This Is What’s Actually Happening Inside Your Body When You’re Meditating

Ever wonder what your body “ve been through” when you purposely shut it down for 10 to 20 minutes during a nice, solid bout of meditation?

Believe me, you’re not alone, girl.

Those deep breathing exerts you’re instructed to do during meditation aren’t just for show.

As you sit still and demand your mind to calm the f* ck down, your psyche is actually undergoing some major positive changes.

Here are five things that happen to your brain not before or after, but while you’re meditating.

1. Your Cortisol Levels Lower

Cortisol is a hormone your body releases when you’re emphasized, so if your cortisol levels are low, that means you are #TooBlessedToBeStressed.

Astudy published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health involved 30 medical students who had their blood tested to measure their cortisol levels before meditation.

After four days of mindful meditation, their blood levels were checked again. The findings revealedthat the average level of cortisol significantly lowered post-meditation.

2. Your Brain Wave Activity Increases

When you’re meditating, your brain produces theta and alpha waves.

Theta waves usually occur when you are in your deepest phase of dreamless sleep.

Alpha waves occur when your intellect is in an idle state, like when you’re daydreaming.

This means that, though you are awake, meditation induces brain activity that happens when you are either in your most relaxed state, or when you are sleeping.

That is candidly incredible.

Like, think about it: Even though you’re technically, your brain is so ridiculously relaxedit produces activity as if ityou’re freaking asleep.

I’m sorry, but you cannot tell me meditation is a gift sent down from the heavens.

3. With That Said, Your Body Enters A State Of Deep Relaxation

After all of that, you are in an ultimate relaxed state.

This is basically what people mean when they say that they feel zen.

You feel light, and free from worry you feel happy.

And you can thank good ol’ dopamine for those working positive vibes.

Dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter, is released into the body during pleasurable situations.

Meditation, my friend, is indeed, a very pleasurable situation.

4. Gray Matter Increases In Your Brain

The gray matter in your brain is located in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that is crucial for learning and memory.

Gray mattercan also be found in other parts of the brain links with self-awareness, compassion, and reflection.

In a 2009 analyze published in the periodical, Eileen Luders, a researcher in the Department of Neurology at the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, compared the brains of 22 meditators and 22 non-meditators of the same age.

Her outcomes showed that the meditators had more gray matter in regions of the brain that are imperative for attention, feeling regulation, and mental flexibility.

Increased gray matter is needed to ensure that the brain is efficiently processing information.

Luders believes that the increased grey matter in the meditators’ brains should stimulate them better at controlling their attention, managing their emotions, and stimulating mindful choices.

5. Your Brain Re-Structures Itself

It’s safe to tell, with all of that goodness listed, as you wipe your mental slate clean, your brain is literally re-configuring it self.

Your cortisol levels are lowering, gray matter is increasing, and alpha and theta waves are flowing.

Honestly, your brain sounds like a kickass, naturally high work of art.

So continue breathing in deep, and exhaling anything that doesn’t serve you.

Your mind is undergoing a major glow-up!


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I looked into the backstory of male birth control. Turns out, it’s a racist, sexist mess.

There once was a study about male family planning that constructed everyone freak out.

You know the study I’m talking about, right? The one where a handful of dudes took male family planning, and they got all sad and bloaty, and then most of them discontinue the whole thing altogether . The one that recently spawned dozens of articles “re making fun” of those dudes’ fragile masculinity.

In the study, which operated from 2008 to 2011, 266 monogamously perpetrated guys in ten different countries tried out a sperm-suppressing injection that appeared to be 98% effective. In the end, 7.5% of the guys who took the male family planning fell out for maybe experiencing side effect similar to women who take birth control. The survey was also really tragic because it might have permanently sterilized a guy, and some of the subjects attempted or succumbed from self-harm.

As a dude who would merrily take family planning, I have some thoughts about this study and our response to it. Because there’s a lot more going on here than it sounds like, and we need to talk about, well, all of it .

First, merely to get this out of the way, this study was total crap.

Dr. Jen Gunter, an OB-GYN and, yes, a woman, operates through such studies in detail on her blog, and suffice to say: The parameters behind it were a bust. It only wasnt worth continuing . The sample size was a mess: There were 320 guys in the early stages of such studies, but that number dropped to 266 before the depression-bloaty-acne issues( plus 1,500 other side effects ) came up. By the time it ended in 2011, such studies was down to 111 topics .

