Photo Source: Casper Tybjerg
Working Under The Bonnet:
Welcome to another issue of PTW magazine.
This period of the year has been quite busy for Project Third World under the bonnet. We have been working hard to develop and plan several exciting and engaging events for education and health around Melbourne. Please subscribe to the free emailing list at www.projectthirdworld.org to receive up-to-date event and activity messages. We have also been expanding our online presence to twitter for those who prefer short-sharp updates. To connect with us on twitter, please visit www.twitter.com/ProjectThrdWrld. For those who prefer Facebook, our facebook page is still the best way to interact online and see our photos, events and updates. For Facebook, please visit www.facebook.com/projectthirdworld. Our Kenya project has been developing great with our Eldoret Manager and Volunteer Purity Kinoti making significant contributions and progress in helping with the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education at the Rescue Centre. She has also been devoted to seeing the finish of Project Third Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Library and Learning Centre which will be revealed at the Cultural Night in November. On that note, our Cultural Night has been confirmed for Saturday 29th of November and will showcase the best of Brazilian, Indian, African and Australian culture. See our online mediums or poster on page 13 for more details. We thank Shabba from African Star Dance and Drumming, Angela Fayth from Samba Energia, Anjali Sengupta from the Aatma Dance Company, and Gumaroy Newman for volunteering to teach us about these world cultures. We hope you can support these volunteers and learn a bit about the cultures of the world and the people we are helping.
Project Third World strives to constantly keep developing, keep growing and keep improving on everything we do. Whilst we have a very committed volunteer team, we always use the feedback and views of our supporters to help us reach greater and more positive heights. We hope that you as a supporter feel part of the Project Third World community through your enthusiasm and belief in what we set out to do. If you have any issues, queries or suggestions, never hesitate to email or contact us. On that final note, whilst we have official volunteers who orchestrate our events and activities, we consider all of our active and passionate supporters our unofficial volunteers. We hope you can continue to spread the word and bring people into the Project Third World community and help us to help the world progress in a positive and better direction.
Project Third World Trivia Night 2014 Winners Oct 2014
-Project Third World
VOL. 2, NO. 2 |2014 4| Cover Story: Stig Severinsen is a multiworld-record holder, free-diver and world renown educator on the art of breathing. Stig gave PTW a look into his life achievements and why he has focused his life’s work on how to breathe.
13| Drug Addiction is a serious issue across the globe that affects the lives of many. We take a look into the science behind drug addiction and positive programs addressing the situation.
8| Swimming is a timeless activity that can accommodate for many health issues. Find out why it might be worth jumping in the deep end.
16| Love is one of the most enjoyed topics-ofdiscussion throughout human history. We take a look into that history and try to explain some of the hardest questions including ‘what is love’?
10| Medicine Or Poison? Pharmaceutics and drugs have been the mainstream form of treatment in the health industry. Find out the reality of what those small tablets might do to you.
22| Massage Therapy is one of the most common complementary therapies out there. It is an industry that is growing through western society whilst being as old as ancient India and ancient China. We take a look into massage therapy and see what effects it actually produces.
Photo Source: Per Hallum Sorensen
Stig Severinsen has reached incredible heights of human ability by going down to incredible depths, temperatures and states-ofbeing. Stig took the time to write to PTW magazine and share his journey of breaking several world records, putting his body to some of the most extreme tests and teaching others the overlooked importance of breathing for health
Has swimming and diving always been part of your life growing up or did you have other sports and activities interests? Water has always been the main influence on my life. My mom put me in baby swimming and soon after I was splashing around in our own pool in our backyard. This is where I learnt to dive and hold my breath when we did a game consisting of collecting as many small rubber animals as possible from the bottom of the pool as possible on a single breath of air. We also have a nice boat so I did a lot of swimming and diving in the sea. All my childhood and young teenage years I was a competitive swimmer. Later I did horseback riding and judo. In my early twenties I played under water rugby on the Danish National Team and later under water hockey on a
more into breath-holding and the physiology behind it. When I travelled around the world in 1996 and 1997, I did more and more free-diving because it was cheap, free and fun. People told me I was quite good at it as I could hold my breath over 5 minutes at that time with no particular training and I could dive to over 100 feet first time I tried in Fiji, with a rope tied to my leg for safety! To me, free-diving in the ultimate sport in the sense that it becomes your lifestyle and trains body, mind and spirit. You challenge yourself when you don’t breathe and become very healthy and strong. You place a large emphasis on breathing and breathing technique. What is it about having the right breathing technique that is so important for
Photo Source: Morten Bjorn Larsen
Spanish team. Sport is some much fun and builds a strong foundation for you later in life. You learn how to become persistent, overcome pain and challenges and train to reach your dreams. What lead you to becoming a professional freediver? What was it about the sport that appealed to you the most? Since I always loved swimming and especially diving under water, free-diving has always been very natural for me. I like to challenge my body and mind and have quite a good ability to relax and focus under pressure. These abilities are very helpful in many other situations in life. During my year of studying biology in Barcelona, Spain, I really got
health and fitness? Would the average person have good breathing technique naturally? What is bad breathing technique and what are the possible limitations or health issues that arise from it? Breathing is the key to life; everyone knows this but only few people actually train their breathing. I believe most people breathe at around 65-70% of their capacity so they are wasting a lot of energy and “life” with every breath. This is a great shame and this is why my life’s mission has become to spread my philosophy of Breatheology to the entire world. When people use shallow, constricted or stressed breathing it has all sorts of negative consequences on health and performance because how we breathe is how we live – simple as that! For the last few years I have
