The long and the short of it: Coke & Extra Calories

 A short and a long version of the same fact is offered to you down below, both of them from the New York Times; the long article came first, yesterday, and I copied it here; today when about to publish it I see that the same fact is now also the topic of the editorial ! So now you’ll get both versions: first, today’s short one, and then, if you want to go deeper into it, you can go on to the long one from yesterday, which gives very interesting details to the whole matter. Here you go:
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Credit Mike Blake/Reuters

The Coca-Cola Company, which has suffered a large decline in consumption of sugary sodas as consumers worry about obesity, has formed a new organization to emphasize exercise as the best way to control obesity and to play down the importance of cutting calories.

Coke and other beverage makers have long funneled money to industry-leaning scientists and formed innocent-sounding front groups to spread the message that sugary sodas have no deleterious effect on health and should not be taxed or regulated. The new organization, the nonprofit Global Energy Balance Network, is the latest effort to put a “science based” gloss on industry positions, as described by Anahad O’Connor in The Times.

It is led by respected scientists who say Coca-Cola will have no control over what they study or say, but corporate sponsorship tends to affect a study’s results. An analysis published in PLOS Medicine found that studies financed by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies reporting no industry sponsorship or financial conflicts of interest.

The beverage industry in general, and Coca-Cola in particular, have suffered from public health campaigns against sugar-sweetened beverages. Since the late 1990s, the amount of full-calorie soda drunk by the average American has dropped 25 percent, from 40 gallons a year in 1998 to 30 gallons in 2014. As calorie consumption from beverages and other foods plummeted, obesity rates stopped rising for adults and school-age children and came down for the youngest children. The epidemic is not over — more than a third of American adults are still considered obese — but trends are heading in the right direction for public health.

That poses potential financial problems for Coca-Cola. In its 2014 annual report to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company cited a multitude of risk factors that could adversely affect its business. First on the list was “obesity concerns” that could cause consumers to stop drinking sugary sodas, lead governments to impose new taxes or regulations and prompt lawsuits, actions which could “adversely affect our profitability.” Although Coke and Pepsi also sell diet sodas, those sales have also been declining in recent years, apparently because of fears over the safety of their substitute sweeteners.

The industry has used a variety of tactics to spread its message — providing speakers for conventions or educational courses of dietitians and nutritionists, financing the research of like-minded scientists, and deploying armies of lobbyists to persuade cities, states and Congress not to crack down on sugary drinks. In a particularly brazen move, Coca-Cola paid dietitians to write blog posts or articles in February suggesting that a mini-can of Coke would make a good snack food. A mini-can of Coke contains 7½ ounces and has 90 calories. A regular 12-ounce can has 140 calories.

In Philadelphia, when the mayor sought to impose a new tax on sugary sodas, the industry’s trade group created a new foundation to provide a $10 million grant to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to fund research and treat overweight children, and successfully lobbied the City Council to let the proposal die. In New York State in 2010, Gov. David Paterson proposed a 1-cent-per-ounce tax to be paid by the bottlers or distributors. Coke, Pepsi and the rest of the industry responded with a burst of lobbying and political contributions and an advertising campaign describing it as an unfair tax that would cut into family food budgets. The tax proposal went nowhere in the Legislature.

Meanwhile, the evidence continues to mount that sugar-sweetened drinks are a major contributor to obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and that exercise makes only a modest contribution to weight loss compared to ingesting fewer calories.

(Original article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/14/opinion/coke-tries-to-sugarcoat-the-truth-on-calories.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20150814)

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Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets

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An image from a video by the Coca-Cola Foundation. In November 2012, the foundation  announced a $3 million grant to Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. The grant was intended to establish a wellness program.
An image from a video by the Coca-Cola Foundation. In November 2012, the foundation  announced a $3 million grant to Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance. The grant was intended to establish a wellness program.Credit

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages, is backing a new “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis: To maintain a healthy weight, get more exercise and worry less about cutting calories.

The beverage giant has teamed up with influential scientists who are advancing this message in medical journals, at conferences and through social media. To help the scientists get the word out, Coke has provided financial and logistical support to a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which promotes the argument that weight-conscious Americans are overly fixated on how much they eat and drink while not paying enough attention to exercise.

“Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, ‘Oh they’re eating too much, eating too much, eating too much’ — blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks and so on,” the group’s vice president, Steven N. Blair, an exercise scientist, says in a recent video announcing the new organization. “And there’s really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause.”

Health experts say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. They contend that the company is using the new group to convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume.

This clash over the science of obesity comes in a period of rising efforts to tax sugary drinks, remove them from schools and stop companies from marketing them to children. In the last two decades, consumption of full-calorie sodas by the average American has dropped by 25 percent.

“Coca-Cola’s sales are slipping, and there’s this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. “This is a direct response to the ways that the company is losing. They’re desperate to stop the bleeding.”

Coke has made a substantial investment in the new nonprofit. In response to requests based on state open-records laws, two universities that employ leaders of the Global Energy Balance Network disclosed that Coke had donated $1.5 million last year to start the organization.

