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self care & ME …

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Self care comes in many forms and will not generally concentrate around the basics of care. In the generally healthy individual it is usually more about extra activities of care, like me time, beauty treatments, alone time, yoga, mindfulness, exercise, jogging, cafe with the girls, pub with the boys, a night out, romantic dinners, shopping, and other kinds of activities that re-create you.

However, when you get chronically sick you actually begin to see self care and health in an entirely different way than you previously did.

For instance, at one time ‘me time’ might have been a yoga / mindfulness class away from the children or family life. Whereas, when you get poorly with ME most of your time is spent alone as time away from others.

Plus, I can honestly say that most of my time is also spent in a meditative state. It is the only way I can get through a day of uncontrolled pain and never ending boredom and loneliness.

As well, and because I have been sick for so long and gone from being mildly unwell to being severely unwell, my self care has gone through an evolution of types of self care and of levels of importance too.

In the blog post below I will discuss briefly my self care evolution and then in more detail I will look at seven aspects of self care that I now find really useful and probably couldn’t get by, as well as I do, if I didn’t practice them.

. . . self care . . .
. . . an act of care towards oneself by oneself   . . .

self care & ME …

It is important to remember that this is being written by someone with severe ME and so the aspects covered are things that are tried and tested and have evolved over 36 years of being poorly.

definitions …

First, let’s take a look at how others define ‘self care’:

self care:
the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. (*autonomy in self-care and in self-care administration)
the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress. (*expressing oneself is an essential form of self-care)

Wikipedia : self care:
Self care is the individual practise of health management without the aid of a medical professional. In health care, self-care is any human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated, for the purpose of the maintenance of health and wellbeing.

Given those descriptions then, we all need to have self care and a plan that allows and aids health and wellbeing. However, self-care when you are sick should include ensuring you have the right, and good quality, medical care as well

self care …

As discussed above I have been unwell for a very long time now.  In line with this, I would like to discuss how I see self care from this standpoint as well as briefly touching on if / when I was well. I will also allude to some of the self care practices I had prior to becoming sick, when I was mild / moderate rather than severe.

Exercise has always been important to me and definitely what I would have thought I’d always class as part of my personal self care kit. As a girl I was in the rounders and netball teams at school. I also ran for the school in the 100m and the relay and often won too. I absolutely loved physical education at school and when I left school I didn’t suddenly become a ‘coach potato’. I loved going out and dancing all night. I did my own ‘Jane Fonda’ aerobics daily and actually hated my rest days off. I also went swimming several times a week and I would walk everywhere.

I also liked to get my very thin pale eye lashes tinted as part of my beauty care. I have never really been a makeup girl and having my eye lashes tinted was enough to mean I didn’t have wear any makeup. And I’m guessing in the era we are in now that would equate to having false eyelashes or eyelash extensions.

I loved clothes and clothes shopping.

as I mentioned above, I walked everywhere and when my two younger sisters couldn’t wait to learn to drive and get cars I had no desire at all. What for? I had two perfectly good legs. I would go out in Manchester for the night and walk over 15 miles home without even flinching.

I was active and alive and so self care came in the form of enjoying my life and being alive.

However, over time, since becoming sick, I have had to change and evolve my ideas of self care.

self care evolution …

Over the years, as I have gotten sicker from the illness that started in 1984 when I was only 22 years old, my activity levels and self care has changed.

Sometimes dramatically.

Sometimes reluctantly.

Often times out of sheer desperation.

But ultimately this has always worked out for the better and for my benefit, even if I didn’t realise it at the time.

7 aspects of self care …

In line with the above, I have chosen to share my seven most used and treasured aspects of self care with you. I do also have my blog article, ‘my top TEN toolkit …’, which may overlap with some of the areas discussed below. But mostly, I will aim to for them to complement one another rather than overlap.

#1 listen to your body …

For me, when you have any illness, but especially when you have ME, then this aspect has to be the wisest and greatest act of self care and self love that you can offer to your poorly self.

To listen kindly to the inner workings of your body and what it might be telling you is wisdom indeed. And then to complete that kindness by heeding what your body is telling you is a wonderful act of self love.

Your body, it knows, it has an intelligence you ought to respect.

Yet, for one reason or another, many of us don’t.

Along our formative years we’ve been taught that our innate internal workings are to be questioned and doubted. And to also put ourselves last in the queue for self love, care, and acceptance.

This has been especially true in my own personal case. For one reason or another, I have questioned and doubted what my innate intelligence was telling me regarding my illness and how to be with it. Usually, to the detriment of my health. And I will always find myself last in the queue when it comes to self love, self care, self acceptance and self worth.