er similar training methods, so there is a new awareness of the benefits of practicing these things. What are the lowest temperature waters that you dive into and how do you manage to endure the cold and maintain your body without hyperventilating or suffering hypothermia? I hold various Guinness World Records for longest swim under ice. My longest dive is 500 feet with a wet suit and monofin, and 250 feet wearing only a speedo. I Photo Source: Casper Tybjerg train in coldworked with the World Health Organization who (Viking style)water-swimming in Denmark invited me to share my knowledge on proper breath- during the winter and train ing and how these simple techniques can reduce my mind to accept the freezstress levels, hypertension and a burnt-out mind. cold temperatures. Now I have the privilege to work with some of the ing Sometimes I can swim in sub best athletes in the world, with CEO’s from multi -zero temperatures because -million dollar companies, with the military and of the high water salinity with people in rehabilitation. My book Breatheolo- this is great training. so gy – The Art Of Conscious Breathing, is now out in How do you prepare and 10 languages and helping thousands of people around the globe to better health and performance. I maintain your body on a daiam very happy that I can make a positive impact on ly and weekly basis to tackle these incredible feats? so many people’s lives and proud that my online platform breatheology.com and other social media When I train for a record I also platforms are reaching hundreds of thousands of my diet and spend a people to help them with different challenges in life. change lot of time to prepare menEven children could benefit greatly from all this tally for the pain. Usually I since I see many kids are becoming stressed and get- train 2-3 times week in ting all sorts of “stamps” from the doctors such as cold water and per also do a lot of ADHD and other concentration disorders where in- free-diving, breath-holding sane amounts of medicine are sadly prescribed with- and swim-training in the pool. out lifestyle considerations! Every morning I do my breathing and yoga routine to You hold world records in being able to hold your become strong and flexible. breath underwater the longest, as well as within Do you feel it is more mental freezing temperatures. What are the feelings and or physical training that althoughts that go through your head when you are lows you to achieve these in these conditions? feats, or does it require reachMy current Guinness World Record of longest ing the pinnacle of both? breath hold under water after pre-oxygenation is Cold-water-training is mostly a mental game. You 22 minutes. Obviously you need to know how to need to be able to relax and stay calm under very control your mind for that long period of time. I use high-pressure situations like free-diving in freezing various imagery techniques: activating different waters in a speedo under thick ice, so I use my mind senses and getting my mind into a state of flow. lot to get ready and integrate the dive as a natural Sometimes I leave my body, sometimes I travel back apart of who I am and what I can accomplish. Physioin time and sometimes to the future. You need to logically I prepare my body step-by-step to be able train mind-control and relaxation. The more you to function in very cold conditions. For many years I train this the better you become. Most people can have done this always find new ways to train. easily stress and “practice” this stress everyday so People should and absolutely not just try to dive unmuch that is becomes a ‘bad habit’. Very few peo- der ice if they have done it before. It could ple train in relaxation, but I see more and more kill you very quicklynever from stroke, hypothermia, yoga, breathing techniques, mindfulness and oth- panic, drowning etc. Oct 2014
You founded Breatheology. What is it and why did you start the organization? Breatheology is a concept that integrates the best parts from Ancient timeless wisdom, peakperformance in sports and modern-medicine. The unique thing about Breatheology is that it truly works 360 degrees around the entire breathing system. Since I am a biologist and also hold a PhD in Medicine, I have implemented a lot of basic knowledge on how the body and mind interacts and use the breathing process to optimize health and performance. Since my book Breatheology was published in 2009 I have spent most of my time traveling the world teaching proper breathing techniques to different people and also talk a lot about all the health benefits from holding your breath. Modern Medicine has much to learn from this field which includes prevention, cure and rehabilitation; so I work on several different projects to enhance this process. My online platform breatheology.com, is having thousands of visitors every month and offers free articles, free video training as well as online membership training programs. I have spent a lot of time, money and energy in creating what I believe is one of the best online platforms in the world regarding breathing and breath-holding and have very skilled and passionate people helping me. Since more and more people worldwide have access to the internet, I focus most of my work on a strong online platform so people can Photo Source: Casper Tybjerg learn and train when it suits them. For those who don't have the aspiration of being a free-diver or don't want to break world records for holding their breath, why is it still important to master the breathing technique for everyday life? Breathing is life and those who become more conscious on how they breathe also become more conscious on how they live. Every single person will breathe about 20,000–
30,000 times per day and every single breathe is a small part of a life. Breathing is the music of the soul and everything around us will affect how we breathe. Once we understand that we can train and affect our breathing we also understand how to change our mind and body and make the most of life. As a small example you can try to breathe out very slowly now. Inhale with your nose – then slowly exhale through your nose. Also make a small natural pause between inhale and exhale – and exhale and inhale. If you breathe in this way it only takes a few seconds to calm your mind. At the same time your heart rate, stress level and blood pressure will decrease so it is very healthy and a great way to become focused and relaxed in your mind. This is very easy and safe. And safety is very important to me. This is also why I always tell people NEVER to dive alone. Recently I have even created a new online training program for people who want to learn how to hold their breath longer and safer – it is called Ultimate Surf Survival and will help anybody to learn about rescue, safety issues, first aid, breath hold training programs etc. So it is actually aimed for anybody near water who wants to become safer, stronger and a better friend who can help and act if ever needed. I believe all parents should actually take this course in order to be able to save their kids if there should ever be involved in a water accident. You already have a very extensive portfolio of world records and achievements; what is the next step for you? My next step is what I am already doing – helping as many people as possible by becoming the world’s leading breathing expert. I also continue to work on various TV projects – just like I have done the last few years with Discovery Channel, History Channel, 60 Minutes etc. I lecture on the benefits of proper breathing all around the world and hold a few workshops. Plus my team and I continue to build and expand the online Breatheology platform and the Breatheology Academy so that anybody interested in better health and performance has a professional place to start with free advice and training.