Since 2008, the company has also provided close to $4 million in funding for various projects to two of the organization’s founding members: Dr. Blair, a professor at the University of South Carolina whose research over the past 25 years has formed much of the basis of federal guidelines on physical activity, and Gregory A. Hand, dean of the West Virginia University School of Public Health.

Records show that the network’s website, gebn.org, is registered to Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, and the company is also listed as the site’s administrator. The group’s president, James O. Hill, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said Coke had registered the website because the network’s members did not know how.

“They’re not running the show,” he said. “We’re running the show.”

Coca-Cola’s public relations department repeatedly declined requests for an interview with its chief scientific officer, Rhona Applebaum, who has called attention to the new group on Twitter. In a statement, the company said it had a long history of supporting scientific research related to its beverages and topics such as energy balance.

“We partner with some of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and physical activity,” the statement said. “It’s important to us that the researchers we work with share their own views and scientific findings, regardless of the outcome, and are transparent and open about our funding.”

Dr. Blair and other scientists affiliated with the group said that Coke had no control over its work or message and that they saw no problem with the company’s support because they had been transparent about it.

But as of last week, the group’s Twitter and Facebook pages, which promote physical activity as a solution to chronic disease and obesity while remaining largely silent on the role of food and nutrition, made no mention of Coca-Cola’s financial support. So far, the social media campaign has failed to gain much traction: As of Friday, the group had fewer than 1,000 followers on Twitter.

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A  screengrab from the video about Coke's  commitment to promoting fitness in Chicago.<br /> <br /><br /><br />
A  screengrab from the video about Coke’s  commitment to promoting fitness in Chicago.Credit

The group’s website also omitted mention of Coke’s backing until Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa, wrote to the organization to inquire about its funding. Dr. Blair said this was an oversight that had been quickly corrected.

“As soon as we discovered that we didn’t have not only Coca-Cola but other funding sources on the website, we put it on there,” Dr. Blair said. “Does that make us totally corrupt in everything we do?”

Coke’s involvement in the new organization is not the only example of corporate-funded research and advocacy to come under fire lately. The American Society for Nutrition and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have been criticized by public health advocates for forming partnerships with companies such as Kraft Foods, McDonald’s, PepsiCo and Hershey’s. Dietitians have also faced criticism for taking payments from Coke to present the company’s soda as a healthy snack.

Critics say Coke has long cast the obesity epidemic as primarily an exercise problem. “The message is that obesity is not about the foods or beverages you’re consuming, it’s that you’re not balancing those foods with exercise,” Dr. Freedhoff of the University of Ottawa said.

Now, public health advocates say, Coca-Cola is going a step further, recruiting reputable scientists to make the case for them.

Dr. Hill, the nonprofit’s president, is a co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry, a long-term study of people who have lost weight, and has served on committees for the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health. The American Society for Nutrition refers to him as “a leader in the fight against the global obesity epidemic.”

Barry M. Popkin, a professor of global nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said Coke’s support of prominent health researchers was reminiscent of tactics used by the tobacco industry, which enlisted experts to become “merchants of doubt” about the health hazards of smoking.

Marion Nestle, the author of the book “Soda Politics” and a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, was especially blunt: “The Global Energy Balance Network is nothing but a front group for Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola’s agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake.”

Funding from the food industry is not uncommon in scientific research. But studies suggest that the funds tend to bias findings. A recent analysis of beverage studies, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found that those funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry were five times more likely to find no link between sugary drinks and weight gain than studies whose authors reported no financial conflicts.

On its website, the new nonprofit promises to be “the voice of science” in discussions about healthy lifestyles and contends that the concept of energy balance provides “a new science-based framework” for achieving a stable body weight.

The group says there is “strong evidence” that the key to preventing weight gain is not reducing food intake — as many public health experts recommend — “but maintaining an active lifestyle and eating more calories.” To back up this contention, the group provides links to two research papers, each of which contains this footnote: “The publication of this article was supported by The Coca-Cola Company.”

In March, Dr. Hill, Dr. Blair, and Dr. Hand announced the creation of the organization in an editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. They argued that the public and many scientists largely overlooked physical inactivity as a cause of obesity. They said they were creating the Global Energy Balance Network to raise awareness “about both sides of the energy balance equation.”

The editorial contained a disclosure that the group had received an “unrestricted education gift” from Coca-Cola.

In response to a request made under the state Freedom of Information Act, the University of South Carolina disclosed that Dr. Blair had received more than $3.5 million in funding from Coke for research projects since 2008.

The university also disclosed that Coca-Cola had provided significant funding to Dr. Hand, who left the University of South Carolina last year for West Virginia. The company gave him $806,500 for an “energy flux” study in 2011 and $507,000 last year to establish the Global Energy Balance Network.

It is unclear how much of the money, if any, ended up as personal income for the professors.

