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Being in 3 dimensions is part of being a member of the Universe. It seems to be one of the major aspects of it actually. Though sometimes we can feel distinctly 2 dimensional and thats not a great feeling. Anyway here’s an easy way to find your 3D. Simply come into relationship with your planes.

Most of us in the modern world are oriented to the front part of the sagittal plane. We are so front. So best to start there and notice what happens when you shift to the full sagittal experience of front and back. Yes there is a back! The sagittal plane is significant, its not just an arbitrary plane, it’s the body in stereo, a body of two halves. We are a physiological left and right organism and the sagittal plane defines that. So hang out with the plane for a just a minute and notice how your body physically responds. It loves to be reminded of it.

Now to plane no.2. The coronal plane. Named after the coronal suture at the top of the head. This one is even more significant. It’s the plane of our embryonic disk. So no small thing and a really good reminder to the body to relate back to where it formed from. Best way to get into this plane is open up to the sides of your body. Start with the felt sense of the sides of your head then follow that feeling down the flanks of the torso and outsides of the legs. Now open up to the space left and right. The lateral spaces. This is such a great feeling. It makes you instantly feel spacious. Makes you realize how lacking in lateral space we are.

And finally the transverse (or axial plane in the image). This is about the horizontal. Notice the word comes from horizon. Its a plane that is resonant with the horizon and brings all the horizontal structures of your body into communication i.e. all your transverse diaphragms which therefore brings you into relationship with the interior of the body and its volume/length.

So that’s 3 minutes to find each plane and establish your 3 dimensionality. You can see you can not only use this in daily life but also as a way to establish a state of balance awareness in BCST.

Wonderful article on mini brains in the New Zealand Herald – contributed by Angela Wheeler

A miniaturised “brain-in-a-bottle” has been grown by stem cell scientists who hope it will lead to new treatments for neurological and mental diseases. The tiny hollow “organoids”, measuring three to four millimetres across, have a structure similar to that of an immature human brain, including defined regions. But the scientists insist they are still far from the science fiction fantasy of building a working artificial brain – or even replacement parts for damaged brains. The goal was to produce a biological tool that can be used to investigate the workings of the brain, better understand brain diseases, and test out new drugs. One expert predicted the future creation of a simple animal-like brain that could be linked to sense organs and had the ability to learn.

Scientists have previously grown other laboratory “models” of human organs from stem cells, including those replicating the liver, intestine, pituitary gland and eye. But none possess the daunting intricacy of the human brain, the most complex structure in the universe. The key to the new research involved nourishing immature cells in a gel-like “matrix” that allowed the complex organoid structures to develop. These were then transferred to a spinning bioreactor which provided extra nutrients and oxygen, enabling them to grow much larger in size. After two months of development the “mini-brains” had become globular spheres up to four millimetres in diameter. Each one surrounded a ventricle-like inner cavity and mimicked the layered structure of a human brain growing within a developing foetus. Among the identifiable regions were a cerebral cortex, forebrain, choroid plexus – the body that produces cerebro-spinal fluid – and even a rudimentary retina. Tests showed that they contained active neurons.

The raw material the scientists started with consisted of human stem cells – immature cells with the potential to develop along many different pathways. Both embryonic stem cells, originating from early-stage embryos, and artificially “reprogrammed” skin cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) cells were employed.

In a further experiment to show the technique’s potential, the researchers used cells taken from a patient with the brain disease microcephaly to create the mini-brains. They found that the organoids’ growth was stunted, mimicking the disease which causes the brain to be much smaller than normal.

Professor Juergen Knoblich, from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, who led the Austrian and British team, said: “We’ve been able to model one disease which is microcephaly. But ultimately we’d like to move to more common disorders like schizophrenia or autism. We are confident that we might be able to model some of these defects.” He said the extreme complexity and inter-connectivity of the adult brain made him “pessimistic” about the possibility of replacing whole brain structures with laboratory-grown versions. Professor Knoblich added: “Our system is not optimised for generating an entire brain and that is also in no way our goal.” Although the organoids were small, they were not very different in size from an early stage developing brain in the womb.

Scientists commenting on the research, published in the online edition of the journal Nature, spoke of its potential and implications, but also limitations. Dr Dean Burnett, lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Cardiff, said: “Saying you can replicate the workings of the brain with some tissue in a dish in a lab is like inventing the first abacus and saying you can use it to run the latest version of Microsoft Windows; there is a connection there, but we’re a long way from that sort of application yet.”

Neuroscientist Professor Paul Matthews, from Imperial College London, said: “This study offers the promise of a major new tool for understanding the causes of major developmental disorders of the brain such as autism and schizophrenia, as well as testing possible treatments. Treatments are still a long way off, but this important study illuminates part of the pathway to them.”

Great article on the Brain that includes a history of the Brain and all the latest insights into its functionality.

http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/mind-brain/#page=1

Fabulous video of the Gut Lining emphasising that our GI tract is home to the biggest collective of immune cells in our body. Meaning digestive issues = immune deficiency. Health of our Gut is absolutely critical.

