Thursday, October 28, 2004
Increase The Flow Of Money Into Your Life"
By Bob Scheinfeld
Ultimate Lifestyle Academy
Just about everyone who subscribes to this newsletter wants
to make more money, no matter how much they make now.
You too? If so, pay special attention to this article, read
with an open mind, be honest with yourself, and then take
immediate action after you finish it.
To begin, I'd like to define a few terms. For our discussion
here, let's compare money to electricity and your life to a
Suppose you're building a new house. You'd want to have
electricity in it, wouldn't you? Well,to have electricity in
your house, you've got to first tie into the main power
grid of your city or town, A "power line" has to be
installed that connects your house to the main power
Having access to the main power grid isn't enough, however.
You've also got to have "wiring" installed and running
through your house that allows the electricity to flow
through your house to the "outlets" so you can "plug in" and
use the power.
If raw power ran to your house but it couldn't flow in and
through your house to the outlets, it wouldn't do you any
good, would it?
So, to have electricity available in your house, you have to
think ahead and plan for how and where you want it to flow.
Does that make sense?
OK. Let's bring this back to money and your life. If you
want to increase the flow of money into your life, two
things must be in place:
1. You must be linked up to the main money "power grid"
2. You must have the correct wiring in place to allow the
flow to flow into and through your life
All of us, including you, are already connected to the main
power grid that supplies money. We all have equal access
to the raw potential to earn money. You already know that.
What you may not be clear on, however, is that we don't all
have the proper wiring in our houses to allow money to flow
to us in the amounts we prefer. When I say "wiring," I mean
the ability to effectively direct and manage the money/power
when it starts flowing to us.
Suppose you're a parent and two of your children came up to
you and say, "Mom/Dad, can I please have $100?"
Suppose you said to the first child, "What do you want the
money for?" And he/she replied, "I'm not sure. I'd just like
it." Or, "I'd like it to buy a bunch of toys and candy." How
likely would you be to give him/her the money? Not likely,
Suppose you asked your other child the same question and
he/she said, "I'd like $30 to invest for my future, $30 to
by flowers for my teacher to thank her for helping me after
hours with my science project, and $40 to buy some books so
I can study several subjects that interest me and would help
me in school."
How likely would you be to give him/her the $100? Much more
likely, right? Why? Because they knew exactly what they'd do
with the money, their intentions were solid, and you'd
'approve" of their proposed use of the money, right?
Well the same thing goes for money and you. Why should the
Universe (or your Director/Inner CEO in my work) give YOU
more money if you don't know exactly what you'll do with it,
and if your intentions aren't truly solid or "approved" too?
Think about that for a minute.
Most people I know who want more money have never really
thought through exactly what they'd do with it if they got
it. Or, if they do have plans for the increased money flow,
it's for things that haven't been thought through either,
especially as it relates to alignment with their life
mission and purpose.
I've got to be brutally honest with you now for a minute.
You can bitch, moan and complain about not having enough
money all you want. But until you get the correct wiring
in place, the flow isn't likely to happen. You'll just be
like the first kid in the example I just gave you.
Here's what getting the correct wiring in place means:
1. Getting crystal clear on exactly what you'd do with the
increased money flow if you got it
2. Making sure your clarity on what you'd do with the money
is resting on a foundation of Truth and total alignment
with your life purpose and mission (versus your own fantasy
3. Getting your act together on managing money (which
includes having plans in place for saving, investing,
planning for your future, being organized and on top of
all the financial details in your life, etc.)
As my friend Dr. John Demartini says, "Until You Manage
Money Wisely, Don’t Expect More Money To Manage."
When you can show The Universe (or your Director/Inner CEO
in my work) that increased money flow will be used in a wise
way, the flow will increase and not before. The only
exception to this, as I discuss in my Invisible Path to
Success and 11th Element work, is if an increased flow of
money at this moment is part of your mission and purpose and
your Director/Inner CEO is taking steps to increase it
independently of your personal desire for it.
So, based on what you've just discovered, here are the
5 action steps I suggest taking right now:
1. Take a brutally honest look at your life and see if you
have the proper "wiring" installed in your "house."
2. If the answer is "Yes," then be patient and know that the
increased money flow will come at the best time and in the
best way for you.
3. If the answer is "No," then take steps to get the help
you need to run new wiring through your house. If you
already have an Invisible Path to Success or 11th Element
book or course, use the System to ask for help to do that.
If not, consider purchasing an 11th Element book or course
(see below) and getting started right away with the System.
It's the quickest way I know to get the job done
4. Run your new wiring
5. Use the System to ask for help to increase the flow of
money once the new wiring is in place
If you follow these 5 steps, and if an increased flow of
money at this time is in alignment with your mission and
purpose, it will flow. That's guaranteed.
Go get 'em tiger!
Bob Scheinfeld, Ultimate Lifestyle Academy
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
In this era of high-tech memory management, next in line to get that memory upgrade isn't your computer, it's you.
Professor Theodore W. Berger, director of the Center for Neural Engineering at the University of Southern California, is creating a silicon chip implant that mimics the hippocampus, an area of the brain known for creating memories. If successful, the artificial brain prosthesis could replace its biological counterpart, enabling people who suffer from memory disorders to regain the ability to store new memories.
