Ph.D. 2009

Please read Dr. Reggie Melrose's book, "Why Students Underachieve: What Educators and Parents Can Do about It," and visit her website, http://www.DrMelrose.com, for more information and resources.

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Neuro-Physiological Patterns - The Basis of Clinical Interventions

Everything around us and inside us is all about patterns. This includes physics, astronomy, biology, cultural relationships, and everything else. For a hypnotherapist this concept is crucial, as it extends to the totality of human experience and transformation.

The commonality of all existence is the tendency to move from chaos to order. Order implies the elements of a system are organized in a logical pattern reflecting relationships of interdependency. Chaos means that everything entropies eventually into disorder. Regardless, the next step is always a return to order. Patterns mean order; order means patterns.

Patterns are all around us. They can be organic, physical, or social. Examples include such mundane, everyday experiences as traffic patterns, medical and therapeutic protocols, values, beliefs and cultural norms, languages and linguistics, the rules of physics, and martial arts traditions. We live around, and even within patterns every second of the day. In fact, both our mental and physiological existence is dominated and defined by the patterns inside us, and in the world around us.

An excellent metaphor for patterns is found in the conventions of Western music. Music is recorded on a staff, which is a series of five horizontal lines and four gaps. The musical environment is further defined by establishing the cleft, which describes the range of pitches; key signature, which establishes whether notes are to be flat or sharp; and a time signature, which divides a piece of music into regular groupings of beats. Next, notes are added in order to demarcate rhythm and frequency. This over simplification of musical notation merely serves as an illustration of a pattern. (Note that different cultures may use different methods to notate music. However, the core concepts are shared despite their differences on the mechanics of notation.)

From the genetic influence on neonatal development to the neurological and physiological patterns derived from our environment, patterns define our existence and interactions with others. Those which involve the human mind and body are neuro-physiological patterns. Unlike myths and superstitions, they are tangible scientific realities which can be analyzed by using medical, social, and psychotherapeutic investigative methods. They can also be detected through our visual, auditory, kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory sensory channels. Most importantly, it is through our heightened kinesthetic awareness that we can actually feel our neuro-physiological patterns.

Patterns dominate our lives. When a pattern is established we become accustomed to it. In the brain and body we say that the patterns are habituated - which means that they have become firmly hardwired and strengthened in our neural networks and firmly rooted in the relationships and routines of our physiology.

We exist in a world with multiple systems, such as biological, physical, and cultural. Also, they exist at different levels, like cellular, organic, aggregate human, and transpersonal. Therefore, patterns are at a minimum two-dimensional in that by nature they are interrelated with the patterns of other systems and sub-systems.

Although patterns of one system will work in harmony and concert with those of other affected systems, conflicts among one or more of them must be resolved. For instance, any unexpected pattern - such as a parallel fifth in Western music - almost always will create an uncomfortable disruption. In humans and other organisms this is reflected by an uncomfortable feeling and will result in some type of a reaction, such as entrainment of the patterns of one system to match the disharmonious patterns - thereby creating a new harmonic synthesis. Failure to do so will create an excommunication, obsolescence, and even extinction of the system which fails to adapt. Therefore, like resistance to transformation, correcting discord through entrainment and adaptation is a critical feature of pattern theory.

Instinctually our brains are perceptually organized to recognize patterns. As will be discussed below when memory and thought formation is explained, the brain will immediately filter all perceptions and attempt to locate matching patterns. Examples of this include a geologist studying aerial photographs and satellite imagery in an effort to locate natural resources, a fireman in a smoke filled room looking for unconscious humans, and participants in a television game show.

Sometimes our pattern recognition efforts lead us to false conclusions. Illusions occur when our recognition system misidentifies a pattern. These are sometimes referred to as hallucinations when we detect something that is not actually present or fail to recognize something which is. NLP practitioners state that these pattern recognition failures are due to the fact that our filters distort, delete, or generalize perceptual data

The human mind and body is comprised of multi-level systems at the cellular, organic, and aggregate levels. Each level has multiple variations (e.g. types of cells) and sub-systems (e.g. histological components such as proteins), and integrates with peer, subordinate, and superior systems (e.g. the organization of cells into organs and organs into the aggregate body, etc.).

Each system participates in proactive and reactive processes and uses specific languages to codify states (e.g. bioelectric, hormonal release or inhibition, protein polarity, nurturing/protective reactions, and immune response). Additionally, each system has an ability to communicate with peers, subordinate, and superior systems and possesses the ability to self-monitor, entrain, and adapt.

The ability for a system or an element of a system to be both self-aware and aware of its environment strongly implies that each element has a consciousness. For example, on the surface of the human cell are two types of proteins which are critical to its awareness and its ability to sustain itself. One - the receptor - scans the environment and signals the other - the effector - which serves as the portal for nutrition, to open or close. This is just one form of cellular awareness. Also, the open or closed state is not dissimilar to a computer chip's binary operation - and therefore presents another metaphor for the human body to store information and programs. Additionally, the actions of the various proteins inside the cell will change as they adapt to the input they receive. When the appropriate proteins are not currently available, RNA/DNA interaction will produce them. If the appropriate DNA programs do not exist, they will be altered so that the cell can adapt to the situation. This system of self and environmental awareness and the intelligence to adapt gives cells a level of intelligence. From the cellular level upward, every element and system possesses an innate level of consciousness. Therefore, as no element or system is below the threshold of consciousness, the terms subconscious or unconscious are misnomers.

