Category Archives: Alternative Health

Mushroom Death Suit

by JacobSloan

a la http://www.disinfo.com/2011/07/mushroom-death-suit/

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Someday the lifeless bodies of all of us may be laid into the cold earth zipped snugly in the outfit at right. Artist Jae Rhim Lee designed her mushroom burial suit to address how we part with the dead — “By trying to preserve the body we poison the living.” The garment is embedded with spores of toxin-cleaning, flesh-eating mushrooms that will consume the corpse wearing it, leaving the earth cleansed and renewed as we make our exit:

The first prototype of the Infinity Burial Suit is a body suit embroidered with thread infused with mushroom spores. The embroidery pattern resembles the dendritic growth of mushroom mycelium. The Suit is accompanied by an Alternative Embalming Fluid, a liquid spore slurry, and Decompiculture Makeup, a two-part makeup consisting of a mixture of dry mineral makeup and dried mushroom spores and a separate liquid culture medium. Combining the two parts and applying them to the body activates the mushroom spores to develop and grow

 

 

Perceptual Diversity?

What in the hell is Perceptual Diversity, and why is Polyphasic Consciousness Necessary for Global Survival?

Read all about it here: http://www.izilwane.org/assets/docs/PerceptualDiversity.pdf

“development will continue to destroy perceptual diversity because it exports the dominant cognitive process of ‘developed’ nations, i.e. monophasic consciousness. Destroying perceptual diversity, in turn, leads to the destruction of cultural diversity and biocomplexity.”

” . . . perceptual diversity, the whole, and the synergistic interrelationship between parts.”

“A growing number of psychologists and anthropologists have become interested in the value of perceptual diversity, seeing the use of multiple perceptual processes as positive rather than pathological.”

“According to Walsh, Western culture is monophasic, that is, its worldview is derived from a single state: the waking state. Walsh adds that in the Western world there is a need to ‘reduce this cultural myopia and to shift society, psychology and other disciplines from monophasic to polyphasic perspectives.'”

” . . . transrational states of consciousness are statistically normal.”

~~~

Why Polyphasic Consciousness is Necessary for Global Survival:

. . . when a culture restrains perceptual diversity, that same culture reduces human adaptability, which, in turn, leads to human beings living unsustainably. Unsustainable lifestyles result in ecological destruction, including destruction of biodiversity (or biocomplexity). In a feedback loop, degraded environments offer fewer choices to human beings for adaptability, and a downward spiral commences. If, indeed, perceptual diversity promotes human adaptability and indirectly promotes healthy environments, then perceptual diversity has a practical application in everyday life. Yet the value of perceptual diversity is not acknowledged by international development experts, who insist that only a monophasic worldview is valid. In fact, one of the steps to development is for a culture to jettison its perceptual diversity in favor of a specialized approach based on the scientific method and economic progress. The scientific method only acknowledges monophasic consciousness. The method is a specialized system that focuses on studying small and distinctive parts in isolation, which results in fragmented knowledge.

And:

. . . Systems theory emerged in the mid-twentieth century and takes a different approach from that of
the scientific method.

By contrast, the systems approach attempts to view the world in terms of irreducibly
integrated systems. It focuses attention on the whole, as well as on the complex
interrelationships among its constituent parts. This way of seeing is not an alternative,
but a complement, to the specialized way. It is more all-embracing and comprehensive, incorporating the specialized perspective as one aspect of a general conception (Lazlo and
Krippner 1998:54).

Furthermore, systems theory posits that when studying only the parts of something, one may be missing the value of the whole.

Structurally, a system is a divisible whole, but functionally it is an indivisible unity with
emergent properties. An emergent property is marked by the appearance of novel
characteristics exhibited on the level of the whole ensemble, but not by the components in
isolation.

There are two important aspects of emergent properties: First, they are lost when the
system breaks down to its components—the property of life, for example, does not
inhere in organs once they are removed from the body. Second, when a component is
removed from the whole, that component itself will lose its emergent properties—a hand
severed from the body, cannot write, nor can a severed eye see.

The notion of emergent properties leads to the concept of synergy, suggesting that, as we
say in everyday language, the system is more than the sum of its parts….(Lazlo and
Krippner 1998:53).

In the same way, I see monophasic consciousness as one part of perceptual diversity—the part based on waking, rational thought and the scientific method. But the entire system of consciousness is far more complex and, in breaking it down and valuing only one of its parts, waking rational consciousness, one loses the value of the whole. I propose that in disavowing polyphasic consciousness (perceptual diversity), we may be losing the emergent properties of polyphasic consciousness. Coming from developed, Western cultures, which highly value monophasic
consciousness and the scientific method, we may not even be aware of what we are losing. And it is altered states of consciousness, which speak through symbols and intuition, such as dreaming,
imagining, and meditating, that often allow us to grasp the whole in a way that the scientific method can never provide.