They also didn’t control for consistency across the different testing locations. They hadn’t screened participants for mental health or in any way that would allow them to measure their emotionality. So when they realized, for example, that most of the adverse side effects were coming out of Indonesia, they had no idea if that was culture, dietary, or tied to the meds.

On top of that, the Food and Drug Administration requires 20,000 menstrual cycles’ worth of safety data for women. But since men don’t cycle , no one has determined how long men’s family planning would need to be tested to be deemed safe.

Coupled with the difficulty of establishing placebo controls for contraceptives( devoting someone a sugar pill and telling them it’s fine to have unprotected sex is generally frowned upon ), the potential rewards of this particular survey were really, genuinely unreliable.

The anger behind the findings of this study is entirely valid, though, because of the shoddy history behind women birth control.

It turns out, family planning studies have almost always been deplorable and rooted in a very deep history of gendered medication and racist abuse .

The short version of the tale: Puerto Rican women and asylum inmates were forced to participate in early trials for female birth control pills in 1955. In fact, in Puerto Rico, where contraception and abortion were legal and available but forced sterilization was also passing, the researchers specifically sought out the “ovulating intelligent” in medical school, where the trials became a involved part of their curriculum. If they fell out or refused to participate, they’d be expelled from school.

Later, when the narcotic was tested under slightly more humane circumstances, there were still some big problems: T he researchers enticed women with the “no pregnancy” component while conveniently leaving out the details about the potential side effects of the pills. If the recent male trial that got everyone up in arms was bad by modern criteria( which it was ), then these adverse effects were monstrous: 17% of participants had serious complaints, three people may or may not have died as a result, and one of the researchers even straight up admitted that there were “too many side reactions to be generally acceptable .

But they stuck with it anyway , utilizing a dosage that was 10 times higher than necessary for contraception, and got the thing approved.

The progress and development of the pill over the last 50 years was only possible because women fought to make it better once it was out in the world, despite its nightmarish origin story.

So yes, you are absolutely right to be outraged when it comes to this study: Females have carried the brunt of family planning side effects for style too long. While this one recent male analyze was crap, so were many that came before it that were much worse for women.

Apparently scientists did briefly consider making a birth control pill for men just before the Puerto Rican trials, by the way, but they figured dudes couldn’t handle the mild shrinkage and that girls were better are in accordance with mutely suffer through the side effects because of their higher ache tolerance.

That’s just further proof that women have been putting up with this kind of shit for long enough , and we shouldn’t have waited so long to start developing a male birth control pill.( Of course, if we had started earlier, who knows how many more blatant human rights violations would have resulted? Grr .)

The good news is that a majority of men are wholly on board with using a pill to maintains our swimmers on the sidelines.

We don’t even mind the side effects! Truly! In fact, 75 % of the participants in this particular survey and their respective partners said they were down to keep doing it .

In another study of 9,000 humen in nine different countries, 57% were open to popping a( theoretical) pill. For comparing, about 17.5% of women ages 15 -4 4 in the U.S. employ oral contraceptive. So the odds there aren’t bad. Plenties of us guys are down with this I promise.

There are lots of other people working on alternative forms of male birth control, too.

Gandarusa is an Indonesian herb that produces an enzyme that basically avoids individual sperm from making it all the way to egg. It apparently originated as a stress reliever with temporary infertility as a possible side effect.

The “clean sheets pill” does exactly what it sounds like: It stops you from actually spillin’ yer stuff but still keeps the sensation of an orgasm otherwise intact.

There’s also Vasalgel, which is not a pill, per se, but a gel injection into the vas deferens to keep the sperm out of your semen. A similar process involves injecting gold nanorods into your testicles, which, um, probably attains for an interesting pickup line, at the least. Ahem .

Sex, contraception, and pregnancy are all shared responsibilities. They are consensual.

So, dudes, lets get moving. You want to help push an actual male family planning pill through? Talk to your doctor. Sign up for a study. Talk about it, scream it from the rooftops, perhaps try screaming it in bed if that’s your thing.( Hey, “youve never” know until you try .)

A lot of guys already know this, but if you don’t, here it is: We all need to do a better job for working toward more equitable solutions, and not just for family planning. So let’s induce that clear to the women in our lives, and lets move along from this crap analyse and design some better ones. Its is high time to get shit done .