“As long as everybody is disclosing their potential conflicts and they’re being managed appropriately, that’s the best that you can do,” Dr. Hand said. “It makes perfect sense that companies would want the best science that they can get.”

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Three scientists who helped start the new nonprofit supported by Coke, from left: Steven N. Blair, a professor in the department of exercise science, epidemiology and biostatistics at the  University of South Carolina;  James O. Hill, a professor at the  University of Colorado School of Medicine; and Gregory A. Hand,  dean of the West Virginia University School of Public Health.
Three scientists who helped start the new nonprofit supported by Coke, from left: Steven N. Blair, a professor in the department of exercise science, epidemiology and biostatistics at the  University of South Carolina;  James O. Hill, a professor at the  University of Colorado School of Medicine; and Gregory A. Hand,  dean of the West Virginia University School of Public Health.Credit University of Colorado, West Virginia University

The group’s president, Dr. Hill, also has financial ties to Coca-Cola. The company last year gave an “unrestricted monetary gift” of $1 million to the University of Colorado Foundation. In response to a request made under the Colorado Open Records Act, the university said that Coca-Cola had provided the money “for the purposes of funding” the Global Energy Balance Network.

Dr. Hill said he had sought money from Coke to start the nonprofit because there was no funding available from his university. The group’s website says it is also supported by a few universities and ShareWIK Media Group, a producer of videos about health. Dr. Hill said that he had also received a commitment of help from General Mills, as well as promises of support from other businesses, which had not formally confirmed their offers.

He said he believed public health authorities could more easily change the way people eat by working with the food industry instead of against it.

On its website, the group recommends combining greater exercise and food intake because, Dr. Hill said, “ ‘Eat less’ has never been a message that’s been effective. The message should be ‘Move more and eat smarter.’ ”

He emphasized that weight loss involved a combination of complex factors and that his group’s goal was not to play down the role of diet or to portray obesity as solely a problem of inadequate exercise.

“If we are out there saying it’s all about physical activity and it’s not about food, then we deserve criticism,” he said. “But I think we haven’t done that.”

But in news releases and on its website, the group has struck a different tone.

“The media tends to blame the obesity epidemic on our poor eating habits,” one recent news release states. “But are those french fries really the culprit? Dr. Steve Blair explains that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV.”

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Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa.
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa.Credit Justin Tang for The New York Times

In the news release, Dr. Blair suggests that sedentary behavior is a bigger factor.

Most public health experts say that energy balance is an important concept, because weight gain for most people is about calories in vs. calories out. But the experts say research makes it clear that one side of the equation has a far greater effect.

While people can lose weight in several ways, many studies suggest that those who keep it off for good consume fewer calories. Growing evidence also suggests that maintaining weight loss is easier when people limit their intake of high glycemic foods such as sugary drinks and other refined carbohydrates, which sharply raise blood sugar.

Physical activity is important and certainly helps, experts say. But studies show that exercise increases appetite, causing people to consume more calories. Exercise also expends far fewer calories than most people think. A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola, for example, contains 140 calories and roughly 10 teaspoons of sugar. “It takes three miles of walking to offset that one can of Coke,” Dr. Popkin said.

In one of the most rigorous studies of physical activity and weight loss, published in the journal Obesity, scientists recruited 200 overweight, sedentary adults and put them on an aggressive exercise program. To isolate the effects of exercise on their weight, the subjects were instructed not to make any changes in their diets.

Participants were monitored to ensure they exercised five to six hours a week, more than double the 2.5 weekly hours of exercise recommended in federal guidelines. After a year, the men had lost an average of just 3.5 pounds, the women 2.5. Almost everyone was still overweight or obese.

“Adding exercise to a diet program helps,” said Dr. Anne McTiernan, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. “But for weight loss, you’re going to get much more impact with diet changes.”

But much like the research on sugary drinks, studies of physical activity funded by the beverage industry tend to reach conclusions that differ from the findings of studies by independent scientists.

Last week, the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana announced the findings of a large new study on exercise in children that determined that lack of physical activity “is the biggest predictor of childhood obesity around the world.”

The news release contained a disclosure: “This research was funded by The Coca-Cola Company.”

Kelly D. Brownell, dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, said that as a business, Coke “focused on pushing a lot of calories in, but then their philanthropy is focused on the calories out part, the exercise.”

In recent years, Coke has donated money to build fitness centers in more than 100 schools across the country. It sponsors a program called “Exercise is Medicine” to encourage doctors to prescribe physical activity to patients. And when Chicago’s City Council proposed a soda tax in 2012 to help address the city’s obesity problem, Coca-Cola donated $3 million to establish fitness programs in more than 60 of the city’s community centers.

The initiative to tax soda ultimately failed.

“Reversing the obesity trend won’t happen overnight,” Coca-Cola said in an ad for its Chicago exercise initiative. “But for thousands of families in Chicago, it starts now, with the next push-up, a single situp or a jumping jack.”

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There was even a video from Coke at the end of this longer article, but I thought if you want to see it you can just go to the original address of the article (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/coca-cola-funds-scientists-who-shift-blame-for-obesity-away-from-bad-diets/).