Photo Source: Ben Bhatia
Swimming: For Those Who Do Not Want To Water-Down The Resistance ~Jay Himat I dive into the water and my stomach hits first. No surprises there. I’m kicking faster than I ever have with my arms moving similar to a portable fan. My breath is fading and I occasionally hear the cheering from the crowd. Bang! The cheering I had just heard is gone. It’s quiet. I’m still kicking my legs and moving my arms. Fifteen seconds or-so pass before I look up; everybody has finished. Some students are getting out of the pool whilst the school is laughing at me. I’ve finished last by over 20 seconds. Oh boy, this is embarrassing. The only way which seems fit to avoid the embarrassment is to hobble out of the pool as though I’ve sprained my ankle. You may ask “how do you sprain your ankle swimming?” “Don’t look up, don’t look up” I tell myself.
Burning calories is also through the amount of energy needed while swimming, as well as muscle development.
Sure, swimming is still a great exercise to add if you are also trying to get that toned, fitness model body, but it’s the benefits on organs such as our lungs that are crucial for keeping us healthy. With good technique, swimming helps train the body to use oxygen more efficiently. Swimming will also effect heartrate, which is why it is important to exercise in a safe manner. If your heart-rate is too high, you will strain your heart. If your heart-rate is too low, you won’t get the most benefits. Dr Thomas Allison, Director of the Sports CardiIt’s over. I’m in the ology Clinic in Minnecubicle. I’ll sit there sota explains as a genuntil the next few races eral rule of thumb, inare done and hopefully crease in intensity will everybody will have generally correlate to forgotten about the kid an increase in heartwho took 2 minutes to rate. Getting the balswim a 25m sprint. ance of right intensity is crucial to get the right heart-rate, and get Looking back at my the health benefits. Furschool days brings quite a laugh. I mean, nobody thermore, blood-pressure medications can have an else got professionally coached in swimming, so why effect on heart-rate, and have an effect on the safe was I so bad? Sitting in cubicles after the swimming heart-rate range during exercise. The American races are something I won’t forget. Pretending to Heart Association has a general ‘Target Heart Rate’ sprain an ankle in a swim is something I definitely for various age groups, but as always, doctors and will not forget. I mean, I was the first man ever to do physiotherapists can give good advice on how to exthat! ercise safely. After a lot of thought I decided not to continue my somewhat-failed swimming career. However, I am here today to explain to you the benefits, none of which I have been game enough to achieve since those school days.
Finally, being buoyant in the water takes away the impact of the ground on your body. Professor of Kinesiology at the Indiana University believes that swimming is far less likely to cause injury when undertaken on a long-term daily basis compared to running or strength training. Swimming is much less stressful on joints compared to many other fitness Firstly, swimming is a compound exercise – mean- activities, which makes it great and safe for any age ing that whilst swimming, more than one muscle group, including the elderly. group is working. The muscles which work together will depend on the stroke of course, but generally most swimming strokes engage both arm, leg and So what are you waiting for? Get to your nearest core muscle groups. Swimming is a great workout pool or join the nearest club & jump in for a swim. because you need to move your whole body against Just be assured, you may not see me – I’m still the resistance of the water. Water is around 800 scarred. times denser than air. Each kick, push, and pull is basically a resistance workout for your entire body. Oct 2014
Chemistry has become a central component of the mainstream health-system. We decided to look at why responsible use of chemicals in therapy is important, the positives of chemistry in health, the potential dangers to health from using chemicals, a very famous chemistry within our bodies, and also the social aspects of chemistry with health
Editorial: Medicine Or Poison?
It is interesting to think that the career title ‘medicine’ belongs to doctors and not pharmacists. The world of pharmacy has always sat in the shadows of medicine, and is perhaps partly why the field of pharmacy often goes unnoticed in the world of health, and is underutilized in many countries. When thinking about pharmacy, the first word that comes to mind is ‘drugs’. What if I told you that it would be equally valid to think of these ‘drugs’ or ‘medicines’ as poisons? I will take you on a journey through the fascinating history of drugs, poisons and pharmacy, to help you understand why medicines are also poisons, and why the industry of pharmacy has more to offer than just boxes full of pills. To understand this link of poisons and medicine, we can travel back to the Victorian era of British history and look at arsenic. Similar to today, money was a strong motivation for illmotives and greed. Life insurance was becoming a growing business at the time, and this lead to a sweep of financially-motivated murders; many of which were carried out through the use of poisons. One of the corner-stone cases involved a lady who was married four times. Three of her husbands, all heavily insured, died
mysteriously. The fourth husband who refused to take-out insurance, lived a full life. Ten of her children, who were all heavily insured, died of ‘gastric-related-illnesses’. These were just some of the sixteen deaths which the lady benefitted from financially. Soon after her step-son died, suspicion arose. After examining the body of the step-son, forensics found out that the boy, and most likely all these other deaths, had occurred through arsenic poisoning.