A neuro-physiological pattern is a codification of multiple states within a system. The mental and physical manifestation of an emotion is a neuro-physiological pattern. The current status of one's health is a neuro-physiological pattern. The mental and physiologically codified states associated with an addiction such as smoking are a pattern. A memory is a neuro-physiological pattern. So is the letter I or any other symbol or idea that is encoded into memory.

Upon transcending neonatal development, the human brain continually develops in stages generally through the first 25 years of life. Unless interfered with by trauma, disease, or inherited disorders, this development follows specific genetically-determined patterns.

A major portion of neurological development is environmentally based. During the first 26 months of life, an infant increasingly responds to the environment Neurologists believe that during the initial period, the brain contains a massive number of undifferentiated neurons. Environmental influences, to include encounters with family and surroundings, result in the strengthening of various neural networks. Other networks weaken through disuse. Through a process called apostasis, redundant cellular structures die and are not replaced. (However, recent discoveries relating to reorganization and neural stem cells tend to contradict this belief.) The remaining networks become the basis of patterns which affect identity and rival DNA in their impact on establishing the nature of personality. Around the 26th month of life, the basal ganglia - a dual substrate of the limbic system which sits laterally astride the two thalami - produces a burst of dopamine. This act curtails this period of rapid differentiation.

The adherents of localization and plasticity disagree about the subjects of brain development and maturity. Both agree that development continues until all substrates mature around the 25th year. However, the popular belief among the former maintain that every network which will ever exist is created during an initial differentiation period ending at about the 26th month. They are consistently contradicted by the preponderance of evidence provided by researchers who promote the theory of brain plasticity. This latter group presents the idea that new neural networks and further differentiation are created all the way through old age. Specifically, research involving stroke victims and Alzheimer's Syndrome prevention supports their claims.

Sensory input and new ideas or thoughts are stored both in the brain and in the body. (The transpersonal dimension will not be discussed.) Such storage is typically referred to as memory.

There are two types of memory. The formation of each follows a different neurological pathway and is stored in a completely diverse manner. Both types of memory, however, create distinct patterns which biologically represent the stored phenomena. Both types of memories are created simultaneously. The two types of memory are explicit and implicit - which are often called declarative and procedural, respectively.

The process of encoding explicit memories is slower and the storage capacity is limited. Yet it is superior in the fact that only explicit memories possess meaning and relevance. When perceptions or thoughts are recognized by the applicable department of the thalamus, then the hippocampus begins a process of encoding short-term memory. As the thalamus constantly scans the rest of the limbic system and the entire neocortex as part of a bi-directional communication system, active substrates impact on the encoding process. Chief among these is the role of the right prefrontal cortex. (More specifically, this is the right orbitofrontal cortex, which is just above the right eye.) This substrate is critical to the establishment of meaning and relevance. Should it become damaged or otherwise inhibited, a person's memory would have no significance. This is much akin to random, unsorted telephone numbers which have not been related to names or businesses.

The implicit memory formation process is extremely rapid and has seemingly unlimited storage capacity. However, its shortcoming is that the stored memories are bereft of meaning. Many idiot savants have demonstrated miraculous memory formation and recall abilities. Regardless, their inability to understand the relevance of the data stored in their nearly encyclopedic memory underlines the fact that their memories are almost entirely implicit rather than explicit. Therefore, intelligence - which is the ability to form new patterns such as new neural networks - is more related to explicit rather than implicit memories. (Note: Regardless of their remarkable memory storage and recall abilities, by definition idiot savants have IQs of less than 50; many with IQs less than 25. "Idiot savants" is the correct clinical term is often not considered politically correct. Therefore, this article will refer to them as savants or refer to concept as the savant syndrome. )

Due to space limitations, explicit memories must be truncated and stored in a way which will allow later retrieval. To attempt to store complete details regarding every sensory input is impossible. For long-term explicit storage they must be abbreviated and reduced to patterns of data. Consider for a moment a forensic sketch artist working with a witness. The artist attempts to promote recall by using various categories of attributes. The artist then fills in the details. The use of patterns as the primary explicit storage methodology is extremely important to understanding the power of the conscious mind to use suggestion to affect both neurological and physiological changes. Explicit memory is stored as patterns by altering neural networks of the brain.

Methods used to store and warehouse memories are largely dependent upon the frequency of their recollection. Memories are strengthened by continued use. As the brain must protect itself by subordinating less relevant memories, it operates through a continued differentiation process, which was called use it or lose it by the late Canadian psychologist Donald Hebb, PhD. Constantly reused memories result in denser, more developed, and more efficient neural connections and pathways. Neural networks - which are often called brain maps - for habituated patterns are primarily stored in the parietal lobes. It is interesting to note that the autopsy of Albert Einstein's brain reveled denser parietal lobes. Unused pathways are subject to the differentiation process.

Implicit memory encoding, storage, and retrieval are also pattern-based, although not necessarily as simplistically as that of explicit memory. These memories dominate the first 2 to 3 years of our life. They are more rigid and less likely to change. All implicitly stored memories correlate to bioelectrical and biochemical changes within the body. (The changes are states which then become codified into patterns.) For instance, a memory of a fearful event will cause a flow of neuropeptides and hormones from the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. This in turn affects a multitude of organs, such as the heart and the adrenals. Also as mentioned above, Bruce Lipton, PhD, pointed out very succinctly that each cell's receptor proteins will signal the effector portals to close, thereby preventing cellular nutrition and reproduction. As the hypothalamus communicates to the pituitary, a sympathetic autonomic process occurs which leads the body to subordinate many visceral processes in order to emphasize muscles and organs more suited to the survival of the system. Add to this the concomitant bioelectrical reorganization of the cells, organs, and major systems - such as cardio-vascular, respiratory, endocrine, etc. Each biochemical change has a bioelectric counterpart and visa versa. These collections of codified states represent the patterns of implicit memories.

