You Gave Facebook Your Number For Security. They Used It For Ads.

By Gennie Gebhart | 27 September 2018

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION — Add “a phone number I never gave Facebook for targeted advertising” to the list of deceptive and invasive ways Facebook makes money off your personal information. Contrary to user expectations and Facebook representatives’ own previous statements, the company has been using contact information that users explicitly provided for security purposes — or that users never provided at all — for targeted advertising.

A group of academic researchers from Northeastern University and Princeton University, along with Gizmodo reporters, have used real-world tests to demonstrate how Facebook’s latest deceptive practice works. They found that Facebook harvests user phone numbers for targeted advertising in two disturbing ways: two-factor authentication (2FA) phone numbers, and “shadow” contact information.

Two-Factor Authentication Is Not The Problem

First, when a user gives Facebook their number for security purposes — to set up 2FA, or to receive alerts about new logins to their account— that phone number can become fair game for advertisers within weeks. (This is not the first time Facebook has misused 2FA phone numbers.) […]

And We Know 10-10-18… “Use Logic and Critical Thinking to Understand Why the Wheels of Justice Move Slowly”

This was mentioned in the previous Kp blog post. He goes through some of the details about Q post 2380.
.

https://youtu.be/9WTVUDEFpl8

Published on Oct 10, 2018
An amazing update at just the right time…as frustration seems to be growing out there. General Statement: “We understand that there is extreme fatigue and frustration re: the wheels of justice [slow]. Exclude emotion and personal desire, instead use logic and critical thinking based on situational awareness [undo a lifetime of evil & corruption [infestation] in the span of less than 2 years w/ a corrupt DOJ & FBI in place?].”

***Support And We Know’s Family and Work through:
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[Read more at AWK’s video page]

#QAnon #Q post #2380 (10-9-18)… “We understand that there is extreme fatigue and frustration re: the wheels of justice [slow]”

This one rather “jumped out” at me. It’s a quite long post and addresses some “patience” issues many are experiencing regarding the “exposure and take down of the dark ones”. I appreciate that this Q post kind of collects and summarizes several pieces of earlier posts about these things. The phrase “[p_AUTHORITY1]”, may refer to “presidential_AUTHORITY”, namely, it’s from the top (DJT).

Now I cannot say I understand all the points here, but And We Know video guy has posted a video with some insights into this. I’m likely going to post that video separately.

[Currently I’m using https://qntmpkts.keybase.pub// as my main Q drop collection site (which appears to be showing up Q posts more quickly). An alternative is https://qanon.pub/. Also Q recommended https://8ch.net/patriotsfight/res/62.html#bottom (Q recommended to be used if all other Q drops sites go down)]

“How can you make arrests [non military] prior to first fully cleaning out corrupt elements [at the top] of those departments [FBI][DOJ] that oversee ‘investigation & prosecution’ in the United States [they [themselves] are the very ones engaged in the illegal treasonous acts]?

“[Q then gives a list of FBI and DOJ officials who have been fired, removed, or had their power removed.]

“How do you ensure those prosecuted [non military] would receive an impartial judgement based on the RULE OF LAW? Think Federal Judge rulings [obstruction] [POTUS’ granted CONSTITUTIONAL authority].

“How do you ensure ‘appeals’ to the U.S. Supreme Court are evaluated impartially > based on the RULE OF LAW? Think Justice K (5 to 4).

“How do you navigate around installed BLOCKADE? [Then Q lists several points about why [MUELLER] is there.] How do you REMOVE installed BLOCKADE? DECLAS—DECLAS—DECLAS [meaning, I presume, declassification of the FISA warrants, etc.]

“How do you navigate around installed corrupt [FBI][DOJ]? USE A STEALTH BOMBER” [and Jeff Sessions is the “Stealth Bomber”]

————————————————————–

Q Source page

2380
Q !!mG7VJxZNCI No.373

Statement release 10.9.18 [p_AUTHORITY1]
General Statement:
We understand that there is extreme fatigue and frustration re: the wheels of justice [slow].
Exclude emotion and personal desire, instead use logic and critical thinking based on situational awareness [undo a lifetime of evil & corruption [infestation] in the span of less than 2 years w/ a corrupt DOJ & FBI in place?].

