Why Social Isolation Leads to Inflammation

Image result for social isolation
Source: GreenMedInfo.com
Dr. Kelly Brogan M.D.
October 17, 2016

We are wired for community. If we disconnect, our bodies will call us back to the sense of human connection that we are wired for using the unexpected language of inflammation.

I love dancing, so I wasn’t too weirded out when we were asked, in one of my first kundalini classes to dance like no one was watching to some loud bhangra music. What really tweaked me (and likely most newbies in the class) was when the teacher turned the music down and asked us to take a stranger’s hands, face them, and stand close. She asked us to close our eyes and just breathe with this person. Then we were to open them and look into their eyes. Simply look, eyes open, into theirs. After about 30 seconds of panicked awkwardness, something opened and tears began to flow. They flowed from a chamber of the heart that is closed when we live as automatons separated from ourselves and each other. It takes less than two minutes to be reminded that this connection is missing.

The Chronic Hurt: The Community Wound

The “community wound” is a deep one for me. I remember a therapist once telling me, “you know what your problem is…you don’t let anyone in your life feel needed by you.” I was convicted by this because it was true. Fiercely independent, I made my mission self-sufficiency from an early age. Asking for advice, guidance, support, or counsel was a form of weakness, for “others” to indulge, and for me to remain squarely on the dispensing end of. I didn’t know that I was protecting a need so deep and so intense that to even expose it to the light of day would necessitate I come into contact with a deep wellspring of unmet needs and associated grief. Francis Weller, an expert on the matter, pierced my knowing heart when he wrote, “…when these things are finally granted to us, a wave of recognition rises that we have lived without this love, this acknowledgment, and the support of this village all of our lives.”

These days, I relish the opportunity to bring people together. Introducing friends, creating bigger webs, organizing alliances, and marinating in the womb-like energy of kundalini festivals.

As someone who has even identified as a loner, it shocks me that I can be in a room full of like-minded people and find myself on the verge of tears, unrelated to anything specific, for hours on end. Just simply being in that energy.

…when an individual’s particular kind of soulfulness, which is both an instinctual and a spiritual identity, is surrounded by psychic acknowledgement and acceptance, that person feels life and power as never before. – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

It’s no coincidence that A Mind of Your Own reached NY Times Bestseller status because of grassroots energy. Because of a fabric of those who love the truth. This for-the-people-by-the-people success was a part of my healing as much as an opportunity for others to reclaim their health journey.

The Reminder That It’s Missing: Addiction and Hopelessness

We are social animals, and our health and wellness depend on it. We used to wake up to dozens of eyes. Now in our modular homes and digitized worlds, we no longer feel that our tribe is holding us. In fact, missing, often, is the sense that anything is missing. But it is, and our bodyminds know it. According to Jane Leidloff, author of the Continuum Concept, our unmet primal needs may manifest as addiction-like behaviors as we seek to medicate deficiencies like that of the tribe.

In the 70s, Bruce Alexander conducted the famous Rat Park experiments (thanks to Will Hall for sharing this vital science with me!) where he rips the foundation out from under the drug war, the chemical addiction model, and the notion of the addict as mentally and physically disordered. His elegant experiments play on the presumption that rats in an isolated cage with one water and one cocaine dispenser go onto addict and eventually kill themselves. This seemingly demonstrates that chemical nature of the addictive process.

He then went on to conduct subsequent experiments in a “rat park” where the rats had a social network, space, and an enriching environment, in which they no longer chose to consume the cocaine and would even detox themselves voluntarily if they entered the space previously addicted. Watch a short sketch of the data here!

What this tells us is that, even in animals, community is the prevention and the treatment for self-abuse. Many argue this is why and how 12 Step programs enjoy the persistent success that they do. They offer community.

Inflammation and how it calls us back

If addiction and associated depression are a sign of what we are missing on a social level, is this all in the mind? Does the body participate in a meaningful way? Do they both work as one?

An important review on the subject by Eisenberger et al says yes: our behavior impacts our immune system and our immune system guides our behavior and inflammation is the common link. Inflammation has many sources, and evidence suggests that perceived stress, intestinal imbalancemedication exposures, and nutrient deficiencies can all contribute to an uptick in inflammatory messengers. In today’s stimulatory soup, inflammation traffics in the body as a result of everything from infection to that email you’re still obsessing about (non-infection-related inflammation is called “sterile” inflammation) and it has become a chronic phenomenon. In this sense, depression may be the final common pathway for the experience of mismatch with lifestyle – body, mind, and spirit.