Publications and research presented and/or conducted by Lipton and California psychotherapist and Erickson protégé Ernest Rossi, PhD, indicate that environmental responses impact on the internal behavior and functioning of the cells. Their research points to the fact that DNA can be restructured by environmental processes. Therefore, this response is part of implicit memory formation.

Every perception, concept, and idea which enters into our implicit memory system is coded by an intricate reorganization of bioelectric, biochemical, and possibly even genetic responses.. This signature or codification is synonymous with what is known as our feelings. The physical manifestation of our memories is found in our feelings. All knowledge has a powerful kinesthetic component.

Our dual memory systems work in unison and in tandem. Due to the limitations of the explicit memory system, implicit memories provide the color that makes memories seem real. For instance, a memory of the relevance of a loved one or the object of our distrust or disgust may be meaningfully recalled though our explicit system, which will only serve to provide the outline and basic filtered facts about that person. (Details may be available should due to how recently the pattern was formed. The more details, such as color, association - versus dissociation, clarity of sound, strength of smell or taste - will also be related to the feeling derived from the implicit memory.) However, this will trigger the implicit recall, thereby providing the emotional or rather feeling context. The bi-directional nature of the implicit/explicit memory relationship is why emotional triggering of kinesthetic reactions occurs. NLP practitioners will quickly recognize that this is the basis of their anchoring concepts.

During our entire lifetime we continually build up a library of patterns to support our recognition system. As explicit memories also contain the element of meaning, it is important to realize that without meaning many of our perceptions are completely irrelevant. As an example, consider a person in her 40's who goes through surgery to restore vision which was lost at infancy. Even though she can now see, she has no concept of the meaning of what she is seeing. She can see a face but not understand that the person is a loved family member. Or, she will see a curb, but still stumble over it as she has never been able to associate (i.e. give meaning) the curb with the danger it presents. Thus over time our learning (e.g. new pattern encoding) provides needed context for our explicit memories.

While understanding memory is critical to understanding how patterns are stored and recalled, appreciating thought formation is necessary if we are to realize how perceptions and ideas become the content for new memories.

Perceptions can either originate in the external environment or from the consciousness of subordinate systems. However, artificial perceptions - which are created by the imagination or anticipation created within the right orbitofrontal cortex - will produce similar thought processes.

Thought is a process which creates new explicit and implicit patterns.. A pattern is a network or signature of interdependent associations. When new associations are created, regardless whether it results in new explicit and/or implicit patterns, a thought has occurred. Thoughts are synonymous with the term learning.

When imagined or perceived phenomena reaches the limbic system (i.e. the thalamus), the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) - the brain's switchboard - attempts to match/recognize the phenomena with existing patterns. When this happens successfully, feedback is transmitted to the limbic system. As the endocrine system is triggered by the hypothalamus-pituitary interaction, biochemical and bioelectric responses occur. The ACC locates a recognized pattern as encoded in explicit and implicit memories and no further response is necessary. The limbic response is one of comfort. At that point the basal ganglia's caudate nucleus releases sufficient dopamine to inform the ACC to cease its search. (The role of the release of the inhibitory neurotransmitter dopamine by the caudate nucleus is a critical factor in understanding rapid phobia cures, memory and motivation problems, and the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and chronic anxiety.)

When the ACC is unable to find an immediate pattern match, it will attempt to find similar patterns and synthesize a new pattern. This process is called thinking. When pattern matching fails, biochemical and bioelectric responses will result in a feeling of uneasiness. New patterns result in new explicit and implicit memories. Again, when the cycle is completed by the formation of a new pattern, the caudate nucleus will give its all clear by releasing dopamine. (Using this conceptual framework of thought also begins to explain the nature of creativity.)

On the other hand, if the ACC should fail to quickly locate either a matching pattern or similar patterns from which a new one can be synthesized, then it will continue to function. Due to the ACC's inability to signal back to the thalamus an achievement of closure, its continued operation will quickly result in an increased requirement for additional glucose. This will also result in both a dumbing down of nearby energy starved substrates, such as the temporal lobes and the prefrontal cortices, and cause the limbic system to trigger a fear/flight reaction. While this will increase motivation for the brain to find a solution (i.e. the ACC to locate the appropriate pattern or stimulate the creation of a newly synthesized pattern), this prolonged stress on the neuro-physiology will negatively affect brain capability as it serves to retard functioning and may adversely affect the adaptive immune system.

Tim Brunson, PhD

The International Hypnosis Research Institute is a member supported project involving integrative health care specialists from around the world. We provide information and educational resources to clinicians. Dr. Brunson is the author of over 150 self-help and clinical CD's and MP3's.

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2012年2月26日 星期日

Aphrodite's Wound - Women & Sex Addiction

Aphrodite's story begins with a violent birth with absent parents and a castrated father. We can conjecture that her violent birth contributed to her cruelty and vindictiveness in which she used her beauty as a channel for her aggression. In her compulsive search to transcend the pain of her aloneness, she seeks pleasure and beauty through a sensory driven reality devoid of morality. We could say that Aphrodite, like all of us, was expelled from the paradisical harmony of the womb/ocean and into a world where she is left to face the difficult and frightening realization of her aloneness. Because she is 'orphaned' she has been deprived of an early primary bond. Such an absence is the great hidden crippler of the soul.

