Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Health Benefits Of Listening To Music

At some intuitive level we think most of us understand that listening to music can have a profound effect not just psychologically but also physically, nice to find some of rational behind it. Here is a great article by Dr. Mercola. Roaring Fork Wellness
 By Dr Mercola

If you’re a music lover, you already know that turning on the tunes can help calm your nerves, make stress disappear, pump up your energy level during a workout, bring back old memories, as well as prompt countless other emotions too varied to list.

Even if you’re not a music aficionado, per se, there are compelling reasons why you may want to become one, which were recently revealed by a series of new research.

Music Prompts Numerous Brain Changes Linked to Emotions and Abstract Decision Making

When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory processing. Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations.

At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated, according to new research published in the journal Science.

Based on the brain activity in certain regions, especially the nucleus accumbens, captured by an fMRI imager while participants listened to music, the researchers could predict how much money the listeners were willing to spend on previously unheard music. As you might suspect, songs that triggered activity in the emotional and intellectual areas of the brain demanded a higher price.

Interestingly, the study’s lead author noted that your brain learns how to predict how different pieces of music will unfold using pattern recognition and prediction, skills that may have been key to our evolutionary progress. Time reported:

“These predictions are culture-dependent and based on experience: someone raised on rock or Western classical music won’t be able to predict the course of an Indian raga, for example, and vice versa.

But if a piece develops in a way that’s both slightly novel and still in line with our brain’s prediction, we tend to like it a lot. And that, says [lead researcher] Salimpoor, ‘is because we’ve made a kind of intellectual conquest.’

Music may, in other words, tap into a brain mechanism that was key to our evolutionary progress. The ability to recognize patterns and generalize from experience, to predict what’s likely to happen in the future — in short, the ability to imagine — is something humans do far better than any other animals. It’s what allowed us (aided by the far less glamorous opposable thumb) to take over the world.”

Why Music Makes Us Feel United

So far we’ve covered that music is involved in both emotional and intellectual centers of your brain, but music also has an, almost uncanny, ability to connect us to one another.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Lift-Up Needs a Volunteer Lift Up

We need some new volunteers at our food pantries in Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Parachute, and at the thrift stores in Rifle and Parachute. If you have some time to spare, just a few hours per month would really help, and you'll enjoy it! Give us a call at 625-4496 and we'll find the right time and place for you. (Please pass this along to anyone you know that might also be interested.) Lift-Up

Wednesday, July 23, 2014



Walked out this morning
into a broad green garden
with the rising sun in my eyes
and the first hint of the day’s heat
touching my face,
feeling as broad as the garden
and young as the day
and soaking up the heat
in my black tee-shirt,
walked straight forward
out of the gate,
through the wood,
along the river,
toward the mountain
and thought of the future
I could make in the world
if I walked toward it
like this,
with my face toward the hills
and my eyes full of light
and the earth sure
and solid beneath me,
walking on
with a fierce anticipation,
and a faithful expectation,
with the sun and the rain
and the wind on my skin…

From RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems
© David Whyte and Many Rivers Press

Photo © David Whyte: July 2014
Sun Behind Sycamore Trees,
Littondale, Yorkshire.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


"Cucumbers are 95 percent water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. They have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don't forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance. Add to some water, along with lemons and sip throughout the day!" 
Thank You Food Matters

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Just Stunning

"A view of the complete Kalachakra Sand Mandala constructed for the 33rd Kalachakra Empowerment in Leh, Ladakh, J&K, India on July 8, 2014. (Photo by Manuel Bauer)" Thank You Dalai Lama

Monday, July 7, 2014

How Sitting Too Long Affects the Body

"This is why employee wellness programs are taking off the way they are. More and more research is coming back proving that things need to be done differently, whether it's moving more at work, or making sure that life outside of work can sustain a lack of movement at the desk." Thank You The Wellness Bridge

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Smart is the New Dumb

 We have been a fan of Exuberant Animal for a long time. Here is another fantastic article from Frank. Here he discusses something we think about rather frequently, that is, is technology causing us to lose the sensory of experience of being alive? Are we losing a sense of body, joy in moving, interaction with our natural enviornment? Are we becoming digitally numb? Read on.
Roaring Fork Wellness

"Smart is the New Dumb"

by Frank Forencich on March 29, 2014
Note: This essay was first published in Paleo Magazine

“Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.”
Pablo Picasso

“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people.”
Karl Marx

 This will come as a surprise to many of our so-called “digital natives,” but back in the Paleo, people actually experienced their bodies and the world directly, with no outside intervention. We used our nervous systems to feel our flesh, our habitat, our movements and each other. We used our inborn proprioceptors, interoceptors, chemoreceptors and other sensory organs to know our experience and our tribe.

And it worked.

For several million years in fact.

But today, we stand poised to throw it all away and replace our innate physical intelligence with artificial sensors, “wearable devices,” “heads up technologies,” “smart fabrics,” “FitBits,” “Body Media” and “personal informatics.” Apparently, the human nervous system–the most sophisticated system in the known universe–just isn’t good enough anymore.

The consequences of this mindless love affair with all things digital will be immense. The mammalian nervous system is without question the most sublime creation in the known universe; we are just beginning to scratch the surface of its structure, function and potential. New discoveries in neuroplasticity and epigenetics reveal the power of training and practice to shape our bodies and behavior; we know how learning and skill development work at the cellular level. We know that transformation comes with concentrated attention and high quality repetitions. But rather than building on these discoveries with actual experience, we are taking a wild leap over our native capability, diving head first into a synthetic, disembodied future.

To be sure, some of these “smart” devices will be put to good use, in clinical, therapeutic or scientific settings. But when they’re mass-marketed to the general public, these technologies will simply serve as prosthetic devices for people who don’t need prosthetic devices. As a consequence, the body’s innate intelligence will begin to atrophy.

This effect will be similar to what happens when we consume substances that are normally produced by the brain or body. That is, exogenous substances tend to displace their endogenous counterparts. If you’re taking large amounts of morphine, cocaine, marijuana or testosterone, the body will cut back on the production of its native analogues. Similarly, once we strap on external sensors, our native capacities for sensation will begin to fade away.

Our culture seems fundamentally incapable of learning from experience. From stone tools onward, every technological invention in human history has come with an upside and a downside. But today, we are infatuated with flashing lights and drunk on our own cleverness. Our new technology, so small and clean and perfect, appears to be neutral and nearly free. But the downside will be even more distance from our bodies, from the land and from our experience.

In particular, advocates of “smart” devices seem to be either ignorant or in denial of the social consequences of their inventions. The human body comes pre-wired with mirror neurons and a social resonance circuit that allows us to transmit and understand human emotion. We have an innate, physical capacity to feel what other people are feeling. This system allows us to synchronize and coordinate emotion and behavior, a crucial factor in both Paleo and modern settings.