from the world's big
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen might have discovered a cure.
How Meditation Can Manage Chronic Pain and Stress | Daniel Goleman<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="003f88caa581ddd99ae8bdae9fd40e8e"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yAd-JGbaRp8?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>A <a href="https://www.embopress.org/doi/full/10.15252/emmm.201911248" target="_blank">new study</a> at the University of Copenhagen might have uncovered a breakthrough in chronic pain relief. Published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine, researchers achieved complete pain relief in a group of mice by using a compound, Tat-P4-(C5)2, that was produced after a decade of development. </p><p>According to the team, this peptide only targets dysfunctional nerves causing the pain. In previous studies the team discovered it also helps reduce addiction. These two uses are not separate: chronic pain often leads to opioid addiction. By reducing pain, dependency on pain relievers may also be reduced. </p><p>So far, co-author Kenneth L. Madsen, Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience in Copenhagen, says there have been no side effects. Pain medicine often results in lethargic states, a condition not observed in the mice. Madsen hopes to turn this discovery into a business model. </p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Now, our next step is to work towards testing the treatment on people. The goal, for us, is to develop a drug, therefore the plan is to establish a biotech company as soon as possible so we can focus on this."</p>
Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display on March 23, 2016 in Norwich, CT. On March 15, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), announced guidelines for doctors to reduce the amount of opioid painkillers prescribed, in an effort to curb the epidemic.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images<p>Chronic pain is most often prevalent in the back, muscles, bones, neck, joints, and face. Associated problems include headache, sleeping problems, fatigue, and anxiety. It has been known to last anywhere from weeks to years. Other factors that lead to chronic pain include diabetes and psychological factors, such as anxiety or depression.</p><p>Self-care treatments include regular physical exercise, stress management techniques, and relaxation. A combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training, yoga, and meditation can help mitigate chronic pain. Of course, depending on pain location and severity, some of these interventions might not be tenable. </p><p>Besides the above treatments, there are pharmaceutical interventions, such as analgesics and narcotics. The problem, as the researchers note, is the addiction that follows. These drugs do not cure the problem. They only mask symptoms. Long-term side effects sometimes turn out worse than the pain itself. </p><p>Human trials will be next in the development of this peptide. There is always the possibility that it reacts differently in humans. Still, this is a positive step forward that could help millions of people find relief from one of the most frustrating and debilitating conditions known.</p><p> --</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a>. His next book is</em> "Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</p>
Rather than trekking up a mountain, a more accurate metaphor for human development involves navigating the waters of a choppy sea.
- When we imagine Maslow's famous hierarchy of needs, we visualize a pyramid. This is all wrong, says humanistic psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman.
- This is because life isn't a video game, where you unlock new levels until you reach the final prize of self-actualization. In fact, Maslow viewed human development as a two steps forward, one step back dynamic.
- Kaufman rebuilt Maslow's hierarchy of needs, updating it for the 21st century with a solid scientific foundation. And a better metaphor for this is a sailboat.
Studies have shown that dominant sexual activity can often boost your work ethic several days after a sexual experience.
- Sex is a complex and intricate human experience that involves many different neurological processes.
- Different sexual activities can alter this process, causing different combinations of hormones to be released.
- Being dominant during sex can cause altered states of consciousness that include heightened concentration and communication, better decision-making processes, and boosted self-confidence, all of which can help you excel in the workplace even days after your sexual experience.
How sex changes your brain<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3MDY2NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzQzMjI0NH0.8XJsDEgHOmr6s9XR2p5s0PWFto6fO7fJxrg0Wphk170/img.jpg?width=980" id="26e4c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6768516ff9a31fe041148cc75f55e0e6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept what happens in your brain during sex" />
When you experience sexual arousal and intercourse, your brain goes through a complex process.
Image by MattLphotography on Shutterstock<p>When you're sexually aroused, chemicals flood your system and temporarily alter your neurochemistry.</p><p><strong>When you have sex, your brain goes through a complex process that includes: </strong></p><ul><li>Norepinephrine, a hormone that makes you feel energetic and euphoric, is released during initial attraction and sexual arousal.</li><li>Dopamine (the chemical responsible for lighting up the brain's pleasure pathway) is also released, which makes you feel good.</li><li>During intercourse, oxytocin (commonly referred to as "the love hormone" for how affectionate, safe, and happy it can make you feel) is released.</li><li>The release of oxytocin triggers a dip in your cortisol levels. Cortisol is referred to as the "stress hormone" as it is most commonly increased during times of stress or upset.</li><li>Melatonin is also typically released at this time unless you have a melatonin deficiency. Melatonin is known for being a "calming" hormone and can make you feel tired</li></ul><p>All of this activity is directed by the hypothalamus, an area at the center of your brain that drives many different biological functions such as regulating blood pressure and sleep cycles. </p>
Different sexual activities can cause different neurological responses<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3MDY2My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMTIyNDkxNn0.WvpuS9ukgAMtyU7W2Vd6EydD1t3MhK7Zk5JhWXLKgy4/img.jpg?width=980" id="41023" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8c14809984c7782f92fe78550baad28e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept BDSM bondage dominance sadism masochism sex" />
Participating in sadomasochism can alter your state of consciousness, research says.