[Process & Planning – Law and Order]
[Military OP]
How can you make arrests [non military] prior to first fully cleaning out corrupt elements [at the top] of those departments [FBI][DOJ] that oversee ‘investigation & prosecution’ in the United States [they [themselves] are the very ones engaged in the illegal treasonous acts]?
James Comey, Director – FIRED
Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director – FIRED
Jim Rybicki, Chief of Staff and Senior Counselor – FIRED
James Baker, General Counsel – FIRED
Bill Priestap, Director of Counterintelligence (Strzok’s boss) – Cooperating witness [power removed]
Peter Strzok, Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence – FIRED
Lisa Page, Office of General Counsel – FIRED/FORCED
Mike Kortan, Assistant Director for Public Affairs – FIRED
Josh Campbell, Special Assistant to Comey – FIRED
David Laufman, Chief of the Justice Department’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section [NAT SECHRC email invest] – FIRED/FORCE
John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General – Head of DOJ’s National Security Division – FIRED/FORCED
Sally Yates, Deputy Attorney General & Acting Attorney General – FIRED
Mary McCord, Acting Assistant Attorney General – Acting Head of DOJ’s National Security Division – FIRED/FORCED
Bruce Ohr, Associate Deputy Attorney General – Demoted 2x – cooperating witness [power removed] – TERMINATION IMMINENT
Rachel Brand, Associate Attorney General – No. 3 official behind Deputy AG Rosenstein – FIRED/FORCED
[Batter’s Box]
Michael Steinbach
John Glacalone
Randy Coleman
Trisha Anderson
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/09/fashion/weddings/trisha-anderson-charles-newman-weddings.html
Kevin Clinesmith
Tashina Gauhar
Sally Moyer
How do you ensure those prosecuted [non military] would receive an impartial judgement based on the RULE OF LAW?
Think Federal Judge rulings [obstruction] [POTUS’ granted CONSTITUTIONAL authority].
How do you ensure ‘appeals’ to the U.S. Supreme Court are evaluated impartially > based on the RULE OF LAW?
Think Justice K (5 to 4).
Military Law v Criminal Law
“Enemy Combatant”
How do you navigate around installed BLOCKADE?
[MUELLER] designed to take-in evidence needed to ‘expose’ DS [DOJ block re: Mueller ‘evidence’ ongoing investigation].
[MUELLER] designed to limit POTUS’ ability to maneuver.
[MUELLER] designed to ‘stall-for-time’ until MIDTERM ELECTIONS to TERMINATE all HOUSE / SENATE ongoing investigations.
[MUELLER] designed to ‘safeguard’ D_PARTY_BASE false narrative re: RUSSIA COLLUSION [POTUS CHEATED – EVIL – SKY FALLING] in effort to DIVIDE and MOBILIZE for future protests, riots, threats, violence, FF’s, etc.
[MUELLER] designed to provide FAKE NEWS w/ ammunition to sway public opinion, obstruct foreign + domestic agenda, fuel impeachment/removal, fuel anti-POTUS [DIVISION] [prevent UNITY], etc..
[MUELLER] designed to demonstrate to foreign players that OLD GUARD still pulls strings.
[MUELLER] designed to mobilize D_PARTY for MIDTERM VOTE WIN.
[MUELLER] designed to push D_PARTY backers to DONATE [GOFUNDME – D_PARTY].
[MUELLER] designed as PUBLIC OUTCRY EXCUSE should criminal charges be brought against them [‘we are being ‘politically’ attacked because MUELLER…].
How do you REMOVE installed BLOCKADE?
DECLAS—DECLAS—DECLAS
How do you navigate around installed corrupt [FBI][DOJ]?
USE A STEALTH BOMBER
Who must authorize firing of FBI/DOJ officials?
Why did McCabe try to take SESSIONS out?
https://www.msnbc.com/the-beat-with-ari-melber/watch/fired-fbi-official-authorized-perjury-investigation-against-sessions-1191727171576?v=raila&
What was the SESSIONS SENATE CONF VOTE?
52-47
No. 175
Logical thinking v clickbait.
Q

Fiber Can Delay Brain Inflammation and Aging

By Dr. Mercola

I recommend consuming 25 to 50 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed, daily, as a foundation of optimal health. Though your body can’t digest it, fiber is an incredibly important carbohydrate because it aids in digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, plays a role in weight maintenance and much more.