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Lousy food, low pay … lawmakers testify( gripe) about working on Capitol hill | Fox News

FILE: Nov. 21, 2014: U.S. Capitol, in Washington , D.C. ( AP)

Capitol Hill is a terrible place to run — Thats the lasting impression one might have after listening to lawmakers this week discussed the budget for Congress at a House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

Here are some of objection and concerns the lawmakers debated at its present session 😛 TAGEND

— Low wages for aides

— How crummy and expensive the food is in the cafeterias.

— The vulnerability of House garages to a terrorism attack.

– How security precautions make it a ache for staff to navigate the workplace.

— The need to update the electronic voting system in the House chamber( Keep in intellect that an accurate tabulation of voting on the House is the quintessence of the entire enterprise ).

— Nobody knowing how many lawmakers carry pistols into the Capitol complex, perhaps increasing safety risks.

— The convenience store in the Longworth House Office Building and in womens restrooms.

— Whether girls should be charged for the aforementioned feminine hygiene products in the House.

Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the top Democrat on the Legislative Branch Appropriations panel and chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, posed multiple questions to acting House Chief Administrative Officer Bill Plaster at the hearing about the fact that there are tampons and sanitary napkins.

When you need a feminine hygiene product, you need one. Instantly, lectured Wasserman Schultz. For the convenience store to stop stocking products like that is really inconvenient. Its the opposite of the purpose of a convenience store.

She even depicted Plaster a photo of out-of-order signs slung across feminine hygiene dispensaries around the Capitol.

Multiple( female) congressional sources indicated that many of the machines hadnt carried the appropriate products in approximately one year. And when render was on hand, the product was described as outdated.

Moreover, Wasserman Schultz groused that women shouldnt have to pay the required 25 cents when in need.

Its like charging for toilet paper, she protested, then she didnt want to go into too much detail about the issue.

Plaster responded that the vendor has responded with additional stock, Wasserman Schultz pointedly retorted the new furnish was insufficient.

Still, Capitol Hill, with its marble floors and magnificently landscaped grounds, is for many a desirable place to work.

The time-off, include long wintertime and summer recess, for example, help compensate for the wages. And for many, the opportunity to work in arguably the worlds most powerful legislative body is a huge stepping stone for future endeavors.

A few years ago, Congress trimmed the overall spending it allocates for itself. This was an effort to lead by example. Plus, it looked like good politics back home — even if constituents received less from the members they elected.

The cuts make Capitol Hill hard — putting a squeeze on congressional salaries and the ability to retain good people. The total reductions merely amounted to $362 million. Thats a big impact internally but barely a dent when the federal government inches close to spending$ 4 trillion annually and runs a $19 trillion debt.

Legislative branch spending climbed to $4.36 billion in the most recent spending measure. Thats a $1.5 billion increase over the previous year but still below what Congress allocated for Capitol hill operations seven years ago.

It means having to let people go, told Rep. Sam Farr, D-Calif .,

Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss ., told Plaster that any restoration of money to the accounts lawmakers use to pay staff and operate their offices would be helpful.

Last year, the House switched vendors for dining services in its cafeterias. The old vendor, Restaurant Associate, still runs Senate eateries as well as those in the Capitol Visitor Center.

French food services provider Sodexo succeeded Restaurant Associates in the House. That sparked an immediate outcry from the Capitol Hill community. The food wasnt as good. Prices were higher. There wasnt as much variety.

Wasserman Schultz said it was pretty bad when the dining dissension inspired an article late last year in the New York Times. She also questioned how some lower-rung aides could survive while paying them such paltry salaries.

After paying for rent and eating in the House cafeteria, were lucky we can keep anyone on faculty, she complained. Its expensing them an arm and a leg to eat.

Clerk of the House Karen Haas told lawmakers the electronic voting cards lawmakers use during roll call referendums are so outdated that an outside company stimulates them specifically for Congress.

She added that the voting system in the House chamber requires rewiring soon — a project which involves excavating for the purposes of the floor of the appeals chamber. Furthermore, Haas said Braille type must be added to voting stations sprinkled around the chamber for visually impaired lawmakers.

Security have all along been paramount on Capitol Hill.

But a lingering problem involves the risks terrorists could pose to congressional garages across the street from the Capitol beneath the House office buildings.

The garages are not what is known as clean, meaning aides and lawmakers can drive in, then move into the office builds without ever clearing security.

Individuals entering on foot pass through magnetometers. Inspecting every automobile and screening workers offsite would create catastrophic delays and traffic jam around Capitol Hill.