Image by dizain on Shutterstock<p>Different sexual activities can alter this whole process, causing different combinations of hormones to be released.</p><p>In fact, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23679066" target="_blank">a 2013 study</a> compared the psychological characteristics of BDSM practitioners and a control group. The results showed that people who participate in BDSM activities typically had lower anxiety levels, were less neurotic, and were more secure in their romantic relationships than participants of the control group. </p><p>The study also deemed BDSM to be more of a leisure practice than an actual psychological desire. For example, people who enjoy sadomasochism in bed don't typically day-dream of hurting someone outside of the bedroom, it's just a part of what they enjoy during sex. Consider sadomasochism, for example. Sadomasochism is a subset of BDSM that is defined as sexual enjoyment from giving or receiving pain. While there are many who judge those within the BDSM community, consensual BDSM (more particularly, consensual sadomasochism) has not been deemed harmful by the plethora of researchers who have studied the topic.</p><p><strong>Participating in sadomasochism can alter your state of consciousness.<br><br></strong>Two separate studies performed by different researchers at the Northern University of Illinois showcase the altered states of consciousness that can occur from participating in sadomasochistic activities.</p><p>The first <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308575318_Consensual_BDSM_Facilitates_Role-Specific_Altered_States_of_Consciousness_A_Preliminary_Study" target="_blank">study, conducted by James Ambler</a>, involved participants who were randomly assigned to sexual roles of "giving" or "receiving" pain. Before and after their sexual experience, the volunteers completed a cognitive test called the <a href="http://seas.umich.edu/eplab/demos/st0/stroopdesc.html" target="_blank">Stroop Task</a> and filled out a questionnaire about their feelings of flow (a state of focus and enjoyment that people feel when immersed in a specific task). </p><p>The results of this study showed those participants who were receiving pain scored lower in the Stroop Task cognitive tests, which suggests that the pain caused during their sexual experience may have caused blood to flow away from the region in the brain that is responsible for executive control and working memory. </p><p><a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309170765_Extreme_rituals_in_a_BDSM_context_the_physiological_and_psychological_effects_of_the_'Dance_of_Souls'" target="_blank">The second study</a>, conducted by Brad Sagarin and other researchers at the University (including James Ambler) focused on a pain ritual in a non-sexual atmosphere to further test Ambler's theory. The participants of this study experienced something called "the Dance of Souls", which involved temporary skin piercings pulled by rope while music was being played. All participants involved were volunteers. </p><p>These "energy pulls" as they are called, showed participants feeling less stressed during their exit cognitive interviews. An interesting note is that the researchers involved in this study found these practices to be quite similar to the experiences people have during yoga or intense meditation - the state of flow and concentration and the release of stress and tension after these experiments suggest there really are altered states of consciousness that we go through when experiencing pain, even in a pleasurable scenario such as BDSM sex. </p>
How does being a dom boost your work ethic?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjg3MDY2Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NDQ3MTA5OX0.DW3M6NF8Kd-j-e331oP3RIfA4UL3T55viWlQL-PfzDI/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C105&height=700" id="af93a" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc43ec382ee32a032960b50f2146e4b7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="concept BDSM bondage businessman blindfolding woman rough sex" />
The changes in your conscious state that you feel from BDSM activities are beneficial in ways you may not even realize and can extend far beyond the confines of the bedroom.
