Adolescent Therapy

No matter how troubled an adolescent is, they need to know they are accepted and matter. They are uncomfortable about their own behaviour, though sometimes, do not understand what is happening. In therapy, they need to be supported to make meaning of their behaviour patterns. De-shaming strategies and replacing old behaviour patterns with new ones gradually would help the healing process.

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Music makes us happy. Listening to music produces dopamine — nature’s happy pill — in the brain. And music also makes us sad. Listening to Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle,” Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” or just about anything by Hank Williams produces tears. In fact, music can evoke every emotion known to man.

But can music also make us productive?

Yes, if it’s the right music, according to Kathleen R. Keeler, a doctoral student, and Jose M. Cortina, Ph.D., a professor in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, who has researched the link between musical characteristics and job performance.

Their review, “Working to the Beat,” looks at immediate physiological and emotional responses elicited by music and how they affect performance. They found that other facets such as volume, lyrics, familiarity and musical preference also can potentially influence work outcomes.

“While technology has made listening to music in the workplace easier, music surprisingly has deep roots within industry and labor,” said Keeler, who will graduate from the School of Business this week.

Work songs were widely used by a variety of occupations, such as factory workers, agricultural laborers, sailors, and miners. The Muzak Corp. developed “functional music” after World War II, making programmable music accessible for the traditional office setting — and elevators.

Muzak conducted its own extensive research on music and behavioral responses, Keeler said, developing a “stimulus progression” program in which music was used to increase productivity without being distracting to employees. Workplaces ordered from a selection of recordings, each of which was designed with a specific order and type of music to counteract the fatigue cycles in humans; for example, the fastest and most uplifting songs were played at 10:30 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. during the workday.

Early empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that music not only improved worker productivity but also increased workers’ perceived happiness. Keeler and Cortina’s research supports that premise.

“The lesson is really that no music will hurt performance, and anything that keeps you awake will help,” Cortina said. “I recommend Boston’s ‘More than a Feeling’ [for simple tasks] seeing as how it is the best song ever written. Alternatively, the entire ‘Hamilton’ soundtrack should do the trick.”

Keeler and Cortina also explored the relationship between the type of music and type of work. Low-complexity songs such as James Taylor’s “Carolina in My Mind” or The Beatles’ “Let It Be” could help a person better perform complex and creative tasks such as planning, reasoning and problem solving because the song style facilitates cognitive flexibility and working memory. Fast tempo, high variation songs that help facilitate executive attention and inhibitory control, such as Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out For A Hero” or The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black” would be helpful with tasks that are simple and routine and emphasize quantity and speed. 
Both simple and routine tasks require a narrower range of task cues because, although the task may be simple and well learned, concentration on these tasks may be difficult due to the often boring and repetitive nature of the work,” Keeler said.

Task quality is likely to be higher when listening to songs that are moderate in tempo and dynamic variation, such as The Zombies’ “She’s Not There” or Rachmaninoff’s “Morceaux de Fantasie.” Songs such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” or the “Theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark” are likely to facilitate task quantity or speed, because these songs are fast in tempo, have high dynamic variation, and are low in complexity.

“Music can be helpful, harmful or inconsequential depending on the type of music and the type of task on which you are working,” Cortina said. “The overarching reason is that music with different characteristics has different effects on emotion and physiological arousal, which in turn affects attention.”

Source: Virginia Commonwealth University

Let's Talk About ... Nuts

Eating tree nuts lower the risk of :

- cancers
- infection
- diabetes
- cardiovascular issues
- mortality

So... macademia, pecans, hazelnuts, pine, almonds and cashew nuts are the snacks to have at least once a day. Watch out for high salt content!

Photocredit: Befituk


Using Biofeedback Devices at Marilyn Allen's Clinic- Marilyn Allen PhD

Using Quantum Biofeedback devices to get positive results for clients must one of the most gratifying jobs ever!


6 Tips To Raising Your Vibration

Commodo cursus magna, vel scelerisque nisl consectetur et. Donec id elit non mi porta gravida at eget metus.
— Hope K.

Let's Talk About ... Hibiscus Tea

Also known as Agua de Jamaica.