Like Aphrodite, through birth, each individual is expelled from the paradisical harmony of the womb into a world in which she has no apparent place. Thus, the central feature of the human condition is that once born each individual is fundamentally alone. The slowly dawning realization of this separateness is the salient dimension of the development of human consciousness. This realization is difficult and frighting.

When our early attachments to our primary caregivers are empty, intrusive, dangerous, chaotic, exploitative, we resort to infantile fantasies for solace and imagined safety. This helps us deflect from the unbearable void of being totally alone and helpless. The child blames herself for her parents inability to love, and when the stiletto of blame and shame hits the soul, the child loses her connection with the source of life, and experiences a terrifying isolation and a fear of being swallowed up by emptiness; a fear of dying. Aphrodite, in her unconscious desire to create or mend the primary bond, turns to sex.

Those who in cynical despair about ever having emotional intimacy with anyone, resign themselves to fleeting pleasure or even pain with anyone, as there is some contact, some recognition. Here Aphrodite's wound festers, and just as she cannot return to the ocean, we cannot return to the womb. Like her, we are challenged to heal the shame, the self-loathing, the punishment of the body, which dulls the instincts and sensuality and sexuality, through love. As Plato said, it is only love, which unites the split in the self.

Aphrodite's search for love manifests as sexual compulsiveness and abuse of power. She misuses her sexuality to find love. This leads to shame and self-loathing, in which the body/self gets punished (eating disorders, addictive disorders) and becomes her enemy. She fears her body, her instincts, physical needs and desires. The instincts are dulled along with sexuality and sensuality. We feel sinful. Sex is merely a vehicle for the desperate attempt to reach another person. More basic interpersonal needs have become sexualized. In cynical despair about ever having emotional intimacy with anyone, fleeting pleasure or even pain with anyone will do, as there is some contact, some recognition.

When we blame ourselves for something we regret we stay locked into it. We remain fixated and stuck in a state of helplessness and shame. To forgive the self is the ultimate step in healing. It means to see ourselves with compassion, to understand why we did what we did and separate our basic essence from the mistake that was made. Forgiveness is the redemptive action of the heart. Forgiveness is an organic process and cannot be forced against its own time, but with this intention perhaps we can encourage it.

Aphrodite is challenged to actualize wholeness through her search for love and sexual expression. In her process of healing and forgiveness, she integrates archetypal polarities as she evolves from her sensory driven reality for pleasure and beauty (in her compulsive search to transcend her pain), which makes her oblivious to the pain she causes, to examining her feelings and instincts, thus allowing for wisdom and maturation. She takes us from human love to spiritual love and back again, and in so doing she discovers a conscious expansion of self, bound to her own instincts and in which the mind/body split is healed.

Rev. Sheri Heller, LCSW is a New York Psychotherapist (NYC), addiction specialist, Ericksonian hypnotist, and interfaith minister in private practice. Rev. Heller incorporates a traditional psychodynamic approach to her sessions and draws on diverse spiritual and creative vehicles to facilitate the healing process. For more information about Rev. Heller's services please visit her website at SheriTherapist.com

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Natural ADHD Treatment: Vision Therapy

Not all cases of ADHD are caused by a deficiency in the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine. New research shows that inattention and the learning disorder problems common in ADHD children may actually be caused by a vision disorder. When this is the case, an ADHD natural treatment called vision therapy might help.

It's easy for undiagnosed vision problems to be mistaken for symptoms of ADHD. Vision problems make it difficult for a child to read for extended periods of time, focus on schoolwork, and achieve high grades. Around 20% of school-aged children are afflicted by different types of undiagnosed vision disorders, even if conventional eye exams show that they have perfect 20/20 vision. The reason behind this is that problems with eye focusing, eye teaming, eye alignment, and visual endurance cannot be detected by the conventional Snellen chart. These can only be identified by comprehensive eye exams that test for visual acuity, visual motor integration, and eye tracking, among other things.

Problematic vision and the ADHD symptoms that come with it may be treated with vision therapy or vision training. This highly individualized treatment program aims to correct visual motor deficiencies caused by a number of factors, including nervous system trauma (i.e., from birth injury or head trauma), delayed sensory-motor development, and genetic factors (i.e., lazy eyes, crossed-eyes). Vision therapy doesn't just focus on the eyes; it re-trains the whole visual system, which also includes the brain and the body. In a sense, it is a type of neurological rehabilitation. Aside from correcting these problems, this treatment also aims to help the child's brain process visual information correctly so that the child can comprehend and react quickly.

Approaches to improving vision vary according to the child's specific problems and the doctor that provides it. Generally speaking, the treatment includes techniques that enhance eye movement control, binocular vision, focusing ability, and eye movement. Computer software and specialized optical devices like therapeutic prisms develop the child's visual endurance and motor skills. During the last leg of the program, the child's new visual skills are continually reinforced and made habitual through repetitive tasks and activities that integrate vision skills with motor skills. These exercises guarantee the long-term effects of the program and the benefits of improved visual performance.

Unlike the traditional medical treatment for ADHD, which involves administering a one-size-fits-all medication, vision therapy is designed around the child's conditions and symptoms, and the parents' goals. As such, the length of vision therapy programs varies from several months to a year. The benefit of this approach is that your child is working towards a goal and towards health benefits that will last for the rest of his or her life. To avail yourself of vision therapy, look for a doctor who specializes in rehabilitating vision disorders or in learning-related vision problems.