Photo by illustrissima on Shutterstock<p>The altered states BDSM practitioners experience during a scene can improve mood, enhance cognitive abilities, and heighten your capacity to form original ideas and strong connections with others, explains <a href="https://www.lehmiller.com/" target="_blank">Sex & Psychology</a> author Dr. Justin Lehmiller.</p><p><strong>This is how being dominant in the bedroom can impact your mood and flow: </strong></p><ul><li>Heightened concentration, which is experienced due to the intense flow felt by being in the moment.</li><li>Decision-making confidence, which happens due to the cortisol level dip that tends to be more significant in those who are dominant in the BDSM scene.</li><li>Reduced self-consciousness, or a boost in self-confidence.</li><li>Heightened intuition and listening/problem-solving skills, which comes courtesy of the trust and bond build between a dom and their submissive. This is a critical part of safety during BDSM scenes.</li></ul><p>These changes in your conscious state can be beneficial in ways you may not realize and can extend far beyond the confines of the bedroom. </p><p>According to sex therapist <a href="https://jamiladawson.com/" target="_blank">Jamila Dawson</a>, a client of hers was once able to overcome writer's block the morning after a BDSM rope-play experience with her partner. The client reported feeling free, safe, trusting, and creative. This isn't the only instance of an artist contributing their success to BDSM activity. In 2016, Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas attributed much of his success as an artist to his kinky marriage to sex educator Mollena Williams.</p><p>Haas explained in a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/24/arts/music/a-composer-and-his-wife-creativity-through-kink.html" target="_blank">New York Times article</a> that his vibrant sex life, which often included BDSM, "dramatically improved his productivity and reshaped his artistic outlook."</p>
Childhood is an important developmental feature of being human. Helicopter parenting disrupts that.
- "Helicopter parenting, and all of its associated forms, prevents children from exploring their emotional and intellectual landscape, and often their physical landscape as well, such that they become adults in body only," says evolutionary biologist Heather Heying.
- Childhood is an important developmental stage that trains kids for messy, uncontrollable reality. If adults don't teach kids how to solve their own problems, or if they prevent them from experiencing harm, children become less capable adults who don't know how to deal with real injury and insult.
- Parents can help their children by teaching them to be anti-fragile. Children grow from being exposed to ideas with which they disagree, encountering negative emotions, and engaging in activities with real-world outcomes like sport, cooking, and DIY.
A deeper look at what happens in the first 2 years after experiencing sexual trauma.
The content in this article may be triggering to some readers. This article contains discussion around the topics of sexual assault, rape, sexual violence, trauma and PTSD. Please read at your own discretion.
- Between 17-25% of women and 1-3% of men will report an instance of sexual abuse within their lifetime - however, research suggests up to 80% of sexual violence goes unreported, so the number of people who have experienced sexual abuse is much higher than you think.
- A 2004 study takes a look at the psychological healing process sexual abuse survivors experience within the first 21 months after their assault.
- Results of this study prove the decrease in behavioral self-blame that survivors reported feeling within the first 21 months after their attack greatly aided in their recovery.
How common is sexual assault and abuse?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgyMTYwNy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzczMzM4NH0.VYjMJKl9uX1qSad6Frzawr-lxXvCyJeRXlKbTrrkYS0/img.jpg?width=980" id="57cfd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bc351399cd6ba1bc958e54b10774fa3a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="woman sitting alone on couch sad concept female sexual assault survivor" />
17-25% of American women have reported a sexual assault sometime in their life.
Photo by fizkes on Shutterstock<p>Sexual assault can take many different forms but generally refers to sexual contact that occurs without the explicit consent of the victim. <a href="https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault" target="_blank">Some forms of sexual assault</a> include attempted rape, fondling or unwanted sexual touching, forcing a victim to perform sexual acts and penetration of the victim's body (also known as rape).</p><p>According to the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization <a href="https://www.rainn.org/about-rainn" target="_blank">RAINN</a> (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the rate of reported sexual assault and rape has decreased by 63% from 1993 (when there were 4.3 sexual assault reports per 1,000 people) to 2016 (when there were 1.2 sexual assault reports per 1,000 people.)</p><p>While some may look at these statistics and think the risk of sexual assault and rape are diminishing, something of note when dealing with sexual assault statistics is that these statistics are only ever representative of reported cases of sexual trauma. </p><p>In reality, these kinds of results only account for sexual assaults that have been reported - and according to the <a href="https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv16.pdf" target="_blank">U.S Department of Justice</a> (2018), an estimated 80% of sexual assaults go unreported.</p><p><strong>RAINN statistics (2016) on sexual violence:<br></strong></p><ul><li>Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.</li><li>One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. </li><li>About 3% of American men have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. </li></ul><p>Other statistics fall closely in line with these numbers, as you can see <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576571/" target="_blank">in this 2017 study</a>, where it was reported that around 17-25% of women and around 1-3% of men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.</p>
Surviving sexual abuse: A look at the psychopathology of sexual abuse survivors 21 months after their trauma<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgyMTYwOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzU2NDc5M30.TcT3OBGeLPnrJ9YavTeCknXoeadtfW2W4UMpY2B2Giw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C52%2C0%2C52&height=700" id="e67b6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="42b779c17f0ffaca7a429d12477ec821" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="sad man sitting on couch concept male sexual assault survivor" />
3% of American men have reported sexual assault sometime in their life.
