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The Asch conformity experiments, or the Asch Paradigm, refers to a series of studies directed by Solomon Asch that studied if and how individuals yielded to or defied a majority group. It is essential understanding in the new normal […]
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|(Natural News) People who don’t suffer from clinical depression don’t always give it the weight it deserves. Far more than just an extended bout of “the blues” that everyone experiences from time to time, depression can take over your life, impacting your work, your family, your social life, and even your physical health. Unfortunately, most…|
Modern living has driven a concrete wedge between us and the natural world, and many are starting to connect the dots, recognizing that a connection with the land is important for our well-being.
Scientists have also concluded gardening provides a number of valuable health benefits, spanning from stress relief to improved brain health, better nutrition, exercise and weight loss. As noted in a 2017 meta-analysis of 22 studies:1
“There is increasing evidence that gardening provides substantial human health benefits … Here, we present the results of a meta-analysis of research examining the effects of gardening, including horticultural therapy, on health.
We performed a literature search to collect studies that compared health outcomes in control (before participating in gardening or non-gardeners) and treatment groups (after participating in gardening or gardeners) …
Studies reported a wide range of health outcomes, such as reductions in depression, anxiety, and body mass index, as well as increases in life satisfaction, quality of life, and sense of community.
Meta-analytic estimates showed a significant positive effect of gardening on the health outcomes both for all and sets of subgroup studies, whilst effect sizes differed among eight subgroups.
Although Egger’s test indicated the presence of publication bias, significant positive effects of gardening remained after adjusting for this using trim and fill analysis. This study has provided robust evidence for the positive effects of gardening on health. A regular dose of gardening can improve public health.”
Korean researchers have confirmed that gardening counts as moderate-to-high-intensity exercise for children,2 and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2008 physical activity guidelines for Americans classifies gardening as a moderate-to-high-intensity activity, with activities such as digging being a high-intensity.3
The second edition of these guidelines,4 issued in 2018, also includes “heavy gardening” as an example of a recommended muscle-strengthening activity. Indeed, as noted by the Poughkeepsie Journal:5
“Lifting and carrying 40-pound bags of mulch, stretching into hard-to-reach places to do weeding or pushing a lawnmower around demonstrates that gardening can be a physically demanding workout. You can burn serious calories doing gardening activities …
According to caloriecounter.com, a person weighing 150 pounds burns about 300 calories per hour of moderate gardening. Here are the calorie numbers for an hour of performing the following easy outdoor tasks: spreading fertilizer or grass seed 175, general yard clean-up or picking fruit 2010 calories … hefting compost, raking and digging holes for transplanting … incinerate about 100 calories in 15 minutes …”
Another task that can certainly turn gardening into a high intensity exercise is adding soil amendments such as wood chips and/or biochar, both of which help improve and build your soil.
The case for gardening as exercise was also demonstrated in a 2012 study,6,7 which found those who engage in community gardening projects have considerably lower body mass index than non-gardeners, suggesting an active lifestyle translates into improved weight management.
Male community gardeners were 62% less likely to be overweight or obese, while female gardeners were 46% less likely to be overweight than their non-gardening neighbors.
Do keep proper body mechanics in mind when gardening, though, just as you would during any other exercise, as the bending, twisting and reaching could cause injury if you’re careless. So, be sure to keep the following considerations in mind while working:
- Maintain proper spinal alignment while you work. This will help absorb shock, and will allow for proper weight distribution and optimal range of motion
- Avoid overreaching by keeping objects and work surfaces close to your body
- Whenever possible, work at waist height with elbows bent and arms comfortably at your sides
- When planting or weeding at ground level, make sure to bend your knees and squat or kneel, rather than stooping forward with your legs straight. Alternatively, use a gardening stool
Gardening can also be a powerful therapy for depression and anxiety. Many times, depression is rooted in a feeling of being disconnected from nature and other living things, and hence from yourself. As noted in a study8 evaluating depression severity in 18 adults during a 12-week horticultural program:
“Clinically depressed persons suffer from impaired mood and distortion of cognition … The mean BDI [Beck Depression Inventory] score declined 9.7 points from pretest to posttest and were clinically relevant for 72% of the cases. The mean AFI [Attentional Function Index] score increased 10.2 points from pretest to posttest.