So, the U.S. Capitol Police operates with a lower level of security in the House office builds. People going through the underground passageways to the Capitol itself from the office complex are screened at checkpoints located there.

Of late, magnetometers lately presented up in the Longworth garage in an effort to bolster security. But the Rayburn garage still lacks the equipment.

At the hearing, Wasserman Schultz later took aim at House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving. She indicated the approved appropriations committee never signed off on implementing the additional safety measure. Other lawmakers see it differently, adding that the Appropriations Committee, which controls the purse strings, in fact allocated funds properly.

Wasserman Schultz hectored Irving with queries about who dedicated him the go-ahead to install the magnetometers. Irving said he took responsibility, subsequently adding he did so in concert with the Speakers Office and House Administration Committee.

I dont think Im getting responses to my topics, Wasserman Schultz protested, in apparent exasperation.

Irving said the House garages carry tremendous vulnerabilities to us.

Wasserman Schultz responded by saying that terrorists werent stupid since the magnetometers were installed in only one garage. She told terrorists would simply go to the garage thats not secure.

Sam Farr piped up. He indicated the extra screening was an affront to staff.

Were constructing an empire on the Hill, he said.

The California Democrat then asked if Irving knew how many lawmakers arm themselves when they walk through the Capitol. By statute, lawmakers are allowed to pack heat at the Capitol and are not required to go through security screening.

Staff and visitors cannot carry firearms at the Capitol complex.

We dont know that number, Irving replied.

Farr argued it was a fairness issue and that lawmakers shouldnt be allowed to carry handguns at work — especially if they were trying to lead by example.

There also fear the Capitol could join the long list of venues that have experienced deadly, workplace violence — just like Fort Hood, the Washington Navy Yard and San Bernardino.

Under such a nightmare scenario, there are questions as to whether lawmakers carrying their own guns could make a nightmarish shootout even more volatile if they started to fire their own weapons — in addition to U.S. Capitol Police policemen. Would extra firepower assist neutralize a situation or contribute to friendly flame injuries or deaths?

Physical security isnt the only concern at the Capitol. So too is cybersecurity.

Plaster told lawmakers that hackers pose a constant threat.

Theyre not knocking at the front door anymore, he said.

Plaster says that the House has about 12,000 people on its network, receiving some 200 million emails a year. He estimates that about one-third of all email traffic received is an effort to bore into the House computer system.

And with so many emails and so many users, its is difficult to harden those defenses.

So if you want to understand Congress and its internal operations, look at Legislative Branch appropriations. That could shed light into how lawmakers tackle issues ranging from ISIS to health care to the economy. It also says a lot about what its like to work on Capitol Hill.

Hardly a week goes by without a report demonstrating that Congressional approval ratings are in the tank.

Those are polls that examine the performance of lawmakers. And one wonders if aides who toil on Capitol Hill would rate Congress much higher.

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‘Galactic fossil’ of early Milky way detected

( CNN) At 12 billion years old, Terzan 5 looks pretty good for its age.

And for the curious, this living galactic fossil looks nothing like Knowhere, the gigantic celestial head on the edge of the universe seen in Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. Instead, this fossil is made of gas and stars and exists 19,000 light-years from Earth.

Pirelli calendar goes with less steam and more jokes for 2016

Annie Leibovitz opts for natural and effortless style in portraits of Serena Williams, Yoko Ono, Amy Schumer and others

The annual calendar produced by Pirelli tyres which traditionally centres on the artfully lit nude bodies of female supermodels has been unveiled, presenting a dramatic switching in subject matter and aesthetic.

Gone are the gym-toned limbs and heaving bosoms; in their place for the 2016 calendar, shot by Annie Leibovitz, are simple portraits of women of various sizings, ages and ethnicities chosen for their professional, social, culture, sporting and artistic accomplishment.

Subjects include Yoko Ono, wearing a top hat, tuxedo jacket and fishnet tights; and Patti Smith, modelling jeans, boots and a snarl. The cultural commentator Fran Lebowitz makes an unlikely Miss May, smoking a cigarette in a men oversized pinstriped coat. The blogger Tavi Gevinson, Chinese actor Yao Chen, artist Shirin Neshat, investment banker Mellody Hobson, the director of the cinema Selma, Ava DuVernay, and Agnes Gund, an art collector, also appear.

Serena Williams in the 2016 calendar. Photo: Annie Leibovitz/ Pirelli

The tennis star Serena Williams was one of only two scantily clothed superstars, posing in a balletic lunge with her muscular, naked back to the camera. Decembers subject, the comedian Amy Schumer, sips from a lipstick-stained takeaway coffee cup in her underwear, with soft rolls of flesh visible on her stomach.