- rich in Vitamin C
- can help with digestive issues
- can help with circulation issues
- can help with cholesterol issues
- can help support the immune system
- can help manage blood pressure issues (AHA 2008)
- can help manage hormonal issues
- said to be beneficial for weight issues
- said to be beneficial for sugar regulation issues- said to help with urinary tract issues
- can be drunk hot or cold
- very refreshing
- very reasonably priced

photocredit: naturalhealthonline


A Protein Has Been Caught Conducting Electricity - Repost from


30 OCT 2017

Proteins, the building blocks in every cell, have usually been thought of as blobs of inert organic matter. Now scientists have caught one particular protein doing something incredible: conducting electricity.

If the findings can be replicated and used, we could have ourselves a powerful new diagnostic tool for medical use, capable of identifying single protein molecules with a little blip of electrical current. 

Through four years of study since their initial experiments, the team from Arizona State University has checked and double-checked their work, putting the data up against various hypotheses and explanations, and coming to the conclusion that this is indeed a protein conducting electricity.

"If it's true, it's amazing," says lead researcher Stuart Lindsay. "What this paper is mainly testing out are all the alternative explanations of our data, and ruling out all of the artefacts."

The story begins with the development of tiny DNA and amino acid readers developed by Lindsay and his team, readers which lock individual molecules between electrodes – a technology known as recognition tunnelling.

Having seen success with single molecules, the researchers jumped up a level, and wondered if the same electric pulse could identify whole proteins as well.

Sure enough, they found that when the glue-like integrin protein domain alphaVbeta3 was hooked up between two electrodes, it showed "remarkably high electronic conductance".

In the years since, the team has been trying to find an explanation that fits the phenomenon – an explanation such as electron hopping, where electrons can jump between atoms over distances. But nothing seemed to fit the data in the experiment.

Then Lindsay came across the work of theoretical biophysicist Gabor Vattay from Eötvös Loránd University in Hungary, who put forward an idea based on quantum mechanics that proteins are "poised" at a special state between conducting and insulating.

An electrical fluctuation can kickstart a protein into being either an electrical conductor or an electrical insulator, Vattay says, and that seems to match what Lindsay and his colleagues were finding in their tests.

"In our experiments, we were seeing this weird behaviour in this huge protein conducting electricity, but it is not static. It's a dynamic thing," says Lindsay.

"Below a certain bias, it's just an insulator, but when the fluctuations start kicking in, they are huge."

The idea is there are three curves in energy level distributions for proteins: one corresponding to a metallic or conducting state, one to an insulator state, and the middle one to that quantum critical state between the two.

With the help of Vattay and some supercomputer modelling, the researchers were able to match their alphaVbeta3 protein domain to that quantum critical state.

In further experiments using a more refined setup, the scientists were able to create a device that switched the electrical conductance of the protein on and off.

The researchers are cautious about their findings so far, because they've only been working with one protein, and there's plenty we still don't know about why it's behaving in this way. Hopefully future studies can fill in some of those gaps.

Potentially though we're looking at a whole new way of understanding proteins, feeding into how we could use them in nanoscale devices, or how we could adapt treatments for diseases they're involved in.

We might be on the verge of a radical rethink about the electrical properties of proteins.

"Basically, we've eliminated all of those sources of 'I don't believe this data' and we are still seeing this weird behaviour of this huge protein conducting electricity," says Lindsay.

"It's still there and it's beautiful."

The research has been published in Nano Futures.

The Power Of Your Brain - Marilyn Allen PhD

It is said that you have about 70,000 thoughts every day. Meditation could increase your IQ and relieve stress. The subconscious mind controls 95% of our thoughts whilst the conscious mind controls our brains only about 5% of the day. Our brains are made of two thirds of fat. Replenishing these fats is essential for the brain to function properly and prevent diseases like depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease. Listening to music changes the structure of it and strengthens the brain. The brain makes mental meaning of your thoughts turning them into physical reality. Enjoy looking after your brain and reap the rewards but most of all, enjoy your chosen genre of music!

Let's Talk About ... Fats We Ingest

Real fats are good. Industrial fats are bad. Very simple. So... cut out the bad fats. Eat whole good fats (not half fat, skinny fat, skimmed fat etc).  Avocado, almonds, olive oil, coconut oil, oily fish. Very easy to introduce into your diet. Invest in yourself. Let your health be your wealth.