And it's no longer a question of "if" but "when." The six teams involved in the multi-laboratory effort, including USC, the University of Kentucky and Wake Forest University, have been working together on different components of the neural prosthetic for nearly a decade. They will present the results of their efforts at the Society for Neuroscience's annual meeting in San Diego, which begins Saturday.
While they haven't tested the microchip in live rats yet, their research using slices of rat brain indicates the chip functions with 95 percent accuracy. It's a result that's got the scientific community excited.
"It's a new direction in neural prosthesis," said Howard Eichenbaum, director of the Laboratory of Cognitive Neurobiology at Boston University. "The Berger enterprise is ambitious, aiming to provide a prosthesis for memory. The need is high, because of the prevalence of memory disorder in aging and disease associated with loss of function in the hippocampus."
Forming new long-term memories may involve such tasks as learning to recognize a new face, or remembering a telephone number or directions to a new location. Success depend on the proper functioning of the hippocampus. While this part of the brain doesn't store long-term memories, it re-encodes short-term memory so it can be stored as long-term memory.
It's the area that's often damaged as a result of head trauma, stroke, epilepsy and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Currently, no clinically recognized treatments exist for a damaged hippocampus and the accompanying memory disorders.
Berger's team began its research by studying the re-encoding process performed by neurons in slices of rat hippocampi kept alive in nutrients. By stimulating these neurons with randomly generated computer signals and studying the output patterns, the group determined a set of mathematical functions that transformed any given arbitrary input pattern in the same manner that the biological neurons do. And according to the researchers, that's the key to the whole issue.
"It's an impossible task to figure out what your grandmother looks like and how I would encode that," said Berger. "We all do a lot of different things, so we can't create a table of all the things we can possibly look at and how it's encoded in the hippocampus. What we can do is ask, 'What kind of transformation does the hippocampus perform?'
"If you can figure out how the inputs are transformed, then you do have a prosthesis. Then I could put that into somebody's brain to replace it, and I don't care what they look at -- I've replaced the damaged hippocampus with the electronic one, and it's going to transform inputs into outputs just like the cells of the biological hippocampus."
Dr. John J. Granacki, director of the Advanced Systems Division at USC, has been working on translating these mathematical functions onto a microchip. The resulting chip is meant to simulate the processing of biological neurons in the slice of rat hippocampus: accepting electrical impulses, processing them and then sending on the transformed signals. The researchers say the microchip is doing exactly that, with a stunning 95 percent accuracy rate.
"If you were looking at the output right now, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the biological hippocampus and the microchip hippocampus," Berger said. "It looks like it's working."
The team next plans to work with live rats that are moving around and learning, and will study monkeys later. The researchers will investigate drugs or other means that could temporarily deactivate the biological hippocampus, and implant the microchip on the animal's head, with electrodes into its brain.
"We will attempt to adapt the artificial hippocampus to the live animal and then show that the animal's performance -- dependent in these tasks on an intact hippocampus -- will not be compromised when the device is in place and we temporarily interrupt the normal function of the hippocampus," said Sam A. Deadwyler, "thus allowing the neuro-prosthetic device to take over that normal function." Deadwyler, a professor at Wake Forest University, is working on measuring the hippocampal neuron activity in live rats and monkeys.
The team expects it will take two to three years to develop the mathematical models for the hippocampus of a live, active rat and translate them onto a microchip, and seven or eight years for a monkey. They hope to apply this approach to clinical applications within 10 years. If everything goes well, they anticipate seeing an artificial human hippocampus, potentially usable for a variety of clinical disorders, in 15 years.
Overall, experts find the results promising.
"We are nowhere near applicability," said Boston University's Eichenbaum. "But the next decade will prove whether this strategy is truly feasible."
"There is a big gap in making the microchip work in a slice preparation and getting it to work in a human being," added Norbert Fortin, a neuroscientist from the Cognitive Neurobiology Lab at Boston University. "However, their approach is very methodical, and it is not unreasonable to think that in 15 to 20 years such a chip could help, to some degree, a patient who suffered from hippocampal damage."
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Monday, October 25, 2004
How do you sell a T-shirt, anyway?
I mean, nobody really needs one. Many places give them away as promotional items. And there isn't a shortage of them in the world. They aren't food, water, or shelter. They aren't essential. No one will die without one.
So why would anyone buy one of mine?
Those were the thoughts I wrestled with after artist Andy Dooley created a beautiful T-shirt design to celebrate my book, "Spiritual Marketing," becoming a number one best-seller on Amazon June 4th and 5th, 2002.
Now that I have a shirt, how do I sell it?
I rummaged through my brain as well as my library and stumbled across Aristotle. You may remember him. He was an ancient Greek rhetorician who created a four-point system for persuasion. That system has never been improved on in the last 2,000 years. In brief, his logical 4-step "arrangement" (as Aristotle called it) looks like this:
1. Exordium. A shocking statement or story to get attention.
2. Narratio. You pose the problem the reader/listener is having.
3. Confirmatio. You offer a solution to the problem.
4. Peroratio. You state the benefits of action on the solution.
This should look a little familiar to you. It's very similar to the classic advertising formula known as AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
Because of both of those formulas, most of my sales oriented writing follows along the easy path of answering these questions:
1. Are you getting attention with your opening?
2. Are you stating a problem the reader cares about?
3. Are you offering a solution that really works?
4. Are you asking the reader to take action?
Okay. You got that. But how does it help me sell T-shirts?