Author: Angela Wheeler, New Zealand Teacher

When you identify yourself to others, where do you point? Most would say the center of their chest. Why here? What’s the significance of this place? Some would say the heart resides here; but then why don’t we point slightly down and to the left a bit? Others would say it’s the heart charkra area, yet others, the seat of the soul. Interestingly, it’s the thymus which lies in the mediastinum, directly at the center of the chest where people point to indicate themselves. The word thymus comes from the Latin derivation of the Greek word thymos. This means ‘watery excrescence’ as well as ‘soul’ or ‘spirit’ ; hence the ancient greeks considered the thymus as the center of the soul.

The role of the thymus is to identify self from non-self; self identification. In the newborn, it is massive (averaging 15grams) in comparison to it’s relative size in an adult. It continues to grow until the onset of puberty, thereafter, diminishing in size in healthy adults. It makes sense that it is so large in the newborn, as the entire world is new and what is ‘self’ and what is ‘other’ is a process, not only of physiological development, but also of psychological maturity. So as we grow, discover the world and ourselves within it, the thymus is the organ we use to make this distinction. It could be said that as we grow into old age, we know more of ourselves (physically, emotionally and psychologically) and of our environment, so the need for this organ reduces, in both it’s size and function.

The thymus is a center for balancing the immune system by making sure the body doesn’t turn on itself (as in autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Type 1 diabetes, MS and muscular dystrophy, etc). It produces two types of white blood cells (lymphocytes). One type is responsible for recognising foreign substances as well as the multiple ways in which the body attacks the substances. The other group of lymphocytes is responsible for producing antibodies. As time goes by, our personal library of antibody arsenal increases, and fewer ‘new, foreign’ things come along to stimulate our immune system. By and large, the thymus gradually becomes redundant.

So… what happens in autoimmune diseases? Interestingly, many result in an enlarging of the thymus. This was made very obvious to me during a recent BCST session with a middle aged Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) client. Apart from liver and spleen imbalances and a highly metallic feel to her blood, her thymus was large and somehow ‘out of sorts’. The thymus does temporarily enlarge with certain chemicals such as immunosuppressant drugs and chemotherapy. On talking about the metallic quality in her blood, the client noted she’d had her amalgam fillings replaced in two appointments (4 weeks and 2 days ago respectively). Her blood test 2 years prior, had found high mercury levels. That accounted for the highly metal sense in the blood (not an unusual sense in itself, but at this level, with its relationship to the liver and the spleen, it was telling me a different story). It may have also been causative agent in the thymus enlargement, but I strongly suspect the enlargement was more to do with her RA. Another interesting point was that she reported after her last session, she was beginning to put herself first, something she had not done much in her life.

On filing through a number of research papers, the correlation between thymus function and autoimmune diseases in adults is noticeable, but not with children diagnosed of conditions such as Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), which is an autoimmune disease. The children with JIA had normal thymus function and size. This suggests that there is something else happening in the adult which either predisposes the individual to autoimmune diseases which then affects the thymus function, or that impaired thymus function increases the individual’s susceptibility to autoimmune disease. This is an intriguing question from an aetiological view point. From a holistic approach, the interplay of the systems of the body are so entwined that what is needed is not so much, ‘what caused what’, but ‘how does one system inter-relate to another and how can balance be restored’. This is where CST can come into its own. Awareness of the autonomic tensions of the sympathetics to parasympathetics, the interplay of different organs and glands, life experience holdings within the body and the tone/emotional play within allows the system to shed light on whole body patterns so clarity comes out of the confusion.

Inspiring interview with the founder of Continuum.

here’s a wonderful series of slimemold videos. (thanks to tim).

http://youtu.be/9zAGp_7Xhss – waves
http://youtu.be/bkVhLJLG7ug – guy who’s researched for 70 yrs
http://youtu.be/OX5Yiz38fgY – crazy spirals in this one
http://youtu.be/eTWNF-Rc3kk – protoplasmic streaming

Steve and Ged talking away on fascia, is the body more than cells, the nature of the self, can we sense across a room and why is it hard to meditate on a plane? All essential questions.

Here’s a wonderful article on an exciting development in the role of glial cells and CSF in the brain.

Previously Unknown Cleaning System in Brain: Newer Imaging Technique Brings ‘Glymphatic System’ to Light

The highly organized system acts like a series of pipes that piggyback on the brain’s blood vessels, sort of a shadow plumbing system that seems to serve much the same function in the brain as the lymph system does in the rest of the body — to drain away waste products.
“ScienceDaily (Aug. 15, 2012) — A previously unrecognized system that drains waste from the brain at a rapid clip has been discovered by neuroscientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The findings were published online August 15 in Science Translational Medicine. Waste clearance is of central importance to every organ, and there have been long-standing questions about how the brain gets rid of its waste,” said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., senior author of the paper and co-director of the University’s Center for Translational Neuromedicine. “This work shows that the brain is cleansing itself in a more organized way and on a much larger scale than has been realized previously.”We’re hopeful that these findings have implications for many conditions that involve the brain, such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease,” she added.
Nedergaard’s team has dubbed the new system “the glymphatic system,” since it acts much like the lymphatic system but is managed by brain cells known as glial cells. The team made the findings in mice, whose brains are remarkably similar to the human brain.

read on

Really good interview with stephen porges………

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