My own remarks and conclusions about the whole matter will be the topic of a new post soon!…

Cells Do Respond to Your Improvised ‘Mantra’

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Victoria Duval, 19, last week in Bradenton, Fla. She learned that she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014. Thirteen months after her last match, she will compete this week at a tournament in Landisville, Pa. Credit Melissa Lyttle for The New York Times

When Victoria Duval learned last year that she had cancer, the only thing she knew to do was win.

Duval, then 18, received a diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system, the day before her first qualifying match at Wimbledon. Despite the news, she stayed and played.

“I didn’t really see another way out at the time, other than to try to win every match to avoid going home, because I didn’t want to have to face the reality of what was going on,” Duval said last week in an interview.

“I didn’t really realize how brave I was until I came home and everyone in my family and my friends, they told me that if they got told the same thing the day before they had to play a match, they wouldn’t have been able to finish, because that’s like the biggest emotional blow you can hear. To me, I was just thinking that I needed to keep winning so I didn’t go home. For me, to keep playing was easier.”

Duval kept playing, and winning, taking the three matches needed to qualify for the Wimbledon main draw as well as her first match in the tournament. But when she was in the locker room during a rain delay before her second-round match, Duval’s thoughts began to wander to her grim future.

“It was the first time I really thought about what I had to face when I went home, which was a terrible idea,” she said. “I went on my phone, and I looked up chemotherapy, and I looked up what exactly goes into it. And I just started hysterically crying because I didn’t know if I could do this. When I went out on the court, I played that whole match crying, and it was kind of a nightmare. And then when we went to the doctor, he said all the side effects I saw online, I was like, Oh, boy, this is it.”

While her ranking soared into the top 100 for the first time on the strength of her performance at Wimbledon, Duval began chemotherapy treatment. She said she found herself in a darker place than she had been before.

“Sometimes I felt so terrible after the chemo, I just sat on my bed and said: ‘I’m not sick! I’m not sick! I’m not sick!’ ” she said. “I repeated that 10, 20, 30, 50 times, and guess what? By the end I felt fine.”

Duval and her family also drew from what they had learned from a previous crisis, when her father, Jean-Maurice, was nearly killed in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He was eventually pulled alive from the rubble after 11 hours, but he had sustained lasting paralysis in one arm.

“My dad went through the same thing as well, and gained an appreciation for life,” Duval said. “His chances of survival meant that he shouldn’t be here, and now he makes the most of every moment. For me, it’s even more special because I get a chance to play. I know that it could easily not be the case. I’m just super grateful.”

Fellow players offered what help they could. Duval’s idol, Venus Williams, was especially attentive.

“Venus actually reached out quite a bit, which I was so shocked and so amazed by,” Duval said. “I love her so much, and the fact that she took the time out of her busy, busy life to send me a text at least once a week or so, that was really incredible.”

Ross Hutchins, a retired British doubles specialist who had his own battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also contacted Duval, whom he had never met. “She was a shining light,” he said. “What a personality.”

Duval first stepped back onto the court last October, but weakened by chemotherapy, she found that nothing came quickly. Gradually, 30 minutes became an hour; an hour became 90 minutes. Two weeks ago, she played a full three-set match in practice for the first time.

“I always knew how strong of a person I was, but it definitely reinforced the true grit I have inside of me,” Duval said. “To come out of anything that severe you have to be extremely resilient, and so strong mentally. To be able to start playing again, that took even more.”

Thirteen months after her last match, Duval will compete for the first time since her comeback this week at a small tournament in Landisville, Pa., then in the qualifying draw of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. She has not yet received word about the United States Open wild card she hopes to receive.

The last time Duval played in Flushing Meadows, in 2013, she stunned the former champion Samantha Stosur and quickly became the darling of the tournament. Last year, in the midst of her chemotherapy, it was too difficult for her to watch.

“There’s nothing quite like it, being an American at the U.S. Open,” Duval said. “Especially after all I’ve been through, I think there’s going to be so, so much support, and I’m really looking forward to it. The U.S. Open is the closest tournament to my heart. That’s where my biggest memories in tennis are, so I can’t wait to make a few more.”

Correction: August 9, 2015
An earlier version of this article misstated the year of the Haiti earthquake. It occurred in 2010, not 2011.

Awareness of Cells’ Consciousness Is Spreading!

Your Cells Are Listening: How Talking To Your Body Helps You Heal

“Every part of your body has its own consciousness or its own soul.”  These transformative words, spoken by indigenous medicine women, began my journey within to discover the extraordinary healing capacity of the human body.