Dr. Yannick Pauli is an expert on natural approaches to ADHD and the author of the popular self-help home-program The Unritalin Solution. He is Director of the Centre Neurofit in Lausanne, Switzerland and has a passion taking care of children with ADHD. Click on the link for more great information about what is ADHD.

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2012年2月25日 星期六

The Advantages of Hypnosis With Sexual Anxiety

Hypnosis is an experience of mind expansion where the unconscious mind may be integrated with the conscious mind. My layman's theory is that we are typically only aware, consciously, of thirty percent of our mind's activity. So what is happening with the other seventy percent? It's all still happening...but on an unconscious level and this is very important in our sexual expression.

Sex can and should be wonderful because it is the physical expression of intimacy, which is love and respect being shared with pleasure for mutual good and harmony. As a hypnotherapist and psychologist specializing in sexual issues, I suggest that "good sex is simply an erotic trance". Think of the similarities between hypnosis and satisfying sex. Effective hypnosis involves high focus and concentration on the intention and so does effective sex. In hypnosis, there is a strong response to suggestions; in sex, there is a strong response to stimulation.

When problems develop in sexual performance or enjoyment, it has been my experience that there is some underlying cause which can be detected during hypnotic regression.

Too often we have been conditioned to view our sexual bodies as less than perfect. Because of this we have to use corrective imagery and sensory awakening to restore proper feeling and functions. Hypnosis trains you to change your inner view and explore your real feelings. Negative memories, no matter how distant in the past, have a tendency to be the cause of reduced pleasurable sensations because of the extreme vulnerability of sexual issues.

In hypnotherapy you learn how to convert negative repressive images into positive, releasing ones.

A lot of our negative thoughts and feelings about our sexuality are repressed and stored deeply in our unconscious minds. This repressed material can "sneak up on us" when we least expect it. An example of this is Tricia, who came to see me because she had been experiencing severe panic attacks, for no evident reason. In hypnosis, she accessed repressed memories of severe sexual abuse in her childhood.

Important Note:

There have been some examples of claimed accessed repressed memories which have been used to implicate totally innocent people in accusations of abuse.

Hypnosis should be used wisely in counselling for this situation -access to a "memory" in trance is not proof that the event actually happened.

Hypnosis typically includes facilitation of deep relaxation, both mental and physical. Sometimes this involves direct methods such as "counting", "eye fixation" and "hand levitation". Some people respond more easily to indirect methods where the therapist may be 'seeming to just talk" but is actually weaving powerful, positive suggestions into the talk.

It is important to note that hypnotherapy is not only about giving people with emotional problems suggestions to change. I believe that one first needs to understand the problem and its origins. That is where hypnosis is a useful vehicle to "uncovering". I use regression to understand the origins of the problem. Sometimes people have repressed their trauma so that they have no conscious recall of the events. One often sees this with sexual and physical abuse. If one uses hypnosis cautiously and with the necessary expertise one can uncover trauma. This then gives the person insight into his/her emotional problems but at this stage the symptoms will not be alleviated. The person must still work through and integrate what has transpired. It is also very traumatic for people when they uncover trauma and that is why it's imperative to ensure that the therapist is adequately qualified.

The working through involves uncovering all of the emotions involved and releasing them, understanding and accepting them, and integrating them. This can take a number of sessions. It is at this stage that the person starts to feel a lot better and more in control of his/her life. It is also during this process that positive suggestions and affirmations can be made.

The suspension of critical thinking in the hypnotic state may make the patient more susceptible to accepting the persuasive communications of therapy. Dissociation via hypnosis can provide an adaptive and useful method of reducing reactivity to the anxiety-producing situation. Additionally, alterations in cognitive processes may help patients to accept alternative interpretations of events, their significance, the patient's coping abilities and skills and the expected outcome.

Certain patients in hypnotically assisted therapies may more readily respond to imagery and fantasy as reality, since the hypnotic process provides a powerful way of enhancing imagery. Hypnosis offers an adjunct to desensitization that is potentially extremely powerful, since the attribution of realism to imagined events is a characteristic of the hypnotic state.

The effectiveness of coping rehearsal may similarly be aided by the reality attributions effected through hypnosis.

Arousal reduction and relaxation may be enhanced using hypnotic procedures and there may be increased sense of control of bodily processes associated with anxiety.

There was a very interesting case of a young woman who presented with OCD. She also had an eating disorder. With hypnotic intervention we learned that her uncle had sexually abused her when she was small. With successful uncovering and with the working through and integration of all the associated (previously repressed) emotions, the OCD symptoms subsided. The eating disorder also seemed to abate. Because her uncle effectively raped her she always felt "full" and she recalled under hypnosis that she'd always go and stand on the scales! Obviously the other issues, namely wanting to be unattractive and asexual were also there and we had to address those too.

We hadn't ever directly addressed any of the OCD symptoms, but in a discussion we attributed the OCD to a feeling of control that she otherwise did not have. She felt that this had been one area of her life where she was in control.

People Need to Know "What is NOT Hypnosis?"

Be reassured that you would definitely NOT be made to bark like a dog and that your conscious mind is still available during hypnosis, so that no matter how deep the trance, if you really did not want to follow the suggestions, you would not!

The person in trance is not in the hypnotherapist's power.

You are not being weak or easily led. You are tapping into an inherent personal power for rapid positive change.

Trust is the Essential Element of Success in Hypnosis.

