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Ancient History

Fascinating Evidence Shows Why Water Fasting Could Be One Of The Healthiest Things You Can Do

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**Please be advised that you should properly research how to fast if it’s something you are considering. This is just a tidbit of information that’s out there.  If you have pre-existing health conditions, fasting may not be right for you. Make sure and do your research before embarking on something like this.

Fasting is the process  of abstaining from food (and drink in some cases) for extended periods of time. It’s a practice that dates back thousands of years, utilized by various cultures around the world throughout human history for multiple purposes. These reasons include both health and spiritual reasons, which will be touched upon later in this article.

“Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself.” – Rumi

Today, fasting is considered to be taking place if you don’t eat for a period of at least 8-12 hours. So technically, most of us are participating in a period of fasting every night when we sleep. In the morning, we break our fast, this is where the term breakfast comes from. Animals are constantly fasting, especially when they are sick. In fact, humans are the only animals who eat when they are sick despite their body telling them not to do so.

“Everyone has a doctor in him; we just have to help him in his work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. …to eat when you are sick, is to feed your sickness.” – Hippocrates

Contrary to popular belief, fasting isn’t dangerous or unhealthy if it’s done properly, it’s actually healthy and beneficial.

A Brief Summary Of What Happens To Your Body When You Fast

When you fast, the body is deprived of its normal source of energy, food, by turning it into glucose. The liver stores lots of sugar, in a form called glycogen, which is used for energy when the body isn’t taking in any of the food. Most of this energy source is depleted within the first 24 hours of fasting.

After this, the body switches into a state known as ketosis, which uses the body’s fatty acids as fuel in replacement of the depleted glucose levels. This change usually begins on the second day, most likely ending on the third. What happens here is that the body converts glycerol, which is available in the body’s fat stores, into glucose for energy -but it’s still not enough. The body gets the rest of its energy from breaking down the amino acids in muscle tissue, which are used by the liver to make more glucose for energy.

After this process, ketone production is sufficient enough to provide almost all of the energy the body needs, and the body begins to conserve large amounts of protein. The body is capable of preserving this protein to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during long periods of food deprivation. After prolonged fasts of more than a week, the body starts seeking out non-body protein sources of fuel, which include nonessential cellular masses like degenerative tissues, bacteria, viruses or anything else in the body that can be used for fuel.

The conservation of the body’s protein is believed by many to be an evolutionary development that exists to protect muscle tissue and vital organs from damage during periods of insufficient food availability.

When you fast, just like when you sleep, the body is focused on the removal of toxins and the regeneration of damaged tissue.

What Modern Day Science Tells Us About Fasting

The benefits of fasting have been outlined in numerous scientific studies.  Studies show that short term fasting can extend your life span, boost immunity and regenerate stem cells. The list goes on and on.

One of the most recent studies published on the subject was in June of this year, in the Journal Cell Stem Cell. It found that fasting 2-4 days at a time can actually cause a reduction in white blood cells. This means that fasting kills off old and damaged immune cells, and when the body rebounds it uses stem cells to create brand new, completely healthy cells. (1)

“Fasting is the greatest remedy, the physician within.”- Philippus Paracelsus, one of the three fathers of Western medicine

The study was actually conducted using human clinical trials on patients who were receiving chemotherapy, where fasting was effective in fighting cancer.

“During each cycle of fasting, this depletion of white blood cells induces changes that trigger stem cell-based regeneration of new immune system cells. Prolonged fasting also lowered levels of IGF-1, a growth-factor hormone that has been linked to aging, tumor progression and cancer risk.” (1)

“Chemotherapy causes significant collateral damage to the immune system. The results of this study suggest that fasting may mitigate some of the harmful effects of chemotherapy.”(1) – Co-Author Tanya Dorff

“We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the heatopoietic system. When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged.  What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back. ”(1) – Valter Longo, corresponding author

A scientific review of multiple scientific studies regarding fasting was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007. It examined a multitude of human and animal studies, and determined that fasting is an effective way to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It also showed significant potential in treating diabetes. (2)

The study concluded that fasting:

“May effectively modulate metabolic and functional risk factors, thereby preventing or delaying the future occurrence of common chronic diseases.” (2)

Scientists at the National Institute on Aging, led by Mark Mattson, a professor at the school of medicine has published several papers that discuss how fasting twice a week could significantly lower the the risk of developing both Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. (3)

He explains how fasting stimulates two messaging chemicals that operate at the cellular level and are key to the growth of brain cells in both animals and humans. The shock of fasting leads the brain to create new brain cells, neurons are forced to grow and the brain becomes more resistant to protein plaques that are seen in cases of Alzheimer’s, or the damage created by Parkinson’s.

