Gratitude Can Literally Change Your Heart & The Molecular Structure Of Your Brain

Gratitude is a funny thing. In some parts of the world, somebody who gets a clean drink of water, some food, or a worn out pair of shoes can be extremely grateful. Meanwhile, somebody else who has all the necessities they need to live can be found complaining about something.

What we have today is what we once wanted before, but there is a lingering belief out there that obtaining material possessions is the key to happiness – especially in the Western world. This may be true for some to an extent, but that happiness is temporary. The truth is that true happiness is an inside job.

It’s a matter of perspective, and in a world where we are constantly made to feel like we are lacking and always wanting more, it can be difficult to achieve or experience actual happiness. Many of us are always looking toward external factors to experience joy and happiness, without ever doing or thinking about the inner work that is required.

This is something science is just starting to grasp as well, as shown by research coming out of UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center. According to them:

Having an attitude of gratitude changes the molecular structure of the brain, keeps gray matter functioning, and makes us healthier and happier. When you feel happiness, the central nervous system is affected. You are more peaceful, less reactive and less resistant. Now that’s a really cool way of taking care of your well-being.

UCLA Newsroom, Joan Moran.

There are many studies showing that people who count their blessings tend to be far happier and experience less depression.  In one study from the University of California, Berkeley,  researchers recruited people with mental health difficulties, including people suffering from anxiety and depression. The study involved nearly 300 adults who were randomly divided into three groups.

All groups received counselling services, but the first group was instructed to write one letter of gratitude to another person every week for three weeks, whereas the second group was asked to write about their deepest thoughts and feelings about negative experiences. The third group did not do any writing activity.

Researchers found that compared to the participants who wrote about negative experiences or only received counselling, those who wrote gratitude letters reported significantly better mental health for up to 12 weeks after the writing exercise ended.

This suggests that gratitude writing can be beneficial not just for healthy, well-adjusted individuals, but also for those who struggle with mental health concerns. In fact, it seems, practicing gratitude on top of receiving psychological counseling carries greater benefits than counseling alone, even when that gratitude practice is brief.

 Joshua Brown & Joel Wong. Indiana University.

Previously, a study on gratitude conducted by Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis and his colleague Mike McCullough at the University of Miami, randomly assigned participants to be given one of three tasks.

Each week, participants kept a short journal. One group described five things they were grateful for that had occurred in the past week, another group recorded daily troubles from the previous week that displeased them, and the neutral group was asked to list five events or circumstances that affected them, but they were not told whether to focus on what they consider positive or the negative.

Ten weeks later, participants in the gratitude group felt better about their lives as a whole and were a full 25 percent happier than the troubled group. They reported fewer health complaints and exercised an average of 1.5 hours more.

How Does Gratitude Benefit Us?

Researchers from Berkeley identified how gratitude might actually work on our minds and bodies. They provided four insights from their research suggesting what causes the psychological benefits of gratitude.

  • Gratitude unshackles us from toxic emotions
  • Gratitude helps even if you don’t share it
  • Gratitude’s benefits take time & practice. You might not feel it right away.
  • Gratitude has lasting effects on the brain

The brain part is very interesting. The researchers at Berkeley used an fMRI scanner to measure brain activity while people from each group did a “pay it forward” task. During the task, the participants were given money by a “nice person.” This person’s only request was that they pass on the money to someone if they felt grateful.

They did this because they wanted to distinguish between actions motivated by gratitude and actions driven by other motivations like obligation, guilt, or what other people think. This is important because you can’t fake gratitude, you actually have to feel it. If you don’t feel grateful or practice feeling grateful, you may not experience as much joy and happiness.

In a world where emotions aren’t really taught in school and the importance is put on striving for high grades, it’s not abnormal to have difficulty feeling grateful. This is especially understandable if you’ve been brought up in the Western world, which is full of consumerism and competition. A world where culture is inviting us to feel we are lacking so we need to strive for more, that we need to compete instead of cooperate.

Following the Pay It Forward study, participants were asked to rate how grateful they felt toward the person giving them the money and how much they wanted to pay it forward to a charitable cause as well as how guilty they thought they would feel if they didn’t help.  They were also given questionnaires to measure how grateful they felt in general. Researchers said,

We found that across the participants, when people felt more grateful, their brain activity was distinct from brain activity related to guilt and the desire to help a cause. More specifically, we found that when people who are generally more grateful gave more money to a cause, they showed greater neural sensitivity in the medial prefrontal cortex, a brain area associated with learning and decision making. This suggests that people who are more grateful are also more attentive to how they express gratitude.

Most interestingly, when we compared those who wrote the gratitude letters with those who didn’t, the gratitude letter writers showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex when they experienced gratitude in the fMRI scanner. This is striking as this effect was found three months after the letter writing began. This indicates that simply expressing gratitude may have lasting effects on the brain. While not conclusive, this finding suggests that practicing gratitude may help train the brain to be more sensitive to the experience of gratitude down the line, and this could contribute to improved mental health over time.

Joshua Brown & Joel Wong. Indiana University.

It’s also interesting to note that a 2018 study discovered a brain network that “gives rise to feelings of gratitude. The study could spur future investigations into how these ‘building blocks’ transform social information into complex emotions.” 

What About The Heart?

The work and research above is great, but where do we actually experience these feelings? They are clearly not a product of our brain, they are products of our consciousness, and when we feel them the brain responds. Researchers are now discovering that the heart also responds during these experience, and that it might actually be the heart that’s responsible for sending these signals to the brain.