At the time, arsenic poisonings were extremely common. Arsenic was sold as a rat-poison and even children could walk down to the shops and purchase some. There was heavy pressure to control the wide-spread killings, and in 1851 the first Act of its kind was passed through British government known as the “1851 Arsenic Act” which restricted Arsenic sales and enforced a law that all arsenic sales required a record of the sale, Oct 2014
and the details of the person who was purchasing arsenic. The arsenic also had to be coloured, so that it was visibly detectable. Whilst it helped regulate sales, it had no restriction on who could sell arsenic and did not enforce any level of responsible sales or purchases. Many deaths later, Parliament introduced more restrictions on who could sell Arsenic. Slowly, the Arsenic Act was followed by several other Acts for various other poisons, and government felt that these had to be controlled under one banner, and lead to the “Poisons Act” of today, which entails the strict restriction of substances that can lead to illhealth, and even death. It might surprise you to know that all of the prescription medicines, along with some other nonprescription medicines that you can buy in a pharmacy fall under this “Poisons Act”. These restrictions on the holding, selling and purchasing of poisons gave rise to the legalities and responsibilities of the modern day pharmacist. In the Eighteenth Century, Poisons were mysterious, and no-one understood how they worked, or how they killed. The dichotomy of “poison-or-medicine?” is well articulated by the story of Atropine. Atropine can be found in the “belladonna” plant. The plant can
cause the pupil of the eye to dilate. This was once seen as a mark of beauty in Italy. The chemical Atropine was causing the dilation of the pupils as a cosmetic tool, but unknowingly, it was also responsible for many deaths, as Atropine is a very toxic poison. In 1864, a doctor in Prague had to treat four prisoners who had broken into a local dispensary and tried to drink what they thought was alcohol, but instead, was Atropine. The prisoners had clear signs of Atropine poisoning including violent vomiting, agonising pain, and had the signature pupil dilation of atropine. An ophthalmologist suggested something radical- poison the men with calabar beans. At the time, Calabar beans were a poison known to constrict the pupils. The rationale was to poison the prisoners with a poison that had the opposite effects of atropine, hoping to have calabar -bean-effects cancel out the atropine-effects. The rationale of the ophthalmologist proved right, and the prisoners made timely recoveries. It was soon understood that a poison could be the antidote to another poison. This rationale gave rise to the concept that poisons, when applied correctly, could be used for treatment, and not just death. Legislation reforms in Britain gave rise to the profession of pharmacy, and the rationale brought about by cases like the atropine-poisonings gave rise to the notion of using poisons for medicine. There is still however, a third story to bring the
basic understandings of pharmacy together: the story of morphine discovery. About two-hundred years ago, a German pharmacist along with two assistance created crystals which were diluted in alcohol and water. The pharmacist wanted to see what effects the substance would have on the body. They had very little understanding of what would happen, so they experimented on themselves and took the dilution in ‘shot-size’ doses. They recorded no effects from the first ‘shot’ they took. After a second dose, they recorded pounding headache, nausea and extreme flushing. They went even more extreme and placed the crystals directly onto their tongue without dilution, and swallowed it down with some alcohol. The pharmacist’s assistants fell violently sick and unconscious, whilst the pharmacist fell semi-unconscious in terrible pain. He managed to grab a bottle of vinegar and poured it into his mouth, and his assistants’; forcing them all to vomit. Over the next few days, they recorded how they felt terribly unwell and seriously constipated. What these men had experienced, was opium overdose. This pharmacist, Friedrich Serturner, was the first man to extract a particular compound from opium, which he called morphium. The crystals he had originally created were morphium. In small quantities morphium was found to relieve pain, but in large quantities, it was a poison to the
body. Apart from harnessing the greatest pain-relief medication in human history, he also demonstrated how quantity is an important factor in whether a chemical will do nothing, be a medicine, or be a poison. If we are to bring these three basic, yet fundamental understandings of pharmaceutical-science together, it suggest that every poison should be considered as a source of potential medicine when given in the right amount and in the right circumstances; and that every medicine should be considered as a source of potential poison when given in the wrong amount and in the wrong circumstances. Furthermore, the reason why pharmacists are now the primary profession managing chemical-use for health, is because it requires an unbelievable amount of knowledge, understanding and responsibility; an amount of knowledge and responsibility that even the medical profession does not cover to the extent required. In the responsible hands of pharmacists; who go through years of tailored study, research and schooling; these potential poisons are being utilized to help the health of billions around the world. The above factors along with many more are why certain medications must be taken in a certain way to get the best therapy without “poisoning”. For anyone taking
medicine, it is important to make sure you know what the medication is, how you are supposed to take the medication, and ensure that you carry through with any requirements regarding the use of that medication. If you are ever uncertain, it is important to return to the pharmacy, or contact the pharmacy before starting the medication. For those taking medication, it is also important to inform the doctor and pharmacist of any â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;sideeffectsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; you may experience when taking a medication. Side-effects are undesirable effects that a drug might give you. It is also important to ask the doctor or pharmacist before starting, stopping or changing your medication and the dosing. As you can see, changing the medication or changing the way you take a medication can be the difference between therapy and toxicity. Furthermore, the knowledge of pharmacists is as broad as it is deep. In order to understand the intricate relationship between chemical compounds, the human
body and health, pharmacists spend years of study and training to understand chemistry, the human body, and health as separate subjects, as well as integrating the three aspects. As such, pharmacists can provide great information about general health concerns or point you in the right direction if they are unsure. With the growing pressure on doctors, and growing lines in medical waiting-rooms, you might want to try visiting your local pharmacist first, as they might be able to save both time and money. It is ironic that the story of modern pharmacy, a profession that uses chemicals for improving health and saving lives, was essentially founded on poisons and deaths. In the space of approximately 200 years, the science of pharmacy has united chemistry, biology and mathematics to discover new and sophisticated ways to bring longer and better lives to the human species, and even other forms of life. In history, falling ill was often marked by death, but the science of pharmacy has lead us to often
take recovery from illness and disease for granted. Through the field of pharmacy, we have been able to find methods for saving lives against pneumonia, make diabetes a manageable condition, and has even played a key role in eradicating small-pox and hopefully soon, malaria. Perhaps the most significant and most overlooked impact of pharmaceutical-science has been the reality that many of us no longer need to live with pain. The depth and range of knowledge and research required to achieve all this is a testament to this central role in the conquest for better health today, and tomorrow. Thus, if you need advice on general health, medicine, vitamins, food, pain and more, that person at the back of the small corner-shop pharmacy might be able to help you more than you realise. All you have to do is walk in, and ask.
