Climate Change Impacting Children’s Health

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN CHILDREN FROM ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES TO PREMATURE BIRTH. HOW DOCTORS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE DRIVING A CALL TO ACTION. Reporter: AS WILDFIRES BURNED NEAR SAN FRANCISCO LAST SUMMER, PEDIATRICIAN LISA PATEL SAID SHE SAW FIRSTHAND HOW CLIMATE CHANGE CAN AFFECT HEALTH. LATE SEPTEMBER, I REMEMBER SHIFT AFTER SHIFT I HAD SEVERAL DELIVERIES I WOULD GO TO AND EACH SHIFT THAT MOMS ARE COMING IN AND LABOR A MONTH OR TWO MONTHS EARLY. PREVIOUS STUDIES SHOW AIR POLLUTION AND EXCESS HEAT CAN CAUSE PREMATURE LABOR. AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS CALLS CLIMATE CHANGE ONE OF THE TOP HEALTH THREATS TO CHILDREN. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON CHILDREN? EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE. THAT IS WHY ALL OF US ARE SO INVOLVED IN THIS. NOW WE UNDERSTAND THAT CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS EVERY PART OF OUR BODIES AND HEALTH. IT INCLUDES POLLUTION TRIGGERED ASTHMA, SEVERE ALLERGIES, AND HEAT ILLNESSES WITH RISING TEMPERATURES. TO PROTECT FAMILIES, U.S. PEDIATRICIANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE BANDING TOGETHER AND LOBBYING LAWMAKERS FOR CHANGE. CLIMATE CHANGE ADVOCATES WITH THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS ARE PUSHING FOR NEW LAWS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY.

PASSING CLIMATE RESOLUTIONS, AND EDUCATING OTHER PHYSICIANS. MONTANA PEDIATRICIAN LAURA BYRON FOUNDED THE PROGRAM. WHETHER IT IS DOING IT OUT OF YOUR HOME ARE USING YOUR ECONOMIC SECURITY SOMETIMES FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS LIVING.

As found on YouTube

Using Light (Sunlight, Blue Light & Red Light) to Optimize Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #68

– Welcome to the Huberman Lab Podcast, where we discuss science
and science-based tools for everyday life. [upbeat music] I'm Andrew Huberman, and I'm a professor of
neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine. Today, we are going to discuss light and the many powerful uses of
light to optimize our health. We're going to discuss the use of light for optimizing skin health,
appearance, and longevity, for wound healing, for
optimizing hormone balance, and for regulating sleep, alertness, mood, and even for offsetting dementia. One of the reasons why light
has such powerful effects on so many different
aspects of our biology is that it can be translated
into electrical signals in our brain and body, into hormone signals
in our brain and body, and indeed into what we call cascades of biological pathways, meaning light can
actually change the genes that the cells of your bodies express.

And that is true throughout the lifespan. Today, I will discuss the mechanisms by which all of that occurs. I promise to make it
clear for those of you that don't have a biology background. And if you do have a biology background, I'll try and provide sufficient depth so that it's still of interest to you. And I promise to give you tools, very specific protocols that are extracted from the peer-reviewed literature that will allow you to use
different so-called wave lengths, which most of us think of as colors, of light in order to modulate your health in the ways that are
most important to you.

For those of you that are thinking that the use of light to modulate health falls under the category of woo science, pseudoscience, or biohacking, well, nothing could be
further from the truth. In fact, in 1903, the Nobel
Prize was given to Niels Finsen, he was Icelandic, he lived in Denmark, for the use of phototherapy
for the treatment of lupus. So there's more than a hundred
years of quality science emphasizing the use of light, and as you'll soon see, the
use of particular wavelengths or colors of light in order
to modulate the activity of cells in the brain and body. So while it is the case that
many places and companies are selling therapies and products related to the use of flashing
lights and colored lights, promising specific
outcomes from everything from stem cell renewal to
improvement of brain function, and some of those don't
have any basis in science, there are photo therapies that
do have a strong foundation in quality science, and those are the
studies and the protocols that we are going to discuss today.

