LJ VANIER: “6 Surprising Benefits of Crying (or Why It’s So Important to Have a Good Cry)”

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When was the last time you had a good cry?  Most folks see watery eyes as a sign of emotional weakness, however, confronting your emotions requires a great deal of strength in the form of personal vulnerability.

Amidst a continuous stream of salty tears slowly sliding down our check, making our eyes puffy and temporary blurring our vision, do you ever wonder what emotional or physical benefits this suspended state of helplessness could have on our delicate and fragile physic?

Well, grab a tissue if you have to and read on to learn some surprising benefits of crying.

1.Crying Releases Toxins

Crying is known to have both physical and mental cleansing effect. The tears that are produced by stress aid the body in getting rid of the stress hormone known as cortisol.

Just like other exocrine processes like urinating, exhaling, sweating, toxic substances are released from the body when we cry. Pain reducing protein prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and the endorphin leucine-enkephalin are the major chemicals present in emotional tears.

2. Crying Improves Vision

It has been confirmed that tears made by the lacrimal gland can clear up our vision by lubrication the eyelids and eyeballs. Vision can become a little blurry when the membranes of the eyes are dehydrated.

Tears bathe the surface of the eyes which keep it moist by washing away debris and dust. Crying can also guide against the dehydration of various mucous membrane.

3. Anti Bacteria

Crying can also be a good way to get rid of bacteria. Tears are known to contain lysozyme — a fluid also found in semen, human milk, saliva, and mucus that kills almost 90 percent of all type of bacteria within 10 minutes.

Studies have also shown that strong antimicrobial powers can also protect against intentional anthrax contamination. Lysozyme can kill some bacteria by completely destroying their cell walls the rigid outer shell that is known to provide a protective coating.

4. Mood Improvement 

Tears can improve our mood better than any current antidepressant available in the market.

A study in 2008 from the University of South Florida discovers that crying can be self-soothing and elevate the mood better than any antidepressant in some cases. The shedding of tear can dramatically improve the mood of over 90 percent of all cries compared to just eight percent who reported feeling worse after crying. Individuals with an anxiety disorder were less likely to experience any positive effects after crying.

5. Relieves Stress

Even if circumstances still remain the same, a good cry can provide a feeling of relief. Crying is general known to release stress hormone or toxins from the body which can significantly reduce tension.

It is generally believed that crying is a better alternative to punching the wall. Crying is a safe and effective way to deal with stress as it provides an emotional release of pent-up negative feeling, frustration and stresses.

6. Communication Boost

Crying can convey what words cannot express, most especially in a relationship.  This is mostly obvious when a person in the relationship is having a different reaction to a situation that isn’t too transparent until tears begin to show. It is at the very moment one person burst into tears that conversation shifts towards the emotional aspect. Crying can quell a fight and emphasize points not conveyed in words or simply underscore the significance of the feeling behind the dialogue.

In conclusion, a good cry can naturally heal us both psychologically and physiologically.

 

 

 

 

~via isoulscience.com

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JOE BATTAGLIA: “If You Want To Accelerate Brain Development In Children — Teach Them Music”

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Alternative and complementary treatments such as creative art, meditation, and yoga have been proposed to bridge many gaps that conventional medicine cannot. But music, because of its ubiquity in our society as well as its ease of transmission, has perhaps the greatest potential among alternative therapies to reach people in deep and profound ways. Music matters and it heals.

Music instruction appears to accelerate brain development in young children, particularly in the areas of the brain responsible for processing sound, language development, speech perception and reading skills, according to initial results of a five-year study by USC neuroscientists.

We now know through controlled treatment outcome studies that listening to and playing music is a potent treatment for mental health issues. 400 published scientific papers have proven the old adage that “music is medicine.”

Research demonstrates that adding music therapy to treatment improves symptoms and social functioning among schizophrenics. Further, music therapy has demonstrated efficacy as an independent treatment for reducing depression, anxiety and chronic pain.

The Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at USC began the five-year study in 2012 in partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) to examine the impact of music instruction on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

These initial study results, published recently in the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, provide evidence of the benefits of music education at a time when many schools around the nation have either eliminated or reduced music and arts programs. The study shows music instruction speeds up the maturation of the auditory pathway in the brain and increases its efficiency.