You may be familiar with the two types — soluble fiber, which dissolves in water and is the type linked to benefits to blood sugar levels, and insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve but rather increases bulk in your stool, helping to support healthy digestion and elimination. Beyond this, however, it’s becoming clear that fiber’s benefits extend far beyond your digestive tract to offer bodywide benefits — even in your brain.

Fiber Is Good for Your Brain

Chronic systemic inflammation is a hallmark of aging and something that may negatively influence your brain function. Yet, it may be possible to keep said inflammation in check via lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy, high-fiber diet. The key may lie with butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) that’s produced through the fermentation of dietary fibers in your intestinal tract.

Previously, a drug form of butyrate was found to reduce inflammation and boost memory in rodents,1 which led researchers to also explore whether a high-fiber diet could trigger similar effects. To find out, they fed mice (both young and old) a high- or low-fiber diet, then measured both their levels of butyrate and inflammatory substances in their guts.

As suspected, the high-fiber diet elevated levels of butyrate and other SCFAs in the mice and also lowered levels of inflammation in the older mice’s intestines to those that mirrored that of young mice.

As for the brain, the researchers used genetic analysis to reveal that the high-fiber diet reduced inflammation in the brain’s microglia, a type of immune cell that, when inflamed, is linked to cognitive decline. The researchers explained:2

“Aging results in chronic systemic inflammation that can alter neuroinflammation of the brain. Specifically, microglia shift to a proinflammatory phenotype predisposing them to hyperactivation upon stimulation by peripheral immune signals. It is proposed that certain nutrients can delay brain aging by preventing or reversing microglial hyperactivation.”

Butyrate appears to be among them, and the researchers believe that consuming a high-fiber diet may reduce interleukin-1B, an inflammatory chemical linked to Alzheimer’s disease. While this study was conducted on mice, the researchers believe the results may also hold true in people.

“People are not likely to consume sodium butyrate directly, due to its noxious odor,” study coauthor Jeff Woods, a professor in the department of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said in a news release. “A practical way to get elevated butyrate is to consume a diet high in soluble fiber.”3 Writing in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, researchers added:4

“Taken together, high fiber supplementation in aging is a noninvasive strategy to increase butyrate levels, and these data suggest that an increase in butyrate through added soluble fiber such as inulin could counterbalance the age-related microbiota dysbiosis, potentially leading to neurological benefits.”

Low-Fiber Diets May Be Particularly Harmful for Seniors

The featured study revealed some additional intriguing findings, like the fact that only old mice has inflammation in their intestines when consuming a low-fiber diet. The young mice didn’t have the same level of inflammatory response to the lack of fiber, which the authors noted “clearly highlights the vulnerability of being old.”5

Yet, fiber intake among older adults is notoriously low, at about 40 percent below the recommended adequate intake (which is already lower than the optimal amounts I recommend). For example, it’s estimated that people aged 51 years and over consume just 16 grams of fiber a day.6

At the same time, seniors have a lower ability to produce butyrate, according to the study, “as suggested by fewer copies of the butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA transferase gene compared with younger adults and lower amounts of bacterial groups which are known butyrate producers.”7

It’s a potentially dangerous combination that puts the elderly at particularly high risk of disease as a result of not consuming enough fiber. On the other hand, eating plenty of fiber is linked to a longer life in seniors. In fact, in a study of more than 1,600 adults aged 50 years and older, those with the highest fiber intake were 80 percent more likely to live a long and healthy life over the 10-year follow-up period.8

Compared to those eating the least amount of fiber, the high-fiber group was less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression and functional disability. “These findings suggest that increasing intake of fiber-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching old age disease-free and fully functional,” the researchers noted.9

Inulin May Be Particularly Good for Increasing Butyrate

One type of soluble dietary fiber that may be particularly useful for increasing butyrate-producing bacteria in your gut is inulin. Inulin is a type of prebiotic fiber found in onions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, Jerusalem artichoke and many other foods. Like other forms of dietary fiber, prebiotics are indigestible to you, but they help nourish beneficial bacteria in your body.