Drug Addiction is a problem around the world. Stereotypically, those addicted are viewed in a very demeaning manner and are sometimes made outcastes. We take a look at what causes addiction in our bodies and what positive programs are helping improve the situation ~Adam Livori
here that a ‘high’ can be created.
Recreational drug use dates back to wine use in ancient Egypt around 4000BC, and even marijuana use in ancient China as early as 2737BC. Throughout the ages, people have become better at extracting the active substances and hence creating stronger ‘highs’. But what is a high? Why do people seek them and why is it potentially dangerous to anyone who uses it? These are all questions non-drug abusers ask and are the focus of an addicted drug abuser’s entire life. In this review, the neurological basis for drug addiction will be explored and what forms addiction. Secondly, the efforts made to fight drug addiction will also be reviewed to give a better under-
Fig 2 is a nuclear medicine scan using a radioactive tracer that binds dopamine receptors. The abundance of receptors dictates the availability for dopamine to bind and therefore elicit a reward. It is clear that the abundance of receptors in cocaine abuser’s scan is less than the non-drug abuser. This is visual evidence of dependence and the increased use required by a drug abuser to obtain the same high. It is without doubt the drug addiction is to be considered a disease in order to combat it. In the disease of drug addiction, there have been a multitude of services created in order aid individuals in recovery, or at the very least re-
standing of what can be done and why it is important to do so. Drug addiction means something different to every person you ask, however, the science behind it is of one definition and comes down to one thing; dopamine. Whenever you take a bite of your favourite food, or kiss that person who have been crazy about for weeks, it all comes down to dopamine. Dopamine, a neurohormone is released as a reward and forms the feeling of pleasure. It has developed as a way to benefit survival by rewarding particular behaviours conducive to survival. However, many drugs also work on this system to cause, in some cases, a 10-fold release of dopamine, and it is Oct 2014
Fig 1 shows the difference in dopamine release when comparing food to cocaine. It can be seen that there is a much higher dopamine concentration released into the neural synapse, thus illustrating the difference in high between food and cocaine. The path dopamine takes in this neural pathway is from the ventro-tegmental area into the nucleus accumbens and frontal cortex. This process elicits not only a high, but creates a learned reward pathway that teaches the individual that this behaviour results in a pleasure. It is here that addiction begins, even with a single high. It is a gradual process, where the behaviour reinforces itself and thus the addiction becomes a greater focus for the individual’s daily life. However, the stores of dopamine are limited, and therefore the brain gets to a point where dopamine is craved, but not available. This process is commonly known as a ‘down’ or withdrawal, and can lead to range of symptoms such as chills, tremor and depression. Over time, the brain starts reduce the availability of dopamine, and in particular dopamine receptors, and therefore the individual needs a higher concentration of drug in the brain to achieve the same high.
Figure 1: Dopamine release and the brain duced risk in the drug users. One particular service in the needle and syringe program. Once drug users are requiring much higher doses to achieve a high, they result to injecting the drug intravenously. This presents huge health risks in communicable blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/ AIDS. The needle and syringe pro-
gram in Victoria, Australia seeks to address one aspect of drug abuse to reduce this disease burden. It is filled with controversy with those who do not understand drug addiction, and they may even see it as an enabling activity. Needle and syringe programs exist to supply a pack that includes the required materials to hygienically
inject drugs and dispose of used materials. Health workers in this field can include nurses, pharmacists and drug counsellors. This places a health professional in the pathway of obtaining and using drugs. An anecdote which really illustrates this is the case of Michael, a 15 year old heroin user. Although a different drug to co-
Figure 2: Dopamine concentration between a drug use and non-drug abuser Oct 2014
caine in its action, the addiction pathway is the same, and has a hold on his entire being. Michael grew up in a bad environment, is homeless, and has now turned to drugs. It goes without saying that every element of his life is compromised. He lives in a compromised environment, buying drugs from a compromised dealer, and is using dirty compromised syringes. In this case, the needle and syringe program is the only â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;goodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; thing that Michael has done in this case. It has been shown that needle and syringe programs provide a huge saving to overall government health costs. Between 1990 and 2000, $141 million dollars has saved 589,000 life years and $2.4 billion dollars in HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C treatment costs. So the question of whether the government should fund this program is obvious, needle and syringe programs place a health professional in the individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s path to using drugs. Therefore, providing a point of contact in both hygienic injecting a potential addiction intervention. In Melbourne, Australia there are a number of service centres that provide needle and syringe kits for free in a blame free, anonymous environment. These include fixed sites, community pharmacies and mobile services. If you want any further information about these services please access
and inform them about your situation. Healthcare workers should maintain your privacy and help you find options and safe measures for drug-related problems or any other healthrelated problems. If you know of anyone who might be addicted to drugs or if you know anyone using drugs or medications in a nonconventional manner, it is important to remain objective, not cast judgement, and offer help and support for the person and encourage them to see advice from a health professional. Drug addiction is a problem in many societies but with the right approach, right attitude and right understanding, it www.vicdrugsguide.org.au. Inter- can hopefully be minimised and nationally, the World Health Or- hopefully one day, become an isganization has general information sue of the past for people. that can be looked to for information and help. If you are a person using any form of medication or drug without guidance from a medical professional or healthcare worker, it is highly recommended that you approach a healthcare worker you feel you can trust
Love. Many people consider it chemistry. It is one of the most explored topics in art and society and is often seen as a source of wellbeing. Some consider it one of the most powerful forces that occurs within each and every one of us. We take a look at this concept known as love and also how it can affect our health.