Time and time again, I have heard so many people with ME saying things like:

I knew I shouldn’t have been doing it [anything that involves cognitive or physical extra effort] but for some reason I couldn’t stop until I’d finished [adrenaline] …
I could feel myself getting sicker inside each time I did things …
I might have had the mind / physical ability to do it and push myself but I also knew and could feel that inside I was getter much sicker from the pushing
I just wanted to be well, so I pretended I was …
I knew I should have been resting, I just had to get it done (it was expected of me / there was no one else to do it) …

Yet, for whatever reasons, we don’t heed the cries of our bodies.

It’s as if deep inside we already know the answers but we simply cannot override whatever stops us and make our self care a priority.

how …

I have found that the only way I can do this for myself, before and not after I get sick, is to treat myself as a third party, like a special friend or a child.

Doing this enables me to use my inner wisdom to listen with my ears, yet I can also become an observer, in order to view myself separately and ultimately treat myself as though I were a child or a dear close friend.

Doing this means that I am able to treat myself with a far more accepting and kindly attitude, but I also have the benefit of my internal wisdom and knowings to do the actual right thing for myself.

It’s not easy to do. It takes practice because it’s not my natural way of being towards myself. I seem to expect more from myself than I do others. However, when I manage to this for myself then I always feel better, not only psychologically but physically too and in the long run my poorly body can only benefit from being treated this way.

#2 balance …

Balance is a biggie for me. Always has been and probably always will be.

Balance is often about enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady, so that they do not fall, and this can also be applied to ME. When I get out of balance I tend to fall. I fall emotionally and psychologically as well as physically too. So aiming to keep balance can keep me well in my mind and my body.

By nature, I’m not a very balanced person. I’m rather extreme in everything. In my head I feel alive, yet my body feels poorly. I also have this personality trait that has to finish, completely, what I’m doing before I will, or I should probably say can, stop. So trying to find balance has been difficult and I have fallen many times and still do fall.

how …

How though? How can I find and maintain balance when I am prone to overdoing it, giving more than I can, especially when my mind is alive.

Seven nice, but maybe not so easy, ways to find balance are:

  1. Turn it off: don’t spend too much time online or on your phone, and when you do spend time online make sure you have proper regular set breaks and holidays away from social media too.
  2. Say no: whatever it is, be it other people’s requests and demands or your own, learn to stop, assess, and say no when necessary. Funnily enough, I got the chance to practice this out today when the new clinician at my specialist headache clinic rang me and I ended up having to stop her mid sentence and say NO I do not have medication overuse and please don’t try to tell me I do when I’ve had daily headaches and pain for over 30 years and only started taken over the counter pain medications five years ago. Having to listen to this kind of barrage vis exhausting and so is having to stop someone and explain your reason for ‘no’. But remember, no is a complete sentence and explanations are mot always necessary. In some cases they are, but not always. Plus, often you are too sick to explain and ‘no’ has to be enough. I absolutely hated doing it myself. And in my example, I felt I had to because I really could not listen to another person talk about taking me off my pain medications.
  3. Pay attention: to your physical and mental health. Listen in carefully to your own mental chatter and your own physical signals and react to them with gentle kindness.
  4. Treat yourself: whatever makes you feel special, flowers chocolates, back to back ‘desperate housewives’, whatever it is, give yourself permission to enjoy those treats.
  5. Comfy and pretty pyjamas: if you don’t get dressed, like I don’t, then buy easy comfy PJs and change them everyday if you can. And find gorgeous cardigans or sweatshirts to wear with them; treat them like your clothes and find your own PJ style.
  6. Have fun: just because you are sick does not mean you can’t have fun; find ways to enjoy the life you have. It’s good to smile and laugh.
  7. Use the internet, but wisely: yes, use the internet to travel the world and to enjoy seeing he places you’d love to see in person but can’t do.
#3 pacing …

Action for ME in their Pacing for ME booklet describe pacing as a means of taking control of the balance of activity and rest to prevent post- exertional malaise [PEM]; and learning how to communicate to other people about the balance that usually works best for you. It’s very important to note that “activity” does not just mean physical activity.

On an advisory health level, pacing is something that everyone with ME needs to learn. It’s invaluable to achieving anything without making yourself more sick.

That said, it is the one thing I have struggled with forever. As I am sure many have. It’s so difficult to pull back when you have a desire and zest for life and living. That said, if you have ME and you don’t pull back and pace then you most certainly will make yourself sicker.