The greatest change in BDI and AFI scores occurred in the initial weeks of the intervention. The reduction in BDI scores remained significant and clinically relevant at the 3-month follow-up).
The decline in depression severity during the intervention correlated strongly with the degree to which the participants found that it captured their attention. Therapeutic horticulture may decrease depression severity and improve perceived attentional capacity by engaging effortless attention and interrupting rumination.”
Other evidence for the mood-boosting effects of gardening can be found in a 2013 survey by Gardeners World magazine,9 in which 80% of gardeners reported being “happy” and satisfied with their lives, compared to 67% of non-gardeners.
This feeling of well-being can have other more far-reaching implications for your physical health as well. According to research from Johns Hopkins,10 having a cheerful temperament can significantly reduce your odds of suffering a heart attack or sudden cardiac death11 for example.
Researchers in the Netherlands have found gardening to be a potent stress relieving activity.12 In their trial, two groups of people were asked to complete a stressful task; one group was then instructed to garden for a half-hour while the other group was asked to read indoors for the same length of time.
Afterward, the gardening group reported a greater improvement in mood. Tests also revealed they had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, compared to those who tried to relax by quiet reading. Interestingly, other research suggests beneficial microorganisms in the soil may be, at least in part, responsible for such effects.13 As reported by CNN Health:14
“Christopher Lowry, Ph.D., … has been injecting mice with Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil, and has found that they increase the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function and mood — much like serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs do.”
The study15 cited by CNN was published in 2007. A 2016 study16 by Lowry, which showed Mycobacterium vaccae promotes resilience to stress, was named one of the “top 10 advancements and breakthroughs” of 2016 by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation.17
In a third paper,18,19 published in 2018, Lowry’s team demonstrated Mycobacterium vaccae attenuates stress and anxiety by having an anti-inflammatory effect on the brain.
The neurological benefits don’t end there. Research also shows gardening can help improve cognitive function by increasing brain nerve growth factors. As noted in this recent study, which involved 41 South Korean seniors:20
“A 20-min low-to-moderate intensity gardening activity intervention, making a vegetable garden, was performed by the subjects … The gardening involved six activities including cleaning a garden plot, digging, fertilizing, raking, planting/transplanting, and watering.
To determine the effects of the gardening activities on brain nerve growth factors related to memory, blood samples were drawn twice from each subject before and after the gardening activity by professional nurses.
The levels of brain nerve growth factors, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet derived growth factor (PDGF), were analyzed.
Levels of BDNF and PDGF were significantly increased after the gardening activity. This study revealed a potential benefit of gardening activities for cognitive function in senior individuals.”
Studies21 also suggest gardening can benefit those with dementia. One study,22 for example, concluded that “Gardening-based interventions can … be an effective vehicle for the promotion of social citizenship and expression of selfhood and agency in dementia.”
Last but certainly not least, keeping a garden can also improve your health by providing you with fresh, uncontaminated, nutrient-dense food. It will also help you reduce your grocery bill. Urban gardening is also an important step toward building a more sustainable food system.
In fact, I’ve been encouraging everyone to plant a “Victory Garden” as a proactive step toward fixing our broken food system and improving your health. They’re named Victory Gardens because during World Wars I and II, 40% of the produce grown in the U.S. came from people’s backyards. I believe it’s possible to catalyze a similar movement today, but for a different purpose.
The new reality is that for most people it’s very difficult to obtain high quality nutrient-dense foods unless you grow them yourself. Urban gardens are also key to saving energy, protecting water quality and topsoil, and promoting biodiversity and beautifying densely populated communities.