Well, let's see.
1. My opening has to grab attention. So what if I said something like, "How can you wear a painting that will increase your sex appeal?" Food, sex, and money are notorious attention-getters.
2. Now I have to state a problem. So maybe I can ask, "Are you tired of wearing ratty T-shirts from the local pub or grill? Wouldn't you like to wear something that makes you feel great---that reminds you---as well as the people who are attracted to you---to go for your dreams?"
3. Now I have to explain my solution. "Famous artist Andy Dooley, who has designed T-shirts sold at Disney World and around the world, has just created an original work of art. This art is beautiful, colorful, and charged with the feelings that attract prosperity, love, and healing---all the things you loved in the book, Spiritual Marketing."
4. To wrap up, I need to now ask for action. "You can only get this limited-edition, original work of art directly from me. Just see my website at mrfir.com and you'll see the T-shirt design. For every 3 shirts you buy, I'll send you one free. Sizes are Large and X-Large only."
Wow! I did it!
I spontaneously created a sales piece by following Aristotle's 2,400 year-old 4-step plan.
You can do this, too. For anything you want to sell, simply ask yourself these questions:
1. Are you getting attention with your opening?2. Are you stating a problem the reader cares about?3. Are you offering a solution that really works?4. Are you asking the reader to take action?
Now go and make Aristotle proud!
Dr. Joe Vitale is author of way too many books to list here, including the #1 best-selling book "Spiritual Marketing," the best-selling e-book "Hypnotic Writing," and the best-selling audioprogram, "The Power of Outrageous Marketing." His training on Hypnotic Selling and Hypnotic Writing is at www.HypnoticLibrary.com
Monday, October 18, 2004
By Bob Doyle
Wealth Beyond Reason
It's time for the "mainstream" to WAKE UP. The alarm clock is ringing, they keep hitting snooze, and in the meantime, the life they could be living is passing them by.
Day after day, millions of people go through their lives wishing and hoping and dreaming that things could be better, with absolutely no knowledge that it is they themselves that perpetuate their own dissatisfaction.
It is not the "gifted few" who create their realities. It's not just for those in the metaphysical community. It is all of us. Every single one. However, there are a few who have awakened to this knowledge, and make creating their reality a daily event...manifesting whatever it is they want in their life with seemingly no effort!
Meanwhile the rest of the world looks on in wonder and disbelief. They assume that these "fortunate few" are among the cosmically lucky.
To be honest, the whole thing generates some anger in me. The problem is that we are "dumbed down" by society throughout our whole lives under the pretense that we are actually being intellectualized. The "scholarly" tell us that metaphysical topics like reality creation are pure fantasy. Science insists on measurable evidence of everything before it will acknowledge such claims as fact.
However, it's really not that difficult to comprehend. Even the most skeptical people should be able to grasp a few simple concepts like:Everything in the Universe is composed of Energy, including you and me. Even our thoughts are Energy. Through Energy, everything in the Universe is connected.
You ARE a part of the Universe and through the power of thought, have the same creative power that manifests everything you see. The only thing that limits your potential is your own belief system!
The Universe creates without effort, and in abundance. Just look around you. Trees, rocks, air, planets, etc. all were created without stress, effort, or over-analyzation. The Force you choose to believe initiated the creative process doesn't matter. They are all there and were created effortlessly.
Everything that occurs in your life is interpreted BY YOU. You add the meaning, you add the emotional response, you add EVERYTHING. It is your thoughts that literally take the energy "data" and transpose it into your reality. What you consider "real" is nothing more than an agreement that you've made with yourself (and no doubt many others in some cases).
This is how our reality has been shaped. This is how we have learned what is possible, and what is impossible. We learned it from OTHER PEOPLE. The problem is, these other people (family and friends perhaps?) have their OWN limiting belief systems which they ALSO consider "real".
So human limitations spread like a virus, and we don't even realize what's happening.
As discouraging as this is, many of us ARE waking up. I personally feel it my sacred duty to shake people out of this "intellectual trance" that limits them and show them what is truly possible.
So what IS the difference between those who cruise through life in a seemingly perpetual state of bliss, with everything they want coming to them with no effort, and the rest of the population working at jobs they hate for the sake of doing the "responsible" thing, hoping that SOME DAY they can live the lives they hope for?
The difference is that these people know their purpose, know WHY they absolutely HAVE to fulfill that purpose, and commit themselves to never stopping until they realize their dream. They may or may not have thrown the accepted definition of "responsibility" out the window. The only thing that matters ultimately is that they now live lives they love, following their passions.
You see it is our PASSIONS in life that tell us precisely what we are to do. When we follow our passions, our life lights up. We give off incredibly powerful energy which attracts our desires to us. That means people, money, objects, careers...whatever we want that is in line with our purpose. The Universe WANTS to provide those things we want most. It is only our own limiting belief systems that stop fulfillment from occurring.
Learn more here: Wealth Beyond Reason
Saturday, October 16, 2004
Reuters Health and Science Correspondent
Gerald Rubin is looking for someone who can take a picture of a thought.