In my case, and with hindsight, I now realise this is because all the medical professionals I have seen so far, until the Yorkshire Fatigue Clinic, have all misunderstood the dysregulation involved in my ME and so until I am stable I cannot even begin to find my baseline in order to begin to pace.

how …

Tricky … and you need to be careful you are not dysregulated. In which case you will most certainly need help in order to stabilise. You can read my journey with this and other issues involved with my ME in ‘my healing journey …’ blog category.

As regards straight forward pacing, a simple formula is to do less than you think you can and if you still, or continually, wake with or get PEM then you are functioning above your baseline and you need to pull back a little until you no longer get PEM. Stick with that level of activity for a while and then add some more, and if you don’t get PEM stay at that level of activity for a period of time until adding a bit more … and so on until you find your baseline.

However, if you do get PEM pull back to your previous level and stabilise again. If you keep getting PEM when you increase your activity levels then you have now found your baseline, pull back and stay there.

From then onwards, be extremely cautious about increasing your activity beyond this baseline because it is ever so easy to cause a flare or a crash or even a worsening and permanent deteriorating of your baseline.

This baseline then becomes very closely tied into the above area of balance. Because you will need to be balanced in accepting your baseline and all its limitations in order to not make yourself sicker still.

#4 rest & relaxation + diet + activity management …
rest & relaxation …

This area too is tied up with pacing and balance. It is easy to think that you are resting when you can’t do anything and so you are laid in bed all the time. But all too often not doing anything or not being able to do anything is tied up with thoughts feelings and emotions, especially guilt. And these take away your peace and so mean that you are in fact not actually resting or relaxing. You are actually doing something.

diet …

Diet is a funny one.

Since becoming severe I have developed lots of allergies and dietary intolerances. The Yorkshire Fatigue Clinic are suggesting it could be a form of mast cell activation. The reality is that there are lots of foods that I can no longer eat and there are also food I can randomly eat and then not eat. Plus, I feel nauseous on a daily basis and if I overeat, which I do often, I can get PEM simply from that. So I have to be very careful in this regard.

And so the only thing I am going to suggest is to eat little and often and as healthily as you can. But, more than anything listen to your body.

activity management …

This is not pacing but can be linked to the pacing. Plus it is not just about physical movement neither.

So in my case it may be about doing a few steps regularly to go to the bathroom, and sometimes just a wander round the garden. Or using my brain to listen to an audio book, or even the birds singing.

Either way it all takes energy, energy I / you may not have and so can be very taxing on overall health and when my / your health is poor to start with then you don’t need another source taking from it.

Consequently, there are going to be days when we are unable to get out of bed and that too is ok.

Furthermore, being very severe makes this extremely hard to grapple with. Because when you’re severe with ME you can’t even get to the bathroom never mind have activity management, not even some days.

In all of theses scenarios you really need to be able to give yourself permission. Allow yourself to be unwell and allow yourself the rest that will, even if it’s slowly, bring you balance and maybe even some recovery.

how …
rest & relaxation …

If you have read any of my fortnightly catch up … Blog posts, or my healing journey … (I know what a name I couldn’t think of anything else more appropriate to call it) blog posts, then you will be aware that I wake up every single day in pain, severe head pain and often migraines and so I can’t even move until I’ve taken my pain medication and I also do my meditation whilst the pain medication is working.

I count both my pain medication and my meditation as part of my rest & relaxation because without either one of them my day would never get started. It would simply be a day filled with pain, which would in effect use any energy I might have to use on self care.

As well, I prescribe for myself a daily amount of time where I consciously rest and be mindful about my breathing quality on top of my morning medication meditation.

I call this time my conscious active rest and restore. I don’t feel much better for it on an outward physical level but I know deep down inside it is changing things on a cellular level. I also do feel that I am building resilience.

diet …

I am going to reiterate what I said above …

And so the only thing I am going to suggest is to eat little and often and as healthily as you can. But, more than anything listen to your body.

activity management …

For me, this is simply about listening to my body and giving it what it needs.

However, if you are mild or moderate it might be useful to use the printout forms in the pacing booklet from Action for ME (link above).

#5 managing relapses …

Relapses are the saddest and most difficult part of ME.

You can wake one day and think you’re ok, especially when you are mild or moderate, and you will think that today’s the day the catch up.

This idea and way of being, with ME, couldn’t be any more wrong. Experience has shown me that this is the time when you need to stay within your limits in order to not cause a relapse.

But, because we are always so behind with everything as a result of always being sick, and there’s always something to be done, the tendency is to ignore that knowledge, even if you know it deep inside, and to plough ahead.

Once you have triggered that adrenaline in order to complete your task then you don’t even realise when you’ve reached your limit on when you’ve gone over it too.