These beneficial bacteria in turn assist with digestion and absorption of your food and play a significant role in your immune function. Inulin is a fructan, which means it is made up of chains of fructose molecules. In your gut, inulin is converted into SCFAs like butyrate that are then converted to healthy ketones that feed your tissues. According to the featured study authors:10

“Studies have specifically demonstrated that inulin is beneficial for age-related inflammation, as a nutritional supplement with inulin increased innate immunity and protection against infections in elderly people. Thus, an increase in butyrate through added soluble fiber such as inulin could counterbalance the age-related microbiota dysbiosis, and potentially lead to neurological benefits.”

The study on mice that linked a high-fiber diet to decreases in brain inflammation actually used inulin as the source of dietary fiber. This beneficial prebiotic has also been linked to:

  • Lower risk of diabetes — Among women with Type 2 diabetes, those who took inulin had improved glycemic control and increased antioxidant activity.11 It’s thought that inulin may work to improve diabetes by positively modifying gut microflora or due to a direct antioxidant effect.
  • Weight loss — Among overweight and obese adults, those who took 21 grams of inulin a day had decreases in their hunger hormone and increase in satiety hormones. Further, they lost more than 2 pounds while the control group gained 1 pound.12
  • Cancer prevention — Inulin may reduce precancerous colon growths, lead to less inflammation and fewer precancerous cell changes (in animal studies) and support a less favorable environment for colon cancer development in humans.13
  • Improved bone density — Inulin improves absorption of calcium and magnesium, leading to improved bone density and bone mineralization in children.14
  • Heart health — Inulin may lower blood triglycerides and help optimize cholesterol.15

If you choose to take inulin in supplement form, start with a small amount to be sure it’s well tolerated, then gradually increase the dose. Some of the best food sources of inulin include:

Asparagus

Garlic

Leeks

Onion

Jerusalem artichokes

Jicama root

Fiber Is Important for Kids’ Brain Health Too

Seniors are only one population who need to ensure they’re consuming adequate dietary fiber; children are another.

Like seniors, many children are not consuming adequate amounts of dietary fiber, a factor that may be associated with childhood obesity and even problems with cognitive control, which can affect behaviors such as inhibition (resisting distractions to maintain focus), working memory and cognitive flexibility (multitasking), all of which are important for succeeding in school and later careers.16

Among children aged 7 to 9 years, one study found that diet quality, specifically in relation to dietary fiber, correlated with performance on a cognitive task that required a high level of cognitive control. Those with a higher fiber intake had better cognitive control.

“Dietary fiber may influence cognitive and brain health through immunomodulation and/or the gut-microbiota-brain system,” the researchers noted, adding that the associated increased production of SCFAs has been linked to an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a key growth hormone that promotes healthy brain neurons and plays a vital role in memory.

“Given that dietary fiber is a chronically underconsumed nutrient, the finding that low dietary fiber intake is associated with poorer childhood cognitive function raises important public health concerns,” the authors concluded.17

What Should You Eat to Increase Your Fiber Intake?

Before you rush out to stock up on bran muffins and oatmeal, here’s something to consider: Grains are not an optimal source of fiber. They’re not even a good one. Many grains are routinely doused with the herbicide glyphosate just before harvest — a process known as desiccation.

As a result, many popular “high-fiber” foods like breakfast cereal and granola bars are contaminated with glyphosate residues, which has been linked to disease.

This is only one reason to ditch grains as your source of fiber. A high-grain diet also promotes insulin and leptin resistance, thereby raising your risk for chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. A much better choice is to focus on eating more vegetables, nuts and seeds, including:

Organic whole, unsweetened husk psyllium. Taking psyllium three times daily could add as much as 18 grams of fiber to your diet.

Chia seeds. A single tablespoon will provide about 5 grams of fiber.

Sprouts such as sunflower sprouts

Berries

Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts

Root vegetables and tubers, including onions, sweet potatoes and jicama

Mushrooms such as button, chanterelle, maitake, shiitake and oyster mushroom18

Peas and beans. Keep in mind beans are best avoided if you are sensitive to lectins.

Keep in mind that adding fiber to your diet needn’t be something that’s unpleasant or akin to eating cardboard. Check out my collection of high-fiber recipes for ideas of what I mean — there are recipes for everything from pad Thai and guacamole to coleslaw and beef broccoli stir-fry, all of which will give your body a healthy fiber boost.