Link Between Inlammation and Mental Illness. Repost from Neurosciencestuff


A surprising new link between inflammation and mental illness

Up to 75 percent of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus – an incurable autoimmune disease commonly known as lupus – experience neuropsychiatric symptoms. But so far, our understanding of the mechanisms underlying lupus’ effects on the brain has remained murky. Now, new research from Boston Children’s Hospital has shed light on the mystery and points to a potential new drug for protecting the brain from the neuropsychiatric effects of lupus and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases. The team has published its surprising findings in Nature.

“In general, lupus patients commonly have a broad range of neuropsychiatric symptoms, including anxiety, depression, headaches, seizures, even psychosis,” says Allison Bialas, PhD, first author on the study and a research fellow working in the lab of Michael Carroll, PhD, senior author on the study, who are part of the Boston Children’s Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine. “But their cause has not been clear – for a long time it wasn’t even appreciated that these were symptoms of the disease.

Collectively, lupus’ neuropsychiatric symptoms are known as central nervous system (CNS) lupus. Carroll’s team wondered if changes in the immune system in lupus patients were directly causing these symptoms from a pathological standpoint.

"How does chronic inflammation affect the brain?”

Lupus, which affects at least 1.5 million Americans, causes the immune systems to attack the body’s tissues and organs. This causes the body’s white blood cells to release type 1 interferon-alpha, a small cytokine protein that acts as a systemic alarm, triggering a cascade of additional immune activity as it binds with receptors in different tissues.

Until now, however, these circulating cytokines were not thought to be able to cross the blood brain barrier, the highly-selective membrane that controls the transfer of materials between circulating blood and the central nervous system (CNS) fluids.

“There had not been any indication that type 1 interferon could get into the brain and set off immune responses there,” says Carroll, who is also professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.

So, working with a mouse model of lupus, it was quite unexpected when Carroll’s team discovered that enough interferon-alpha did indeed appear to permeate the blood brain barrier to cause changes in the brain. Once across the barrier, it launched microglia – the immune defense cells of the CNS – into attack mode on the brain’s neuronal synapses. This caused synapses to be lost in the frontal cortex.

“We’ve found a mechanism that directly links inflammation to mental illness,” says Carroll. “This discovery has huge implications for a range of central nervous system diseases.”

Blocking inflammation’s effects on the brain

The team decided to see if they could reduce synapse loss by administering a drug that blocks interferon-alpha’s receptor, called an anti-IFNAR.

Remarkably, they found that anti-IFNAR did seem to have neuro-protective effects in mice with lupus, preventing synapse loss when compared with mice who were not given the drug. What’s more, they noticed that mice treated with anti-IFNAR had a reduction in behavioral signs associated with mental illnesses such as anxiety and cognitive defects.

Although further study is needed to determine exactly how interferon-alpha is crossing the blood brain barrier, the team’s findings establish a basis for future clinical trials to investigate the effects of anti-IFNAR drugs on CNS lupus and other CNS diseases. One such anti-IFNAR, anifrolumab, is currently being evaluated in a phase 3 human clinical trial for treating other aspects of lupus.

“We’ve seen microglia dysfunction in other diseases like schizophrenia, and so now this allows us to connect lupus to other CNS diseases,” says Bialas. “CNS lupus is not just an undefined cluster of neuropsychiatric symptoms, it’s a real disease of the brain – and it’s something that we can potentially treat.”

The implications go beyond lupus because inflammation underpins so many diseases and conditions, ranging from Alzheimer’s to viral infection to chronic stress.

“Are we all losing synapses, to some varying degree?” Carroll suggests. His team plans to find out

The Power of Your Brain - Dr Marilyn Allen PhD

It is said that you have about 70,000 thoughts every day. Meditation could increase your IQ and relieve stress. The subconscious mind controls 95% of our thoughts whilst the conscious mind controls our brains only about 5% of the day. Our brains are made of two thirds of fat. Replenishing these fats is essential for the brain to function properly and prevent diseases like depression, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Disease. Listening to music changes the structure of it and strengthens the brain. The brain makes mental meaning of your thoughts turning them into physical reality. Enjoy looking after your brain and reap the rewards but most of all, enjoy your chosen genre of music!

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