Until the next day. When it all hits.

worse still, when it does hit there is nothing how long it’s gonna stay neither.

how …

For myself, and others in the severe category, relapses are often how we live. I don’t know when this flare started but I have become used to living in relapse. I have been here at least five years now.

My biggest dilemma at the moment are about knowing when to go down stairs and went to stay completely bed.

I know I’ve said it on lots of occasions in this article, and in others as well, but the best thing to do is to listen to your body. It will give you signals of whether you need to rest, move, sleep, have company, eat, everything it will give a signal just listen for it and heed it.

Your body will thank you …

#6 personal care …

I chose this aspect of self care as one of my seven because right now it’s what I am struggling with the most.

I do believe in reality that personal care, in and of itself, isn’t an aspect of self care. But becomes such when you get this poorly.

I would class personal care a basic human right. However, it is sadly a basic human right that some of us do not have access to.

Not being able to take care of my own personal self care needs has been devastating for me. I don’t want to discuss personal care in much detail here, suffice to say it has really made me question how much lower this illness is going to take me.

how …

I think this has been the hardest aspect for me to deal with. The fact that I can’t have a bath when I want, I can’t wash my hair when I want, I can’t even brush my teeth or go to the toilet when I actually want to.

It has been quite life changing and I am in the process of getting a care package, which I really would rather not have but I don’t have a choice now.

So, I would say when / if you ever get to this point, I sincerely hope you don’t, but if you do please allow yourself plenty of grieving time. If this need is not thrown upon you, then try to do it in stages so that you can acclimatise yourself. As you get sicker, let go in stages don’t hang on to the end and lose it all it one go.

That is simply too much and too hard.

Be easy … Be kind …

#7 desired self care …

Now we get to the special part because it will be about my dreams, desires, wants and hopes for the future and there’s nothing wrong with that neither.

I have never let go of the dreams I have, and the want and the hoped for the future. I will often lay here, in bed, I’m just plan what I’m going to do when I am well.

I have a ‘lottery winnings spending list’ and I also have a ‘what I am going to when I am well’ list. Both get updated regularly.

Both get updated regularly.

I believe little things like this I will keep me sane, keep me alive, and keep me going through this never ending illness.

… hope …
… a feeling of expectation and desire …
… for a particular thing to happen …

in summary & in conclusion …

I think we can safely say that if we have ME and we manage to get our baseline right and pace from that start point of becoming ill then most aspects of self care are covered. However, who does this ever happen for? It takes years for some of us to be diagnosed. It becomes glaringly obvious after the event what should have been and that overdoing makes you sicker, sometimes permanently.

So, the most important aspect of self care is to listen in to your body signals. Listen and really heed what your innermost workings are telling you in every single aspect.

a personal concluding note …

above and beyond everything else, please listen to what your body is telling you …

Please feel free to contact me to share your outcomes or with any questions you may have.

 fragmented.ME xXx

Last Updated on 02/06/2021 by fragmented_ME

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My birth name is Denise, but I’m know as Bella to those who love me. I have a first class honours degree in education & psychology and a strong passion to keep learning and educating others ... I have severe ME/CFS and lots of other chronic illnesses and I started this blog as an expansion to my instagram page, where I advocate for chronic illness. I am married and have two grown up boys, or should I say young men. I have three gorgeous grandchildren, one boy and two girls. And despite being chronically sick and housebound I am mostly happy. 🥰

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10 steps to practicing Radical Acceptance
according to DBT’s founder, Marsha Linehan:

 

1.  Observe that you are questioning or fighting reality (“it shouldn’t be this way”)

2.  Remind yourself that the unpleasant reality is just as it is and cannot be changed (“this is what happened”)

3.  Remind yourself that there are causes for the reality (“this is how things happened”)

4.  Practice accepting with your whole self (mind, body, spirit) - Use accepting self-talk, relaxation techniques, mindfulness and/or imagery

5.  List all of the behaviors you would engage in if you did accept the facts and then engage in those behaviors as if you have already accepted the facts

6.  Imagine, in your mind’s eye, believing what you do not want to accept and rehearse in your mind what you would do if you accepted what seems unacceptable

7.  Attend to body sensations as you think about what you need to accept

8.  Allow disappointment, sadness or grief to arise within you

9.  Acknowledge that life can be worth living even when there is pain

10.  Do pros and cons if you find yourself resisting practicing acceptance

Logo of ijpsych

2009 Oct-Dec; 51(4): 239–241.
doi: 10.4103/0019-5545.58285: 10.4103/0019-5545.58285
PMCID: PMC2802367
PMID: 20048445

The biochemistry of belief

Address for correspondence: Dr. TS Sathyanarayana Rao, Department of Psychiatry, JSS University, JSS Medical College Hospital, M.G. Road, Mysore - 570 004, India. E-mail: moc.oohay@91oarsst
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

“Man is what he believes”

Anton Chekhov

Beliefs are basically the guiding principles in life that provide direction and meaning in life. Beliefs are the preset, organized filters to our perceptions of the world (external and internal). Beliefs are like ‘Internal commands’ to the brain as to how to represent what is happening, when we congruently believe something to be true. In the absence of beliefs or inability to tap into them, people feel disempowered.