To do it, he and colleagues are harnessing the powerful force of cold, hard cash -- Howard Hughes' cash, to be exact.
They are building a new $400 million laboratory in the green countryside outside Washington, D.C., and hope to attract the brightest and most unconventional minds in science to find a way to look into a person's brain and see what it is doing.
And they want to take their time doing it. "In a 100-year timeframe we want to understand human consciousness," said Rubin.
Rubin and colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute -- one of the world's richest philanthropies with an endowment worth $11.3 billion -- are approaching this ticklish problem backwards. They have bought a 280-acre farm in Ashburn, Virginia, and are building a new kind of research campus.
Only now, halfway through its construction, are they settling on what kind of research they want to do and looking for the people to do it.
"We are (like) a biotechnology company whose product is new knowledge and which has infinitely patient investors," Rubin told reporters on a recent tour, comparing the foundation to a corporation.
How did they settle on imaging thought?
"We wanted to pick an important biomedical problem but we wanted to pick a problem that wasn't easily addressed at academic campuses."
One area that might meet these criteria was the question of how brain cells store and process information.
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A pill-sized brain chip has allowed a quadriplegic man to check e-mail and play computer games using his thoughts. The device can tap into a hundred neurons at a time, and is the most sophisticated such implant tested in humans so far.
Many paralysed people control computers with their eyes or tongue. But muscle function limits these techniques, and they require a lot of training. For over a decade researchers have been trying to find a way to tap directly into thoughts.
In June 2004, surgeons implanted a device containing 100 electrodes into the motor cortex of a 24-year-old quadriplegic. The device, called the BrainGate, was developed by the company Cyberkinetics, based in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Each electrode taps into a neuron in the patient's brain.
The BrainGate allowed the patient to control a computer or television using his mind, even when doing other things at the same time. Researchers report for example that he could control his television while talking and moving his head.
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Thursday, October 14, 2004
WebMD Medical News
People who are bilingual have an advantage over the rest of us, and not just in terms of communication skills. The bilingual brain develops more densely, giving it an advantage in various abilities and skills, according to new research.
Researchers Andrea Mechelli of London's Wellcome Department of Imaging Neuroscience and colleagues, including experts from the Fondazione Santa Lucia in Rome, looked at brain densities of bilingual people.
First, they recruited 25 people who speak one language, 25 who learned a second European language before age 5, and 33 who became bilingual between ages 10 and 15.
All the participants spoke English as their primary language. Those who had learned a second language later in life had practiced it regularly for at least five years.
Bilingual Brains Do Better
The brain has two types of tissue visible to the naked eye, termed gray and white matter. Gray matter makes up the bulk of nerve cells within the brain. Studies have shown an association with gray matter density (or volume and intellect), especially in areas of language, memory, and attention.
Brain imaging showed that bilingual speakers had denser gray matter compared with monolingual participants.
The difference was especially significant in the brain's left side -- an area known to control language and communication skills. The right hemisphere of bilingual speakers also showed a similar trend.
The researchers say that although language is thought to be mediated by functional changes in the brain, they show that being bilingual structurally changes the brain. Their study shows the effect was strongest in people who had learned a second language before age 5.
In a second test, the researchers studied 22 native Italian speakers who had learned English as a second language between ages 2 and 34.
Those who had learned English at a young age had greater proficiency in reading, writing, talking, and understanding English speech.
As in the first test, increases in gray matter density in the brain's left region were linked to age at which a person became bilingual. The earliest second language learners had the densest gray matter in that part of the brain.
Of course, while it might seem easier to pick up a second language as a child, it's still possible to do so as an adult.
"Our findings suggest that the structure of the human brain is altered by the experience of acquiring a second language," write the researchers in the October issue of the journal Nature.
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Wednesday, October 13, 2004
That belief has long been conjecture, but in recent years scientists studying the mind-body connection are finding that an optimistic outlook can improve more than just mental health.
Christopher Reeve's death this week, nine years after being paralyzed in a horseback riding accident is, to some researchers, an example of just how Reeve's positive attitude during his post-accident life surely contributed to an improved physical state.
"There is no doubt in my mind his positive attitude extended his life — probably dramatically. The fact that it didn't allow him to recover function of all limbs is besides the point," said Carol Ryff, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who has been studying whether or not high levels of psychological well-being benefit physical health.
"There is a science that is emerging that says a positive attitude isn't just a state of mind," she says. "It also has linkages to what's going on in the brain and in the body."
Ryff has shown that individuals with higher levels of well-being have lower cardiovascular risk, lower levels of stress hormones and lower levels of inflammation, which serves as a marker of the immune system.
Her research on positive mental states is among 44 current grants funded by the National Institutes of Health evaluating optimism. Most research in this area has focused on negative feelings, such as how stress, anxiety and depression affect physical health.
"Science in this area is at the very beginning," Ryff said. "For a long period of time, you couldn't even get funding to do research like this because there was such a preoccupation with illness and dysfunction."
Hard to measure happiness
It's clear that stressors produce abnormal changes in the immune system, said Ronald Glaser, director of Ohio State University's Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. Glaser and his wife, Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, a clinical psychologist also at Ohio State, studied the mind-body connection and found that chronic stress and psychological stress can impede wounds from healing, may impair the effectiveness of vaccines and can weaken the immune system of caregivers.