For inspiration, here’s one to get started — these frozen fudge pops may give you more than 4 grams of fiber apiece (estimated, based on six full-size pops per recipe), courtesy of the fiber-rich avocado they contain.

Creamy Avocado Fudge Pops

Ingredients

  • 2 large organic avocados
  • 1/2 cup homemade or organic Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup organic full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup monk fruit
  • Pinch of salt, optional

Procedure

  1. In a blender, puree all the ingredients until smooth.
  2. Pour or spoon the mixture into ice pop molds to freeze.
  3. Tap the molds on the countertop several times once they are full to try to remove air bubbles.
  4. Insert ice pop sticks and freeze until pops are solid (four to six hours or preferably overnight).

Astragalus: Boosting Your Immune System the Natural Way

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

Astragalus, or Astragalus membranaceus, is an herb that has been utilized in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries prior to its introduction to the Western world. The astragalus plant originated in China and is native to the northern provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan.1

In China, the herb is called different names, including Huang Qi and Hwanqqi, depending on the region where it is normally harvested. It’s also called the “yellow leader,” a direct translation of its Chinese names.2 The herb earned this title because of the distinct yellow color of its root, the most important part of the plant.

With all of the benefits and uses astragalus can provide, it’s not really surprising as to why this herb is treasured in traditional medicine.

Discover Astragalus Root’s Many Health Benefits

According to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Penn State, astragalus is an adaptogen that has the ability to help the body deal with physical, emotional or mental stress.3 It is also famous for aiding the body in lowering the risk for infections and other diseases.4,5

Various studies have shown that the astragalus plant contains anti-inflammatory,6,7 antibacterial,8 antimicrobial9 and antiviral properties.10 Here are other astragalus root benefits you should know about:

Helps in dealing with anemia — Astragalus helps strengthen the blood vessels and improve blood circulation.11

Prevents colds and flu — Taking astragalus before you get sick may help boost your immune system function. It helps stimulate the immune system and also provides antioxidants that can help the body fight free radical damage.12

Helps promote cardiovascular health — Studies suggest that astragalus helps in improving the symptoms of ischemic heart disease.13 It was also observed to help relieve chest pain, increase sodium pump activity14 and help curb coronary artery clogging.15

May help manage diabetes — Astragalus has the ability to help lower blood sugar levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. This is good news for people who are struggling with insulin resistance.

Polysaccharide extracts from astragalus also have the ability to decrease glucose toxicity by activating AMP-activated protein kinase, which influences fat breakdown and the production of insulin.16

Improves skin health — According to a 2007 study published in the Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, oral administration of astragalus helped suppress the development of atopic dermatitis in mice subjects.17

Alleviates the side effects of chemotherapy — Studies show that this herb has the ability to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, vomiting and fatigue.18,19

The demand for this herb also skyrocketed because of the immune support it gives to people who are undergoing chemotherapy, as astragalus can counter the immune-debilitating effects on the body caused by chemotherapy.20

Studies also suggest that the astragalus root may have antitumor properties, helping induce apoptosis (cell death) in leukemia cells.21

What Is Astragalus Used For?

Astragalus comes in different forms, most of which are extracted from the root. These forms include astragalus powder, herbal decoctions, tablets and capsules.22

As an ointment, astragalus extract can be used on wounds to promote healing and to avoid infections. The ointment should only be composed of 10 percent astragalus and should be applied on the skin’s surface.23 However, do not apply it to open wounds without consulting a health practitioner first.

Astragalus Recipes You Can Make at Home

If you’re curious as to how you can incorporate astragalus into your diet, here are some recipes you can try:

Astragalus Root Tea

When you feel a cold or the flu coming in, this astragalus root tea recipe from LeafTV may help your immune system counter the viruses that are currently at work.24

Ingredients

3 to 5 tablespoons dried astragalus root slices or 4 ounces fresh astragalus root

1 quart water

Procedure

  1. In a medium-sized cooking pot, bring approximately 1 quart of water to a boil.
  2. Add 3 to 5 tablespoons of dried astragalus root or 4 ounces of fresh astragalus root.
  3. Let boil for about three or four minutes.
  4. Pour the tea through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove any dried root or debris from the whole root. Drink the tea immediately.