Beliefs originate from what we hear - and keep on hearing from others, ever since we were children (and even before that!). The sources of beliefs include environment, events, knowledge, past experiences, visualization etc. One of the biggest misconceptions people often harbor is that belief is a static, intellectual concept. Nothing can be farther from truth! Beliefs are a choice. We have the power to choose our beliefs. Our beliefs become our reality.

Beliefs are not just cold mental premises, but are ‘hot stuff’ intertwined with emotions (conscious or unconscious). Perhaps, that is why we feel threatened or react with sometimes uncalled for aggression, when we believe our beliefs are being challenged! Research findings have repeatedly pointed out that the emotional brain is no longer confined to the classical locales of the hippocampus, amygdala and hypothalamus.[1] The sensory inputs we receive from the environment undergo a filtering process as they travel across one or more synapses, ultimately reaching the area of higher processing, like the frontal lobes. There, the sensory information enters our conscious awareness. What portion of this sensory information enters is determined by our beliefs. Fortunately for us, receptors on the cell membranes are flexible, which can alter in sensitivity and conformation. In other words, even when we feel stuck ‘emotionally’, there is always a biochemical potential for change and possible growth. When we choose to change our thoughts (bursts of neurochemicals!), we become open and receptive to other pieces of sensory information hitherto blocked by our beliefs! When we change our thinking, we change our beliefs. When we change our beliefs, we change our behavior.

A mention of the ‘Placebo’ is most appropriate at this juncture. Medical history is replete with numerous reported cases where placebos were found to have a profound effect on a variety of disorders. One such astounding case was that of a woman suffering from severe nausea and vomiting. Objective measurements of her gastric contractions indicated a disrupted pattern matching the condition she complained of. Then a ‘new, magical, extremely potent’ drug was offered to her, which would, the doctors proclaimed, undoubtedly cure her nausea. Within a few minutes, her nausea vanished! The very same gastric tests now revealed normal pattern, when, in actuality, she had been given syrup of ipecac, a substance usually used to induce nausea! When the syrup was presented to her, paired with the strong suggestion of relief of nausea, by an authority figure, it acted as a (command) message to the brain that triggered a cascade of self-regulatory biochemical responses within the body.[2] This instance dramatically demonstrates that the influence of placebo could be more potent than expected drug effect.

An important observation was that, part of the placebo response seemed to involve the meaning of the disorder or the illness to the individual. In other words, the person's belief or how she/he interprets (inter-presents or internally represents) directly governs the biological response or behavior. Another remarkable study involved a schizophrenic. This woman was observed to have split personality. Under normal conditions, her blood glucose levels were normal. However, the moment she believed she was diabetic, her entire physiology changed to become that of a diabetic, including elevated blood glucose levels.[3]

Suggestions or symbolic messages shape beliefs that in turn affect our physical well being. Several cases of ‘Disappearance of warts’ have been reported by Ornstein and Sobel wherein they ponder on how the brain translates the suggestions (sometimes using hypnosis) into systematic biochemical battle strategies such as chemical messengers sent to enlist the aid of immune cells in an assault on the microbe-induced miniature tumor or probably small arteries are selectively constricted, cutting off the vital nutrient supply to warts but not touching the neighboring healthy cells.[2]

Findings of carefully designed research indicate that our interpretation of what we are seeing (experiencing) can literally alter our physiology. In fact, all symptoms of medicine work through our beliefs. By subtly transforming the unknown (disease/disorder) into something known, named, tamed and explained, alarm reactions in the brain can be calmed down. All therapies have a hidden, symbolic value and influence on the psyche, besides the direct specific effect they may have on the body.