Just start small, and before you know it, large portions of your meals could come straight from your own edible garden. I recommend getting your feet wet by growing sprouts, as they are among the most nutritious foods you could possibly grow, require very little space and can be grown indoors, year-round.
You can use them in salad, either in addition to or in lieu of salad greens, or add them to vegetable juice or smoothies. Sunflower spouts will give you the most volume for your work and, in my opinion, have the best taste.
To learn more about gardening, check out my “Ultimate Guide to Gardening.” Also see “Top Gardening Tips to Build Better Health” for some basic gardening tips, guidance on finding out your zoning laws and other valuable resources for the urban gardener.
Remember, gardening may hold the key to improved mental health, stress relief and much-needed exercise in a world where most of us spend our days sitting in front of computers in artificially lit rooms.
I personally obtain the majority of my food from my own garden these days. It really is one of life’s great pleasures to be able to walk out the door of your home and pick fresh high quality food for your meal.
Flowers hold a special place in a gardener’s heart as they bring a profusion of color, contrasting patterns and fragrances. Many have medicinal and culinary value as well. Working in the garden and appreciating your handiwork has physical and mental health benefits. Looking after plants gives you a sense of responsibility and keeps you connected with other living things.1
Additionally, gardening has proven to be a stress reliever,2 helping reduce irritability and headaches. In one study,3 participants found gardening significantly decreased stress as compared to those who were assigned to read. Gardens are also known to increase your property value, and fresh air may help increase test scores in students.4
One popular flower in the garden is the peony. With luxuriously large blooms, they make a wonderful addition to your table, a wedding bouquet or left to bloom in the garden. The rich, showy plants are easy to plant and care for, and are a true perennial long-lived plant, as many varieties will come back year after year for 50 years or more.5
The peony has been cultivated for up to 4,000 years and is beloved for its exquisite flowers and abundant blooms.6 Depending on the variety, some flowers may grow to be 10 inches across.7 They were originally grown in Eastern gardens as an imperial symbol and quickly spread across Asia as different emperors moved their courts.
They reached Japan near the eighth century and were further hybridized. The herbaceous peony has been a part of ancient Greek mythology and the roots, bark, seed and flowers were all believed to have medicinal value. There are several stories of how the peony got its name.8
According to one story, it originated from the Greek name Paeon, a physician to the gods. He angered his teacher after extracting a milky substance from the root of a peony plant, curing Pluto. According to mythology, Paeon’s teacher, Asclepius, was so angered she threatened to kill Peon out of jealousy, but Zeus saved him by turning him into a beautiful flower, the peony.9
Another links the name back to a nymph whose beauty attracted the attention of Apollo. Currently there are nearly 40 species of peony plants and the Peony Society10 lists over 6,500 cultivars in their registry.11
The peony has different meanings in different cultures. As the official emblem of China, the flower plays a large role in holidays and traditions.12 It has a strong tie to royalty and honor in Eastern culture. In the Victorian age it was considered unlucky to dig up a peony and if you did, it was believed fairies would curse you.
The peony is the Indiana state flower, the 12th wedding anniversary flower,13 and is the most popular flower used in wedding bouquets.14 In the language of flowers, peonies represent honor, romance, elegance and abundance.15
Before choosing your peony plant for the garden, it’s important to make decisions about the variety, color and fragrance in your plants. Peonies come in every color except blue.16 The genus is broken up into three groups: tree peonies, herbaceous peonies and intersectional peonies.17
The herbaceous plants are the most well-known and do best in hardiness zones 3 to 8. These peonies bloom in the late spring and early summer for approximately 10 days and grow up to 3 feet in a bushy mound with divided foliage that remains attractive throughout the summer.18
Tree peonies are woody perennial shrubs thriving in hardiness zones 4 to 9. Tree peonies bloom earlier in the season with large flowers. Since the stems are woody, they do not require staking as do some of the herbaceous plants to support the large, heavy blooms. Their deep green foliage turns bronze and purple throughout the fall months.19
Intersectional peonies are hybrids of herbaceous and tree peony plants. They may produce up to 50 or more large flowers on a sturdy short stem and generally bloom after herbaceous peonies for about four weeks.20 They are prized as cut flowers and come in a large array of yellow and gold colors not widely available in herbaceous varieties. The plants grow up to 2.5 feet and may spread 3 feet.