You can store this tea in an airtight jar in the refrigerator and drink later. Drink two to four cups a day to help boost your immune system.

Astragalus Chicken Soup

Chicken soup has always been attributed to helping restore the body’s healthy state whenever you’re sick. By incorporating astragalus into this Herbal Chicken Soup recipe,25 you’re providing your body with the means to beat down the cause of your symptoms.

Ingredients

  • 1 small or medium-sized chicken
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons dried astragalus
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2-inch ginger, chopped
  • 5 to 7 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 small chili peppers, chopped
  • 1 green onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt

Procedure

  1. Thoroughly rinse the chicken and take off all excess fat and skin. Place in a covered pot and fill with water, until there’s 2 inches of water above the chicken.
  2. Add sea salt and bay leaf and allow the water to boil.
  3. Reduce to a gentle boil and add the astragalus, garlic and ginger.
  4. Let cook for two hours or until the chicken is cooked completely.
  5. Serve with green onions, chili peppers and add more salt, if needed.

Astragalus Herbal Oil Also Gives Immense Benefits

The astragalus root is also where astragalus oil is extracted from. Some of the notable components of the astragalus plant, which may be found in the oil as well, include polysaccharides, saponins, isoflavones and other flavonoids, amino acids, astragalosides and other microelements.26 These components contribute to the overall function of this essential oil.

Contraindications for the Use of Astragalus

While the astragalus plant offers a wide variety of health benefits, there are certain contraindications for certain people. Astragalus is famous for its ability to boost your immune system.

While this may be beneficial for people with weak immune systems, those who are taking corticosteroid medications should refrain from ingesting astragalus, as it interferes with the way those medications work.

For this reason, unless approved by a physician, people with multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis should steer clear from this herb.27,28

People who have undergone organ transplants should also avoid the intake of this herb because it counteracts with the drug (cyclophosphamide), which is responsible for minimizing the risk of organ rejection.29 It should also be taken in moderation if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as no studies have done to determine whether it may have adverse effects on either you or your child.

While this herb may not be an entirely popular choice in modern medicine, the mere fact that it can provide you with a wide array of health benefits is enough reason for you not to ignore it. Astragalus has been used for numerous years in traditional medicine — it may be worth considering incorporating it into your diet to help maintain or improve your overall health.

Flotation Therapy — Health Benefits of Sensory Deprivation

By Dr. Mercola

If you’ve ever considered flotation therapy, you’re not alone. In fact, this sensory deprivation technique is becoming more popular, and has benefits ranging from simple relaxation to recovery after a traumatic brain injury.

Most flotation tubs or tanks are about the size of a queen-sized bed and contain no more than 1 foot of water that has been supersaturated with 850 to 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt to 200 gallons of water.

According to Graham Talley, founder of Float On, which hosts an annual Float Conference, this makes the water “more buoyant than the Dead Sea.”1 The water is heated to 93.5 degrees F., which is a normal skin surface temperature. Writing for Men’s Health, Deanna Debara describes her experience:2

“Float devotees include celebrities like Steph Curry and Joe Rogan, who have promoted it as a post-workout recovery tool and a way to reduce muscle soreness.

Floating devotees claim that the therapy can be a cure-all for everything from hypertension to insomnia, but I was interested in trying it for one reason: to relax … If there was anything out there that could help me loosen up and just chill, I was game …

During the first few minutes of the float, I panicked … It took everything in me not to feel around in the darkness to find the light … But the longer I stayed in the tank, the more things started to slow down. My shoulders loosened up. My breathing deepened. My thoughts stopped racing …

As time went on, I moved past relaxation and entered what I can only describe as an almost trance-like state; at times, I couldn’t tell where my body ended and where the water began. I couldn’t tell if my eyes were opened or closed, and I couldn’t tell if I was awake or asleep. It was like meditating on steroids.”