~Chirag Lodhia & Regena Margaret Oct 2014
One of the most common topics used by artists is ‘Love’. It is often portrayed as an ‘addictive drug’, as something that ‘blinds’ and something filled with colour and life. Artists often refer to actions of love such as weddings, new-borns, friendships, families and relationships. They often sing and paint love as a feeling or an emotion. The sixties brought an ideology based on love and living a life purely based on love. More recently in society, objects and personal materials are now being connected to love. For some people, love is the major focus of life, and base their life and their future around this thing called love. For some, love is their drivingforce in life, whilst to others, it is an aspiration. Despite how much love seems to be in the air and despite how important this concept seems to be, artists and society have not been very clear on what love is. Love can very easily be approached philosophically and socially to help explain the general lack of understanding of the topic along with its ambiguity. The most common statement made about love is the description of people as being “in love”. Does this mean that people who are not “in love” are “out of love”, “around love”, “under love” or “over love”? If you can be “in love”, does that mean love is similar to a circle with a border around it? If that is the case, then can love be defined quantifiably and given a number value similar to ? When looking into discussions about love, one phrase that often appears is “true love”. Does this mean that there is “false love”? Does this also mean that love is an absolute value that either has a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ value. This would complement the equally common phrase “you just know when you’re in love”. Does this mean that what a person knows sometimes isn’t true if “false love” is to exist? Can it mean that people somehow trick themselves into love? Or are “true love” and “false love” not absolutes, but two extremes on a continuum spectrum? If that is the case, then is “false love” weaker love? Negative love? Or is it simply the absence of love? If that is the case, then does love have the properties of heat? If so, then how can a “true love” truly exist? What about another common thought that “we have no choice in who we love”? If this is the case, then does that mean that love is a predetermined state? If it is predetermined, then shouldn’t we be able to predict who we will love? This would certainly suggest that a computer database system makes the best predictor of who a person loves. Does that also mean that the common thought of “love at first sight” is actually “true love” given that we have no choice, and when we meet this “who”, we will automatically go “in” a love that will be a “true” value and is “absolute”? This would also suggest that love is based on the stimulus of initial image. Does this mean love is within image? In which case, for those who marry from love, would it be a greater love to marry a photo, hologram or video of that initial ‘first sight’ rather than the entire person? Does it also mean that once we are “in love”, we cannot exit this domain of love
as we have no choice? Or does love have walls like a semipermeable membrane that allows constant flow into and out-off the enclosed environment? Another interesting phrase often heard is how people “fall madly in love”. Is love a lower-level of state if we are to ‘fall’ into it? Is love like a sewer with people not watching where they are going and falling into the man-hole down to the sewer? Does love cause apparent ‘madness’ as the phrase suggests, which convinces someone that jumping into a sewage system is good idea? On that note, what is the difference in a person when they are “in love” compared to a person who may not be in the domain or who have “exited love”? Does that phrase also mean that love is confined to “who” and not “what”? People often say “I love Rome” or “I love my phone”. Can we extend the phrase to “we have no choice in ‘who’ or ‘what’ we love?” Does it also mean that love resides with or within infinite possible compositions of matter? Sometimes people say “I love him/her more than anything in the world”. Does this mean that love has magnitude and size? Does it also mean that people can be in multiple loves with different forms simultaneously; which would suggests that people can be in two places at once? People often say “I love eating”. When people love eating, are they “in love” through the action of eating? If the action of eating causes love, then does that mean eating grass will still be an action that manifests love? If not, then does that mean the food which is being eaten contains the love? Is the same person in love when they are looking and touching the food even though they are not eating the food? Is eating a requirement to unleash love contained within the food? If so, then is love something a person can go into, or is love something that goes into a person? If love has requirements, what are they? Are they the same for everybody? Is Love a noun, a verb or an adjective? So far, all that has been successfully revealed about love is that it is very difficult to define, understand or even explain. Perhaps philosophy, society and art are not the best place to start learning about “love”. How about science? Well, science still suggest that love is a theoretical concept and is multidimensional with many elucidations depending on the interpreter; but it does nevertheless give some simple concepts to help us understand the basics of love. The first question for science: where did love come from? Evolutionary biologists have certainly looked at traits of love throughout the animal kingdom, and have found several classes of vertebrates, mammals and birds to have characteristics of love, suggesting that natural selection formed love, and that love plays a key role in survival of the ‘fittest’ (Burunat, 2014). Romantic love also plays a key role in motivating our species to reproduce and ensure the existence of our species (Aron et al., 2005). The existence of our species almost depends on love- in particular, maternal love; without which,
mothers would not have the impulse to look after, carry or protect the survival of their children. Love also plays an integral role in the drive for reproduction (Rozzi & Bermúdez, 2004). This is why love is said to be a factor of the evolutionary success of the human species. Following this evolutionary theory of the origins of love, investigation can take place to find what love is. Whilst poetically, love is said to be in the heart, science has been showing how love is actually in the brain, and has even found ways of measuring love and gradients of love. Neuroscientists have been studying the subject of love and have defined love as an intense and complex feeling of deep affection and believe love is responsible for long-term coupling and close relationships (Cacioppo, 2013). Psychologists are currently seeing love as an evolutionary characteristic that developed in relation to the development of the human brain. Psychologists consider love to be an emotion or feeling associated with sexuality that impacts on other functions of mentality, health and even reasoning (Burunat, 2014). Love also has other attachments such as empathy and lust. These other attachments create various intensities, diversities and stages of love in the brain; all of which restrict our ability to compartmentalise love as an individual mental function (Burunat, 2014). As love cannot be categorised into a particular mental func-