Kiecolt-Glaser says there is less definitive work on the benefits of a positive outlook because clearly defined scales, such as those used for measuring depression, don't exist for studying happiness. That makes a positive attitude much more difficult to quantify.
"In laboratories, there are lots of easy ways to make people depressed or anxious for a long period of time. It's harder to make people happy," she says. "The whole distress, anxiety, depression part matters more, from everything we know, than positive emotions. It's not as easy to see a positive effect."
The scientific recognition of a mind-body connection in health is gathering steam. Once the purview of new-age books that claim to show the path to healing, the evidence is in the rise in clinical trials: The NIH last year funded $143 million of mind-body research, with estimates of $149 million for 2004 and $153 million for 2005.
"Mind-body medicine is now scientifically proven," says Herbert Benson, a cardiologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who is considered a pioneer in the field. "There are literally thousands of articles on how the mind and brain affect the body."
Benson, author of 10 books, is founding president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute in Boston, a non-profit organization devoted to studying interactions between mind and body. He says Reeve's focus on improving the plight of others with disabilities, like Michael J. Fox's work with Parkinson's disease, in some ways may help them personally more than they realize.
"When a person can focus on something other than illness, it allows the body to take advantage of our own healing capacity," says Benson. "Hope in something beyond the illness and dedicating oneself to cures for the illness" rather than dwelling on oneself and one's illness "gives purpose to life," and helps prevent the negative effects of stress while medical science does its work.
Medical science also is taking note of alternative medicine. Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo., has worked with the Reeve Paralysis Foundation to benefit those with spinal cord injuries. Terry Chase, the hospital's coordinator of patient and family education, has been confined to a wheelchair since being hit by a drunken driver while riding her bicycle 16 years ago. She says the hospital's alternative medicine program provides acupuncture, massage and aromatherapy to help patients feel better and stay positive.
She says they do "whatever we can to put people in a better place for their own healing — whatever healing they're going to have," she said. "We can't say it will cure them, but it may help them feel better and be more relaxed."
Perhaps one of the most vocal advocates for the power of a positive attitude is Bernie Siegel, a surgeon, author and motivational speaker known for such books as Love, Medicine & Miracles and Peace, Love & Healing.
"When people are willing to make an effort to cure what's incurable, I'll work with them," he says. "What goes on in your head affects your body."
But the message of well-intentioned morale-boosters such as Siegel sometimes is misunderstood by those who expect too much from the power of the mind and mistakenly think positive thoughts will bring about miraculous physical healing.
Ryff says people need to think not in terms of a cure, but of a better life.
"It's putting an impossible burden on the power of positive thinking to say in all cases, if this stuff really works, people should be cured. The right way to think is that this positive attitude orientation can actually keep life worth living and can possibly extend the period of life you have," she says. "It won't make the disease go away."Get your free subscription to Mind Power News at www.MindPowerNews.com
Monday, October 11, 2004
A 25-year-old quadriplegic sits in a wheelchair with wires coming out of a bottle-cap-size connector stuck in his skull.
The wires run from 100 tiny sensors implanted in his brain and out to a computer. Using just his thoughts, this former high school football player is playing the computer game Pong.
It is part of a breakthrough trial, the first of its kind, with far-reaching implications. Friday, early results were revealed at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation annual conference. Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems, the Foxborough-based company behind the technology, told attendees the man can use his thoughts to control a computer well enough to operate a TV, open e-mail and play Pong with 70% accuracy. (Related: Christopher Reeve, advocate for spinal cord research, dies.)
"The patient tells me this device has changed his life," says Jon Mukand, a physician caring for him at a rehabilitation facility in Warwick, R.I. The patient, who had the sensors implanted in June, has not been publicly identified.
The trial is approved by the FDA. Cyberkinetics has permission to do four more this year.
The significance of the technology, which Cyberkinetics calls Braingate, goes far beyond the initial effort to help quadriplegics. It is an early step toward learning to read signals from an array of neurons and use computers and algorithms to translate the signals into action. That could lead to artificial limbs that work like the real thing: The user could think of moving a finger, and the finger would move.
"It's Luke Skywalker," says John Donoghue, the neuroscientist who led development of the technology at Brown University and in 2001 founded Cyberkinetics.
The brain in control
Further out, some experts believe, the technology could be built into a helmet or other device that could read neural signals from outside the skull, non-invasively. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is funding research in this field, broadly known as Brain Machine Interface, or BMI.
DARPA envisions a day when a fighter pilot, for instance, might operate some controls just by thinking.
BMI is a field about to explode. At Duke University, a research team has employed different methods to read and interpret neural signals directly from the human brain. Other research is underway at universities around the world. Atlanta-based Neural Signals — a pioneer in BMI for the handicapped — has also been developing a system for tapping directly into the brain.
To be certain, the technology today is experimental and crude, perhaps at a stage similar to the first pacemaker in 1950, which was the size of a boombox and delivered jolts through wires implanted in the heart.