A group of prestigious and internationally recognized leaders in physics, biophysics, astrophysics, education, mathematics, engineering, cardiology, biofeedback, and psychology (among other disciplines) have been doing some brilliant work over at the Institute of HeartMath.

Their work, among many others, has shown that when a person is feeling emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a different message, which determines what kind of signals are sent to the brain.

Not only that, but because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, the Institute has been able to gather a significant amount of data.

According to Rollin McCraty, Ph.D, and Director of Research at Heartmath,

“Emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.”

Another great point made below by HeartMath:

“One important way the heart can speak to and influence the brain is when the heart is coherent – experiencing stable, sine-wavelike pattern in its rhythms. When the heart is coherent, the body, including the brain, begins to experience all sorts of benefits, among them are greater mental clarity and ability, including better decision making.”

In fact, the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends in return. What’s even more incredible is the fact that these heart signals (from heart to brain) actually have a significant effect on brain function.

Research findings have shown that as we practice heart coherence and radiate love and compassion, our heart generates a coherent electromagnetic wave into the local field environment that facilitates social coherence, whether in the home, workplace, classroom or sitting around a table. As more individuals radiate heart coherence, it builds an energetic field that makes it easier for others to connect with their heart. So, theoretically it is possible that enough people building individual and social coherence could actually contribute to an unfolding global coherence.

Rollin McCraty.

So far, the researchers have discovered that the heart communicates with the brain and body in four ways: neurological communication (nervous system), biophysical communication (pulse wave), biochemical communication (hormones), and energetic communication (electromagnetic fields).

HeartMath research has demonstrated that different patterns of heart activity (which accompany different emotional states) have distinct effects on cognitive and emotional function. During stress and negative emotions, when the heart rhythm pattern is erratic and disordered, the corresponding pattern of neural signals traveling from the heart to the brain inhibits higher cognitive function. This limits our ability to think clearly, remember, learn, reason, and make effective decisions. In contrast, the more ordered and stable pattern of the heart’s input to the brain during positive emotional states has the opposite effect. It facilitates cognitive function and reinforces positive feelings and emotional stability

HeartMath Institute.

Feelings Have The Power To Create Change

So what do we make of this? Why is this research important and ca it make our world better? Here’s what HeartMath’s researchers feel with regards to these questions:

Every individual’s energy affects the collective field environment. The means each person’s emotions and intentions generate an energy that affects the field. A first step in diffusing societal stress in the global field is for each of us to take personal responsibility for our own energies. We can do this by increasing our personal coherence and raising our vibratory rate, which helps us become more conscious of the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that we are feeding the field each day. We have a choice in every moment to take to heart the significance of intentionally managing our energies. This is the free will or local freedom that can create global cohesion.

Dr. Deborah Rozman, the President of Quantum Intech

Overall, this type of work suggests that human consciousness, in general, has the power to be a key ingredient in changing our world.

One study, was done during the Israel-Lebanon war in the 1980s. Two Harvard University professors organized groups of experienced meditators in Jerusalem, Yugoslavia and the United States, and asked them to focus their attention on the area of conflict at various intervals over a 27-month period. Over the course of the study, the levels of violence in Lebanon decreased between 40 and 80 percent each time a meditating group was in place. The average number of people killed during the war each day dropped from 12 to three, and war-related injuries fell by 70 percent.

What this shows is that consciousness can have a temporary effect. But how do we make it more permanent? How do we create lasting change?

Another great example is a study that was conducted in 1993 in Washington, D.C., which showed a 25 percent drop in crime rates when 2,500 meditators meditated during a specific period of time with that intention.

Once again a temporary change only. This type of information is heavily correlated with quantum physics, as many experiments in that area as well as parapsychology (telepathy, remote viewing, distant healing) indicate similar findings.

This holds true as far back as 1999. Statistics professor Jessica Utts at UC Irvine published a paper showing that parapsychological experiments have produced much stronger results than those showing a daily dose of aspirin helps prevent heart attacks. Utts also showed that these results are much stronger than the research behind various drugs like antiplatelets.

This type of work has statistically significant implications, yet is heavily ignored and labelled as pseudoscience simply because it conflicts with long-held beliefs from a material worldview that is coming under fire. We often have trouble letting go of these types of worldview’s, but times are changing, and we must also.

For many years I have worked with researchers doing very careful work [in parapsychology], including a year that I spent full-time working on a classified project for the United States government, to see if we could use these abilities for intelligence gathering during the Cold War… At the end of that project I wrote a report for Congress, stating what I still think is true. The data in support of precognition and possibly other related phenomena are quite strong statistically, and would be widely accepted if it pertained to something more mundane. Yet, most scientists reject the possible reality of these abilities without ever looking at data! And on the other extreme, there are true believers who base their beliefs solely on anecdotes and personal experience. I have asked debunkers if there is any amount of data that would convince them, and they generally have responded by saying, “probably not.” I ask them what original research they have read, and they mostly admit that they haven’t read any. Now there is a definition of pseudo-science-basing conclusions on belief rather than data!

Utts, Chair of the Statistics Department, UC Irvine (Dean Radin, Real Magic)

The Takeaway

Emotions and other factors associated with consciousness have the power to transform our inner world in ways we don’t fully understand yet. These findings show how consciousness can actually transform the physical/material world as well, and that’s huge. This validates the idea that if we can change our inner world through healing trauma, gratitude, empathy, compassion, and meditation, we can make our outer world more peaceful.

The post Gratitude Can Literally Change Your Heart & The Molecular Structure Of Your Brain appeared first on Collective Evolution.