~~~

“Many of these perceptual processes are transrational, altered state of consciousness (meditation, trance, dreams,
imagination) and are not considered valid processes for accessing knowledge by science (which is based primarily upon quantification, reductionism, and the experimental method).”

More examples of perceptual processes that are transrational, altered states of consciousness not considered valid processes for accessing knowledge by science:

rich fantasy lives, intuition, emotion,

Five different categories of induction into altered states of consciousness:

(1) reduction of external stimulation and/or motor activity

(2) increase of external stimulation and/or motor activity and/or emotion

(3) increased alertness or mental awareness

(4) decreased alertness or mental awareness

(5) the presence of somatopsychological factors

Read all about it here:

http://www.izilwane.org/assets/docs/PerceptualDiversity.pdf

Storyboard: Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness

Stick a fork in it: In the long term, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is done for.

That’s according to Gary Greenberg, a practicing psychotherapist and author of “Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness,” a feature story in Wired magazine’s January issue about the controversy surrounding the upcoming fifth edition of the DSM, which has been called psychiatry’s bible.

The DSM has been the definitive almanac of psychiatric disease for decades. But the effort to update the book has highlighted the challenge of categorizing slippery, subjective mental states with the same certainty as, say, high blood pressure.

In this edition of the Storyboard podcast, Greenberg and Wired senior editor Bill Wasik join regular host Adam Rogers for a mind-bending conversation about the drama behind the DSM-V and the quest to name our pain.

click to listen

Softainability

From the blog @ http://www.transcendbodywork.com/Blog… A quick tip on the Body Economy of sustainable comfort + tribute to the person I feel most greatly influenced my awareness of economy of motion: Bruce Lee. Thanks Bruce for teaching to be water.

Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine

About Punk Rock Permaculture e-zine

via http://punkrockpermaculture.com/about/

escape mental slavery

…the greatest change we need to make is from consumption to production, even if on a small scale, in our own gardens.

If only 10% of us do this, there is enough for everyone.

Hence the futility of revolutionaries who have no gardens, who depend on the very system they attack, and who produce words and bullets, not food and shelter.”  – – Bill Mollison

Hey all you permies in the blogosphere my name is Evan Schoepke (@gaiapunk) , I’m 25, I live in wonderful Olympia WA, and I’m the lead editor of punk rock permaculture e-zine.

I have a passionate love for permaculture, street art, guerrilla gardening, cooking veggie food, folk punk, harmonica wailin’, and riding bikes with friends.  In the Spring of 09′ before I graduated from Evergreen State College I received my permaculture design certification under the instruction of the lovable Scott Pittman of U.S. Permaculture Institute.  During the spring and summer of 2010 I did a 3 month Advanced Permaculture Design Internship with Ethan Roland of Appleseed Permaculture and Gaia University.  Currently, I’m the US correspondent with Permaculture Magazine and a affiliate producer with Permaculture.tv . Gaia Punk Designs is a full service permaculture design co-op I’m working on with some close friends in Olympia.

In Olympia I also work locally with Terra Commons, Ecocity Olympia, the Cascadia Guerrilla Gardening Brigade, and the Raccoon arts collective on community projects.