What if we need each other to recover?

Are you in the market for a guru? So many of us are looking for that one person who will tell us just what to do and how to do it. Who will hold out that hand with the magic pill. My friend, James Maskell, invoked Thich Nhat Hanh’s genius when he reminded us that community is the guru of the future. By this, he means that the unique alchemy of our togetherness will ultimately serve to empower, heal, and guide us. The guru is not the expert, and it may not even simply be “within”. The guru is the web, the union, the sum greater than the parts. And it may be the case that we cannot heal fully without this sense of connectedness.

It is through this lens that we need to explore the latest theories on depression. Much of the new literature on depression (since we left the serotonin theory behind) has focused on “sickness syndrome” as a model of depression, or the idea that the depressed individual is inflamed and part of the behaviors that come with that are social withdrawal in order to limit contagion and recover. But what if we need each other to recover?Eisenberger reviews a literature that suggests that inflammation in humans actually drives pro-social behavior in many circumstances, in addition to a heightened sensitivity to positive social cues to help identify “allies”. They write:

“To the extent that sensitivity to certain types of social rewards is preserved in inflammatory-related depression, this hypothesis suggests a spared island of motivational significance for these individuals.” 

In other words, you can be flat out on the couch, and even suicidal, but there is a part of your behavioral sensing mechanism that is still asking for and receptive to human connection.

They also discuss the literature that suggests that social isolation and rejection lead to inflammation. In this way, an awareness of these feelings of social disconnection may actually be the missing link to depression (not everyone with inflammation gets depressed), ultimately driving a type of enhanced responsiveness to “friendly connection” to bring the depressed person back to a place of connectedness. Perhaps this is why and how a trusting therapeutic relationship with a healer carries significant weight in resolving chronic disease.

They conclude with compelling nuance:

Social behavior influences the immune system – Social isolation leads to inflammation (with some groups 2.5 times more likely to have elevated CRP levels!) and specific effects on the immune system. I explore this in my peer-reviewed, indexed paper on the role of mental health in vaccine response. Additionally, a recent paper on “dyadic coping” demonstrated that couples who have high self-reported communication have less reactive immune systems to interpersonal stress.

The immune system influences social behavior – The immune system directs social behavior leading to specific interpersonal sensitivities, motives, and drives. Baseline inflammation renders people (especially women) more sensitive to further inflammatory responses to social stress. So, once sensitized, chronic inflammation leads to a louder call to respond to positive social cues.

The Magic Ingredient: The Tribe

This paper is powerful evidence for the role of perceived social safety and connectedness in healing inflammation. While I advocate for diet as the portal to wellness, I also acknowledge that there are some who may archetypally need to lead with community. In fact, in our online course, Vital Mind Reset, participants claim that community may be the most critical element of the healing journeys they report over the 44 days. The online group is an incredibly powerful healing space, and I am inspired, daily, by the exchanges.

Most surprising in VMR to date posting assignment. It doesn’t have to do with diet, or meditation, or yoga, combined or separately. Instead, it is the individuals I’ve “met” and the community we’ve become. All good – which when I think about it, isn’t surprising at all.

Read More At: GreenMedInfo.com
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© [October 17, 2016] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.
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Arrested For Selling What?!

Source: iHealthTube.com
August 26, 2016

Victoria Bloch tells her own story of her experience volunteering at a farmer’s market and selling products to their community supported agriculture members. You won’t believe how she was treated and why she was taken to jail! She was handcuffed and arrested for selling what? Wait until you hear her story!

A Principle Of Wholeness

QuestionEverything2

NoMoreFakeNews.com
Jon Rappoport
August 9, 2016

Suppose you had a community in which there were families but relatively few fathers. For various reasons, the fathers were absent, gone. But the mothers were there, and they had to raise the children.

A wholeness is gone. You can try to talk your way around it, but you can’t. The children are missing something, and that’s all there is to it.