The Brains of Meditators Respond Much Differently To Pain – Huge Implications

In 2015, researchers from the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center discovered that the brains of meditators respond much differently to pain than those who were given a placebo to reduce pain. This could have large implications for pain management.

Pain is not only one of the most common ailments but it can also extremely debilitating and expensive. Approximately 100 million Americans deal with pain daily, and most are currently turning to prescription painkillers. With some of these pain killers being addictive, it’s easy to see how abuse of meds could be common based on use and availability.

A lack of trust, side effects, and several other factors are why both doctors and patients are gravitating towards non pharmacological ways to help reduce pain and the toll it can take on one’s quality of life. Let’s not forget about that a popular treatment for pain is opioid based medication which in itself has caused one of the largest drug addiction problems in history.

Back to the study. Researchers found, via brain scans, that mindfulness meditation produced different activity in people’s brains in comparison to the placebo group, and much of this activity was linked to reduced pain.

Seventy-five perfectly healthy pain-free adults were randomly assigned into one of four groups: mindfulness meditation, placebo meditation (a sort of “sham” meditation), placebo analgesic cream (petroleum jelly), or control.

A thermal probe that heated a small area of the participants’ skin was used to induce pain. The temperature reached approximately 50 degrees Centigrade, a level of heat where most people experience pain. Not only were the participant’s brains scanned to detect pain, but a rating system was used to describe the level of pain participants were experiencing.

The mindfulness meditation group reported that pain intensity was reduced by 27 percent physically and by 44 percent for the emotional aspect of pain. On the other hand, the placebo cream reduced the sensation of pain by 11 percent and emotional aspect of pain by 13 percent.

We were completely surprised by the findings…While we thought that there would be some overlap in brain regions between meditation and placebo, the findings from this study provide novel and objective evidence that mindfulness meditation reduces pain in a unique fashion.

Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist and lead investigator of the study.

The main “shocker” here was understanding the brain scans and how they produced different results depending on which intervention was used.

Mindfulness meditation reduced pain by activating brain regions (orbitofrontal and anterior cingulate cortex) associated with how we control pain ourselves. The placebo cream worked to lower pain by reducing brain activity in pain-processing areas (secondary somatosensory cortex).

Interestingly, a part of the brain called the thalamus was deactivated during the meditation but was activated during all other conditions. Since this part of the brain determines what sensory information is reached the higher brain centers, deactivating this area may have allowed pain signals to fade away.

Complimenting the brain scans, participants stated that mindfulness meditation reduced pain intensity and unpleasantness compared to the other interventions.

“This study is the first to show that mindfulness meditation is mechanistically distinct and produced pain relief above and beyond the analgesic effects seen with either placebo cream or sham meditation.

Based on our findings, we believe that as little as four 20-minute daily sessions of mindfulness meditation could enhance pain treatment in a clinical setting.”

Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist and lead investigator of the study.

There is, however, one large limitation with the study. This study only examined healthy, pain free volunteers and used simulated pain. The study was not conducted on people who actually experience chronic pain, and this is why more research is needed on volunteers who suffer from chronic pain.

Meditation also induces the body’s own opioid system. A very small, randomized, double-blind study from 2016 used the opioid blocker naloxone, or a placebo, and studied pain reduction with meditation. The group with the placebo experienced significantly less pain than the group that had the opioid blocker.

2018 study of meditation, mindfulness, and the brain suggested that in the long term, meditation can change the structure of your brain. The resulting change in cortical thickness in some brain areas makes you less pain-sensitive.

There are a plethora of studies that are now available showing various physiological benefits of meditation. This is coupled with several mental health benefits as well. Various organs are implicated when it comes to meditation and health. For example, an eight week study conducted by Harvard researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) determined that meditation literally rebuilds the brain’s grey matter in just eight weeks.

Meditation may not only be used for physiological benefits in many ways, but it can also be used to access different states of consciousness and perhaps connect with aspects of our reality we have yet to accept as real.

There is more than enough evidence to suggest that meditation would be a great tool for humanity to start learning at a young age. How different would our world be if we were all taught to meditate from a young age and incorporated it into our daily routine?

The post The Brains of Meditators Respond Much Differently To Pain – Huge Implications appeared first on Collective Evolution.

Attention Readers: We’ve Moved Our Journalism To The Pulse

A large portion of our journalism that you’re used to seeing on our Collective Evolution platform has now moved over to The Pulse. We will be publishing most of our news articles there, while Collective Evolution focuses more on personal development.

You can follow The Pulse on Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

We’ve done this for a number of reasons, mainly due to the struggles we’ve had with regards to extreme censorship at Collective Evolution. We hope you join us over at The Pulse in our quest to keep doing what we do!

Raising Our Vibration Through Compassion & Unconditional Love

An internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization, the Institute of HeartMath dedicates itself to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives. HeartMath tools, technology, and training teach people to rely on the intelligence of their hearts in concert with that of their minds at home, school, work, and play.

It’s becoming clearer to many of us that working together with kindness, compassion and acceptance are the missing pieces for resetting humanity’s fast and furious trajectory into separation and division. It’s also becoming obvious that we cannot create solutions from the same consciousness level that’s creating the problems. Raising our consciousness vibration for drawing peaceful solutions is an undertaking that calls for kindness, forgiveness and an inclusive love that respects our differences.

A large portion of their research has investigated heart and brain interaction. Researchers have examined how the heart and brain communicate with each other and how that affects our consciousness and the way in which we perceive our world. For example, when a person is feeling really positive emotions like gratitude, love, or appreciation, the heart beats out a certain message. Because the heart beats out the largest electromagnetic field produced in the body, it can yield significant data for researchers.