Just as amazingly life-affirming placebos are, the reverse, “Nocebo' has been observed to be playing its part too. It is associated with negative, life-threatening or disempowering beliefs. Arthur Barsky, a psychiatrist states that it is the patient's expectations – beliefs whether a drug or procedure works or will have side effects – that plays a crucial role in the outcome.[4]

The biochemistry of our body stems from our awareness.[5] Belief-reinforced awareness becomes our biochemistry. Each and every tiny cell in our body is perfectly and absolutely aware of our thoughts, feelings and of course, our beliefs. There is a beautiful saying ‘Nobody grows old. When people stop growing, they become old’. If you believe you are fragile, the biochemistry of your body unquestionably obeys and manifests it. If you believe you are tough (irrespective of your weight and bone density!), your body undeniably mirrors it. When you believe you are depressed (more precisely, when you become consciously aware of your ‘Being depressed’), you stamp the raw data received through your sense organs, with a judgment – that is your personal view – and physically become the ‘interpretation’ as you internalize it. A classic example is ‘Psychosocial dwarfism’, wherein children who feel and believethat they are unloved, translate the perceived lack of love into depleted levels of growth hormone, in contrast to the strongly held view that growth hormone is released according to a preprogrammed schedule coded into the individual's genes!

Providing scientific evidence to support a holistic approach to well being and healthcare, Bruce Lipton sheds light on mechanism underlying healing at cellular level. He emphasizes that ‘love’ is the most healing emotion and ‘placebo’ effect accounts for a substantial percentage of any drug's action, underscoring the significance of beliefs in health and sickness. According to him, as adults, we still believe in and act our lives out based on information we absorbed as children (pathetic indeed!). And the good news is, we can do something about the ‘tape’ our subconscious mind is playing (ol' silly beliefs) and change them NOW.[6] Further recent literature evidences provided knowledge based on scientific principles of biology of belief. There are limited studies on clinics of traditional beliefs and if we get more scientific data, we can use these traditional systems in clinical mental health management. Human belief system is formed by all the experiences learned and experimented filtered through personality.[7] The senses to capture inner and outer perceptions have higher brain potentials. Some questions that arise in this context are, does the integration and acceptance of these perceptions result in the establishment of beliefs? Does the establishment of these beliefs depend on proof demonstrations? The proofs might be the perceptions, which we can directly see or having scientific proof or custom or faith.[8,9] Beliefs are developed as stimuli received as trusted information and stored in the memory. These perceptions are generalized and established into belief. These beliefs are involved in the moral judgment of the person. Beliefs help in decision-making. Bogousslavsky and Inglin explained that, how some physicians were more successful by taking an account of patient beliefs. Beliefs influence factors involved in the development of psychopathology. They also influence the cognitive and emotional assessment, addictiveness, responses to false positives and persistent normal defensive reactions. Total brain function is required in stabilizing the belief and in responding to environmental system. Some of the brain regions and the neural circuits are very important in establishing beliefs and executing emotions. Frontal lobes play a major role in beliefs. Mental representations of the world are integrated with sub-cortical information by prefrontal cortex. Amygdala and Hippocampus are involved in the process of thinking and thus help in execution of beliefs. NMDA receptor is involved in thinking and in the development of beliefs. These beliefs are subjected to challenge. A belief that is subjected to more challenges becomes stronger. When a new stimulus comes, it creates distress in the brain with already existing patterns. The distress results in the release of dopamine (neurotransmitter) to transmit the signal.[10,11] Research findings of Young and Saxe (2008) revealed that medial prefrontal cortex is involved in processing the belief valence.[12] Right temporoparietal junction and precuneus are involved in the processing of beliefs to moral judgment. True beliefs are processed through right temporoparietal junction.[13,14] Saxe (2006) explained that beliefs judging starts at the age of five years citing example of judging of belief questions on short stories by the children.[15] Belief attribution involved activating regions of medial prefrontal cortex, superior temporal gyri and hippocampal regions. Studies by Krummenacher et al, have shown that dopamine levels are associated with paranormal thoughts suggesting the role of dopamine in belief development in the brain.[16] Flannelly et al, illustrated on how primitive brain mechanisms that evolved to assess environmental threats in related psychiatric disorders.[17] Also were highlighted the issues such as the way beliefs can affect psychiatric symptoms through these brain systems. The theories discussed widely are related to (a) link psychiatric disorders to threat assessment and (b) explain how the normal functioning of threat assessment systems can become pathological. It is proposed that three brain structures are implicated in brain disorders in response to threat assessment and self-defense: the regions are the prefrontal cortex, the basal ganglia and parts of limbic system. The functionality of these regions has great potential to understand mechanism of belief formation and its relevance in neurological functions/dysfunctions. Now it is clear that biology and physiology of belief is an open area for research both at basic and clinical level. The future directions are to develop validated experimental or sound theoretical interpretation to make ‘BELIEF’ as a potential clinical management tool.