“Dietary changes have long been known to have an effect on the brain. Children who suffer from epileptic seizures have fewer of them when placed on caloric restriction or fasts. It is believed that fasting helps kick-start protective measures that help counteract the overexcited signals that epileptic brains often exhibit. (Some children with epilepsy have also benefited from a specific high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet) Normal brains, when overfed, can experience another kind of uncontrolled excitation, impairing the brain’s function, Mattson and another researcher reported in January in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience.” (3)

Scientists are continuing to uncover evidence that short term fasting could achieve a number of health benefits. Despite this evidence, current medical opinion remains unchanged, because there are many human studies that indicate a diet of at least 2000 calories a day is the best option.

Fasting As A Spiritual Practice 

As mentioned earlier, fasting has been practiced for thousands of years by various cultures all over the world. Seen as not only beneficial to health, but beneficial to the soul, as it is often done to intensify our connection to source, God, the creator or whatever you want to call it.  This is why it’s described  in various religions, texts, ancient civilizations and native american traditions. I won’t go into detail here, as that is a completely separate topic. It’s not hard to find more information on it if you do some research yourself.

“Fasting will bring spiritual rebirth to those of you who cleanse and purify your bodies. The light of the world will illuminate within you when you fast and purify yourself. What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are for the inner.” – Mahatma Gandhi

My experience with fasting started approximately 10 years ago. I started practicing it to lose weight at first, more concerned with my appearance than anything else, it worked tremendously. But then something happened, it started to feel really good, I felt really light and more connected to my soul. I received bursts of energy quite often.

Eating was such a censorial experience, a censorial pleasure, a normal part of my human experience. Completely depriving myself of this pleasure allowed me to connect with myself on a spiritual level even more, and after I did the scientific research, I realized that it was quite normal to feel completely rejuvenated, energized and healthy.  The fact that it was an ancient spiritual practice drew me into it even more, given the fact that science (more so quantum physics) is now catching on to concepts that were already known thousands of years ago. I fast quite often, and it is really (for me) an invigorating process that assists me in maintaining a completely peaceful state, which I feel is my most natural state. For me, it just feels right and since I have been incorporating it into my life for 10 years now, my body is quite used to it.

Other Factors To Consider

***When you are coming out of a fast, it’s important to do your research on how to best break it. It’s not something you want to rush into, you don’t want to stuff yourself with food after. You want to ease your body back into the transition of consuming food with fruits and vegetables. 

If you are going to do a water fast, it’s best to make sure your water is completely purified.

Sources:

(1) https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/

(2) http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full

(3) http://hub.jhu.edu/magazine/2012/summer/dont-feed-your-head

Ancient History

59 ancient coffins, buried for 2,600 years, discovered in incredible archaeological find in Egypt

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(TMU) – 59 well-preserved and sealed wooden coffins were recently discovered by archeologists in Egypt, and it is possible that there could be even more waiting to be discovered.

Three weeks ago researchers first announced that they found 13 coffins, and then further searches in the area revealed that there were even more. Scientists estimate that the coffins were buried over 2,500 years ago, and some of the remains were wrapped in burial cloth that showed hieroglyphic inscriptions.

The discovery was made in the burial ground of Saqqara, which is located just south of Cairo, near the 4,700-year-old pyramid of Djoser.

“We are very happy about this discovery,” said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in the Egyptian government.

Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anani said that the coffins can be dated back to the Late Period of ancient Egypt, which is estimated to be from the sixth or seventh century BC.

“I have witnessed the opening of one of the coffins … the mummy seems as if it was mummified yesterday,” al-Anani said, according to Aljazeera.

Other artifacts have been discovered as well, including a bronze figurine depicting Nefertem, an ancient god of the lotus blossom, as well as mummified animals like snakes, birds, scarab beetles. Dozens of statues were also found in the same area that the coffins were discovered.

It is suspected that the coffins belonged to high ranking figures in ancient Egyptian society, likely from the 26th dynasty.

The coffins will be taken to the Grand Egyptian Museum on the Giza Plateau, which is currently being built. The museum is expected to open soon, but the opening has already been delayed several times. At this point, the most recent opening date for the museum is planned for 2021.

The museum will feature an entire hall dedicated to the sarcophagi that were found in the region, and this hall will reportedly hold the new discoveries.

Saqqara, where the discovery was made features numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser, which is sometimes called the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastaba tombs.

Saqqara and the surrounding areas of Abusir and Dahshur suffered damage by looters during the 2011 Egyptian protests. Storerooms were broken into, but the monuments were mostly unharmed. A series of discoveries have been made at the site in recent years. Some findings have been dated back to as far as 4,000 years ago.

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Ancient History

What Artists From Over 100 Years Ago Thought The Year 2000 Would Look Like

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(TMU) – Art from the past is fascinating, from the most basic rock art, to the most detailed and realistic, the bizarre, the fantastical, the surreal and the futuristic, art provides us with insight into cultures and history. Visual records of the lives, struggles, triumphs and beliefs during the evolution of human kind.