When this perspective was introduced to me, I was suffering from a severe chronic pain disorder.  I suddenly imagined incorporating this concept into my meditation routine.  I thought, Can my body hear me…can I talk to it to gain its cooperation in healing this condition?

therese-wade-blog1-e1436896959579

That night, after reaching a state of deep calm through meditation, I inwardly engaged my body in a heartfelt conversation, with hope, but having no idea what to expect.  After about one hour of this focused communication, something amazing happened.  My tissues began to respond.  Connective tissue pulled and stretched apart layers of scar tissue.  Nerves fired and my calf muscles began to perform flexion and extension exercises independently of my conscious control.  As this response continued, one of my calf muscles that had become paralyzed by the neuropathic condition — diagnosed as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy — came back to life as electric-like jolts shot through the area.

My heart pounded as I realized that the path to my freedom from this condition had finally begun.  With a background in acupuncture and Oriental medicine, I knew too well how prevalent chronic pain is in this country and I wondered what the implications of this phenomenon could mean to so many others who were suffering.  As I continued to make progress with my condition, I organized my approach into a system that I could teach to clients and shifted my professional focus to hypnotherapy.

When instructing my clients, I explain that a regular meditation practice is necessary to train the brain to enter alpha and theta brain wave states.  While in these states, communication between the conscious mind and the physical body is dramatically enhanced.  I have found that when communicating, there are three key steps to gaining the cooperation of the body:

  • Approach your body with genuine compassion, understanding that it is made up of conscious cells who experience emotions.
  • Build trust by engaging your body in mental conversations about your desire for the two of you to cooperate and overcome the ailment.
  • Allow changes in the conversation by using different thoughts and words that elicit spontaneous elevated emotions.

From my experience, the above guidelines are necessary to achieve dynamic healing responses in the body. I recently came across a very similar set of factors that were discovered by researcher Cleve Backster, who spent 36 years studying biocommunication in plant, animal and human cells.  He referred to these factors as real intent, attunement, and spontaneity.[1]

Backster, formerly an interrogation specialist for the CIA, wrote about the defining moment which led him to his real work in this world, in his book Primary Perception.[2]  This moment occurred one February morning in 1966 when he decided to plantss-ismonitor the Dracaena plant in his lab utilizing polygraph equipment.  He attached the electrodes to a leaf and began to think about ways that he might induce a surge in electrical activity in the plant.  In humans this surge in electrical activity is associated with intense emotions.  He suddenly imagined burning the electroded leaf.

The same instant this idea entered his mind, the polygraph pen shot to the top of the chart showing an extreme reaction on the part of the plant.  Amazed, he walked to his secretary’s desk to retrieve a set of matches while pondering the possibility that this plant was somehow detecting the force of human intention.

When he returned with the matches, the plant was still showing the same high level reaction which would interfere with tracking additional changes on the chart.  Backster decided to “remove the threat” by returning the matches to the desk.  At this point, the chart displayed a downward trend as the plant apparently began to calm down.[3]  When Backster attempted to repeat the same results by pretending that he was going to burn the plant, there was no reaction.  The plant seemed to sense the difference between real and artificial intent. He eventually discovered that plants become attuned to their primary care takers, responding to both their positive and negative emotions and to their return after being away for a time.[4]  Chart findings also showed that plants prioritize the emotions of their primary care takers over the emotions of others nearby.

fig1d-pp-blog-cropped2

Backster later expanded his research to include testing human cells for signs of consciousness.  He collected white blood cells from human donors, electroded them in a test tube and then recorded the cells’ reactions as the donors experienced different emotional states.

He found that spontaneous emotions were necessary in order to elicit an electrical reaction in the cells.  For instance, if a donor forced herself to feel an emotion, the cells would not respond.  However, when she received a distressing phone call from her daughter, the cells reacted significantly.[5]

He noted that distance seemed to be irrelevant in these experiments. For example, a donor left his electroded cells behind in the lab, then kept a detailed log of any stressful emotions experienced on his trip home to another state, such as missing a turn on the freeway, standing in a long line at the airport, and the take-off of his plane.  Later, his logged incidents compared with the chart recording showed strong correlations between the timing of the stressful events and the electrical reactions in his cells.  The chart became quiet again when he arrived home and went to sleep.[6]

These experiments were conducted while using equipment that screened out electromagnetic radiation — the usual energies used for information transmission. The cells behaved as if the screens weren’t there, suggesting that this communication is carried by a field still unidentified by conventional science.[7]  Some scientists believe that the further development of quantum physics may help guide us to understand this field that communicates emotional intent between living things.[8]

big-bang

Quantum Entanglement is a process where two particles of matter which have interacted with each other, still behave as if they are connected after being separated by many miles.  When an energetic change is made to the properties (position, momentum and rotational spin) of one of the particles, the properties of the other distant particle will change at the same instant.

This scientific phenomenon and the research of Cleve Backster, point to the Eastern concept of oneness — the view that all of nature is interdependent.  Ancient cultures understood this interconnection as a living universal energy field that sustains life while guiding the evolution of consciousness throughout the universe. The meditation techniques involved in my practice bring the mind into attunement with this field.

Energy from this field is then focused into a physical healing event through clear intention — delivered by means of a conversation that evokes spontaneous emotions — and attunes the physical body to the conscious mind.  This method which I call Antara (Sanskrit for within), enables one to experience the raw creative healing ability generated by an alliance of the mind and body with this living universal energy field.