HeartMath has discovered that  emotional information is actually coded and modulated into these fields. By learning to shift our emotions, we are changing the information coded into the magnetic fields that are radiated by the heart, and that can impact those around us. We are fundamentally and deeply connected with each other and the planet itself.

This is very important work, as it shows how the heart plays an important role far beyond what is commonly known. For instance, did you know that your heart emits electromagnetic fields that change according to your emotions, or that the human heart has a magnetic field that can be measured up to several feet away from the human body? Did you know that positive emotions create physiological benefits in your body, and that you can boost your immune system by conjuring up positive emotions? Did you know that negative emotions can create nervous system chaos, and that positive emotions do the complete opposite? Did you know that the heart has a system of neurons that have both short term and long term memory, and that their signals sent to the brain can affect our emotional experiences? Did you know that in fetal development, the heart forms and starts beating before the brain is developed? Did you know that a mother’s brainwaves can synchronize to her baby’s heartbeats? Did you know that the heart sends more information to the brain than vice versa?

All of these facts, published research papers, and more can be accessed at heartmath.org.

I recently came across an article published by HeartMath titled “Raising Our Vibration Through Compassion & Unconditional Love” written by Sara Childre, Pres. of HeartMath Institute and Doc Childre, HeartMath Founder. I thought I would post it below for those who are interested.

Vibrations

HeartMath and many systems use the term vibration in reference to the quality of thoughts, feelings, emotions and attitudes that are generated and influenced by our beliefs, memories, choices, environmental stimuli and more. For example, you often hear people say, “I had to leave that office, the vibes were so low it was draining my energy, or, “I felt a lift from being in her positive vibration.”

The vibration of our moods, attitudes, thoughts and feelings can rise and fall throughout the day, based on our actions and reactions to others, ourselves, or to life’s issues. The vibes we emanate to others and to the environment vary, based on our resilience for balancing our mind, emotions and disposition – especially in today’s dynamic emotional climate.

Lower-level vibrations can occur at every turn in connection with frustration, anger, disappointment, sadness, judgment, comparisons and much more. These emotions are part of being human, but it is within our power to shift out of these debilitating feelings into higher vibrational attitudes and perceptions.

An easy way to maintain a higher vibration is to interweave the qualities of our heart in our connections and interactions. These heart qualities include love, care, compassion, kindness, appreciation, forgiveness, and more. Anyone who experiences these qualities knows their power to lift our feelings into a kinder and more stress-free outlook.

Raising Others’ Vibrations

For evidence that the heartfelt intentions of one individual can raise the heart vibration of others, HeartMath cites studies it has conducted. You may be familiar with the study in which a dog’s incoherent heart rhythms became coherently aligned with a boy’s heart rhythms as he radiated intentional love and care to his dog. Go to Josh and Mable to read more.

Science tells us that human beings and all creatures radiate an electromagnetic field produced by the heartbeat. Our feelings broadcast like radio waves through this field. When you are in the presence of a group of friends, family or others, everyone’s thoughts, feelings and attitudes are intermingling in your immediate area — which HeartMath calls the field environment.

Another study, with 40 participants, explored the effects of being in a coherent field environment. The participants were divided into 10 groups of four people who were seated around a table. They were all connected to equipment that simultaneously measured their level of heart rhythm coherence. Three of the participants had been previously trained in the Heart Lock-In technique and were instructed to get into a coherent state at random times unknown by the fourth untrained person. Overall, as the coherent vibration of the three HeartMath-trained participants increased, the untrained person’s coherence level also measurably increased from being in that more coherent field environment.

Poised in Higher Vibrations

When poised in our higher vibration, we experience many benefits. Decisions and solutions flow more easily due to increased access to our heart’s intuitive wisdom; our discernment becomes more inclusive and our choices become clearer and more effective; it gets much easier to deflect frustration, anxiety, impatience and other chronic stress producers that strain our critical thinking and reasoning.

Most all of us feel more self-secure when in our higher vibrational composure, yet it can be harder to maintain in the midst of challenges and ramped up stress. We can learn to lift our vibration to meet challenges by adding heart qualities of conscious care, kindness, gratitude or compassion in our interactions. As these qualities of love move through our system, it lifts our attitudes automatically for the highest way to deal with the situation at hand.

Unconditional love and compassion are among the highest vibrations of love and are not subject to preconditions, limitations, or requirements of others. They serve the greater interest and benefit of all sentient beings and the environment in which they exist. Many people are realizing that unconditional love and compassion are from our higher consciousness potentials with the capacity for healing and attracting solutions for social transformation.

Uncountable numbers of people have experienced the benefits of compassion and more individuals are resonating with this powerful expression of love in these times of robust change. Practicing compassion is something we can do that benefits all, yet it takes heartfelt commitment to anchor this responsibility to the whole of which we are a part.

Summary of Benefits From Raising Our Vibration Levels

  • Increased care and kindness flow more automatically in our connections.
  • We are more clear-minded and self-secure in our choices and actions.
  • Our mind and emotions interact more harmoniously to suit our needs.
  • We deflect common stress triggers – frustration, impatience, intolerance, etc.
  • We are much more resilient and resistant to fears and self-doubt.
  • Our heart’s deeper care is not overridden by our disruptive mind and emotions.
  • The lift in our attitude wards off anxiety, excessive worries and overwhelm.
  • We tend to lift others and the environment when our vibration is up.
  • We are less judgmental and intolerant with others and ourselves, which prevents mega stress accumulation.
  • Lifting our vibration amplifies our intuitive heart feelings for better choices and outcomes.