Perceptual shifts are the prerequisites for changing the belief and hence changing the biochemistry of our body favorably. Our innate desire and willingness to learn and grow lead to newer perceptions. When we consciously allow newer perceptions to enter the brain by seeking new experiences, learning new skills and changed perspectives, our body can respond in newer ways –this is the true secret of youth. Beliefs (internal representations/interpretations) thus hold the magic wand of remarkable transformations in our biochemical profile. If you are chasing joy and peace all the time everywhere but exclaim exhausted, ‘Oh, it's to be found nowhere!’, why not change your interpretation of NOWHERE to ‘NOW HERE’; just by introducing a gap, you change your awareness – that changes your belief and that changes your biochemistry in an instant!

Everything exists as a ‘Matrix of pure possibilities’ akin to ‘formless’ molten wax or moldable soft clay. We shape them into anything we desire by choosing to do so, prompted, dictated (consciously or unconsciously) by our beliefs. The awareness that we are part of these ever-changing fields of energy that constantly interact with one another is what gives us the key hitherto elusive, to unlock the immense power within us. And it is our awareness of this awesome truth that changes everything. Then we transform ourselves from passive onlookers to powerful creators. Our beliefs provide the script to write or re-write the code of our reality.

Thoughts and beliefs are an integral part of the brain's operations. Neurotransmitters could be termed the ‘words’ brain uses to communicate with exchange of information occurring constantly, mediated by these molecular messengers. Unraveling the mystery of this molecular music induced by the magic of beliefs, dramatically influencing the biochemistry of brain could be an exciting adventure and a worth pursuing cerebral challenge.

REFERENCES

1. Candace Pert. Molecules of emotion: Why you feel the way you feel. New York, USA: Scribner Publications; 2003. ISBN-10: 0684846349.
2. Ornstein R, Sobel D. The healing brain: Breakthrough discoveries about how the brain keeps us healthy. USA: Malor Books; 1999. ISBN-10: 1883536170.
3. Robbins A. Unlimited power: The new science of personal excellence. UK: Simon and Schuster; 1986. ISBN 0-7434-0939-6.
4. Braden G. The spontaneous healing of belief. Hay House Publishers (India) Pvt. Ltd; 2008. ISBN 978-81-89988-39-5.
5. Chopra D. Ageless body, timeless mind: The quantum alternative to growing old. Hormony Publishers; 1994. ISBN -10: 0517882124.
6. Lipton B. The biology of belief: Unleashing the power of consciousness, matter and miracles. Mountain of Love Publishers; 2005. ISBN 978-0975991473.
7. Bogousslavsky J, Inglin M. Beliefs and the brain. Eur Neurol. 2007;58:129–32. [PubMed: 17622716]
8. Gundersen L. Faith and healing. Ann Intern Med. 2000;132:169–72. [PubMed: 10644287]
9. Mueller PS, Plevak DJ, Rummans TA. Religious involvement, spirituality, and medicine: Implications for clinical practice. Mayo Clin Proc. 2001;76:1225–35. [PubMed: 11761504]
10. Patel AD, Peretz I, Tramo M, Labreque R. Processing prosodic and musical patterns: A neuropsychological investigation. Brain Lang. 1998;61:123–44. [PubMed: 9448936]
11. Tramo MJ. Biology and music. Music of the hemispheres. Science. 2001;291:54–6. [PubMed: 11192009]
12. Young L, Saxe R. The neural basis of belief encoding and integration in moral judgment. Neuroimage. 2008;40:1912–20. [PubMed: 18342544]
13. Aichhorn M, Perner J, Weiss B, Kronbichler M, Staffen W, Ladurner G. Temporo-parietal junction activity in theory-of-mind tasks: Falseness, beliefs, or attention. J Cogn Neurosci. 2009;21:1179–92. [PubMed: 18702587]
14. Abraham A, Rakoczy H, Werning M, von Cramon DY, Schubotz RI. Matching mind to world and vice versa: Functional dissociations between belief and desire mental state processing. Soc Neurosci. 2009;1:18. [PubMed: 19670085]
15. Saxe R. Why and how to study Theory of Mind with fMRI. Brain Res. 2006;1079:57–65. [PubMed: 16480695]
16. Krummenacher P, Mohr C, Haker H, Brugger P. Dopamine, paranormal belief, and the detection of meaningful stimuli. J Cogn Neurosci. 2009 Jun 30; [Epub ahead of print] [PubMed: 19642883]
17. Flannelly KJ, Koenig HG, Galek K, Ellison CG. Beliefs, mental health, and evolutionary threat assessment systems in the brain. J Nerv Ment Dis. 2007;195:996–1003. [PubMed: 18091193]

Articles from Indian Journal of Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications

HRPacing ...