“We are broadly interested in the impact of music training on cognitive, socio-emotional and brain development of children,” said Assal Habibi, the study’s lead author and a senior research associate at the BCI in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “These results reflect that children with music training, compared with the two other comparison groups, were more accurate in processing sound.”

For this longitudinal study, the neuroscientists are monitoring brain development and behavior in a group of 37 children from underprivileged neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Thirteen of the children, at 6 or 7 years old, began to receive music instruction through the Youth Orchestra Los Angeles program at HOLA. The community music training program was inspired by the El Sistema method, one that LA Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel had been in when he was growing up in Venezuela.


Learning the Violin

The children earn to play instruments, such as the violin, in ensembles and groups, and they practice up to seven hours a week.

The scientists are comparing the budding musicians with peers in two other groups: 11 children in a community soccer program, and 13 children who are not involved in any specific after-school programs.

The neuroscientists are using several tools to monitor changes in them as they grow: MRI to monitor changes through brain scans, EEG to track electrical activity in the brains, behavioral testing and other such techniques.

Within two years of the study, the neuroscientists found the auditory systems of children in the music program were maturing faster in them than in the other children. The fine-tuning of their auditory pathway could accelerate their development of language and reading, as well as other abilities – a potential effect which the scientists are continuing to study.

The enhanced maturity reflects an increase in neuroplasticity – a physiological change in the brain in response to its environment – in this case, exposure to music and music instruction.

“The auditory system is stimulated by music,” Habibi said. “This system is also engaged in general sound processing that is fundamental to language development, reading skills and successful communication.”


Ear to Brain

The auditory system connects our ear to our brain to process sound. When we hear something, our ears receive it in the form of vibrations that it converts into a neural signal. That signal is then sent to the brainstem, up to the thalamus at the center of the brain, and outward to its final destination, the primary auditory cortex, located near the sides of the brain.

The progress of a child’s developing auditory pathway can be measured by EEG, which tracks electrical signals, specifically those referred to as “auditory evoked potentials.”

In this study, the scientists focused on an evoked potential called P1. They tracked amplitude – the number of neurons firing – as well as latency – the speed that the signal is transmitted. Both measures infer the maturity of the brain’s auditory pathways.

As children develop, both amplitude and the latency of P1 tend to decrease. This means that that they are becoming more efficient at processing sound.

At the beginning of the study and again two years later, the children completed a task measuring their abilities to distinguish tone. As the EEG was recording their electrical signals, they listened to violin tones, piano tones and single-frequency (pure) tones played.

The children also competed a tonal and rhythm discrimination task in which they were asked to identify similar and different melodies. Twice, they heard 24 melodies in randomized order and were asked to identify which ones differed in tone and rhythm, and which were the same in tone and rhythm.

Children who were in the youth orchestra program were more accurate at detecting pitch changes in the melodies than the other two groups. All three groups were able to identify easily when the melodies were the same. However, children with music training had smaller P1 potential amplitude compared to the other children, indicating a faster rate of maturation.

“We observed a decrease in P1 amplitude and latency that was the largest in the music group compared to age-matched control groups after two years of training,” the scientists wrote. “In addition, focusing just on the (second) year data, the music group showed the smallest amplitude of P1 compared to both the control and sports group, in combination with the accelerated development of the N1 component.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://preventdisease.com

 

 

 

MARK DAVID: “The Healing Power of Cat Purrs”

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Those crazy cat ladies might be onto something. According to today’s infographic, our feline friends provide us with more than just emotional support. House cats may actually be contributing to our physical well-being. When a cat purrs within a range of 20-140 Hertz, nearby humans may be therapeutically benefiting from these vibrations. Purring has been linked to lowering stress, decreasing symptoms of Dyspnoea, lessening the chances of having a heart attack, and even strengthening bones.

Pet therapy is apparently gaining momentum in many medical communities, and according to Animal Planet’s website, there is scientific research that suggests pet owners live longer than those without pets.

It seems that our own animals have the ability to relieve us of our troubles, or at least make our worries seem less important. The bond between pets and their owners may never be fully understood (cats in particular have always struck me as magical and mysterious–and now they have healing powers?!) but it’s nice to know having a furry confidant around can add years to our lives.

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[Above photo of “Junior” by Ascension Avatar]

www.EndAllDisease.com