Simple Exercises to Raise Your Vibration

(Adapted from exercises in the Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart book.)

How to replace lower vibrational feelings, such as sadness, anger, insecurity, anxiety, self-judgment, rejection, etc.

1. Exercise: Find a quiet place where, for a few minutes, you can breathe easily, imagining with each breath that your mind, emotions and body are becoming still inside. In this stillness, desire the uplifting feeling you would like to have, and as you breathe, imagine breathing this new feeling into your being for a while. Imagine you are creating it with your breath.

2. Another Exercise: When feeling low, just sit quietly and imagine radiating love, compassion and stillness into your mental and emotional nature. Self-care is often allowing ourselves to have a low moment without compounding it with self-criticism. When our light is dim, it helps to give ourselves the feeling of compassionate heart warmth that we would give a child or a pet that is infirm. Even if it doesn’t stop the pain, we know it can help energetically. If we feel awkward while trying this, it helps to ask ourselves, “What’s the difference in nurturing ourselves with compassionate intention than taking the vitamins and health foods we consume for self-care?” Or, “Why do we teach kids to put their hand over a hurt area and radiate sunshine from their heart to help it feel better?” We do this because it’s a natural expression of self-compassion, with benefits to their mental, emotional and physical nature.

You can soon feel a difference when doing these exercises, unless extremely challenged. If it doesn’t work the first time, be patient and simply try again later. Being genuine makes a difference. This activates your heart energy. Practicing for a few days in a row strengthens your capacity to reset unwanted feelings and lower vibrations.

Simple exercises such as these can do more to lift your vibration than you may think. Make it fun to consciously reset your vibration throughout the day and watch your spirit lift and the stress accumulation diminish.

13-Year Old Boy Dies Days After COVID Vaccine: The CDC Is Investigating

Jacob Clynick, a 13 year old by who lived in Zilwaukee, Michigan died just three days after receiving his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. He exhibited common symptoms like fever, fatigue, and stomach ache, and then died in his sleep on the night of June 15th. The CDC is now investigating.

Jacob’s aunt, Tami Burages, tweeted on the 20th of June,

A week ago today my brother’s 13-year-old son had his 2nd covid shot. Less than 3 days later he died. The initial autopsy results (done Friday) were that his heart was enlarged and there was soe fluid surrounding it. He had no known health problems. Was on no medications.

She has since deleted the tweet and explained why in another one,

I have deleted a tweet thread about the sudden death of my nephew following his 2nd covid shot. Fox News and other far-right disinformation networks are politicizing the death and using my tweet to do it. They are causing my family more pain.

You can find the full story at The Pulse.  Follow me on Instagram here.

12 Year Old Girl Severely Injured After Second Pfizer Jab

How dangerous is COVID for children? A letter to the editor published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Open Schools, Covid-19, and Child and Teacher Morbidity in Sweden” has found that “Despite Sweden’s having kept schools and preschools open, we found a low incidence of severe Covid-19 among schoolchildren and children of preschool age during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic…No child with Covid-19 died…Among the 1,951,905 children who were 1 to 16 years of age, 15 children had Covid-19, MIS-C, or both conditions and were admitted to an ICU, which is equal to 1 child in 130,000.” It was published by  Jonas F Ludvigsson a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute.

As of May 28, 2021, there were 259, 308 confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections in Canadians 19 years and under. Of these, 0.48% were hospitalized and 0.06% were admitted to the ICU, and 0.004% died. This means that seasonal influenza is associated with more severe illness than COVID-19 in Canada.

You can find more resources and information here, if interested. This is why some parents are weighing the risks of the vaccine compared to the risks of illness. Authors of a recently published study, which questions the safety of COVID vaccines, cite multiple sources showing an unreliability in data capturing, and that the median underreporting can be as high as 95 percent. How common are COVID vaccine injuries? According to that study,

Currently, our estimates show that we have to accept four fatal and 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations in order to save the lives of 2–11 individuals per 100,000 vaccinations, placing risks and benefits on the same order of magnitude.

A story that seems to be getting a lot of attention from the general public, but one that is being ignored by mainstream media comes from Stephanie De Garay. She has been sharing the story of her daughter, Maddie, ever since she received her second dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine. Maddie had what appears to be a severe adverse reaction to the vaccine and has been suffering ever since. 

You can read about her story, access pictures, the timeline of updates provided by Stephanie via her Facebook Page, as well as watch a recent video of Stephanie and Maddie presenting their emotional story at a news conference here at The Pulse.

PGA Tour To End COVID Testing For Both Vaccinated & Non-Vaccinated Players

The picture you see above is of John Rahm, a professional golfer on the PGA tour being carted off the golf course after tournament officials told him he had COVID. He was healthy and had no symptoms, yet was forced to withdraw from the tournament. He was told in front of the camera’s, and a big scene was made out of the event. You would think something like that, especially when you are a big time sports figure, would be done behind closed doors with some privacy.

Earlier on in June a spokesperson for the PGA Tour said that more than 50 percent of players on the PGA tour have been vaccinated. Although it seems that the majority of players on the tour will be fully vaccinated judging by this statement, it does leave a fairly large minority who won’t be, and that’s something we’re seeing across the globe as COVID vaccine hesitancy remains high for multiple reasons.