Health Benefits of Flotation Therapy

As noted in the video above, flotation therapy has been linked to an array of beneficial effects, including:3,4

Stress reduction5

Reduced anxiety,6 depression and symptoms of post-traumatic stress by inhibiting cortisol production7,8,9 and inhibiting the fight or flight response in your amygdala

Pain relief10

Increased creativity11

Deepened meditative state

Reduced inflammation

Addiction relief

Improved sleep

Mood enhancement12

Athletic performance enhancement by speeding up the elimination of lactic acid

Improvements in chronic fatigue and symptoms associated with burnout13

According to a 2014 study,14 sensory deprivation treatment in a flotation tank “has beneficial effects on relatively healthy participants” and could have value as preventive health care by lowering depression and anxiety. According to the authors:

“Stress, depression, anxiety, and worst pain were significantly decreased whereas optimism and sleep quality significantly increased for the flotation-REST [restricted environmental stimulation therapy] group. No significant results for the control group were seen. There was also a significant correlation between mindfulness in daily life and degree of altered states of consciousness during the relaxation in the flotation tank.

The Benefits of Silence

While it’s difficult to tease out exactly what it is about flotation therapy that causes these effects, silence alone is known to have very similar benefits. According to Psych Central, spending time in complete silence has been shown to produce physiological changes, including:15

Silence also promotes emotional and psychological benefits, such as:

  • Increased creativity
  • Self-awareness and gratitude
  • Self-observation and self-reflection that leads to self-improvement
  • Spiritual connection
  • Improved sleep

Clearly, it doesn’t get a lot quieter than floating in a sensory deprivation tank for an hour. Another option might be to join a silent retreat, where you spend anywhere from a couple to 10 days in complete silence.16

Flotation Therapy in the Treatment of Brain Injuries

Flotation therapy can also be enormously beneficial in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Dr. Dan Engle, who is board-certified in adult psychology and neurology, discusses this and other techniques in his book, “The Concussion Repair Manual: A Practical Guide to Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injuries.” According to Engle, whom I’ve interviewed on this topic:

“Flotation therapy is on the front line of many different recovery and regenerative medicine protocols, because it has the opportunity to reset so many different systems.

When somebody drops into a float tank … it’s essentially the first time since they were conceived that they’re without environmental stimuli … There’s no gravity; there’s no appropriate [sensory] reception … Everything is offline, so to speak.

Eighty percent of what the brain is consistently bringing in is environmental stimuli. Now, there’s more energy toward the recuperative mechanisms.

It’s both a brain technology and a consciousness technology, because … [the] flotation tank [experience] is like meditation on steroids. If somebody’s using [for] recuperative and regenerative [purposes], they may well find more peace in their lives outside of the tank as well … because it starts to reset the neuroendocrine system.

Cortisol levels normalize. Global inflammatory markers normalize. Blood pressure normalizes. The relationship between the brain and the endocrine or the hormonal systems starts to optimize …”

For those recuperating from a TBI, Engle recommends doing a series of eight to 10 floating sessions within a three- to four-week period. By the end of that series, you should notice significant improvement in your symptoms. You may also find yourself more at ease in general, sensing a better “flow” in your life. For maintenance, do one or two sessions per month.

Flotation Therapy for Stress-Related Muscle Pain

Speaking of dosage, a study17 designed to evaluate the effectiveness of 12 versus 33 sessions for stress-related ailments such as muscle pain and tension found that, from a subjective perspective, maximum results were obtained after 12 sessions. In fact, no additional improvements were found after 33 sessions. According to the authors:

“A similar pattern was observed concerning the stress-related psychological variables: experienced stress, anxiety, depression, negative affectivity, dispositional optimism and sleep quality.

For blood pressure, no effects were observed after 12 sessions, but there was a significant lower level for diastolic blood pressure after 33 sessions. The present study highlighted the importance of finding suitable complementary treatments in order to make further progress after the initial 12 sessions.”

Altered States of Consciousness May Impact Pain and Stress Thresholds

Aside from the effects of silence and the regenerative effects of resetting the neuroendocrine system, flotation therapy18 also appears to impact your physiology through the induction of an altered state of consciousness. A study19 investigating this aspect was published in 2004.

Twenty-three athletes underwent two sensory deprivation sessions, one in a flotation tank and the other in a sensory deprivation chamber. In the latter, you simply lie on a bed in a soundproof, completely darkened room. Immediately following each of the sessions, the participants’ pain threshold was measured by inflating a blood pressure cuff on one arm.