But I thought that people
might appreciate knowing that over a hundred years ago, people were thinking
about the use of light for the treatment of various diseases and for improving health. And indeed many of those
therapies are used today in high quality hospitals
and research institutions and, of course, clinics
and homes around the world. One of the more exciting
examples of phototherapy in the last few years is the beautiful work of Dr. Glen Jeffery at University College London. The Jeffery Lab is known
for doing pioneering and very rigorous research in the realm of visual neuroscience. And in the last decade or so, they turned their attention
to exploring the role of red light therapy for
offsetting age-related vision loss.

What they discovered is
that just brief exposures to red light early in the day can offset much of the vision loss that occurs in people 40 years or older. And what's remarkable about these studies is that the entire duration of the therapy is just one to three minutes, done just a few times per week. What's even more exciting is that they understand the mechanism by which this occurred. The cells in the back of the eye that convert light information
into electrical signals that the rest of the brain can understand and create visual images from, well, those cells are
extremely metabolically active. They need a lot of ATP or energy. And as we age, those cells get less efficient at creating that ATP and energy. Exposure to red light early in the day, and it does have to be early in the day, allowed those cells to
replenish the mechanisms by which they create ATP.

I'll talk about these experiments in more detail later in the episode and the protocols so that you
could apply those protocols should you choose. But I use this as an example
of our growing understanding of not just that phototherapies
work but how they work. And it is through the linking
of protocols and mechanism that we, meaning all of us, can start to apply phototherapies in a rational, safe, and powerful way. I'm pleased to announce that I'm hosting two live events this May. The first live event will be hosted in Seattle, Washington on May 17th. The second live event will be hosted in Portland, Oregon on May 18th. Both are part of a lecture series entitled The Brain Body Contract, during which I will discuss
science and science-based tools for mental health, physical
health, and performance. And I should point out that while some of the material I'll cover will overlap with information covered here on the Huberman Lab Podcast and on various social media posts, most of the information I will
cover is going to be distinct from information covered on
the podcast or elsewhere.

So once again, it's Seattle on May 17th, Portland on May 18th. You can access tickets by
going to hubermanlab.com/tour. And I hope to see you there. Before we begin, I'd like to emphasize that this podcast is separate from my teaching and
research roles at Stanford. It is, however, part
of my desire and effort to bring zero cost to consumer information about science and science-related tools to the general public. In keeping with that theme, I'd like to thank the
sponsors of today's podcast. Our first sponsor is Athletic
Greens, also called AG1. I started taking AG1 way back in 2012, so I'm delighted that they're
sponsoring the podcast. The reason I started taking AG1 and the reason I still take
AG1 once or twice a day is that it covers my foundational vitamin, mineral, and probiotic needs. It also has adaptogens
and things like zinc for immune system function, but the probiotics are one
of the key features in there. I've done several podcasts
on the gut microbiome, which are these trillions of microbiota that live in our digestive tract, and that are crucial
for our immune system, brain function, and so on.

One way to enhance our gut microbiome to ensure that it's healthy is to make sure that we
get the correct probiotics. And Athletic Greens has
the correct prebiotics and probiotics that ensure
a healthy gut microbiome. If you'd like to try Athletic Greens, you can go to athleticgreens.com/huberman to claim a special offer. They'll give you five free travel packs that make it very easy
to mix up Athletic Greens while you're on the road, so in the car and on the plane. I should mention the
Athletic Greens is delicious. I love the way it tastes. I mix mine with some water and a little bit of lemon or lime juice. This special offer is the
five free travel packs plus a year's supply of vitamin D3+K2. Vitamin D3 has been shown to be important for a tremendous number
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Many of us who get sunlight
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vitamin D3 also has K2, which is important for
cardiovascular function for calcium regulation. Again, go to athleticgreens.com/huberman to get the five free travel packs and the year's supply of vitamin D3+K2. Today's episode is also
brought to us by Thesis. Thesis makes custom nootropics. Nootropic is a smart drug. And personally, I'm not a big fan of the concept of a smart drug, at least not the way that most people talk about smart drugs or nootropics,
for the following reason. Being smart involves various things. There is creativity, there's focus, there's task switching, and so on.