Therese Wade received her Master of Science Degree in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Bastyr University in 2003.  Her combined experience with Chinese medicine, shamanic studies, kundalini meditation and hypnotherapy are integrated within her approach to mind–body–spirit medicine.  Please visit AntaraHealingArts.com for more information.

[1] C. Backster, Primary Perception: Biocommunication with plants, living foods, and human cells, White Rose Millennium Press, 2003, pp. 29, 31-34, 39, 49-50. ISBN 0-966435435.
[2] Ibid., p. 20

[3] Ibid., pp. 21-25.
[4] Ibid., pp. 29-32
[5] Ibid., pp. 119-120
[6] Ibid., pp. 127-128.
[7] Ibid., pp. 40, 79, 151

[8] D. Radin, Entangled Minds: Extrasensory experiences in a quantum reality, Pocket Books, 2006, ISBN 13: 978-1-4165-1677-4; R. Sheldrake, Morphic Resonance: The nature of formative causation, Park Street Press, 2009, ISBN 978-1-59477-317-4; D. Wilcock, The Source Field Investigations, Penguin Group, 2011, ISBN 978-0-525-95204-6.

Basque Paella… in Boise, Idaho

Continue reading the main story Slide Show

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Celebrating Basque Heritage in Idaho

CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

BOISE, Idaho — When the president of the Basques arrived here in Idaho’s capital from Europe late last month, the mayor stepped in to interpret for him into English from Basque, one of the world’s most ancient and difficult languages.

Boise is part of Basque Country,” said the mayor, David H. Bieter, in an interview, explaining his role.

Mr. Bieter’s brother, John, a professor of history at Boise State University who was at the time running an academic conference across town about all things Basque — coordinated with the weeklong festival that had drawn the president, Iñigo Urkullu — said he could not agree more.

“If you’re into Basque studies,” he said, “this is Christmas.”

Many Americans might think of Idaho as potato country, so successfully has the agriculture industry branded the place, right down to the license plates. It is also one of the least ethnically diverse states, with more than 93 percent of its population classified as white, according to the census.

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A giant puppet, a Basque tradition, at the Jaialdi festival in Boise, Idaho. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

But every five years, a wild and often hidden streak in its history and culture steps up to shout, “Ongi Etorri!” (That’s Basque for “Welcome!”)

A Basque street party called Jaialdi takes over downtown Boise, celebrating the roots that were sunk deep by a wave of Basque immigrants who mostly came as shepherds in the early 20th century. The Bieter brothers, (pronounced BEE-ter), the unofficial first family of the local Basque world, dust off their chops in speaking the language. The taps open to a tide of kalimotxo, a Basque cocktail of red wine and cola. And people eat black beans and paella.

With an estimated 35,000 or more attendees — this year’s was the seventh Jaialdi (Basque for “festival time”) since the first one in 1987 — it is one of the biggest Basque festivals outside Europe.

And in much the same way that a walk down the street in Boston in mid-March can stir an impulse to wear a bit of green, Jaialdi draws in people like Anna Heathman. She and her husband, Dick, who drove here from their home in central Washington, said they felt a little bit Basque coming to Jaialdi, though in ethnic reality they are not.

“They have had to fight for identity,” said Ms. Heathman, 73, a retired massage therapist who was born in what is now Slovakia in Central Europe, which was swallowed up for decades by the former Czechoslovakia.

“Because they have no country, I can feel for them and the need to keep their history together,” she said, sitting on a bench in Basque Square. “My people had to fight too.”

Mr. Heathman, 75, a retired farmer, said he had mainly fallen in love with the food.

A century ago, Basques also came to other corners of the American West, like Bakersfield, Calif., and Elko, Nev. Thousands more went to Argentina and Chile. And in some places, those old roots withered to memory.

What happened to keep the story and heritage alive in Idaho was partly that in a state with a small population — 1.6 million now, and far smaller when the Basque wave broke — the immigrants stood out. Idaho’s Basques also mostly came from one province in Spain, Bizkaia, which created a cohesive web of interconnected families. California’s Basque community, by contrast, is much more heavily from the French side of the border.

Photo

Athletes competed in traditional Basque sports like the weightlifting of cubes. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

But it is also at least partly a family story, in how John and David Bieter’s father, Pat, fell in love with Basque life and pulled his family in with him, starting in the mid-1970s. Pat Bieter married into a Basque family (John and David’s mother, Eloise, was the daughter of Basque immigrants), and in 1974, as a professor of education at Boise State University, he led its first yearlong study-abroad foray to the Basque region in Spain, taking his family with him.

John was 12 that year, and David, now 55, was 14. Spain’s leader, Gen. Francisco Franco, who died in 1975, was still actively suppressing Basque traditions and language, which in turn led to an even deeper connection, the brothers said, as the Boise Basques and the Spanish Basques reached out to one another.