Can You Learn to Hypnotize Yourself to Success?

Please know that hypnosis is not a miracle cure, where you take no personal responsibility for change. People who are motivated to tap into their inner strength to achieve success can greatly benefit from self-hypnosis. You can learn this yourself, but it's often more economical to taught and facilitated by an expert at first. Anyone who is motivated to change is a likely candidate for hypnosis.

How do I find a good hypnotherapist who is trained as a sex therapist?

1. Check out their level of expertise and qualifications. Since the practice of hypnotherapy is not regulated, it is recommended that you ask your prospective hypnotherapist about their qualifications, organizational membership and experience.

2. Only proceed if you have a good rapport and sense of trust with the therapist. After all, they may be about to help you identify deep personal issues.

Dr Janet Hall

Dr Janet Hall is a Clinical Psychologist, Hypnotist, Author and Professional Speaker. She is the author of eight books on family and relationship issues including "Sex-Wise Teens" and "Sex-life Solutions". She founded the Richmond Hill Psychology Clinic. http://www.drjanethall.com.au

Dr Jan featured regularly on the television program "Sex Life" as their female sex therapist/advisor. Her 19 mps in the Sensational Sex Series frankly and informatively discuss sexual issues ranging from sex therapy using hypnosis, to advice on creating and sharing sexual fantasies, and strategies for sparking up your sex-life. http://www.sex-therapy.com.au

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Coping With an ADHD Child

Some parents say that dealing with an ADHD child is a nightmare. However, many people have experienced a marked improvement using some behavioral techniques. It is important to distinguish between punishment and behavioral therapy. When a parent becomes impatient with a child who cannot seem to manage basic and acceptable behaviors, the relationship can easily be tarnished.

A loving and supportive relationship is very important between the parent and the ADHD child. If the relationship is compromized, the child will probably become more difficult to handle. By this time, the management of the child will probably consist of punishment, which further damages the relationship. Instead, following a few simple guidelines will help to improve the relationship and in return the child's behavior.

1. Rules and discipline must be consistent. The child must have a clear understanding of the consequences of his or her actions and inactions. This will make certain that the child understands the behaviors that are unacceptable.

2. Anger is a common and understandable emotion for parents of an ADHD child. However, it should be controlled and parents should use a slow and quiet voice. Many of these children have an associated disorder, known as sensory integration dysfunction and shouting and screaming could make them react even worse.

3. Look for good behavior and praise the child for this. When praising the child, avoid bringing any negative behaviors into the equation. Don't say "It is good that you are playing quietly and not jumping around as usual." Rather say "I am proud of you playing so quietly." The child should know that they are loved, even when his or her behavior is not liked.

4. A clear routine helps to build security and confidence into a child's life. A timetable with times for play, homework, eating and relaxation can be placed in a spot where the child can find it. An ADHD child is bound to push the boundaries and sometimes he or she will not complete certain tasks on time. However, the parents should encourage them to stick to the routine as much as possible. ADHD kids are often forgetful and a routine will help him or her to get used to daily tasks and organization.

The organizational and behavioral skills an ADHD child learns will stand him or her in good stead in the future.

Lizette has extensive experience in creating home education tools and resources that are available freely from [http://www.twinstaracademy.com/]

She also has a lot of experience in dealing with an ADHD child, thanks to her 9-year old daughter. However, she has found benefit from Minerals for ADHD

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2012年2月24日 星期五

Art Therapy Wellness Solution


Art therapy, as defined by the American Art Therapy Association, is the therapeutic use of making art, within a professional relationship, by people who have experienced illness, trauma or challenges that have caused varying degrees of dysfunction within their lives. Art therapy is helpful for people who seek personal development through creating art and reflecting on their artwork and the process of making art. Through art therapy an increased awareness of self is developed. The self that emerges through the creation of art in art therapy is enhanced and stabilized, enabling one to cope with challenges, stresses and trauma. The learning process is enriched through creating art and enjoyment of art making increases self awareness, cognitive abilities and defines the life-affirming pleasures of making art.

The American Art Therapy Association promotes established standards for art therapy education, ethics and practice. Volunteer committees composed of members and other experts in the field actively work on governmental affairs at the national and state level, clinical issues and professional development. The Association's dedication to continuing education and research is demonstrated through its annual national conference, publications, its distance learning capacity which is in development and national awards recognizing excellence in the field of art therapy.


Throughout history, Visual expression has been used for the purposes of healing, but art therapy did not emerge as a distinct profession until the 1940s. Early in the 20th century, psychiatrists became increasingly interested in the artwork their patients with mental illness created. And educators were discovering that children's art expressions reflected developmental, emotional, and cognitive growth. The work of many contemporary artists of that time used both primitive and child-like styles to express psychological perspectives and dispositions (Dubuffet, Picasso, Miro and Braque, for example.)

By the mid-century, hospitals, clinics, and rehabilitation centers increasingly began to include art therapy programs along with the more traditional verbal therapy techniques, recognizing that the process of creating art enhanced recovery, health, and wellness. As a result, the profession of art therapy grew into an effective and important method of communication, assessment, and treatment of children and adults in a variety of settings. Today, the profession of art therapy has gained importance in healthcare facilities throughout the United States and within psychiatry, psychology, counseling, education, and the arts.