Most peony flowers are fragrant, but the scent will differ between cultivars. Some smell of lemons while others have a scent described as slightly spicy. Words like confectionery and delicious are also used to describe the scent of a peony flower.
Before choosing the variety of peony for your garden, decide how strong you want the scent and what type. For instance, Chinese tree peonies have a stronger fragrance than the Japanese tree peonies according to garden design.21
Peonies bloom from late spring to late summer, depending on the variety. If you plant multiple varieties, you may be able to enjoy their luscious flowers throughout the summer months. However, all varieties are best planted in the fall, approximately four to six weeks before the first freeze.
This allows the plant to establish a root system before the winter and gives you a greater potential for enjoying blooms in the spring. Peonies planted in the spring may not bloom for one to two years. Typically, you’ll purchase peonies as a potted plant or as a bare-root packaged in peat moss or wood shavings. Look for healthy plants without spots or poor stems.22
When planted too closely, air flow is restricted increasing the potential for mold growth. As you are planting in the garden, give each plant enough space to grow without being crowded. As most grow to 3 feet in diameter, you’ll want to allow a 4-foot range for each plant. However, tree peonies, which grow as big as 5 feet wide and 5 feet tall by their 10th year, will need even more space.23
Herbaceous peonies do best when they are planted close to the soil surface, 2 to 3 inches deep.24 This may seem counterintuitive to leave the roots close to the air, but the plants need to be chilled to attain dormancy and set buds for the spring. If you are growing peonies from bare root, start with a hole 2 feet deep and 2 feet across in a well-drained area of the garden.
Add organic material into the planting hole and 1 cup of bone meal, as growing peonies need phosphorus, but do not flower well with added nitrogen. Mound the soil in the center to a height just below the surface and set the root clump on top so the eyes of the plant face upward with 2 inches of root below the surface. Backfill and water thoroughly by sprinkling the area.25
Peonies do not like wet feet, or waterlogged roots. If you are growing peonies from a potted plant, prepare a large hole and amended with compost and bone meal. Loosen the root ball and position the plant at the same height it was in the nursery container. Backfill the hole and water the planting site.26
There may be times when you’d like to transplant your peonies from one area of the garden to the other. This should be done carefully to avoid disturbing the roots any more than necessary. Transplanting peonies should also be done in the fall before the first frost.
You may choose to propagate plants by dividing the root clump and immediately replanting. After growing peonies for 10 years, the plant may become root bound and dividing the plant may help restore its vigor.
While herbaceous peonies enjoy a shallow planting, tree peonies need to be planted 4 to 6 inches deep and Intersectional Peonies may be planted just one-half to 1.5 inches deep depending on your climate.27 In warmer zones you’ll want to place the plant one-half inch deep in the soil, and in cooler climates they are planted 1.5 inches deep.
Although they may be planted in a pot, growing peonies is more successful when they are planted directly in the ground. If your only choice is a pot, be sure you give it the proper attention, select a container with drainage holes and bring it in during the winter months to reduce the potential for frost damage to the roots.28
In addition to the soil amendments discussed above, it’s important to note proper soil preparation often reduces the need for fertilization in the first couple of years. Herbaceous varieties need potassium to bloom and are heavy feeders. They prefer slightly alkaline soil, so adding lime or wood ash may help improve plant growth.
According to Garden Design,29 adding trace minerals such as azomite may inspire tree peonies to produce larger flower size, increased bud count and intensify flower color.