The Cyberkinetics trial "is great," says Jeff Hawkins, author of On Intelligence, a book about the brain out this month. But measuring enough neurons to do complex tasks like grasp a cup or speak words isn't close to feasible today. "Hooking your brain up to a machine in a way that the two could communicate rapidly and accurately is still science fiction," Hawkins says.
Layered on all of the BMI research are ethical and societal issues about messing with the brain to improve people. But those, too, are a long way from the research happening now.
Monkeys chasing dots
The Cyberkinetics technology grew out of experiments with monkeys at Brown.
Donoghue and his research team implanted sensors in the brains of monkeys, and got them to play a simple computer game — chasing dots around a screen with a cursor using a mouse — to get a food reward. As the monkeys played, computers read signals from the sensors and looked for patterns. From the patterns, the team developed mathematical models to determine which signals meant to move left, right, up, down and so on. After a while, the team disconnected the mouse and ran the cursor off the monkeys' thoughts. It worked: The monkeys could chase the dots by thinking of what they'd normally do with their hands.
A driving concept is to make the computer control natural, so a patient doesn't have to learn new skills.
The reason it works has to do with a discovery made by neuroscientists in the 1990s. The billions of neurons in each region of the brain work on physical tasks like an orchestra, and each neuron is one instrument.
With an orchestra, if you listen to only a few of the instruments, you could probably pick up what song is being played, but you wouldn't get all its richness and subtlety. Similarly, scientists found that if you can listen to any random group of neurons in a region, you can decipher generally what the region is trying to do — but you wouldn't get the richness and subtlety that might let a person do complex tasks.
The more neurons you can listen to, the more precisely you can pick out the song.
Cyberkinetics' big breakthrough is listening to up to 100 neurons at once and applying the computing power to make sense of that data almost instantly. The 100 sensors stick out from a chip the size of a contact lens. Through a hole in the skull, the chip is pressed into the cortex surface "like a thumbtack," Donoghue says.
Most of the sensors get near enough to a neuron to read its pattern of electrical pulses as they turn on and off, much like the 1s and 0s that are the basis for computing. Wires carry the signals out through a connector in the skull, and the computer does the rest.
Patient gaining accuracy
Cyberkinetics technicians work with the former football player three times a week, trying to fine-tune the system so he can do more tasks. He can move a cursor around a screen. If he leaves the cursor on a spot and dwells on it, that works like a mouse click.
Once he can control a computer, the possibilities get interesting. A computer could drive a motorized wheelchair, allowing him to go where he thinks about going. It could control his environment — lights, heat, locking or unlocking doors. And he could tap out e-mails, albeit slowly.
At this point, though, the equipment is unwieldy. The computer, two screens and other parts of the system are stacked on a tall cart. The processor and software can't do all the computations quite fast enough to move the cursor in real time — not instantly, the way your hand moves when you tell it to move. And because the sensors tap no more than 100 neurons, the cursor doesn't always move precisely. That's why a one-time athlete can play Pong at only 70% accuracy.
Though implanting a chip in the brain might seem alarming, devices are already regularly implanted in brains to help people who have severe epilepsy, Parkinson's disease or other neurological disorders. "We put drugs in our brains to improve them, even caffeine," says Arthur Caplan, head of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. "I don't think the brain is some sacrosanct organ you can't touch."
Not everyone is a fan of Cyberkinetics' human trials. "I am very skeptical," says Miguel Nicolelis, co-director of the Duke center doing similar research. "They seem to want to simply push their views and make a buck without much consideration of what is appropriate and safe to suggest to different patients."
At the moment, though, "The patient is very, very happy," says Mukand, who is also functioning as the FDA's investigator on the case.
Help with prosthetic limbs?
One way or another, neuroscience and technology are crashing together.
The Duke team has not implanted a permanent device in a human, but it has implanted sensors in monkeys who then move a robot arm by thought. Duke's results, published in July in the journal Neuroscience, show that the idea of using neurons to guide a prosthetic device can work.
To really be useful, the technology will have to get smaller, cheaper and wireless — perhaps a computer worn behind the ear. Down the road, it will have to tap many more neurons, and then the challenge will be building software to analyze more complicated patterns from so many more neurons.
"Brains are incredibly complex organs," author Hawkins says. "There are 100,000 neurons in a square millimeter of cortex. There are very precise codes in the neurons. The details matter."
A yet bigger challenge — the one DARPA faces — will be reading neural signals without drilling holes in people's skulls. Over the past decade, researchers have used the electroencephalogram (EEG) to pick up brain waves through electrodes attached to the head. After months of training, users can learn to play simple video games — such as making a wheel turn faster — with their thoughts. But EEG readings are too broad and weak to drive more specific tasks.
In June, researchers at Washington University, St. Louis, reported using a different external device — an electrocorticographic (ECoG) — to get more precise readings from outside the head. With a few hours of training, users could track targets on a screen.
But researchers at Duke, Brown and Cyberkinetics believe that the only way to get signals that can operate a robot arm, do e-mail or move a wheelchair is to touch the brain directly.
As with most technological developments, the devices will get smaller and better and the software will be made smarter, until some of what now seems bizarre becomes real. Society will be forced to debate the questions the technology raises.
"There are those who say this is slippery slope stuff — that this technology is opening the door to dangerous technologies that could enhance, improve and optimize someone," says bioethicist Caplan. "But I'm unwilling to hold hostage this kind of exciting medical research for those kinds of fears."
