Daily Archives: June 20, 2017

Mindfulness and meditation dampen down inflammation genes

Wow! Inflammation is reduced, as seen by a reduction in NFKB levels. NFKB is a transcription factor that is involved in the production of pro inflammatory cytokines. This then drives inflammation. While inflammation is good to fight off infection or repair injuries, it is horrible when it becomes chronic, in which case it can cause autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, etc. Inflammation is also involved in psychiatric illnesses. 

So if mindfulness and meditation decrease inflammation, they will obviously have a healing effect on the body and mind. 

Wow! Decreasing inflammation is why mindfulness and meditation are so helpful! Of course more studies are needed and will be done to make this official. 

Yoga anyone? 

Hush those genes
By Jo Marchant
Meditation and tai chi don’t just calm the mind – they seem to affect our DNA too. There’s evidence that such “mind-body practices” dampen the activity of genes associated with inflammation – essentially reversing molecular damage caused by stress.
Mind-body practices such as mindfulness meditation are widely claimed to protect against stress-related diseases from arthritis to dementia. But although there’s plenty of evidence that they can relieve stress, the scientific case for physical health benefits has not yet been proven.
Recent advances mean it’s now easier to study patterns of gene activity inside cells, and there has been growing interest in using this approach to investigate how nurturing inner peace might influence the immune system and disease risk.

Ivana Buric, a psychologist at the Coventry University’s Brain, Belief and Behaviour lab, and her colleagues have now conducted the first systematic review of such studies. The team analysed 18 trials including 846 participants, ranging from a 2005 study of Qigong to a 2014 trial that tested whether tai chi influenced gene activity in people with insomnia.

Although the quality of studies was mixed and the results were complex, Buric says an overall pattern emerged. Genes related to inflammation became less active in people practicing mind-body interventions. Genes controlled by a key protein that acts as an inflammation “on-switch” – called NF-ĸB – seem to be particularly affected.
Stress busting
Inflammation is the body’s first line of defence against infection and injury, but it can damage the body if switched on long term. It is thought to be an important way in which psychological stress can increase a person’s risk of developing disease. Chronic inflammation is associated with increased risk for psychiatric disorders, autoimmune conditions such as asthma and arthritis, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease and some types of cancer.

But the results of the analysis suggest mind-body interventions might help reduce the risk for inflammation-related disorders, says Buric. “And not just psychological ones, but even the physical ones like asthma or arthritis.”
Steve Cole, a genomics researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, who worked on several of the studies included in the analysis, describes Buric’s conclusions as “spot on”. But he says rigorous clinical trials are still needed to show whether the changes in gene expression really do result in improved physical health.
There’s also a need for more studies comparing the effects of mind-body therapies with other lifestyle interventions, such as diet or exercise.
So far, the results suggest that different mind-body interventions may well all be working in a similar way. If your main purpose is to reduce inflammation to improve health, says Buric, “it seems it really doesn’t matter which one you choose”.

CEH Test Scheduled!

You may or may not know that I have been studying for my Certified Ethical Hacker certification.  I previously studied for and passed the Comptia Security + certification, despite some serious doubts on my part.  Well, now I have some serious SERIOUS doubts about my ability to get the CEH certification.  I am passing the practice tests, because I studied the answers to the questions I got wrong until I could get them right, but that doesn’t mean I have a true handle on the information.  I’ve studied just about as much as I can, though, and I just have to hope that the questions on the actual exam are similar enough to the practice exams that I’ll be able to muddle through and get a 70%.  It’s a four hour test – WHAT THE HELL?!  I can’t imagine what could take four hours.  The practice test takes about an hour.  It is 125 questions.  The fact that the REAL exam takes four hours makes me worried that I am wildly unready for it.  What the hell do you have to do?  Hack a system?  Fuckkkkkkkkk.  It is scheduled for Thursday, June 29th.  Right now I am feeling too overwhelmed to study but I have to overcome that.  Sometimes I have to literally force myself to study.  When I am overwhelmed I just want to sit around and obsess.  That doesn’t really get me anything good.

Ok, off to take some more practice tests!  The next one is from the study guide I read, it’ll be new questions so it’ll test my knowledge instead of my ability to remember the answers to questions.  Wish me luck!

Just to give some background on me, I have Bipolar Disorder, some say Bipolar II and some say Bipolar I.  I tend to be more depressed than manic, in fact the manic episodes are few and far between.  The depressed episodes are entirely too frequent.  I left my last full-time job about 3 1/2 years ago due to depression.  I actually went on FMLA to have ECT, and I never went back.  I was in a suicidal depression and I was hospitalized twice.  I had over forty ECT treatments.  I still don’t know if they helped.  I tend to think that the Ketamine they used to sedate me helped more than the ECT.  The reason I say this is because I had ECT in Florida too, and they didn’t use Ketamine for sedation, and I felt like shit after those treatments.  I was on Clozaril for about a year and a half and it turned me into a zombie.  I think what finally brought me out of being a depressed zombie was switching from Clozaril to Abilify.  I don’t remember why we did this, but I am totally grateful.  I have been able to function better than I have in a long time, moved back into my own apartment, started working part-time a little more than a year ago, and then got the opportunity to start classes for these IT Security certifications in January.  The fact that I can study and learn is something that I would not have even dreamed of a year ago.  So that brings us up to date.  I am taking my last certification test next week and I have started looking for an IT Security job.  That is my next hurdle.  Full-time jobs are kind of like Kryptonite to me and my mental health.  If I can find a part-time job, I will know there is a God 🙂

Filed under: Bipolar, Bipolar and Studying, Bipolar and Work, Bipolar Disorder, Bipolar ECT, Bipolar Working, Hope, Mental Illness, Psychology, Psychology Shmyshmology Tagged: Bipolar, Bipolar Disorder, Blogging, Depression, ECT, Hope, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Psychology, Reader

Dental Visit

My girls went to the dentist today and got good reports.  I go Thursday and I will need to have a tooth worked on I think–it hurts when I floss and is bad to get stuff caught in it and sometimes just aches for no reason.  I don’t know if it’s already crowned or not (fairly certain that it is) so I may wind up with another root canal.  Fun.  But we will see,

I feel decent today considering everything.  I’m sleepy but that’s nothing new.  I’m working my way through my art journals from when I was breaking down but not yet diagnosed.  I’m just not coming up with as much detail as I would like for this section.  I’m ten and a half pages in and just about to my first hospitalization, which I will copy into this section.  I just can’t remember as much about this time period as I do about Louisiana. at least I’m not triggering anything reading over it all again.

Speaking of triggers, a mini hurricane is headed for Louisiana with landfall in the next few days.  Everyone is already making Katrina references and scaring me. But they say this one is just going to dump a ton of rain and that’s about it.  SO we will see how things go.

I keep thinking there’s a real journal somewhere that I kept during that time but I can’t find it.  Oh well.


Reblog – My Bucket List

Originally posted on My Life As Izrael:
Bucket List. Definition: Some experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime. As the description stated, a bucket list is when someone lists out their hopes that…