Now you’re going to step in and “solve the problem.” One thing is certain: you’re going to come up with some bizarre plans, because the actual answer is the missing fathers.

That’s obvious to everyone.

But this is a tricky area, because the complexities of “solutions” have been piled up on each other for a long time. You have some very odd structures now. It seems you are wandering farther and farther afield.

If this were pure mathematics (which it isn’t), you’d have something like this: 1 plus 1 plus 1 equals 3. But then you took away a 1, and you still tried to get 3 as the answer. You would then find many 1’s which are not real 1’s and you would plug them into the equation and pretend it was all working correctly.

But it wasn’t and isn’t.

The answer is way back there where the 1’s went missing. They disappeared.

The fathers disappeared and stopped being fathers (if they ever started). Again, you can try to talk your way around this, but it doesn’t work.

Continue Reading At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

[Book Review] You Are The Awakening By Zen Gardner

ZG.jpg
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
July 25, 2016

There are many people in the alternative media/research community that are putting out good information, without a doubt.  Then, there is an even narrower set of individuals putting out even better, more thought provoking, yet discerning information.  Zen Gardner is part of the latter.

For years, Zen Gardner has made it a mission of writing information in a manner that’s truthful, sobering, and yet, empowering.  What makes his work so great is that he distills everything down in a narrow approach that not only helps individuals see the incoming tyrannical government onslaught for what it is, but he does so in a manner that does not instill fear, but responsibility rather.

In You Are The Awakening, Zen Gardner showcases many of his best essays in an easy to read format that helps shed light on many pressing issues individuals/society faces.

Zen’s inspiring spirit flows through his writings, and his work has helped inspire many individuals to live a more authentic, well rounded and purposeful life.

Throughout the book, issue after issue is explored, and details into how our reality is being manipulated are gazed into in a salient fashion.  Some of these issues included mainstream media, propaganda, politics, divide and conquer, solutions, consciousness, and much much more.

The author isn’t afraid to call it how he sees it, which is always greatly appreciated, but he also helps individuals not panic.  Instead, Zen is all about rousing action through self awareness and deep ruminations.

Throughout this book the reader gets a feel of a genuine commitment to making individuals stronger, and making the world a better place.  And that’s certainly not something we witness every day.

To that effect, Zen often brings issues down to a local, community, and individual level, which is where the rubber meets the road.  That’s where we each individually have the most power, and that’s where we can see an individual-driven tsunami of change growing, and how it will continue to grow over time with every positive action we take.

If you’ve read Zen’s work, you will appreciate this book greatly.  And if you haven’t, this is an excellent starting point to help yourself gaze through the lens of an individual that has made it his life mission to help empower others to reach their inherent maximum innermost potential.

What’s not to love about that?

 

The Gift That Keeps On Giving: Inner Cities, Violence, Poverty, Drugs

The gift that keeps on giving: inner cities, violence, poverty, gangs, drugs, BLM, shaming, guilt, Globalism

Geopolitics
Source: NoMoreFakeNews.com | JonRappoport.wordpress.com
Jon Rappoport
July 15, 2016

Suppose, instead of meeting for three hours with Black Lives Matter leaders…

The President of the United States, seized with some unexplainable attack of conscience, or a drug-induced revelation, stood up in front of television cameras and spoke to the nation and the world about…

The real web that entangles and holds inner cities hostage.

Suppose the President suddenly said:

“My fellow Americans, the first thing you have to know is that, since 1966, when the federal government declared a War on Poverty, it has spent some two trillion dollars, much of it earmarked for the inner cities of America. And now, today, those areas are worse off than ever.

“For various reasons, including massive theft of funds, this War is a total failure.

“Second, the elite march toward Globalism—the control of the planet exercised by a few powerful groups—has purposely sent manufacturing jobs out of America, and out of inner cities, to Third World countries—and one effect has been the massive loss of jobs here.

“Poverty, already a fact of life in inner cities, has spread like wildfire.

“On top of all this, we have seen the expansion of criminal gangs in poverty-stricken urban communities. Violence and fear there is a way of life. And there has never been a comprehensive federal strategy for ridding our cities of this abominable scourge.

“Do you want to know why? Because gangs cooperate with Mexican cartels to distribute street drugs across America. Gangs have been vital cogs in that machine. And the federal government is in the drug business. I should say, certain players in the government, attached to government, above and behind government—bankers, for example—profit greatly from this industry.