The trip became a university tradition and eventually an anchor of its Basque studies program, of which John Bieter, 53, is now the associate director.

“It completely transformed our lives,” he said of the 1974 trip.

David Bieter, who served in the State Legislature as a Democrat before being elected mayor in 2003, said that after his parents were killed in a car accident in 1999 — Pat was 68 and Eloise 73 — their father’s Basque dream seemed more important than ever to fulfill. “He saw something that ought to be done, and he was the one crazy enough to do it,” David Bieter said.

At the Basque Museum and Cultural Center, which has the only preschool Basque-language immersion program outside Europe, Shamilee Ybarguen-Adams was telling her two daughters one afternoon last week about the lonely lives of the immigrant sheepherders, and how once upon a time, Idaho had three million sheep that needed tending.

Ms. Ybarguen-Adams, 34, who lives in Boise and is the granddaughter of a Basque herder, said that for her, Jaialdi was partly about picking up where past Idaho Basques left off and making sure the next generation did not forget.

“The second generation tried to get away from it; the third is trying to bring it back,” she said. Her girls, Joanna, 6, and Isabella, 4, will start Basque dance lessons this fall, she said.

Out in the square, Xabier Urruzola Arana, 35, and his wife, Garazi Del Rey Salsamendi, 34, were talking about wine. They had come from their town of 300 people in the Basque region of Spain looking for a market and a distributor for their white wine, Txakolina (pronounced chock-oh-LEE-nah), which they started making in the family’s 14th-century farmhouse in 2011. It was their first Boise Jaialdi, they said.

“We’re new, just getting started,” Mr. Arana said. “But this is a good place to network.”

A Wonderful Discovery in Auroville: ‘LA PISCINE’

For several months I have been silently busy finding out more about the underlying health condition behind several problems in my body that weren’t apparently related, but in fact were.

A blood test had finally revealed the central key to the enigma of my overall bad health, and had revealed also heavy deficiencies in vit. B 12 and vit. D. – two deficiencies quite serious in that case, I found out on my own later, as they might have been powerful contributing causes to the beginning of the main illness itself, and to its continuation later on.

When these results of the blood test came up, as I preferred not to go for allopathic medicines, I was ordered to urgently eat more proteins of animal origin, and to get a good daily dose of sun rays on my body, especially the parts that usually are covered and don’t get any.

What an unbelievable irony: me, a girl from Martinique, who grew up in Africa, and have been in India for over forty years, to find myself with a vit. D deficiency!!! Of course as long as I lived on the beach, that is, for eighteen years, I had all the vit. D needed. So what had happened?…

Well, it is now nearly three years that, my house there being finally gone (a man-made heavy coastal erosion problem destroyed all the houses there slowly, my one was the last to go but in the end it also did) I have had to relocate as an emergency to another Auroville settlement, more inland. The place where I have been living since then has a number of beautiful, enormous trees of very diverse kinds (I possibly helped plant them in the early years like most everybody did at the time…) It is wonderful in many ways to live practically under a magnificent mango tree standing in front of your door, and to have behind the house two gigantic silk-cotton trees. But with the heavy foliage all those giants have, my house is just too much in the shade on both sides. Hence in the long term the lack of vit. D ….

What was I to do in such a catch 22 situation?… A few months back, not long after I discovered the hidden cause of my various health problems, a house became vacant in another beach settlement, one area of the Auroville beach that has survived more or less all right the coastal erosion and is not affected any more dangerously by it. I applied at once for that house, and waited patiently for it to be given to me through the allocating process orchestrated by the Auroville Housing Service.  In the meantime, I started going often to that empty house for having sunbaths and even some sea-baths from the ocean as well, as I felt this too was very much missing in my relocated life and would do me a lot of good. So I got used to changing there, lying discretely in the sun on the benches around the house, going to the sea and rinsing there after the bath, and then dressing up again before going back to my present home inland.

When a few weeks ago that house got allocated to another person, and so stopped being available anymore for me even for that little bit of use, I became almost desperate as to what else I could do to go on getting the sun and water treatments that were improving my health already so much. The Housing Service, still keenly aware of my need, is trying to find a way to build a new house for me there (the other one was quite old and in need of repair), but even if that proves possible, it will take many months before this house is ready. While waiting, what could I do to keep helping particularly my legs, and my heart too, also damaged already by the illness affecting the whole of my body…?

What was the Divine wanting me to do next???

It is then, in that moment of utter disappointment and near despair, that another Aurovilian, whom I happened to be speaking privately with, asked me if I was never going to ‘La Piscine’. I sighed, and answered warily that I could never go to any swimming-pool, as the chlorinated water would burn my eyes and make them red for days, make my skin itchy all over, and my hair terribly dry… not to mention my sinuses hurting whenever some of the water would get inside my nose. And I hated that smell in the water so it was no pleasure at all being in there anyway. The other Aurovilian shook her head, and assured me that in ‘La Piscine’ another system was used, not the usual kind of chlorination; the result was a slightly salty water that would not harm you at all and was even quite pleasant to be in. Astonished, I decided to give it a try, and a few days ago I did.