Peonies thrive in full sunlight. The minimum is six hours of sun each day, but a full day of sun is optimal. Without sufficient sunlight, your plants will bloom less, and the flowers will be smaller. Sunlight also helps to reduce the risk of fungal diseases, which plague the peony when they do not have enough air circulation.30
Peonies should also be sheltered from strong winds and planted well away from other trees and shrubs as they do not compete well for nutrients and water. When the soil is prepared well, most plants won’t need a side dressing of compost until the second year to help them settle well and continue to bloom.
As the buds swell, they produce a sugary substance. This attracts ants that feed on the liquid. As soon as the buds begin to open, the ants often disappear as their food source is gone. Although some gardeners find the presence of ants distressing, they don’t harm the plants, and some believe they help the bud to open properly by removing the sticky liquid.31
Unlike roses, peony bushes do not require pruning, and it is usually necessary only in the event of damage or disease. At the end of the growing season, the herbaceous peony and intersectional peony plants should be cut back. The herbaceous peony may be cut to the ground, but the intersectional plants do better when you leave 4 to 6 inches of stem.32
Tree peonies may require some pruning after the first five years of growth to allow for better air circulation. However, these are slow-growing plants and do not do well when they are pruned in the first three years of life as it hinders their progress and reduces the number of blooms.33
The peony does well as a cut flower, often lasting longer than a week. For the best vase life, they should be harvested while they are in bud. You may get a better bloom and the flower may last longer on your table when you harvest the bud when it feels like a soft marshmallow in the morning.
Gently squeeze the flower bud for sponginess. If they’re still hard, you may want to leave them on the stem to ripen longer.34 When cutting, use a set of sharp shears and leave at least two sets of leaves on the bush so the plant may continue to grow and store food over the summer.
Since most peonies flower for such a short time during the summer months, you may also cut stems to be stored for later use. Using a set of sharp shears, cut several stems, again leaving at least two leaves on the bush, and slip a bunch into a plastic bag with a few paper towels inside.
The towels will absorb the excess moisture and help prevent mold growth. Lay the flowers flat on a shelf or drawer in the produce area of your refrigerator.35 Check them every couple of days and discard any that show signs of mold or begin to rot. They may stay this way for up to three weeks in the refrigerator. Once you remove them, the flowers may look limp.
Recut the stems underwater in a warm bath with flower preservative. Let the stems sit in the warm water for several minutes and then move them to your flower vase with flower preservative. The flowers will open within 24 hours and the blooms will last a week on your table.36
Perhaps my favorite part of this comes in the last two minutes, where he reminds us that this is a Spiritual lesson that we are being presented with, to approach all of this without anger, etc., and be a beacon of Peace throughout what is happening now.
Is telepathy real? It’s hard to argue against it; in fact, I would say that it’s not really up for debate. That being said, when it comes to topics like these, the field is polluted with a bad reputation given its association with magic, superstition and ‘pseudoscience,’ terms that often come from those who condemn the subject without ever really looking into it. The evidence for the existence of telepathy is actually quite overwhelming, and in many cases, much stronger than most other areas of science.
Dr. Jessica Utts is a great person to bring up, as I’ve done many times before, to hammer this fact home. She is the Chair of the Department of Statistics at the University of California, Irvine. In 1999, she published a paper showing how the statistical significance with regards to results seen from studies under the realm of parapsychology (telepathy, remote viewing, etc) are stronger than some of the studies used to approve some medications. In a recent interview, she emphasized the following.
“What convinced me was just the evidence, the accumulating evidence as I worked in this field and I got to see more and more of the evidence. I visited the laboratories, even beyond where I was working to see what they were doing and I could see that they had really tight controls… and so I got convinced by the good science that I saw being done. And in fact I will say as a statistician I’ve consulted in a lot of different areas of science; the methodology and the controls on these experiments are much tighter than any other area of of science where I’ve worked.” (source)
Why is it that these topics are not touched by mainstream academia, yet studied at the highest levels of government? Multiple governments all over the world have been studying this phenomenon for decades, and a lot has been declassified. Take the remote viewing program that was conducted by the US government/CIA and Stanford University, for example.