And each one of those
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So by taking a quiz on their site, they will tailor the blend to
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four different formulas to try in your first month. And then based on the outcomes with those, they can update your formulations for you. That's takethesis.com/huberman and use the code Huberman at checkout to get 10% off your first box. Today's episode is also
brought to us by LMNT. LMNT is a properly
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Okay, let's talk about light. First, I want to talk
about the physics of light, and I promise to make that very clear, even if you don't have
a background in physics. And then I want to talk
about the biology of light, meaning how light is
converted into signals that your brain and body can use to impact things like
organ health or disease, or how it can use light in order to repair particular organs, like your skin, your eyes,
your brain, et cetera. The physics of light
can be made very simple by just illustrating a
few key bullet points. The first bullet point is that light is electromagnetic energy. If the word electromagnetic
feels daunting to you, well, then just discard that and just think of light as energy and think of energy as something that can impact other
things in its environment.

Now, the way to imagine light or to conceptualize light as energy is that all around you light is traveling in these little wavelengths. And the reason, for those
of you that are watching, I'm making a little
wavey motion with my hand is that's actually the way that light energy moves in little waves. Just like sound waves are coming at you and impinging on your ears, if you can hear me talking right now, that is happening, those are sound waves, meaning the movement of
air particles out there impacting your ear drum. Well, light energy is just little bits of electromagnetic energy
traveling through your environment all the time in these little waves and impinging on your brain
and body and eyes, et cetera.

And as I mentioned before, energy can change the way
that other things behave. It can cause reactions
in cells of your body. It can cause reactions in
fruit, for instance, right? You see a piece of
fruit and it's not ripe, but it gets a lot of
sunlight and it ripens. That's because the
electromagnetic energy of sunlight had an impact on that plant or that tree, or even on the fruit directly.

As a parallel example of energy and its ability to impact other things, we are all familiar with food and the fact that food has calories. Calorie is a measure of energy. It has everything to do with
how much heat is generated when you burn a particular
article of food, believe it or not. And it turns out that how hot
a given article of food burns gives you a sense of how much energy it can provide your body in terms of your body's ability
to store or use that energy. So again, think of light
as electromagnetic energy, but really put that word
energy into capital letters, embed that in your mind, going forward, and you'll understand most
of the first bullet point of what light is in terms
of the physics of light.

Now, the second thing that
you need to understand about the physics of light is that light has many
different wavelengths, and the simplest way to conceptualize this is to imagine that cover
of that Pink Floyd album, where there's a prism. You have a white beam of
light going into that prism. And then the prism
splits that beam of light into what looks like a rainbow. So you got your reds,
your orange, your greens, your blues, your purples, et cetera. Anytime we have light in our environment, that is so-called white light. It includes all those wavelengths, but sunlight and other forms of light also have other wavelengths
of light that we can't see. So when we think about the rainbow, that's just the visible spectrum of light. There are also wavelengths of light that are not visible to us, but that are visible
to some other animals, and that can still impact
your brain and body because there is still
energy at those wavelengths. I'll give a few examples of this. Humans are not a species that can see into the infrared realm of the spectrum.

A pit viper, meaning a snake
that has infrared sensors, however, can sense in the infrared. So if you were to walk through a jungle and there's a pit viper there, it sees you as a cloud of heat emission because your body is emitting
infrared energy all the time. You're casting off infrared energy. The snake can see it, you can't. If you were to put on a
particular set of goggles that were infrared goggles, well, then you would be able
to see the heat emissions of any organism, human or otherwise, that could emit infrared energy. Let's take the opposite
end of the spectrum. We are familiar with seeing things that are blue or green or very pale blue. But as we say below that, meaning even shorter
wavelength light is out there. Ultraviolet light is a really
good example of light energy that's coming from the sun
and is in our environment and is being reflected
off surfaces all the time. We don't see it. And yet, if it's very bright outside, that ultraviolet light can burn our skin.

As you'll learn in today's episode, ultraviolet light can
also positively impact us. In fact, I will describe a particular set of new results that show
that ultraviolet light viewed for just a few minutes each day, or landing on the skin for
just a few minutes each day, can actually offset a lot of pain. It actually has the ability
to reduce the amount of pain sensed by your body. And we now understand the
specific circuits in the brain and body that allow that to happen. I'll talk about that and the related protocols
a little bit later. So the important thing to understand about the physics of light is that there's energy at all
these different wavelengths. We only see some of those wavelengths, which basically is to
say that light impacts us at many different levels. And the so-called levels
that I'm referring to are the different wavelengths of light. And you're welcome to think of the different wavelengths
of light as different colors, but do understand that there
are truly colors of light that you and I can't see, and yet that have powerful
impact on your brain and body.