What an amazing and wonderful surprise indeed that water was!!! And being a bit salty, it enabled you to float nicely like I enjoy so much doing in the ocean. It was warmer than the ocean, though: nearly 30 degrees Celsius, what a treat!… I blissfully just soaked in there for a while, entirely focused at first on all those new physical sensations I was experiencing; then slowly I started swimming a little… than more vigorously… on my back, as usual, in the free style I like best of all… Oh my!… I couldn’t believe this was really happening, it was almost too great to be true! Floating on my back, I rested, my eyes wide open; soon I found myself looking into the spaces in between the special material that provides shade over the whole pool, watching the few little clouds that were visible here and there, as they moved nonchalantly against the pure azure blue of the sky’s serene immensity. Then, still in the water, but now lowering my eyes and my whole body too, I stood up in my lane, my feet happily resting on the gently sloped bottom of the pool, and my head fully out. Back to my normal sense of being, I finally felt relaxed enough for doing something I suddenly realized my previous utter concentration inward had prevented me from doing before: I began looking around… Set in natural surroundings with greenery everywhere nearby, including some big trees, the pool was a beautiful spot of blue and turquoise, evocative of the most picture perfect and most inviting South Seas, with its clear water showing the colours of the bottom down below; the surface was a vast and calm horizontal line, whose peace was troubled only by the innumerable cheerful tiny bubbles coming up from each hole down below  through which the water was forcefully entering along the sides of the pool’s big rectangle. Enchanted by this sight, my next delight was of course to play with these delightful myriads of bubbles bursting like laughter against your skin all over your body and your face. I was laughing inwardly along with them, and enjoying myself tremendously, in fact truly like a little child. Oh, I thought, now is the time for a little ‘jacuzzi’-style massage on my legs, my poor legs so heavy usually with their still not completely cleansed lymph, that lymph charged with unsuspected toxins from my diet, ignorantly kept the same as usual when my lifestyle had changed and I should have changed my diet too… So I happily jacuzzied my legs in those laughing bubbles that felt like champagne, a real treat for a body born in a part of France!

Then I swam again some, and while resting, noticed a few nice deck beds there on the periphery; going up the ladder from the not-too-deep deeper end, I went out and comfortably settled on one of these elegant, strong white nylon beds for a well-deserved session of natural vit. D producing exposure to the bright sun. Turning around often, I kept it brief on each side of my body, not wanting to burn any portion of my skin in the process, but to have only the beneficial effects that would come from normal movement in the sun with minimum clothing on, the same as if I had been for example, like in my teen-age holidays in Brittany, playing volley-ball on a beach in my small bikini – something unthinkable on an Indian beach, alas, but at least possible here, at this strictly internal swimming-pool where the Indians too are Aurovilians and used to this different culture we the Westerners have brought with us when joining Auroville from the early years on. There is even a tiny, shallow pool next to the big one so that babies and toddlers too can enjoy being there together with their parents, and learn to swim early – some were born at their Auroville home in the water, and so never needed to stop knowing spontaneously how to swim…

As I am writing this, I have been already three times to ‘La Piscine’, and I am simply so grateful to the Divine that someone added such a great asset to one of our settlements on this side of Auroville (there is another one on the other side), along with simple tennis-courts and other facilities on this small sports-ground hidden on the edge of a big local village. It is next to a little Auroville school especially created for the village children whose parents, although preferring not to become Aurovilians themselves, want their kids to grow up the Auroville way. Swimming, like all other sports, is such a wonderful bridge between cultures, and such an occasion to give our human body the attention, care and exercise it deserves for its health and joy of being… as my own body tells me gleefully every time I go there:

‘La Piscine’, really, what a boon!!!’ Travel local: 4 great destinations for water sports in South India

No Limit

Bhaga:

I call this poem, and the one by Jamie Dedes in my previous post, both ‘Confluence of Inspiration’: that one, #1, and this one, #2… If you read both, you will understand why. Amazing. Thank you both, dear friends!

Originally posted on Source of Inspiration:

The CatSource: Hubblesite.org

Where do I begin and end?
Across universes do I span
merging, merging with all
until we become One.

View original

Confluence of Inspiration, Poem #1

dancing toward infinity

spiral galaxy in Constellation, Coma Berenices, 60 million light years from Earth
spiral galaxy in Constellation, Coma Berenices, 60 million light years from Earth

each lively soul
worlds contained
a galaxy of one
our gases, our dust
our gravitational pull
our weak wills
our strong compulsions
our stark shadowlands
our gaudy stars
dancing toward infinity

– Jamie Dedes

This poem (http://musingbymoonlight.com/2015/06/19/dancing-toward-infinity-3/#comment-26219) has been followed in my email box by another poem, this time written by another blogger I follow: Pat Cegan. You will find that second poem re-blogged in my next post… and you will understand why I called both of them “Confluence of Inspiration”!

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