We are pleased to announce, after consultation with PGA Tour medical advisors, that due to the high rate of vaccination among all constituents on the PGA Tour, as well as other positively trending factors across the country, testing for COVID-19 will no longer be required as a condition of competition beginning with the 3M Open. – PGA tour Senior VP Tyler Dennis

The tour recently announced that the testing of players every week will stop starting in July for both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. This was an unexpected announcement given the fact that, at least it seems in some countries, vaccinated individuals will enjoy previous rights and freedoms that everyone did before the pandemic. Travelling without need to quarantine and possibly in the future not having to be tested could be a few of those privileges. Others may include attending concerts, sporting events, or perhaps even keeping their job depending on whether or not their employer deems it to be mandatory, if that’s even legally possible. We will see what happens.

Luckily for professional golfers, regardless of their vaccination status they won’t have to worry about testing positive for COVID, especially if they’re not sick. This is the appropriate move by the PGA tour, who is represented by their players and it’s a move that the players themselves may have had a say in. It’s important because PCR tests are not designed nor are they appropriate for identifying infectious people. A number of scientists have been emphasizing this since the beginning of the pandemic. More recently, a letter to the editor published in the Journal of infection explain why more than half of al “positive” PCR tests are likely to have been people who are not infectious, otherwise known as “false positives.”

This is why the Swedish Public Health agency has a notice on their website explaining how and why polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are not useful for determining if someone is infected with COVID or if someone can transmit it to others, and it’s better to use someone who is actually showing symptoms as a judgement call of whether or not they could be infected or free from infection.

PCR tests using a high cycle threshold are extremely sensitive. An article published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases found that among positive PCR samples with a cycle count over 35, only 3 percent of the samples showed viral replication. This can be interpreted as, if someone tests positive via PCR when a Ct of 35 or higher is used, the probability that said person is actually infected is less than 3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97 percent. This begs the question, why has Manitoba, Canada, for example, using cycle thresholds of up to 45 to identify “positive” people?

When it comes to golf, the fact that spread occuring in an outdoor setting is highly unlikely could have been a factor, but it’s also important to mention that asymptomatic spread within one’s own household is also considerably rare. It really makes you wonder what’s going on here, doesn’t it?

New Study Questions The Safety of COVID Vaccinations & Urges Governments To Take Notice

A new study published in the journal Vaccines by three scientists and medical professionals from Europe has raised concerns about the safety of COVID vaccines, and it’s not the first to do so. The study found that there is a “lack of clear benefit” of the vaccines and this study should be a catalyst for “governments to rethink their vaccination policy.”

The study calculated the number needed to vaccinate (NNTV) in order to prevent one death, and to do so they used a large Israeli Field study. Using the Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR) database of the European Medicines Agency and of the Dutch National Register (lareb.nl), the researchers were able to assess the number of cases reporting severe side effects as well as the cases with fatal side effects as a result of a COVID vaccine.

They point out the following:

The NNTV is between 200-700 to prevent on case of COVID-19 for the mRNA vaccine marketed by Pfizer, while the NNTV to prevent one death is between 9000 and 50,000 (95 % confidence interval), with 16,000 as a point estimate. The number of cases experiencing adverse reactions has been reported to be 700 per 100,000 vaccinations. Currently, we see 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations, and the number of fatal side effects is at 4.11/100,000 vaccinations. For three deaths prevented by vaccination we have to accept two inflicted by vaccination. This lack of clear benefit should cause governments to rethink their vaccination policy.

The researchers estimates suggest that we have to exchange 4 fatal and 16 serious side effects per 100,000 vaccinations in order to save the lives of 2-11 individuals per 100,000 vaccinations. This puts the risk vs. benefit of COVID vaccination on the same order of magnitude.

We need to accept that around 16 cases will develop severe adverse reactions from COVID-19 vaccines per 100,000 vaccinations delivered, and approximately four people will die from the consequences of being vaccinated per 100,000 vaccinations delivered. Adopting the point estimate of NNTV = 16,000 (95% CI, 9000–50,000) to prevent one COVID-19-related death, for every six (95% CI, 2–11) deaths prevented by vaccination, we may incur four deaths as a consequence of or associated with the vaccination. Simply put: As we prevent three deaths by vaccinating, we incur two deaths.

The study does point out that COVID-19 vaccines are effective and can, according to the publication, prevent infections, morbidity and mortality associated with COVID, but the costs must be weighted. For example, many people have been asking themselves, what are the chances I will get severely ill and die from a COVID infection?

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine recently shared that the survival rate for people under 70 years of age is about 99.95 percent. He also said that COVID is less dangerous than the flu for children.  This comes based on approximately 50 studies that have been published, and information showing that more children in the U.S. have died from the flu than COVID. Here’s a meta analysis published by the WHO that gives this number. The number comes based on the idea that many more people than we have the capacity to test have most likely been infected.

How dangerous COVID is for healthy individuals has been a controversial discussion throughout this pandemic, with viewpoints differing.

Furthermore, as the study points out, one has to be mindful of a “positive” case determined by a PCR test. A PCR test cannot determine whether someone is infectious or not, and a recent study found that it’s highly likely that at least 50 percent of “positive” cases have been “false positives.”

This is the issue with testing asymptomatic healthy people, especially at a high cycle threshold. It’s the reason why many scientists and doctors have been urging government health authorities to determine cases and freedom from infections based on symptoms rather than a PCR test. You can read more in-depth about PCR testing and the issues with it here if you’re interested.

When it comes to the documented 4 deaths per 100,000 vaccinations and whether or not it’s a significant number, the researchers state,

This is difficult to say, and the answer is dependant on one’s view of how severe the pandemic is and whether the common assumption that there is hardly any innate immunological defense or cross-reactional immunity is true. Some argue that we can assume cross-reactivity of antibodies to conventional coronaviruses in 30–50% of the population [13,14,15,16]. This might explain why children and younger people are rarely afflicted by SARS-CoV2 [17,18,19].