Now, the third bullet point to understand about the physics of light is that different wavelengths of light, because of the way that
their wave travels, can penetrate tissues to different depths. This is very, very important. Today, we're going to talk a
lot about red light therapies and near-infrared light therapies. Those are so called longer wavelengths. Longer wavelengths, just think of a bigger, longer wave, right? A bigger curve, as opposed
to short wavelength light, which is going to be shorter, right? A short wavelength
light would be something like blue or green light
or ultraviolet light. Blue, green, and ultraviolet light, because its shortwave length light, doesn't tend to penetrate
tissues very easily. It has to do with the way
that the physics of light interacts with the physical
properties of your skin and other tissues of your body.

But basically, if you
were to shine UV light onto your arm, for instance, it could impact the skin
on the surface of the arm, maybe some of the cells just
beneath the top layer of skin, but it wouldn't penetrate much deeper. Long wavelength light like red
light and near-infrared light has this amazing ability to
penetrate through tissues, including your skin. And so if we were to shine red light or near-infrared light onto your arm, it would pass through
that top layer of skin. It might impact it a little bit, but it could penetrate
deeper into your skin, not just to the skin layers, but maybe even down to the bone, maybe even down to the bone marrow. And for many people, this
will be hard to conceptualize.

You think, "Well, wait,
I've got the skin there. Doesn't the light just bounce off?" And the answer is no, because of the way that
long wavelength light interacts with the absorbance
properties of your skin. Absorbance properties are just the way that the skin takes light energy and converts it into a
different form of energy. And your skin is not able to
take long wavelength light, like red light and near-infrared
light, and absorb it. But the tissues deeper in your body can. So if you shine a red light
or near-infrared light onto the surface of your skin, you'll see a red glow there as a reflectance on the
surface of your skin. But a lot of the photon energy, the light energy in
those longer wavelengths is indeed passing through
those top layers of skin, into the deeper layers of skin, and can even make it into
the deep layers of your arm. And as we start to transition
from the physics of light to the biological impacts of light, just understanding that the
different wavelengths of light impact our tissues at different levels, literally at different depths, will help you better understand how light of different colors,
of different intensities and how long you are
exposed to those colors and intensities of light can
change the way that the cells and the organs of your body work.

And if it didn't sound weird enough that you can pass light
through particular tissues and have them land and be absorbed at tissues deeper in your body, well, it turns out that
different wavelengths of light are also best absorbed by
particular so-called organelles within your cells. What are organelles? Organelles are the different compartments and different functions
within a given cell. So for instance, your mitochondria, which are responsible for generating ATP and energy in your cells, those exist at a particular depth, at a particular location within a cell. They're not all at the cell surface. They sit somewhat deeper in the cell. The nucleus of your
individual cells contains DNA, and that sits at a
particular depth or location within your cell. Different wavelengths of light not only can penetrate
down into different tissues and into different cells of your body, but they can also penetrate and access particular organelles, meaning mitochondria or the nucleus or the different aspects of your cells that are responsible
for different functions. This is exquisitely important,
and it's exquisitely powerful because as you'll learn today, particular wavelengths
of light can be used to stimulate the function
of particular organelles within particular cells, within particular organs of your body.

I can think of no other
form of energy, not sound, not chemical energy, so not drugs, not food, not touch, no form of energy that can target the particular locations in our cells, in our organelles, in our organs and in our body, to the extent that light can. In other words, if you had to imagine a real world surgical tool by
which to modulate our biology, light would be the sharpest and the most precise of those tools. Now, let's talk about
how light is converted into biological signals. There's several ways in
which that is accomplished, but the fundamental thing to understand is this notion of
absorption of light energy. Certain pigments or colors in the thing that is
receiving the light energy, meaning the thing that
the light energy lands on, are going to absorb particular
wavelengths of light.