Description

Heart Rate Pacing is a technique used to stay within ones energy reserves. The anaerobic threshold (AT) is the heart rate at which aerobic energy surges. The threshold is often around about 60% of a ones maximum heart rate, though each person is different and an individual's threshold may vary from day to day or within a day.

(Note: Maximum heart rate is 220 minus ones age. For a 50 year old, 60% of maximum heart rate is (220 - 50) x 0.6 = 102 bpm.)

Features:

* Changes colour to indicate:

- Resting - (REST) Lavender

- Recovery (RECOVER) - Green (RHR + 10%)

- Exertion (EXERT) - Orange (RHR + 20%)

- Anaerobic Threshold (AT) - Red ((220-50)x0.6)

* Set an alert based on:

- reaching Anaerobic Threshold Zone, or

- custom set Maximum Heart Rate.

* Set the Anaerobic Threshold Tolerance from 0.6 (default) to 0.5 if desired.

* Set a custom interval between alerts (15 secs default).

* Displays 12/24 hour clock based on user settings in Fitbit profile.

ME Awareness Fundraising : Ten Books In Ten Months

 

I am fundraising for The ME Trust UK as part of ME Awareness 2021

I will be fundraising for ten months starting in May 2021 through to end of February 2022.

Please take the time to read what it is about and donate if you can.

I am going to read 10 books in 10 months and document them on my ‘ten books in ten months ...’ page.

Please click the link above or below to donate and help me raise as much money as we can
for The ME Trust UK

I have been sick since 1984. It took till 2001 for doctors to diagnose me with ME.
Initially, I was mildly sick then moderately but in recent years I’ve progressed to being severely affected.
I am housebound and often bedbound for months on end.

I really want to raise awareness and to raise money to help research #endME.

I am planning on reading ten books in ten months starting 12th May, which is international ME Awareness Day.
At one time in my life I could have read ten books in ten days. But this challenge will be hard for me to do.

So please please if you can support me and help raise money for the ME Trust UK

YOU CAN DONATE BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW

ME Awareness Fundraising : Ten Books In Ten Months

[give_form id="3285"]

help me fund my ME treatment ...

... help me fund my ME treatment ...

you can choose to donate as much or as little by sliding the slider along

you can pay for the introductory workshop by donating £65

you can pay for an individual care plan by donating £71

you can pay for a monthly session by donating £71

you can pay for an individual progression plan by donating £71

you can pay for a medical review by donating £121

you can pay for a medical follow up by donating £121

you can pay for the individual assessment by donating £141

you can pay for a medical assessment by donating £187

Thank you very much !

help me fund my assessment treatments ...

... help me fund my ME treatment ...

you can choose to donate as much or as little by sliding the slider along

you can pay for a medical assessment by donating £187

you can pay for an initial assessment by donating £141

you can pay for a medical review by donating £121

Thank you very much !

help me fund my preparation for rehabilitation treatments ...

... help me fund my ME treatment ...

you can choose to donate as much or as little by sliding the slider along

you can pay for the introductory workshop by donating £65

you can pay for an individual care plan by donating £71

Thank you very much !

help me fund my rehabilitation treatments ...

... help me fund my ME treatment ...

you can choose to donate as much or as little by sliding the slider along

you can pay for a monthly session by donating £71

Thank you very much !

help me fund my follow up treatments ...

... help me fund my ME treatment ...

you can choose to donate as much or as little by sliding the slider along

you can pay for an individual progression plan by donating £71

you can pay for a medical follow up by donating £121

Thank you very much !

ME Awareness Fundraising : Ten Books In Ten Months

 

I am fundraising for The ME Trust UK as part of ME Awareness 2021

I will be fundraising for ten months starting in May 2021 through to end of February 2022.

You will see this pop once in each week that you visit my site during this ten month period.

Please take the time to read what it is about and donate if you can.

I am going to read 10 books in 10 months and document them on my ‘ten books in ten months ...’ page.

Please click the link above or below to donate and help me raise as much money as we can
for The ME Trust UK

I have been sick since 1984. It took till 2001 for doctors to diagnose me with ME.
Initially, I was mildly sick then moderately but in recent years I’ve progressed to being severely affected.
I am housebound and often bedbound for months on end.

I really want to raise awareness and to raise money to help research #endME.

I am planning on reading ten books in ten months starting 12th May, which is international ME Awareness Day.
At one time in my life I could have read ten books in ten days. But this challenge will be hard for me to do.

So please please if you can support me and help raise money for the ME Trust UK.

YOU CAN DONATE BY CLICKING THE LINK BELOW

ME Awareness Fundraising : Ten Books In Ten Months

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