Brain Health – The Pineal Gland – The Seat of the soul?

thirdeye1Last week we talked about the functions of the Pineal gland and it’s production of Melatonin. This week we’ll look at the mystical side of the gland and it’s allure to many spiritually minded people. The Third Eye, The Eye of Horus, The Brow Chakra. Rene Descartes, who was a 17th century philosopher and said to be the father of modern philosophy, referred to this little gland as the “principle seat of the soul”. That is quite an array of accolades for sure, but, what is it all about? The Third Eye is said to be our link to the universe, to the spiritual world, to other dimensions. Practitioners of Hinduism and other occultisms go through great pains and trouble to be able to “open” their Third Eye. They say that they are able to see past what we can see with our physical eyes and actually communicate with spirit guides and other beings who lay beyond the veil. Intriguing? You Bet! The interest in this Third Eye business goes back for thousands of years. The Egyptians, who along with other hieroglyphs, depicted the Pineal gland in their writings calling it the “Eye of Horus”.eye-of-horus Wow! There might be something to this, right? Hindu’s profess powers, using their open third eyes, of being able to actually read anything written down in front of them while blindfolded. So, the Third Eye not only benefits them in the spirit world but also here in the physical world. They also profess the power of transportation, using Third Eye powers to actually transport a physical object from one place to another. We have all heard of people who can actually see other places in their minds, quite accurately, called “remote viewing”. Edgar Cayce was said to be able to access something he called the “Akashic Records” and actually be able to read them, through the same type of Third Eye powers. Ok, so how do we get in on this action? It all starts with meditation. There are a myriad of videos and articles on different techniques to “open” your third eye. All of them start with meditation, maybe using some type of music or chant. There are some who suggest “thumping” your head in certain areas in order to “awaken” the gland. For those of us over fifty with calcified glands, it is suggested that we move to a more plant based diet to aid in the process, and also drink un-fluorinated water and use un-fluorinated toothpaste. I don’t imagine the ancient Egyptians had any fluoride issues, so they must have easily slipped off into the netherworld, at will. One thing they did have, was a Guru. Yep, a bonafide wizard of great powers and wisdom, known throughout the ancient world as the holder of great wisdom. Next post I’ll introduce you to the great Hermes Trismegistus!

Brain Health – Food and Mysticism

We talked a little about how some foods affect our Circadian rhythm and sleep patterns in our last post. This is very true, and for those of us who have sleep issues, this may be your path to sawing a forest full of logs! We all have a hormone in our bodies that controls our sleep cycles, seasonal cycles and Circadian rhythms, called Melatonin. This hormone is secreted by one of our endocrine glands, called the Pineal gland. The Pineal gland is a little pea sized gland situated in a small groove between the two hemispheres of our brain, where the thalamus join. It is shaped like a pine cone, thus the name “pineal”. The weird thing about this little gland, is that it is made up of the same rod and cone shaped cells as our eyes and has the same fluid that is found in our eye. How weird is that? It is referred to as the “third eye” in mystic circles and as the “eye of Horus” in ancient Egypt.pineal-gland Several studies have been conducted on this weird little gland and some of them are interesting indeed. All vertebrates, except one or two on the planet, have this gland. When studying lab rats, some researchers found that when void of all light, rats preferred to drink alcohol over water. When their glands were removed, it had the opposite effect. In some humans with dysfunctional Pineal glands, a craving for alcohol was also noted. What a weird connection eh? Maybe that’s why bars always have such dim lighting? The study also found that people who worked nights, stayed up late and didn’t get outside in the sunlight much, overtaxed their Pineal glands, and exhibited signs of menstrual cycle irregularities, sore breasts and increased alcohol consumption. Some studies linked stress, intake of refined sugars and epinephrine as causes of Pineal dysfunction. One of the things that inhibit Pineal function, is calcification of the gland itself. Scientists have found that most humans over fifty have calcified Pineal glands. There are varying degrees of explanations why this happens, some say its from the intake of fluoride. Our drinking water, fluoride toothpaste, dental rinses, and from other environmental exposures to fluoride containing chemicals. Some say its because many people live most of their lives in artificial light, and their gland overtaxes and then atrophies from non use, being photo-sensitive and not being exposed to natural sunlight. Whatever the case may be, you don’t hear of any products out there being advertised as Pineal gland supportive or any aids for Pineal health. I guess Americans are more interested in a cat’s urinary tract health or whether their dog is getting pure meat in their gourmet dining routines. So, the takeaway from this should be that we all should get more sunshine and eat foods that promote Pineal health. Foods that are high in Lecithin help to produce more melatonin, Soy being the most Lecithin rich. The same old list shows up again as foods that are good for us, vegetables, legumes, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, Cauliflower and leafy greens. Dairy products such as milk and cheese are also foods rich in Lecithin. We’ll explore the mystic side to this gland in our next post……i’m going to go outside and eat some cheese in the sunshine!!

Brain Health – Start with Calm

Twenty four hour news cycles, Internet fads and constant social media. Music channels galore and more movies than Carter has pills! Our brains are constantly exposed to electronic media in overdrive. What are we doing to our brains? You know, we liken our brains to computers all the time, and one of the basic idioms of computer programming is “junk in, junk out!” Is that why TV shows are called “programs”?? Hmm? I observe people all of the time, constantly looking at or interacting with their cell phone, people sitting at a restaurant, supposed to be enjoying a nice lunch or dinner together, constantly texting or shopping or watching “the game”, or playing a game. Most people can’t be away from Facebook for an hour before they start getting anxiety about maybe they missed something or so and so was supposed to answer my post! How many likes did I get? So and so didn’t put a like on my post! Now I’m angry! Wow! What are we doing people? There is no way that 16 hours a day of constant visual and auditory stimulation is not having some, and I venture to say, negative, impact on our brains. Take a break from it sometimes. Turn the TV off and enjoy the quiet. Take the earbuds out of your ears while you are jogging and listen to the birds sing. Turn down the sound on your cell phone and put it away for a while. There’s a big beautiful world out there that we are ignoring and missing out on because of technology. I think that is a shame. We don’t have dinner table conversations any more as a family, and the list goes on and on. One thing that I’ve been trying, and it might work for you as well, is meditation. I try to set aside just 15 minutes in the morning to go to a quiet place, sit and just try to quiet my mind. I don’t do any mantras or do the “ooooohhhmmm” thing. I just sit and try my best to quiet my brain down, which is actually hard for me. After 40 years of being a musician, I constantly have music playing in my head. I can get complete silence for just a few seconds at a time, but i’m sure the more I practice the longer I can stay silent. The rest of the time I let my thoughts go and try to examine them, and wonder “why the hell am I thinking that?”  But anyways, it seems to give me a little peace and helps me get focused for the day. I hope it can help you too, so, just a little tip for the mind today. Other posts coming soon…….Namaste!