The degree of altered states of consciousness of each participant was also measured using an instrument capable of “assessing experienced deviation from normal state.” As one might suspect, participants experienced far greater alterations in consciousness in the flotation tank than in the dark, soundproof chamber.

Curiously enough, higher alterations in consciousness were found to correlate with higher levels of experienced pain and stress. According to the authors:

“These results suggest that the particular distinguishing features of flotation-REST and chamber-REST may cause selective deviations from normal levels of consciousness … that may underlie the subjective experience of pain and stress thresholds.”

A later study20 found that people who are more emotionally sensitive and more prone to anxiety and self-absorption were significantly more likely to experience altered states of consciousness or so-called mystical states during flotation therapy than less sensitive individuals.

Meditative States Protect and Improve Health

Overall, meditation has been shown to have significant health benefits, so it’s not so surprising that flotation therapy would have similar effects. Many of these benefits could be said to be a byproduct of stress reduction. Stress is a well-recognized culprit that can promote ill health across the board, and the ability of meditation to quell stress is an important health benefit.

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University published a study in 2015 claiming they’d found the biological mechanism by which mindfulness affects physical health. In a nutshell, meditation impacts your biology and physical health via “stress reduction pathways” in your brain. As explained in the press release:21

“When an individual experiences stress, activity in the prefrontal cortex — responsible for conscious thinking and planning — decreases, while activity in the amygdala, hypothalamus and anterior cingulate cortex — regions that quickly activate the body’s stress response — increases.

Studies have suggested that mindfulness reverses these patterns during stress; it increases prefrontal activity, which can regulate and turn down the biological stress response.

Excessive activation of the biological stress response increases the risk of diseases impacted by stress (like depression, HIV and heart disease). By reducing individuals’ experiences of stress, mindfulness may help regulate the physical stress response and ultimately reduce the risk and severity of stress-related diseases.”

Such effects may explain why meditation can help to relieve stress-related diseases such as:

High blood pressure

Chronic pain, including headaches

Respiratory problems such as emphysema and asthma

Sleep disturbances and fatigue

Gastrointestinal distress and irritable bowel syndrome

Skin disorders

Mild depression and premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

Meditation can also have a distinct impact on gene expression. For example, researchers at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine22 have sought to quantify the benefits of the relaxation response by assessing gene expression before and after meditation, and have compared effects of short- and long-term meditation routines.

Among their findings, they discovered that meditation has anti-inflammatory effects. In one study,23 participants who participated in an eight-week meditation program, as well as longer-term meditators, saw increases in antioxidant production, telomerase activity and oxidative stress.

One theory is that NF-kappa B genes may act as messengers between psychological and physical stress, thereby causing your body to translate worry into inflammation. What’s more, there appears to be a dose-dependent relationship at play, so the greater the relaxation response, the greater the optimization of genes and the greater the anti-inflammatory effects.

Flotation therapy induces tremendous physical and mental relaxation, allowing for the experience of basically being bodiless, and this deep relaxation may well be part and parcel of how it reduces anxiety, pain and inflammation.

Magnesium Augmentation

Perhaps one of the least appreciated aspects of floatation tanks is that it likely increases your magnesium levels, and since over 80 percent of the public is deficient in magnesium, this is a great side benefit since you are floating in a half-ton of Epsom salt.

In fact, this aspect of float tanks has intrigued me enough to consider getting one, as I, like many people, have a hard time getting my magnesium levels high enough. It’s a major challenge to increase magnesium by oral supplementation without causing loose stools.

If anyone has been using a float tank and performed pre- and post-RBC magnesium levels, please leave your experience in the comments below as it is difficult to find documentation on this aspect of flotation therapy.

Child Trafficking Bust: 123 Missing Children Recovered in One Day

Over 120 missing children were recovered in a one-day sweep in a Michigan county, as U.S. Marshals tried to locate victims of sex trafficking.

Out of 301 files of missing children in Wayne County, 123 were identified and recovered safely during the operation led by the newly formed Child Recovery Unit.

The sting throughout Wayne County took place on Sept. 26 but was publicized a week later on Oct 3 by the U.S. Marshals Service.

“All of the children located were interviewed about potentially being sexually victimized or used in a sex trafficking ring during their period of time that they were deemed missing,” said a statement from the U.S. Marshall’s office.

A composite image of missing children from a campaign by the 

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