Guide Stimulus Overload : Survival Manual

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Their movement is restricted by the experimental instructions, but not by any mechanical restraints. Food, drink, and toilet facilities are provided in the room and are at the discretion of the tester, who can communicate with the participants using an open intercom. In flotation REST, the room contains a tank or pool. The flotation medium consists of a skin-temperature solution of water and Epsom salts at a specific gravity that allows for the patient to float supine without worry of safety. In fact, to turn over while in the solution requires "major deliberate effort. For the first 40 minutes, it is reportedly possible to experience itching in various parts of the body a phenomenon also reported to be common during the early stages of meditation.

The last 20 minutes often end with a transition from beta or alpha brain waves to theta, which typically occur briefly before sleep and again at waking.

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In a float tank, the theta state can last for several minutes without the subject losing consciousness. Some use the extended theta state as a tool for enhanced creativity and problem solving. Spas sometimes provide commercial float tanks for use in relaxation. Flotation therapy has been academically studied in the US and in Sweden with published results showing reductions of both pain and stress. Apart from physiological effects, REST seems to have positive effects on well-being and performance. Several differences exist between flotation and chamber REST.

73: Dr. Judith Orloff- The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People

For example, with the presence of a medium in flotation REST, the subject has reduced tactile stimulation while experiencing weightlessness. The addition of Epsom salts to attain the desired specific gravity may have a therapeutic effect on hypertonic muscles. Since one of the main results of chamber REST is a state of relaxation, the effects of chamber REST on arousal are less clear-cut, which can be attributed to the nature of the solution.

Also, due to the inherent immobilization that is experienced in flotation REST by not being able to roll over , which can become uncomfortable after several hours, the subject is unable to experience the session durations of chamber REST. This may not allow the subject to experience the changes in attitudes and thinking that are associated with chamber REST.

Chamber REST questions stemmed from research that began in the s and explored a variety of questions about the need for stimulation, nature of arousal and its relationship with external stimulation. Practitioners in this area have explored its utility in the treatment of major psychiatric dysfunctions such as substance abuse.

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On the contrary, flotation REST was seen as more of a recreational tool as it was tested more for its use with stress-related disorders, pain reduction and insomnia. Numerous studies have debated which method is a more effective treatment process, however, only one has explored this statistically. Nineteen subjects, all of whom used chamber or flotation REST to induce relaxation or treat smoking , obesity , alcohol intake or chronic pain were analyzed. The statistic of interest, d, is a measure of the size of the treatment effect.

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The Empath's Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People by Judith Orloff

The use of REST has been explored in aiding in the cessation of smoking. Alcoholism has also been the target of research associated with REST. The reduction in consumption was maintained during follow-ups conducted three and six months after the first treatment. It is, however, possible that this is caused by the placebo effect. In addition, REST has been tested to determine its effect on users of other drugs.

Today we recognize addiction as a chronic disease that changes both brain structure and function. Just as cardiovascular disease damages the heart and diabetes impairs the pancreas, addiction hijacks the brain. This happens as the brain goes through a series of changes, beginning with recognition of pleasure and ending with a drive toward compulsive behavior.

The brain registers all pleasures in the same way, whether they originate with a psychoactive drug, a monetary reward, a sexual encounter, or a satisfying meal. In the brain, pleasure has a distinct signature: the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a cluster of nerve cells lying underneath the cerebral cortex see illustration.


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All drugs of abuse, from nicotine to heroin, cause a particularly powerful surge of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The likelihood that the use of a drug or participation in a rewarding activity will lead to addiction is directly linked to the speed with which it promotes dopamine release, the intensity of that release, and the reliability of that release.

Even taking the same drug through different methods of administration can influence how likely it is to lead to addiction. Smoking a drug or injecting it intravenously, as opposed to swallowing it as a pill, for example, generally produces a faster, stronger dopamine signal and is more likely to lead to drug misuse. The hippocampus lays down memories of this rapid sense of satisfaction, and the amygdala creates a conditioned response to certain stimuli.

Scientists once believed that the experience of pleasure alone was enough to prompt people to continue seeking an addictive substance or activity. But more recent research suggests that the situation is more complicated. Dopamine not only contributes to the experience of pleasure, but also plays a role in learning and memory—two key elements in the transition from liking something to becoming addicted to it.

This system has an important role in sustaining life because it links activities needed for human survival such as eating and sex with pleasure and reward. The reward circuit in the brain includes areas involved with motivation and memory as well as with pleasure. Addictive substances and behaviors stimulate the same circuit—and then overload it. Repeated exposure to an addictive substance or behavior causes nerve cells in the nucleus accumbens and the prefrontal cortex the area of the brain involved in planning and executing tasks to communicate in a way that couples liking something with wanting it, in turn driving us to go after it.

Home Circulation Research Vol. View PDF. Tools Add to favorites Download citations Track citations Permissions. Jump to. Kowal , Frank Rusnak , Robert A.

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Sikkink , Eric N. Olson , and Ronald G. Robert C. Kowal Robert C. Robert A. Sikkink Robert A. Eric N. Olson Eric N. Ronald G. Victor Ronald G. Download figure Download PowerPoint. Correspondence to Ronald G. Prognostic implications of echocardiographically determined left ventricular mass in the Framingham Heart Study. N Engl J Med.

Hypertensive cardiac hypertrophy: pathophysiologic and clinical characteristics.

Failure of Calcineurin Inhibitors to Prevent Pressure-Overload Left Ventricular Hypertrophy in Rats

Hypertension: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management. Google Scholar 3 Devereux RB. Left ventricular geometry, pathophysiology and prognosis. J Am Coll Cardiol. Cellular mechanisms of cardiac hypertrophy. J Mol Med. Signaling hypertrophy: how many switches, how many wires.

Transcription-modulating drugs: a new frontier in the treatment of essential hypertension.


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Cardiovasc Res. A calcineurin-dependent transcriptional pathway for cardiac hypertrophy. Prevention of cardiac hypertrophy in mice by calcineurin inhibition.

Ambulatory blood pressure and left ventricular mass in cyclosporin- and non-cyclosporin-treated renal transplant recipients. J Hypertens. Left ventricular mass increases during cardiac allograft vascular rejection. Cardiovascular adaptation to cyclosporine-induced hypertension. J Hum Hypertens. Assessment of early left ventricular remodeling in orthotopic heart transplant recipients with cine magnetic resonance imaging: potential mechanisms. J Heart Lung Transplant. Circadian rhythms of heart rate and blood pressure after heart transplantation.

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