Photo by Sam Wordley on Shutterstock<p>A 2004 study (<a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2c14/a3e86eba73aef567b1d5fc7d44e1b2200220.pdf" target="_blank">Mary P. Koss </a>and <a href="https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2c14/a3e86eba73aef567b1d5fc7d44e1b2200220.pdf" target="_blank">Aurelio Jose Figueredo</a>) of the healing process of sexual trauma over the first 21 months proves significant improvements in the psychopathology of sexual abuse survivors.</p><p>During this study, reported rape survivors (59 participants) were assessed four times over the course of 21 months after their sexual trauma. </p><p>Researchers used the "<a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Ft10239-000" target="_blank">Rape Attribution Questionnaire</a>", which consists of three 7-item subscales that assess the survivor on the following criteria: Behavioral Self-Blame, Characterological Self-Blame, and External Blame. </p><p>This questionnaire consists of sentences such as <em data-redactor-tag="em">"how often have you thought: I was assaulted because…"</em> with the participants choosing answers that range from 1 (never) to 5 (very often). This questionnaire is used to gauge the psychopathology of the assault survivor based on how they view their traumatic experience.</p><p>The results of the Koss and Figueredo study suggest that many things happen within the first 2 years of a person experiencing sexual trauma…</p><p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">Causal attributions: trying to find the "why"...<br></strong>First, uncontrollable and traumatic acts (such as rape) stimulate what is known as "causal attributions", which are defined as our attempts at explaining the situation "rationally".</p><p>This leads survivors of sexual trauma to ask themselves questions such as "why did this happen to me?" and "what could I have done differently?" </p><p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">Behavioral Self-Blame increases in the first few months after sexual trauma<br></strong>In the months after the initial trauma, Behavioral Self-Blame increases. Survivors begin to question if there was anything they could have done to prevent the attack and can even begin to place blame on themselves (a common example for women is thinking about what they were wearing, if it was too provocative, if they encouraged the attacker in any way, etc).</p><p>Initially, after an assault, it's common for our body and mind to go into "protective mode", which is often the <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/emotional-numbing-symptoms-2797372" target="_blank">"numb" feeling</a> many people experience after sexual abuse. <span>The increase in behavioral self-blame increases the level of global distress in the survivor, bringing them out of the "numb" mode and oftentimes making their assault feel "real". </span></p><p>This often causes symptoms of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) such as flashbacks and anxiety. </p><p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">Characterological Self-Blame increases, which leads to severe spikes in PTSD symptoms<br></strong>Characterological Self-Blame also increases in the initial stages after the sexual trauma, once we have been brought out of the numb mode by the increase of our global distress levels. Survivors begin to wonder if what happened to them was a result of who they are as a person (example, thinking that "bad things happen to bad people".) They start to question who they are as a person and if they deserve what happened to them.</p><p>This increase in characterological self-blame also spikes the global distress of the survivor, leading to more severe PTSD symptoms and can often lead to self-destructive behavior. </p><p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">Looking outside ourselves for answers often gives a reason to isolate and "shut down"<br></strong>External blame and maladaptive beliefs form - which can mean the survivor begins to look for blame outside of themselves, often isolating themselves from the society that harmed them. The survivor begins to adapt their beliefs to attempt to understand what happened to them and why.</p><p>In this initial aftermath of sexual trauma, sexual assault survivors may seek to understand the reasons for what happened by blaming external forces (such as their attacker or society as a whole), or they can try to seek answers by turning to internal explanations (often taking their own behaviors and actions into judgment). </p><p><strong data-redactor-tag="strong">21 months after sexual trauma: behavioral and characterological self-blame decrease, driving recovery<br></strong>A 2001 study (<a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2002-06641-004" target="_blank">Frazier, Berman & Steward</a>) concluded that Behavioral Self-Blame (example: blaming what we did that night to "provoke" the assault) was consistently associated with more distress among victims of rape or sexual assault.</p><p>However, Characterological Self-Blame (example: blaming who we are for what happened) leads to an ever higher distressing and harmful effect on the survivor's overall health. These causal attributions and the self-blame that many survivors put onto themselves directly influence the severity of their global distress. </p><p>The results of the Koss and Figueredo study prove that while behavioral/characterological self-blame, isolation, and PTSD increase within the initial months after the attack, the decrease in behavioral self-blame that survivors reported feeling within the first 21 months after their attack greatly aided in their recovery. </p>