After its declassification in 1995, or at least its partial declassification, the Department of Defense and those involved revealed an exceptionally high success rate.
To summarize, over the years, the back-and-forth criticism of protocols, refinement of methods, and successful replication of this type of remote viewing in independent laboratories has yielded considerable scientific evidence for the reality of the [remote viewing] phenomenon. (source)
The latest example comes from Russia, as their Ministry of Defence recently published an article about the existence and study of parapsychology within the Russian military. The article explains how these techniques are and were used to penetrate the thoughts of the enemy (mind-reading) as well as to hack into enemy computer systems. The article is titled “Super Soldier for the Future Wars” and was published in the Defense Army magazine.
The article was written by Colonel Nikolai Poroskov, who explained that they use parapsychological techniques like telepathy for combat purposes, revealing secrets, disclosing locations, etc… He even discloses that Russian specialists have learned telepathy by working with dolphins.
As a note to readers, we here at Collective Evolution do not condone the use of animals for any type of experimentation. There is no information on the conditions of these experiments, but we are assuming they were captured for military purposes, which is extremely sad and heart-breaking.
“They mentally gave the animals the commands that they carried out. Similar practiced by the famous trainer Durov. The technique, as it turned out, is applicable to humans. Moreover, the impact was even possible on the technique. With an effort of thought you can, for example, shoot down computer programs, burn crystals in generators, eavesdrop on a conversation, or break television and radio broadcasts and communications. Good luck ended with such experiments as reading a document lying in a safe, even if it is in a foreign language that we do not speak; identification of individuals belonging to the terrorist network; identifying potential candidates for terrorist groups,” the statement reads. (source)
Quite astonishing, isn’t it? Parapsychology seems to be the largest known threat to any type of secrecy, doesn’t it? I found the reference to hacking computers quite interesting. Can telepathy really be used for purposes like hacking electronic equipment? I did some more digging and found an interesting document inside of the CIA’s electronic reading room with regards to the Soviet Union.
Here’s a quote from the document:
The Soviet Union is well aware of the benefits and applications of parapsychology research. In 1963, a Kremilin edict apparently gave top priority to biological research, which in Russia includes parapsychology. The major impetus behind the Soviet drive to harness the possible capabilities of telepathic communication, telekinetics, and bionics is said to come from the Soviet military and the KGB. Today it is reported that the USSR has twenty or more centres for the study of parapsychological phenomena, with an annual budget estimated in 1967 at over 13 million dollars and reported to be as high as 21 million dollars.
Today, we know that trillions of dollars have gone into black budget programs in the United States, many of which likely deal with parapsychology, as they have in the past.
The document also states:
There are reports that the Soviets are training their cosmonauts in telepathy to back-up their electronic equipment while in outer space. One of these back-up schemes is known to involve coded telepathic messages. This method was previously demonstrated in March 1967, when a coded telepathic message was flashed from Moscow to Leningrad. The involvement of astronauts or cosmonauts in telepathy experiments is not necessarily unprecedented. In February 1971, during the Apollo 14 flight to the moon, astronaut Edgar Mitchell made 150 separate attempts to project his thoughts from inside the space capsule back to an individual on earth. The results of the Apollo 14 experiments have been well-documented in detail and are published in the Journal of Parapsychology. (source)
Deeper Black Budget Discussion On CETV
Again, these programs lie within the realm of the black budget and are highly classified. Who knows how far ahead of the mainstream world they truly are?
CETV is a platform we created in order to combat the censorship and demonetization we have been facing over the past few years. On episode 4 of The Collective Evolution Show on CETV, we discussed the black budget in much greater detail. Below is a clip exploring the missing money from the black budget and special access programs, explaining where the money is going and what exactly it’s being used for.
You can become a member of CETV, get access to the full show and many others, and support conscious media here.
Human consciousness and parapsychology should not only be studied for the purposes of learning new defence tactics. Humans have great potential, and there is still so much that we have yet to discover about ourselves. What needs to change is the intention behind these discoveries.