My intention for this e-zine is that it will act as link between the personal and communal showcasing examples of all the beneficial work  being done for the earth around the world.  This is a e-zine about a regenerative culture full of resistance and  inspiring creativity.  Anyone is welcome to become a syndicated submitter and add relevant posts, articles, art, stories, and multi media to this blog just email thejulianeffect@gmail.com with the subject:

“Punk Rock Permaculture”

Mindfulness Mediation Can Change Brain Structure

via: http://technoccult.net/archives/2011/02/06/study-mindfulness-mediation-can-change-brain-structure/

meditation Study: Mindfulness Mediation Can Change Brain StructureMeditation by oddsock

Yet another study on the effects of meditation on the brain, this one focused on mindfulness meditation:

Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s grey matter.

“Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says Sara Lazar, PhD, of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the study’s senior author. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”

PhysOrg: Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in 8 weeks

(via Boing Boing)

However, this study had a VERY small sample size: just 16 participants.

Previous coverage of meditation.

Photo by Odd Stock

Harm Reduction Guide To Coming Off Psychiatric Drugs & Withdrawal

The Icarus Project and Freedom Center’s 40-page guide gathers the best information we’ve come across and the most valuable lessons we’ve learned about reducing and coming off psychiatric medication. Includes info on mood stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants, anti-anxiety drugs, risks, benefits, wellness tools, withdrawal, detailed Resource section, information for people staying on their medications, and much more. A ‘harm reduction’ approach means not being pro- or anti-medication, but supporting people to make their own decisions balancing the risks and benefits involved. Written by Will Hall, with a 14-member health professional Advisory board providing research assistance and 24 other collaborators involved in developing and editing. The guide has photographs and art throughout, and a beautiful original cover painting by Ashley McNamara. Download a .pdf to read or a ‘zine version to print and fold into a booklet (instructions included). Published copies also available through orders(at)theicarusproject(dot)net.

Click for downloads

Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain

via http://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a884.full

Back pain is a common condition managed in primary care and one of the commonest causes of disability in Western societies.1 2 As yet few interventions have been proved to substantially help patients with chronic back pain in the longer term.

Supervised exercise classes—mainly strengthening and stabilising exercises—probably have moderate benefit for chronic pain.3 4 5 6 7 A trial of advice from a doctor to take aerobic exercise showed short term benefit for acute pain,8 but the evidence of longer term benefit for chronic or recurrent pain and for exercise “prescriptions” is lacking.9

Lessons in the Alexander technique offer an individualised approach designed to develop lifelong skills for self care that help people recognise, understand, and avoid poor habits affecting postural tone and neuromuscular coordination. Lessons involve continuous personalised assessment of the individual patterns of habitual musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; paying particular attention to release of unwanted head, neck, and spinal muscle tension, guided by verbal instruction and hand contact, allowing decompression of the spine; help and feedback from hand contact and verbal instruction to improve musculoskeletal use when stationary and in movement; and spending time between lessons practising and applying the technique (also see appendix on bmj.com).

The Alexander technique is thus distinct from manipulation,10 back schools,11 and conventional physiotherapy.12 The practice and theory of the technique, in conjunction with preliminary findings of changes in postural tone and its dynamic adaptability to changes in load and position,13 14 15 support the hypothesis that the technique could potentially reduce back pain by limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving coordination and flexibility, and decompressing the spine. A small trial, not fully reported, showed promising short term results for back pain.16 We are not aware of a trial reporting long term results.

Systematic reviews and a recent trial highlighted the importance of research to assess the effectiveness of holistic therapeutic massage17 18 19; we particularly wanted to assess massage as it provides no long term educational element, in contrast with lessons in the Alexander technique.

We determined the effectiveness of six or 24 lessons in the Alexander technique, massage therapy, and advice from a doctor to take exercise (using an exercise prescription) with nurse delivered behavioural counselling for patients with chronic or recurrent back pain.

Read More . . .

RUNNING AS AN EXERCISE – 1895 report

via Barefoot Ted’s Adventures

https://i0.wp.com/barefootted.com/uploaded_images/Robinson_Cruose_1719_1st_edition-785278.jpg

There is wonderful comfort in a bare foot, as everyone knows. Contact with the earth is healthful. And in summer, after a rain, or in the dewy morning, how refreshing a running foot-bath through wet grass! Even in winter a short run, barefooted, through the loose snow may be made perfectly safe for those who have taken the right training, producing a warmth and glow in the feet which will last for hours.

read more