Thursday, October 07, 2004
You can influence others to feel and sometimes even do things you want – without words.
How does it work?
Simply – when another person approaches you and is open, he or she will “tune into” your energy state, especially if your energy is strong and determined and if that person trusts you, as you will see in continuation.
In the next step, this energy will begin to resonate with him.
He will begin to feel it. Further, he will “listen to it” and even move his consciousness into that energy. (Whatever you are engaged in, your consciousness will gradually move into.)
What does it mean to “move your consciousness into a specific energy?”
It means that you gradually concentrate and focus your thoughts, feelings, activities and perceptions around that energy.
So whatever you feel, do, think, etc. will have to match that energy. And because this energy (or vibration) acts as a filter, whatever comes in has to go through it; likewise, whatever comes out of you has to match its rules – so your life is strictly limited to a those perceptions that match this vibration… and everything else doesn’t even touch you, much less influence you.
Just like a radio that you tune to a specific frequency – you only hear “that” frequency and all other frequencies, those they exist in the universe, simply “don’t exist” at that moment.
By expressing the “energy of respect,” the other one resonates with you (at that certain vibration). The more and stronger he resonates, the more his consciousness drops into the energy of respect.
For the other person – he feels the energy as “his own” energy! He probably won’t know what happened and why (or even when), he will only feel the strong energy of respect.
Because you are standing in front of him, he will direct, most likely, this energy of respect toward you.
If this new state of energy is not this person’s “usual state,” then they may feel strange, so it could happen that they won’t want to express that energy toward you.
To summarize: whatever energy you are in, you will see and awaken that same energy in others (according to the Law of Resonance), because it works as a kind of magnet. In addition, other people – if they remain open – will take on your energy when they are near you.
While they remain open, they will see and appeal to you according to the energy you express: because they now feel it like their own energy, they speak out of it.
What happens if they are not open, and therefore cannot resonate with you? Simply – they will “feel you” from their own patterns and through their own “filters”…
The strange thing is, some of them will put a negative label on that and will have nothing to do with you; which happens in cases where they “feel you” through their own energy and remain closed – so whatever they think they feel about you, they are really just feeling their own energy.
This means, it doesn’t matter who stands in front of them, they will always feel their own patterns…
Can you apply this powerful knowledge to your sales activities? It can be crucial for someone to realize and understand that people often feel themselves and act out of their own vibration. Sometimes we can influence them – if they are “open” and ready to accept us – and sometimes just not… no matter what.
Knowing this should protect you from feeling offended or angry when they tell you something you don’t like! Even more – understanding this means that whatever they do it need not disturb you and you can therefore remain in your (higher) vibration.
Understanding the process will help you understand it with compassion and even forgive them.
Successful sales are always based on transferring energy from one person to another. Can you do it? Would you like to learn how to do it in order to achieve extraordinary sales success? Is it easier for you to go to your dentist than to think of selling something? Yet you need to sell for your business? Learn more here: www.EnlightenedSalesperson.com
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
Scripps Treasure Coast Publishing
Picture a lemon. You're salivating, aren't you?
The physical reaction to a mental image proves a connection between mind and body, says Dr. Harry Stein, a licensed clinical hypnotherapist.
This link is the theory behind hypnotherapy, a form of complementary medicine that harnesses the mind's energy to make positive changes within the body.
"You make the changes, I'm only your guide," Stein told a group of five women during a recent hypnotherapy session at Martin Memorial Medical Center.
Each client, including Carla King, 50, of Stuart, hoped to get a grip on her weight-management issues. She had attended a similar session a number of years ago and was off to a good start, but felt herself slipping and in need of a tune-up.
"The first time, I don't think I was ready for it to work," King said. "It did for a while, but I guess life and issues and things got in the way."
What it is and isn't
The biggest misconception about hypnotherapy is that the client is not in control, Stein told King and the other participants.
"In reality, it's a natural state of mental and physical relaxation in which the person has an increased reaction to suggestion," he said. "You only do what you really want to do or say what you really want to say."
Participants are so aware that it can be a disadvantage in a group setting, because they may be embarrassed to speak out when others are present, he said.
"Have you ever been driving down the road and suddenly you realize that you missed your exit?" he asked. "You wonder, 'Where was I just then?' That's hypnosis."
Stein derided the entertainment hypnotists often seen on TV, but said TV itself is one of the greatest hypnotizers of all time.
For this session, Stein first taught the participants an emotional freedom technique. They tapped various areas of their bodies — their hands, eyebrows, chins, ribs, shoulders — and silently repeated positive phrases.
He likened the practice to "psychological acupuncture," an Eastern practice that uses needles to unlock a person's blocked energy, or "chi."
Stein then led the women through a series of guided images, including a walk down a long hallway and a count from 10 to zero that ended in "deep relaxation."At one point, he asked them to open their eyes and fill out a questionnaire related to their weight-management issues. Each followed silently down the list, answering questions to themselves, some even marking the answers with a pencil.
After they were finished, Stein snapped his fingers. Instantly and simultaneously, their heads rolled forward and their bodies slumped.