“For instance, federal agencies struck a deal with the Sinaloa Cartel years ago, marking out free and open routes between our southern border and several US hub cities. Sinaloa does uninterrupted trafficking along those routes. No significant arrests are made. No interventions occur.

“In return for this accommodation, Sinaloa passes along actionable intelligence on its rival cartels, and our federal agencies can and do make arrests and seizures in those cases.

“Wiping out the American gang scourge would put a crimp in the permitted drug business, and therefore, those groups are left in place. We, the government, pretend these gangs are little more than ‘disadvantaged youth’ who need an opportunity to fulfill themselves. We do everything in our power to frame the problem in terms of sociological causes—and we purposely avoid the stark fact that these boys and men commit terrible crimes and hold inner cities hostage by creating and sustaining a climate of fear and danger and drug addiction.

“In truth, police brutality accounts for a very small fraction of lives lost in those inner city communities.

“Meanwhile, the relatively few citizens of inner cities who do manage, against heavy odds, to launch successful local businesses, are never deployed to spearhead and teach their neighbors how to achieve that kind of remarkable success. We may pin on a badge, or present a plaque, or stage a photo op, but we never deploy federal money to make these authentic business leaders into long-term instructors in the art they have mastered. That is tragic.

“Do you want to talk about cooperation? In several American inner cities, local heroes have created urban farms. Residents of all ages learn to grow their own food. Their own fresh, clean food. What a magnificent achievement. With an infinitesimal fraction of the federal money we have wastefully dumped into the War on Poverty, we could have these pioneers start up a hundred, a thousand, ten thousand expansive urban farms across America. —Food grown by the people who will eat it. This project alone would revolutionize life in those places. Why aren’t we doing it? Why can’t government find these private citizens who are already tremendous problem solvers and empower them to solve more problem, instead of backing tired old race-baiting blowhards?

“I’ll tell you why. The government is a jealous master. It wants to define, control, and solve problems. It doesn’t really matter whether the problems are overcome, as long as government is in charge. That is a hideous fact of life, and we have to change it. Our wasteful, incompetent, and in some cases, criminal federal programs have to be sidetracked and stopped. They are runaway trains, and they must be led to terminals and parked.

Continue Reading At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com

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Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

Why WordPress Is Appreciated So Much By Me

Creativity
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
July 10, 2016

“Creativity is the greatest rebellion in existence.”
– Osho

“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”
– Martin Luther King

As someone who appreciates conscious creative potential in many forms, WordPress is a breath of fresh air.

The countless ways in which people choose to express their creative consciousness is beyond volumous.

From photography, to painting, short stories, poetry, fashion, and more, WordPress has become a cornerstone of artists of all styles.

When seeing the sundry set of individuals which carry out their creativity, it helps drive me innumerable ways.  Bearing witness to all the fascinating creations people have put forth is quite remarkable.

In a way, the tidal wave of creativity that is being expressed has made it harder for individuals to congeal/conform and made it simpler for creativity to expand into uncharted territory.  This has helped foster an environment of community, participation and unfettered learning in myriad ways.  The great part is, it doesn’t stop there.

The actions each and every individual takes sharing their creative potential, like a growing wave heading towards the shore, increases with every new step individuals take.  Momentum has built, and built, and finally a sizeable wave has emerged with the signatures of all who’ve contributed to its growing potential.  The intriguing part is that, this wave can still grow larger.  That’s because the creative potential individuals possess has no limit.

People of all types and ages are serving up cosmic dishes of creativity that are inspiring people like myself, and many others.  This is intriguing to watch, and am very appreciate of people’s choice to contribute something they feel ought to be shared with the world.

Be it on wordpress, or in everyday  life, support of others who are contributing something positive to your life, or within your sphere is vital.

If there are people helping you thrive, or driving you to action and empowering you to empower yourself in the process, regardless if its within the realm of arts or not, let them know.  It’s the least we can do.

To all who are the fuel to my firestorm, many unending thanks.  You’ve helped drive me, and many others to strive for what each of our passions might be.  That’s invaluable.

Without you, not only would this world be far less creative, but also less fascinating.

And who would want a world like that?