At the launch of the calendar on Monday, Leibovitz explained that none of these photographs had been conceived with the male gaze in mind. Williamss photo was not a nude but a body survey, she said, while Schumers was a comic conceit: The idea was that she was the only one who had not got the memoranda about wearing clothes.

To the uninitiated, the Pirelli calendar might sound like a tatty document destined for mechanics to stare at in a garage. But during its 50 -odd years of production, Pirelli has worked hard to cultivate a sense of artiness and exclusivity around the images. In its hard copy form the calendar is only sent out to a select and secret few, although the images circulate widely on the internet.

Annie Leibovitz attends the Pirelli calendar launching in London. Photo: Andy Rain/ EPA

They are given a veneer of respectability, and fashion industry acceptance, thanks to the inclusion of the worlds top supermodels and performers Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Julianne Moore to name a few who are currently photographed by illustrious names including Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton.

Mondays slick launch event, in the grand ballroom of the Grosvenor House on Park Lane, London, underlined the seriousness with which Pirelli takes the calendar as a marketing workout. The worlds media gathered for the unveiling of the images, listening as Clare Balding interviewed Leibovitz and three of the calendars subjects Gevinson, Gund and Chen on stage, while the proceedings were translated via headsets into four languages.

The girls spoke warmly of the calendars symbolism, with Leibovitz describing it as representative of a shift in the way women are viewed. The tyre manufacturers chief executive, Marco Tronchetti Provera, said the company had been looking to make a departure from the usual format of its calendar this year, one that felt very timely.

Women who have done something outstanding in “peoples lives”, from every corner of the world. This represents what Pirelli thinks is beautiful, told Tronchetti Provera.

Yao Chen, the Chinese performer, in the calendar. Photograph: Annie Leibovitz/ Pirelli

Leibovitz added that the images were designed to look as natural and effortless as is practicable, with little pretence to the pictures. Though shoot in flattering black and white, they had been subject to simply a little cleaning up of the images rather than the usual heavy post-production work, she said.

Though Leibovitz, who also photographed a calendar of nudes for Pirelli in 2000, declined to describe the calendar as a feminist watershed moment for the brand, she told: Pirelli has always given free rein to the photographer, so its really about choice of photographer. I suppose the company has wanted to switching for a few years and my mandate was that they wanted to see some change.

During a behind-the-scenes movie shown at the launch, the photographers almost-namesake Lebowitz offered a somewhat different analysis: Perhaps clothed girls are going to have a moment.

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Amanda Bynes Is Back in Fashion School

Amanda Bynes – the Addy abusing, BSCB – is studying for midterms like she’s poor and it matters. Apparently, our favorite blonde-wig wearing, bong-throwing, ex-child star is back at Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.

She’s been in a psych ward for longer than we waited for Justin Beiber to fell “What Do You Entail, ” but she got released in time for fall semester…because nothing says mental health like sitting under shitty halogen sunlights and scrolling through BuzzFeed during lecture. I entail, like, good for her, but if my parents were given conservatorship over me I definitely would not have gone back to college , not even for the tailgates.

Besides possessing weed( which is totally chill now ), hurling a vase out of the window( which my mom will no doubt done ), and going on a Twitter rant( which was nothing compared to Donald Trump ), her only crime was being a really shitty driver. Two DUIs, a hit and run, and driving on a suspended license aren’t precisely the next episode of Criminal Minds. Besides, she like totally paused.

Maybe Lauren Conrad can do an alum visit and give Mandy some tips on how to pull herself together. Well, that or some free Paper Crown merch.

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Poly’s new nutrition courses target diabetes – The Straits Times

The Straits Times

DJ LeDrew, DC, a Highly Regarded Chiropractor established in Calgary, Alberta – PR NewsChannel( press release)

Simple steps to help people with dementia result better lives

Alzheimer’s disease has an unusual distinction: It’s the illness that Americans dread most — more than cancer, stroke or heart disease.

The rhetoric surrounding Alzheimer’s reflects this. People “fade away” and are tragically “robbed of their identities” as this incurable condition progresses, we’re told time and again.

Yet, a sizable body of research indicates this Alzheimer’s narrative is mistaken. It finds that people with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia retain a sense of ego and have a positive quality of life, overall, until the illness’s final stages.