Natural immunity is another interesting topic I’ve written in-depth about. There’s a possibility that more than a billion people have been infected, does this mean they have protection? What happens if previously infected individuals take the vaccine? What does this do to their natural immunity? The research suggesting natural immunity may last decades, or even a lifetime, is quite strong in my opinion.

There are also other health concerns that have been raised that go beyond deaths and adverse reactions as a result of the vaccine.

As the study points out,

A recent experimental study has shown that SARS-CoV2 spike protein is sufficient to produce endothelial damage. [23]. This provides a potential causal rationale for the most serious and most frequent side effects, namely, vascular problems such as thrombotic events. The vector-based COVID-19 vaccines can produce soluble spike proteins, which multiply the potential damage sites [24]. The spike protein also contains domains that may bind to cholinergic receptors, thereby compromising the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathways, enhancing inflammatory processes [25]. A recent review listed several other potential side effects of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines that may also emerge later than in the observation periods covered here [26]…Given this fact and the higher number of serious side effects already reported, the current political trend to vaccinate children who are at very low risk of suffering from COVID-19 in the first place must be reconsidered.

Concerns regarding the distribution of the spike protein our cells manufacture after injection have been recently raised by Byram Bridle, a viral immunologist from the University of Guelph who recently released a detailed in depth report regarding safety concerns about the COVID vaccines.

The report was released to act as a guide for parents when it comes to deciding whether or not their child should be vaccinated against COVID-19. Bridle published the paper on behalf of one hundred other scientists and doctors who part of the Canadian COVID Care Alliance, but who are afraid to ‘come out’ publicly and share their concerns. Byram, as many others, have received a lot of criticism and have been subjected to fact checking via Facebook third party fact-checkers.

A recent article published in the British Medical Journal by journalist Laurie Clarke has highlighted the fact that Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

It’s also important to note that only a small fraction of side effects are even reported to adverse events databases. The authors cite multiple sources showing this, and that the median underreporting can be as high as 95 percent. This begs the question, how many deaths and adverse reactions from COVID vaccines have not been reported? Furthermore, if there are long term concerns, will deaths resulting from an adverse reaction, perhaps a year later, even be considered as connected to to the vaccine? Probably not.

This isn’t the only study to bring awareness to the lack of injuries most likely not reported. For example, an HHS pilot study conducted by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research found that 1 in every 39 vaccines in the United States caused some type of injury, which is a shocking comparison to the 1 in every million claim. It’s also unsettling that those who are injured by the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be eligible for compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) while COVID is still an “emergency”, at least in the United States.

Below is the most recent data from the CDC’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Keep in mind that VAERS is not without its criticism. One common criticism we’ve seen from Facebook fact-checkers, for example, is there is no proof that the vaccine was actually the cause of these events.

A few other papers have raised concerns, for example. A study published in October of 2020 in the International Journal of Clinical Practice states:

COVID-19 vaccines designed to elicit neutralising antibodies may sensitise vaccine recipients to more severe disease than if they were not vaccinated. Vaccines for SARS, MERS and RSV have never been approved, and the data generated in the development and testing of these vaccines suggest a serious mechanistic concern: that vaccines designed empirically using the traditional approach (consisting of the unmodified or minimally modified coronavirus viral spike to elicit neutralising antibodies), be they composed of protein, viral vector, DNA or RNA and irrespective of delivery method, may worsen COVID-19 disease via antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). This risk is sufficiently obscured in clinical trial protocols and consent forms for ongoing COVID-19 vaccine trials that adequate patient comprehension of this risk is unlikely to occur, obviating truly informed consent by subjects in these trials.

In a new research article published in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases, veteran immunologist J. Bart Classen expresses similar concerns and writes that “RNA-based COVID vaccines have the potential to cause more disease than the epidemic of COVID-19.”

For decades, Classen has published papers exploring how vaccination can give rise to chronic conditions such as Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes — not right away, but three or four years down the road. In this latest paper, Classen warns that the RNA-based vaccine technology could create “new potential mechanisms” of vaccine adverse events that may take years to come to light.

There are a plethora of reasons why COVID vaccine hesitancy has been quite high. I wrote an in-depth article about this in April if you’re interested in learning about the other reasons.

Conversations like this are incredibly important in today’s climate of mass censorship. Who is right or wrong is not important, what’s important is that discussion about the vaccine and all other topics remain open and transparent. The amount of experts in the field who have been censored for sharing their views on this topic has been unprecedented. For example, in March, Harvard epidemiologist and vaccine expert Dr. Martin Kulldorff was subjected to censorship by Twitter for sharing his opinion that not everybody needed to take the COVID vaccine.

It’s good to see this recent study point out that the benefits of the vaccine, for some people, may not outweigh the potential costs.

New Meta-Analysis Finds “A Large Reductions In COVID-19 Deaths” Possible Using Ivermectin

Working in independent media is not what it used to be. During the beginning of the pandemic we’ve been severely punished by third party Facebook fact-checkers for having discussions about the possible lab-origins of COVID-19. For example, we published an article about Dr. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Boyle drafted the Biological Weapons Act and gave a detailed statement sharing his opinion that COVID-19 originated in a lab, designed as a Biological Warfare Weapon. He claimed that the World Health Organization (WHO) knew about it. All of Boyle’s video interviews at the time were taken off of YouTube, and any article written about him and his beliefs were labelled as “false news” by Facebook. As a result, independent media outlets were demonetized and had social media reach reduced so audiences could not see content.