tion, finding the precise location of love within the brain is unclear. Another question worth investigating is how the feelings and emotions of love are triggered; which brings in the common allusion to the ‘chemistry of love’. In our nervous-system, there are many chemicals that act as signalling molecules. These chemicals signal a variety of messages to and from our brain, including messages of movement, organ function and even emotions and feelings such as pain and love. Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, and serotonin are some of the signalling molecules which are present in our brain that are involved in the phenomenon of love; along with endorphin and endogenous morphinergic mechanisms which are coupled to nitric-oxide autoregulatory pathways (Boer et al., 2012). Simply put, there are many chemicals and mechanisms which trigger various types of sensations of ‘euphoria’ and feelings of pleasure. For instance, the hormones testosterone and oestrogen have been shown to drive our feelings of ‘lust’, which promotes individuals to ‘seek love partners’; the signalling molecule dopamine gives the euphoric and pleasurable feelings when released; adrenalin which has a variety of physiological effects when released, including an increase in heart rate; and serotonin which is known for its moodenhancing effects”-also considered a ‘pleasure molecule’ (Boer et al., 2012). These are just some of the molecules that make up the complex chemistry of love. Each chemical can cause a varying sensation, which is why love can feel very different in varying circumstances and situations. When the chemical composition of love in our brain is triggered, it causes an intense sensation and emotional state of pleasure; so it is no surprise that artists often use their art-forms as vehicles to channel these intense feelings. In fact, social-biologists believe that art, when associated to a Oct 2014
biological phenomenon like love, is part of a process of adaptation in our evolution that has contributed to survival (Esch, et. Al, 2005). As such, it can be seen as natural to express love poetically and artistically as the love and joy that is imbedded in the concept of love itself, might be behaviourally and biologically advantageous apart from being individually rewarding (Esch, et. Al, 2005). Whilst we have looked at love as a concept, it is important to consider the implications of love and the behavioural aspects that go with it. Our resident well-being editor will now give you an overview of how to use your understanding of love to improve your relationships. Spring is here, a glorious time when the flowers are blooming, the animals are playing and love is in the air! A few days ago whilst in the park I came across a lovely elderly couple holding hands on a bench, feeding birds and arguing gently about their grandchild’s soccer game. It filled my heart with bliss and I took a moment to reflect on my own relationship and then wished to one day be sitting at a park bench with my partner when we are in our golden years. When I returned home later that day I began thinking about love, not just as an emotion but as a concept. How can we keep love alive in a relationship? To understand the answer we first need to understand the question which means understanding what love is. What is love? Love, to me and for the purposes of this article means: keeping harmony between the chemical connection, common core ideals and values, pleasing physical aesthetics, two-way re-
spect and trust, the ability to ‘be yourself’ and feel accepted and supporting the other and feeling supported in return What does love mean to you? Perhaps you believe in common interests or family values? Maybe you think that behaviour is important and that your partner should make you want to be a better person; or, you feel like you could do anything while they are with you? Do you have similar patterns in relationships? If so, writing a list of common positive and negative attributes that continue to appear in your relationships can help you identify and eliminate toxic behaviours, and enhance and nurture the positive ones. In regards to life-partner relationships, marriage counsellor Gary Coleman has spent over thirty-five years learning about people’s behaviour in love and believes that each person has their own unique way of giving and receiving love which is made up of different components of what he calls “the five languages of love”. Gary Coleman’s five languages of love are: Words of Affirmation: Open, expressive and free communication, usually regarding appreciation, compliments and kindness Service: Going out of your way for the other, offering to do something to assist in some way or relieving partner of tasks Physical Affection: from holding hands to more intimate physical acts Quality Time: Being fully present in every moment spent with the partner and being actively engaged in any activities you perform together or for each other no matter how trivial
Gifts: Taking the time to think off and buy something meaningful to your partner, or offering your time to perform a task as a gift, or appreciating deeply when you receive a thoughtful gift Each of these languages is present within us even in minute amounts. You may primarily prefer quality time and words of affirmation from your partner, and have a secondary preference for physical affection, but you may still feel gleeful when receiving a present or receiving your partner’s offering to do the dishes. According to the author, finding out what behaviours you seek for feelings of love and what behaviours your partner seeks for feelings of love promotes “thorough analysis of your emotional communication preference” and allow you and a partner to understand each other’s affection for one another. Holding onto something so complicated can be tricky. Love has its ups and downs. It twists and turns, but I feel it is the most beautiful and overwhelming feeling a person can experience. Bruce Lipton, the author of “The Honeymoon Effect”, personally sees the feeling as “a state of bliss, passion, energy and health, resulting from a huge love” which creates a life so beautiful that you “can’t wait to get up to start a new day, and thank the universe you are alive”. That sounds pretty wonderful to me! Lipton explains in his writings that in a loving relationship it can help to: become con-
sciously aware of any interruption to the normal flow of a relationship understand that everything we do can be interpreted in different ways and that each individual in the relationship has a unique view uncover your unconscious behaviours and reviewing negative behaviours communicating openly with each other have patience and being able to continue having patience when the occasional negative behaviour occurrence arise Work on improving the relationship continuously Lipton believes “Human beings are not meant to live alone.” My personal plan to keep love alive in my relationship is to make a specific commitment within myself to do more things just to make my partner smile, to protect and prioritize, to continue to grow within myself and also within the relationship; to nurture not just myself and my partner but also the relationship itself. What will you do to keep love alive in your relationship? Love sounds great, and research can give us a general grasp of the topic, but why are the feelings of love important to our personal lives? Well, increasing re-