Art therapists, as defined by the American Art Therapy Association, are masters level professionals who hold a degree in art therapy or a related field. Educational requirements include: theories of art therapy, counseling, and psychotherapy; ethics and standards of practice; assessment and evaluation; individual, group, and family techniques; human and creative development; multicultural issues; research methods; and practicum experiences in clinical, community, and/or other settings. Art therapists are skilled in the application of a variety of art modalities (drawing, painting, sculpture, and other media) for assessment and treatment.

Art therapists are professionals trained in both art and therapy. They are knowledgeable about human development, psychological theories, clinical practice, spiritual, multicultural and artistic traditions, and the healing potential of art. They use art in treatment, assessment and research, and provide consultations to allied professionals. Art therapists work with people of all ages: individuals, couples, families, groups and communities. They provide services, individually and as part of clinical teams, in settings that include mental health, rehabilitation, medical and forensic institutions; community outreach programs; wellness centers; schools; nursing homes; corporate structures; open studios and independent practices.

An art therapist requires a license to practice art therapy. Art therapy licensing differs from state to state.


Art therapy addresses a part of the brain that is often functional when other parts are dysfunctional or not functioning well.

Many can benefit from art therapy, including hospitalized children, teens, adults and the elderly. In addition, art therapy benefits the mentally ill. In many cases, those with depressions, fear and anxiety caused by trauma or developmental challenges have difficulty expressing their deep feeling. Creating art often allows them to begin to become released from their own dysfunctions.

The elderly, and particularly Alzheimer's patients, suffering from varying degrees of memory loss, time and space dysfunction do to aging can respond to drawing, painting and sculpting and begin to take control and regain some of these lost capabilities.

Studies have shown that art therapy sessions with the elderly have encouraged memory and brain function--creative movement has reduced the risks of falls and accidents and encourages balance and movement. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has a program called "Meet and MOMA." On Tuesdays, when the Museum is usually closed, group of Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers tour the galleries. The stimulation of seeing and discussing artwork enriches their lives and stimulates them mentally. Since the establishment of this program, many patients have exhibited marked improvement in memory, cognitive awareness and self expression.

Art therapy helps prisoners address their angers, fears, and resentments. Through creating, they begin to see themselves and realize what motivated them to commit a crime. And art making gives many a chance to develop a skill that can enrich, not only their lives, but the lives of others.

Art and the creative process brings balance, self-esteem and enjoyment to anyone who is challenged by mental or physical disabilities. Through the creative process, deep-seated feelings emerge in an gentle, nurturing atmosphere. People are enabled to meet their worst fears, anxieties and challenges by doing artwork that expresses that challenge. When it is identified, view and discussed, often the overwhelming proportion is diminished. In a group, the participants realize that others have fears and problems also, just like them. Eating disorders can be addressed and in some cases, cured by creativity because the underlying cause of the disorder is often hidden and emerges through the art work.


Art therapy, active in a professional setting, creates a sense of self, that which is often lost in the elderly, Alzheimer's patients or those with mental illness. Sensory stimulation through art making fills in where there is a deficit of sense of self and sensory stimulation. This is proven through the use of any and all uses of art materials and skills, including painting, drawing, water color, collage or sculpture.

For example, collage creates a sense of putting things back together and connectedness. Creating a collage deals with the juxtaposition of identifiable images that resonate in the individuals' experience and can bridge the communication gap between the anxiety or fear a person feels and the outside world. Making art externalizes and through discussion with an art therapist who can interpret what the art work says relative to the patient's behavior and challenges, the patient can begin to identify that which impedes their thinking and balanced growth.

As evidenced by the Meet At MOMA Program, Alzheimer's affects that part of the brain that makes memories. The parietal lobe is stimulated by art. When a patient looks at a painting, the painting encourages a dialogue with the viewer. Questions and interpretations of the visual response develop. Those that cannot remember their name or the names of their loved ones, can often, talk about what they see in a painting and be clear about their own interpretations of the painting. Often memories are stimulated as well, and things forgotten come into the dialogue.

When those in art therapy are given paints, pencils, clay, or collage materials, a here and now, active stimulation begins. Through work with the hands, imagination is stimulated and, it has recently been discovered that the imagination will be there when the rest of the brain is dysfunctional through a progressive disease such as Alzheimer's.

There is an important need to get thoughts and feelings out in some way, especially in teens, adults and the elderly. It has been evidenced that very young children who have not yet learned how to express themselves verbally, will grab a crayon and begin drawing naturally. Older persons are challenged because they are at a loss to express themselves, but can find balance and enrichment in painting or drawing.

Art therapy demonstrates that creativity is a deep core need in all of us and that making a painting will help one remember, recall the past that had been forgotten.

There is another value to art therapy, as well. Institutionalized people, those in prisons, nursing homes and hospitals often feel they are just a number or a file. Art therapy gives them back their individuality. These people are given back a sense of control over their lives that they had to give up for going into an institutionalized environment.

And in a hospital setting, especially for people with a cancer diagnosis--it is often very difficult to talk about it. Art gives them an opportunity to express the way they feel, come into control and alignment with their feelings and give them, through the art therapist, a perspective on their life.


In Saudi Arabia, a psychological and religious counseling program for militants has been developed incorporating art therapy for imprisoned Jihadists. This successful rehabilitation program came into operation today as the result of the Saudi's commitment to lessening the production of home grown Jihadists.

The International Medical Corp provides clinical support for people on the front lines of disaster and uses art therapy to rehabilitate victims of war, famine, political upheaval, and natural disasters.