From there, Stein repeated things he had said to their conscious minds. "Imagine yourself drinking lots of water, getting exercise," he said. "See yourself eating slowly, enjoying your food. ... See yourself wearing the size clothes you want."
After about 30 minutes, Stein counted to five and the women woke up.
"I could hear you and then for a while I couldn't," one said.
Believing it so
The root of hypnotherapy is finding the source of negative energy and replacing it with something positive, Stein said. "If you have certain beliefs, you will live your life based on those beliefs."
How long it takes to correct those beliefs depends on their severity. "If your favorite teacher called you stupid when you were young, that's a hard thing to let go of," he said.
Stein first noticed the healing power of the mind while practicing plastic surgery. He used relaxation techniques during procedures that used local anesthesia to help patients with discomfort. Today, as a licensed clinical hypnotherapist, he takes the same approach to helping people through chemotherapy treatments or other painful illnesses.
Stein came to Martin Memorial early this year and conducted his first group session in June. He said results so far have been favorable, but skeptics remain.
In fact, the Skeptic's Dictionary devotes an entire Web page to "debunking" hypnosis. "We know that there is a significant correlation between being imaginative and being responsive to hypnosis," it states. "We know that those who are fantasy-prone are also likely to make excellent hypnotic subjects."
Indeed, the therapy isn't a catch-all. People with below-average intelligence may not respond, and those who really don't want to be hypnotized won't be. But whether hypnotherapy is the key to unlocking a subconscious power or nothing but a psychological placebo, it seems to work for those who really want it to.
About a week after her hypnotherapy session, King said her food cravings still existed, but weren't as intense. "My focus on food is not as great as it used to be," she said. "I'm not so consumed about what I'm going to eat."
Whether it's to address a specific mental-health problem or just to relax, hypnosis can help hurricane victims with some issues that may surface in the aftermath of recent storms, according to Dr. Henry Stein of Martin Memorial Medical Center.
Relaxation techniques can take you out of your uprooted life and into a serene, safe place, at least for a little while. A more specific session can address problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and fears.
Participants also can learn self-hypnosis and self-relaxation techniques to use whenever they feel the need.
Scripps Treasure Coast Publishing
Monday, October 04, 2004
What began as a continuous ache in his lower back intensified until my friend Donald Altman could no longer take deep breaths or sleep at night. A physician in Portland, Oregon, did an ultrasound that revealed Donald had one large kidney stone and three smaller stones in the process of formation.
Prior to seeing a urologist to begin a traditional treatment regimen, Altman began doing a meditation that he had learned years earlier from a Buddhist monk. Called the Healing Universal Smile, it is an ancient Buddhist practice of scanning (visualizing and feeling) into the interior of each body part, sending love and gratitude to those parts, and visualizing white light to purify and heal any injuries or imbalances. He did this meditation every night for 30 minutes.
When the urologist looked at the ultrasound results, he ordered a CT scan of the kidney to get a more detailed image of the stones. By the time this scan occurred at a hospital, Altman was no longer feeling much pain at all.
The urologist later called Altman to report that the CT scan was clear, showing no large stone or any formative stones. Altman explained that he had used a healing practice to dissolve the stones, to which the incredulous urologist replied, “No, you must have passed the stones through your urinary tract.”
“But wouldn’t I have felt that?” Altman protested. “Don’t you normally feel a tremendous amount of discomfort in passing them? I didn’t experience any of that.”
Not knowing what to say, which is a typical response by physicians confronting medical anomalies, the urologist simply asked Altman to report any recurrence of his symptoms. This was in February, 2004, and since then the 53-year-old Altman, author of Living Kindness, The Art Of The Inner Meal, and other well-regarded books, has experienced no recurrence.
Altman learned the healing meditation in 1996, from a Burmese monk in his 70’s who had such strong vitality and youthful appearance that Altman was prompted to inquire about how the monk maintained his health. The monk described this meditation practice that he did every morning on awakening.
“Our bodies are miraculous healing instruments,” Altman told me. “Any one of us can learn this meditative technique and put it to work, as I did, to heal any injuries or imbalances in the body.”
SCIENCE OF MEDITATION
Meditation has been shown in clinical studies to produce greater control of the autonomic nervous system. Heart activity, skin temperature, and blood flow can be selectively regulated by veteran practitioners of mediation. In particular, meditation seems to generate a unique connection and energetic flow between the brain and the heart.
Using the mind to facilitate a feeling of love at the heart center of the body seems to be a catalyst for healing. At the Institute of HeartMath in California, medical researchers have uncovered clinical evidence that feelings of love produce real healing energies in the body, with measurable physiological effects.
Two of these effects warrant mention. Both heart rhythms and brain waves, as measured by electrocardiographs, become highly ordered and more coherent than normal when meditators feel the presence of unconditional love in their heart centers. Even more provocative is the effect on the body’s immune system. Saliva tests have found sharply elevated levels of chemicals indicating enhanced immune system functioning when love feelings are being channeled in the body.
We remain poised on the frontier of research and knowledge about how our minds can affect our health. Mind over matter medicine may be in its infancy, but its healing modalities, revolving around meditation and related subtle energy practices, no longer languish as mere metaphoric tools in the mystic’s toolbox. They are now practical and accessible to us all.
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