search suggests that the feelings and triggers of love actually have significant impacts on our health. It has been found that areas of the brain activated by some of the chemical molecules relating to love are limbic structures responsible for emotion, attention, motivation and memory, and might even have an effect on reducing stress (Esch et al, 2005). Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get too excited yet; as the saying goes, too much of anything is bad, and the
same might be the case for love. The biology of love and stress are connected, and may be a factor in why love is often stressful for individuals. It is considered that stress may be necessary to form very strong bonds of love; however, absence of socializing in such states of stress might make individuals more susceptible to illness as isolation in such circumstances can induce stress (Esch et al, 2005). As such, this stress that is induced can have negative health effects as well as negative social effects. Thus, balance is also important in social bonding and love. The subject of love is exceedingly complicated and has most certainly not been fully uncovered and addressed in this article. It is amazing to think that chemical compositions in the brain and primitive instincts going back to our most ancestral roots are governing some of our major and significant life choices. Throughout history, love has defined people, changed people, persuaded people, consumed people and controlled people. Love has been an incredible force of stimulation and motivation for humans, which
sometimes has led individuals to questionable choices too. For individuals, being able to understand, balance, and express their feelings for this provoking state-of-being may in fact be beneficial to their health, as well as relationships. It is also important to consider the vast array of colours which love can be painted with. Love takes many shapes and forms throughout life which were apparent even to the ancient Greeks. From lust and certain â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;passionsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, to the love within friendships and deep friendships, to affectionate and playful love, selfless love and love for all, self-love, mature and longstanding love, and also arguably one of the strongest and most important forms of love throughout human history- maternal love; it is clear that there is a vast array of relationships which any individual can explore to feel the feelings we call love. The story and research of love still has a long way to go before we can truly understand it; but even then, will we ever really be able to understand love fully? That question might be best answered on another day.
Pampering Or Panacea? An Insight Into Massage Therapy
Massage is most commonly defined as soft-tissue manipulation using hands or a mechanical device on any body part. It has a reputation as an indulgent alternative treatment and also an increasingly popular form of medical treatment and healing. Some of the scientific evidence supporting the benefits of massage via a number of different massage therapies is quite limited and somewhat biased. Strong anecdotal evidence and some evidence-based research suggests the benefits of massage include: Reduce or eliminating pain Improve joint mobility Improve circulation Improve immunity Stimulation of lymphatic system Improved rate of healing among soft tissue Improved skin tone Reduction of stress hormones Aromatherapy Aromatherapy massage uses essential oils extracted from herbs, flowers and fruits to naturally enhance the benefits of massage. The purpose of aromatherapy massage is not to deeply work on the mus-
cles, but to assist the body and mind to relax and reduce any stress. Although the evidence-base reporting physiological benefits is limited, the psychological benefits are well documented and acknowledged. Infant massage Infant massage is a type of complimentary treatment that uses massage therapy for infants. It has been practised globally and been increasingly used in Western countries. Some research suggests that infant massage promotes weight gain, alleviates sleeping problems and benefits of the mother-infant interaction. However, many students have been found to be biased and more research is required (Underdown, Barlow, Chung & StewartBrown, 2006) Reflexology Reflexology refers to the application of presOct 2014
sure to the feet and hands with specific thumb, finger and hands techniques. It is based on the principle that specific locations on the feet, hands and even ears have connections to the rest of the body, which is thought to stimulate the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural healing processes. Some studies report that reflexology can be used to treat headaches, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes and low-back pain. The most recent systematic review on the effectiveness of reflexology found that of the 23 trials where reflexology had been compared to no treatment, there was insufficient evidence supporting reflexology as an effective treatment. It is
important to note that conducting high quality trails where there is a low risk of bias is difficult, due to the challenges around the influences of many other factors (Ernst, Posadzki & Lee, 2011).
elite athletes suggests it has an important role to play in prevention, preparation, rehabilitation and recovery of athletes. However, similarly to the findings of other massage therapy studies, there is a lack of evidence and the consistency of reported benefits from sport mas-
that more tests be conducted. Massage is not without its critics and the lack of robust research on the benefits or otherwise leaves the discipline open to criticism. Research evidence is scarce and when it does exist produces equivocal
Therapeutic/remedial Therapeutic/remidial massage uses controlled pressure on deep muscles to stretch and lengthen connective tissues and muscles, promoting blood flow to and from the extremities (arms and legs). Therapeutic goals can vary considerably between massage therapists and clients. In some cases, therapeutic massage is recommended by health professionals as part of a larger treatment plan. Researching exploring the outcomes of massage for low-back pain identified that massage was more likely to work when combined with exercises (usually stretching) and education (Furlan, Imanmura, Dryden & Irvin, 2008). Another study reported that women who used massage before and during pregnancy felt less pain during labour when compared with women given usual care during first stage (Smith, Levett, Collins & Jones, 2012). Sports Sports massage is a blend of techniques that aim to enhance performance and assist the recovery of overworked muscles. The growing use of massage therapy used by
sage therapy is weak. Shiatsu Shiatsu massage is an oriental massage technique that aims to improve energy flow by working on certain parts of the body. Shiatsu practitioners believe in a type of vital energy called ‘qi’ or ‘chi’ that flows through the body, and that their manual manipulations can help unblock the energy to assist self-healing. A 2011 systematic review of shiatsu’s effectiveness found that only a few studies had been carried out. According to Cancer Research UK, there is no scientific evidence that shiatsu can cure or prevent any type of disease. This statement does not imply that shiatsu has no benefit on controlling symptoms; rather it suggests
findings. Although we should strive for evidence-based practice, the lack of sound evidence doesn’t mean a treatment doesn’t work in practice or shouldn’t be used. However, when sound evidence is lacking, treatment should be guided by experience and clinical reasoning.
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