Throughout our evolution, there has always been forward thinkers, those who could envisage a very different future, such as Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), best known as an artist, he was also an architect, scientist and inventor with the vision and imagination to create, on paper, inventions such as the bicycle, the helicopter and an airplane.

Perhaps da Vinci innovative ideas inspired artists through the centuries that followed, such as those created by French Jean-Marc Cote and others in 1899, 1900, 1901 and 1910 who were asked to imagine what life would be like in the year 2020. The futuristic images they created were originally in the form of postcards or cards enclosed in cigarette boxes.

These pictures were created before the second industrial revolution and high tech machinery and flying machines. Life was much simpler, food was still grown organically and the world still had clean air, rivers and oceans. Many of the illustrations turned out to be quite accurate, such as machines for farming, robotic equipment, flying machines, underwater breathing apparatus, and sadly, weapons of war. The buildings, clothing and hairstyles seemed to remain in the previous century.

Over 100 years have passed and some of those artists may have lived to see some of their ideas become reality. Unfortunately the third revolution brought with it innovations that propelled the modern human into an easier, faster lifestyle for those who could afford it. Machines and appliances do the work, in the home and workplace. Motor cars, appliances, pre-packed food, fast food and waste, so much waste! With not a thought of the consequences. Our air and water polluted by chemicals, of rivers and oceans choked by our single use waste and not just our planet, but our health suffering under the strain.

How would we, and the artists of our world depict life on earth in 2099, 2100, 2101 and 2110?

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Ancient History

World’s largest mammoth graveyard found near Mexico City with over 200 skeletons from Ice Age

Elias Marat

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As construction workers race to complete building Mexico City’s new international airport, archaeologists have stumbled on the world’s largest graveyard of mammoths, with officials saying on Thursday that the number has risen to at least 200.

Experts believe that the site, which lies about 30 miles (50 km) north of the capital’s downtown at the Santa Lucía Air Force Base in the state of Mexico, is now the world’s largest concentration of skeletons belonging to the extinct Ice Age mammal – and a large number of them are still yet to be excavated.

The humongous creatures are believed to have died between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago, when the region was the site of a number of ancient lakes that both attracted and trapped the extinct relative of modern elephants.

Other Ice Age mammals have also been found at the nearly 200 excavation sites, including about 200 mammoths, 25 camels, and five horses, archaeologists with the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) say.

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Around 24,000 years ago, the geography of the region was a lush and vibrant place filled with sprawling grassland and lakes that attracted herds of mammoths.

“This place was like a paradise,” lead INAH archaeologist Ruben Manzanilla Lopez told Reuters, adding that the melting of the last glaciers happened at a time when ancient species of horses, camels, and buffalo thrived in the extremely muddy shorelines of the region.

“Then over many years the same story repeated itself: The animals ventured too far, got trapped and couldn’t get their legs out of the muck,” Manzanilla added.

Wild horses largely died out in North America at the end of the last ice age, and only returned during the Spanish invasion of the Americas, beginning with Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the West Indies in 1493 and continuing with the arrival of Hernan Cortes in Mexico in 1519.

A number of compelling finds are still being made at the site, including evidence that humans constructed tools from the bones of the massive creatures. The site lies roughly 12 miles from artificial pits or shallow mammoth traps dug by early inhabitants to trap and kill the creatures.

The flint arrows, spears, and rudimentary shallow water pits suggest that early humans may have also played a role in wiping out the lumbering beasts.

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“What caused these animals’ extinction, everywhere there is a debate, whether it was climate change or the presence of humans. I think in the end the decision will be that there was a synergy effect between climate change and human presence,” paleontologist Joaquin Arroyo Cabrales told Associated Press.

However, the pure volume of mammoth remains unearthed – comprised of extraordinarily well-preserved skeletons including their long and curling tusks – is what has come as a shock.

“We had the idea that we’d find mammoth remains, but not this many,” Manzanilla said.

The sheer glut of mammoth remains at the Santa Lucía site is such that INAH observers are now accompanying construction workers using bulldozers to make sure that work halts when bones are found.

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Manzanilla is confident that when the excavations are complete, the site will likely rank higher than similar sites in the United States and Siberia as the largest deposit of mammoth skeletons.

A museum-style mammoth exhibit is also being planned for the main terminal of the new commercial airport.

The Valley of Mexico was once a verdant and lush region rich in biodiversity that teemed with interconnected lakes and countless rivers. In 1325, the Aztecs or Tenochcas began building what would later become the major metropolis of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, on a rock in Lake Texcoco.

However, in the 1600s the Spanish colonizers began draining the lakes in a bid to rein in annual floods and accompanying disease resulting from the region’s torrential rain seasons.

In the 20th century, local authorities continued to pave over the 45 rivers that still cut through the growing city. The process of urbanization transformed Mexico City into a dry, dusty, and smoggy region teeming with busy roads and working-class neighborhoods.

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