Facebook has already removed at least 16 million pieces of content from its platform and added warnings to approximately 167 million others. YouTube has removed nearly 1 million videos related to, according to them, “dangerous or misleading covid-19 medical information.”

Fast forward to today, and the lab origin debate has hit the mainstream media after ‘they’ have changed their mind about it being a “conspiracy theory” not worthy of discussion.

Now let’s talk about Ivermectin, another highly censored discussion. For over a year you could not write about Ivermectin without being subjected to the wrath of Facebook fact-checkers, unless of course the narrative shared in the article was that Ivermectin is completely useless for treating COVID-19.

To be honest, this article may also be flagged as “false”, “misleading” or “missing context” despite the fact that it’s quoting a study that was good enough to be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

This is confusing to many, especially journalists because many publications, doctors and scientists have been urging the need to examine the use of Ivermectin to treat patients ill with COVID-19.

At the start, we don’t know if something is useful, but when we test and examine results, we can find out. Journalists help share those stories with the world. But instead, that discussion has been completely shut down, censored, and again labelled a “conspiracy theory.”

The silver lining is that this censorship alone has served as a catalyst for people to really question what’s going on here. How can we as a society truly examine whether or not something can be useful for COVID-19 if we are not even allowed to discuss it openly and transparently? What type of thinking is leading us to accept this level of censorship?

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)

A new meta-analysis was recently published in the American Journal of Therapeutics states the following:

The antiparasitic ivermectin, with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, has now been tested in numerous clinical trials….Moderate-certainty evidence finds that large reductions in COVID-19 deaths are possible using ivermectin. Using ivermectin early in the clinical course may reduce numbers progressing to severe disease. The apparent safety and low cost suggests that ivermectin is likely to have a significant impact on SARS-CoV-2 pandemic globally.

This isn’t the first time Ivermectin has been empirically supported. For example, as the meta-analysis points out, a review by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance summarized findings from 27 studies on the effects of ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection, concluding that ivermectin “demonstrates a strong signal of therapeutic efficacy” against COVID-19.

Despite this fact, the National Institutes of Health in the United States is of the opinion that “there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19,” and the WHO recommends against its use outside of clinical trials.

According to Facebook fact checker Health Feedback,

There are design flaws and methodological limitations of the clinical studies that support the use of ivermectin against COVID-19… Overall, given the lack of evidence supporting ivermectin’s efficacy and safety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t recommend the use of ivermectin for COVID-19. The Infectious Diseases Society of America also doesn’t recommend the use of ivermectin against COVID-19…On the 22nd of March 2021, the European Medicines Agency released a statement advising against the use of ivermectin for prevention or treatment of COVID-19 outside randomised clinical trials.

You can read another review regarding Ivermectin from Health Feedback, here if interested.

Yet the authors of the new meta-analysis used the following methods,

We searched the reference list of included studies, and of two other 2021 literature reviews of ivermectin, as well as the recent WHO report, which included analysis of ivermectin. We contacted experts in the field (Drs. Andrew Hill, Pierre Kory, and Paul Marik) for information on new and emerging trial data. In addition, all trials registered on clinical trial registries were checked, and trialists of 39 ongoing trials or unclassified studies were contacted to request information on trial status and data where available. Many preprint publications and unpublished articles were identified from the preprint servers MedRxiv and Research Square, and the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. This is a rapidly expanding evidence base, so the number of trials are increasing quickly. Reasons for exclusion were recorded for all studies excluded after full-text review….

Other key findings from the paper,

Meta-analysis of 15 trials, assessing 2438 participants, found that ivermectin reduced the risk of death by an average of 62% (95% CI 27%–81%) compared with no ivermectin treatment [average RR (aRR) 0.38, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.73; I2 5 49%]; risk of death 2.3% versus 7.8% among hospitalized patients in this analysis, respectively (SoF Table 2 and Figure 3).

There is also evidence emerging from countries where ivermectin has been implemented. For example, Peru had a very high death toll from COVID-19 early on in the pandemic.128 Based on observational evidence, the Peruvian government approved ivermectin for use against COVID-19 in May 2020.128 After implementation, death rates in 8 states were reduced between 64% and 91% over a two-month period.128 Another analysis of Peruvian data from 24 states with early ivermectin deployment has reported a drop in excess deaths of 59% at 30+ days and of 75% at 45+ days.

The paper is quite detailed and goes much more in-depth than the summary I have provided. Be sure to review it for more information and if you want a deeper understanding of their findings.

It’s also noteworthy to mention that  The University of Oxford in the UK has added ivermectin to the Platform Randomised Trial of Treatments in the Community for Epidemic and Pandemic Illnesses (PRINCIPLE) study for the treatment of Covid-19. PRINCIPLE is a large clinical trial designed to assess potential Covid-19 therapies for non-hospitalised patients, including at-home recovery, who are at higher risk of progressing to serious illness.

Ivermectin is broad spectrum antiparasitic used commonly to treat parasitic infections worldwide. The drug, which is known to exhibit antiviral properties, reduced SARS-CoV-2 replication in laboratory studies. In small pilot studies, early use of ivermectin was able to lower viral load and the duration of symptoms in some mild Covid-19 patients.  (source)

Ivermectin has not been the only therapeutic to show promise, there have been many others, including intravenous vitamin C, for example. Yet, we’re not allowed to discuss these nor have any scientific discussion about it. In the mainstream these types of treatments have been completely ridiculed. Why?