The National Geographic Society has supplied cameras to people in Uganda to take pictures of their lives and work through the pain and loss they have experienced through war. Ultimately, what we are discovering is that no one is safe from the anxieties, challenges and fearful factors of every day life. And, as we begin to realize that physical health and mental health often are integrated and dependent on each other, the role of the art therapist becomes more and more important in addressing our well being the development and maintenance of our total well being.

Lois's website offering free online art classes and many art resources, includes a gallery of her own paintings and pastels, as well as her videos demonstrating a wide variety of skills and techniques in the lessons:

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Internal X Ray Vision - What Is It? How Is It Used In Intuitive Healing, Medical Intuitive Diagnosis

Superman had it!, X-ray vision, the ability to see through walls (which are just a dense gathering of energy that creates its form). In today's world, internal x-ray vision is a reality and not a cartoon myth.

The ability to visualize energy fields through the mind's eye is called clairvoyance. The actual ability to perceive a physical body's exterior energy field (called an aura) or internal bimolecular energy fields is called HSP (Higher Sensory Perception) internal vision by Barbara Brennan author of "Hands of Light." By directing your brain to focus at a higher vibrational frequency level one can see the bimolecular energy formation of cells, tissue, bones, organs and other subtle bioenergy systems (example: the nervous system with neural pathways and nerve damage or electromagnetic misfiring disorders) inside of the human body at whatever depth or resolution they choose. Dr. Mehmet Oz stated on Oprah, "everything is pure energy, you are a mass of vibrating frequencies gathered into the physical form that you call your body."

How do we access the information stored within our energy fields? Traditional medicine uses MRI's, CAT scan, PET images, MUGA and Trilogy data, and X-ray technology. Internal X-ray vision coupled with intuitive anatomical medical diagnosis is a relatively new information gathering method that is gaining ground as part the comprehensive diagnostic process for integrative holistic medical teams and facilities.

The 2007 Rhine Research Center's (founder by J B Rhine who identified and validated ESP) International Spring Conference CONSCIOUSNESS TODAY featured an Intuitive Medical Diagnosis Panel Discussion about scientific and clinical intuitive medical diagnosis chaired by Larry Burk, MD, Moderator, Radiologist, Intuitive Diagnosis Researcher. Brent Atwater one of the panelists, is a documented and published peer reviewed and respected medical intuitive who uses internal x-ray vision to perform intuitive anatomical medical diagnosis. Other participants were Leon Curry, MD, Internist, Intuitive Diagnosis Researcher who worked with Greta Alexander an intuitive diagnostic pioneer, and Mary Jo Bulbrook, RN, EdD.

Ms. Atwater (whose friends call her a human MRI), points out that internal X-ray vision contributes the following to medical diagnostic procedures:

o Can be performed from a distant location, also know as remote internal viewing.

o SAVES TIME! in catastrophic or trauma injury, critical or intensive care or

emergency medicine situations.

o Determines the "urgency" of your physical situation.

o Finds medical conditions and health issue locations, and determines the extent and

severity in the body.

o Clarifies critical disease areas and identifies other contributing energy imbalances

within each client's physical systems at all levels-cellular, organs, muscular,

vascular, nervous, etc..

o Continuously monitors the client's condition without interfering or creating

complications during medical treatments and procedures.

o Has no side effects and is non-invasive.

o Provides a detailed physical and all systems analysis of what is happening at any time.

o Can confirm or raise valuable concerns about test results, medications, treatments

and procedures.

o Can be used in conjunction or comparison with current MRIs, PETs, MUGAs,

Cat Scans, Trilogy and X rays.

o Provides an alternative medicine assessment.

o Can identify areas that have not yet become detectable by traditional medical

examinations or testing methods or procedures. This information can assist one in

making decisions about current and future medical treatment, and health care.

o Can provide information about future health issues.

In her book, Thru My Eyes as a Medical Intuitive, Ms Atwater states that learning techniques to have internal x-ray vision can sometimes be taught to those individuals who are capable of focusing at higher energy levels, and to those who are inherently gifted with intuitive gifts. She notes that intuitive anatomical medical diagnostic (Body Scan) workshops usually include:

o Techniques to look inside a body and interpret what you see.

o Learn the electromagnetic frequency colors of the various bio energy patterns of various health issues and medical conditions and their positions in the body's energy field.

Using internal x ray vision, reputable and evidence based intuitive anatomical medical diagnostic research is providing valuable scientific documentation about energy medicine in order to help bridge and create the integration of traditional and alternative medicine so that each patient will benefit from all healing and diagnostic modalities that are available!

Feel free to reprint this article in its original format.

Contact Information:
Brent Atwater, Alternative Medical Specialist
Medical Intuitive, Distance Energy Healing
ATL, GA Phone: 404.242.9022 USA
NC Phone: 910.692.5206 USA
Website: http://www.brentatwater.com
Email: mailto:Brent@BrentAtwater.com

Disclaimer: Brent Atwater collaborates with and participates in ongoing energy medicine and intuitive diagnostic medical research, and independent case studies with the world's leading doctors, physicians, researchers, scientists, and medical facilities. Her work is creating evidence based research that documents the bridging of traditional and alternative healthcare into integrative medicine. Atwater is not a medical doctor nor associated with any branch of medicine, she works in Alternative Healing, Healthcare and Medicine - Integrative Medicine. She offers her opinions based on her intuition, and her personal energy healing work, which is not a substitute for medical procedures or treatments. Always consult a physician or trained health care professional concerning any medical problem or condition before undertaking any diet, health related or lifestyle change programs. As in traditional medicine, there are no guarantees with medical intuition, intuitive anatomical medical diagnosis or energy medicine.

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