Now, I promise you that you
already intuitively know how this works. For instance, if you were to sit outside on a very bright sunny day, and you had a table in
front of you that was metal, you might find it hard to
look down at that metal table because it's reflecting a lot of light of particular wavelengths. If that table were pitch black, however, it wouldn't reflect quite as much, and you would be able to
comfortably look at at it. If that table were red, it
might be somewhere in between. If that table were green, it would be also somewhere in between, but let's say it were very light blue. Well, then it might reflect
almost as much as a table that were just metal or
a white table surface. So the absorbance properties
of a given surface will determine whether or not
light energy goes and stays at that location and has
an impact on that location or whether or not it bounces off. Every biological function of light has to do with the absorbance
or the reflectance of light or light passing through
that particular thing, meaning that particular cell
or compartment within a cell.

I'd like to make it clear how this works by using the three primary examples of how you take light in your environment and convert it into biological events. We have photoreceptors
in the back of our eyes. These photoreceptors
come in two major types, the so-called rods and the cones. The rods are very elongated,
they look like rods. And the cones look like little triangles. Rods and cones have
within them photopigment. They have dark stuff that's
stacked up in little layers. Rods absorb light of
essentially any wavelength. There's some variation to that, but let's just say rods don't care about the different colors of light. They will absorb light
energy, photon energy, if it's red, if it's green, if it's blue, if it's yellow, doesn't matter, as long as that light is bright enough.

And it turns out that rods
are very, very sensitive. They can detect very, very
small numbers of photons. And rods are essentially what you use to see in very low light conditions. We'll return more to vision later. The cones come in three major varieties. At least for most people
who aren't colorblind, you have so-called red cones,
green cones, and blue cones. But they're not really
red, green, and blue in the back of your eye.

They are cones that either absorb long wavelength light, red, that absorb medium
wavelength light, green, or short wavelength light, blue. The reason that they can absorb different wavelengths of light is they have different photopigments. So much as the example I gave before, where you have different tables outside in the sunny environment, and some are reflecting
light more than others, others are absorbing
light more than others, well, so too, the photoreceptors,
meaning the cones, are absorbing light of
different wavelengths to different extents. And in an absolutely incredible way, your brain is actually able
to take that information and create this perception
that we have of color. But that's another story altogether that we'll just touch on
a little bit more later, but that if you want to learn all about, you can go to our episode on vision. So that's photoreceptors
in the back of your eye, absorbing light of different
wavelengths, rods, and cones. The other place, of course, where light can impact our body is on our surface, on our skin.

And skin has pigment too. We call that pigment melanin. We have within our skin
multiple cell types, but in the top layer of skin,
which is called the epidermis, we have keratinocytes,
and we have melanocytes. And the melanocytes are the cells that create pigmentation of the skin. And of course there is wide
variation in the degree to which there is
pigmentation of the skin, which has to do with genetics, also has to do with where
you were born and raised, how much light exposure you
have throughout the year, right? So people toward the equator tend to have more melanocyte activity than people who are
located at the North Pole.

And of course, people live
at different locations throughout the Earth, regardless of their genetic background or where they were born. And so, as you all know,
with light exposure, those melanocytes will
turn on genetic programs and other biological programs that lead to enhanced
pigmentation of the skin, which we call tanning. The way they do that is by
absorbing UV light specifically. So with melanocytes, we have a very specific example of how a pigment absorbs
light of a particular length, in this case, ultraviolet
shortwave length light, which in turn creates a
set of biological signals within those cells that
in turn creates changes in our skin pigmentation. So we have photoreceptors,
we have melanocytes. And the third example I'd like to provide is that of every cell of your body. And what I mean by that is
that every cell of your body, meaning a cell that is
part of your bone tissue or your bone marrow or heart
tissue or liver or spleen, if light can access those cells, it will change the way
that those cells function for better or for worse.

For many organs within our body that reside deep to our skin, light never arrives at those cells. A really good example of this that we'll touch on later is the spleen. Unless you have massive
damage to your body surface, unless you literally
have a hole in your body, light will never land
directly on your spleen, but the spleen still
responds to light information through indirect pathways. And those indirect pathways arise through light arriving on the skin and light arriving on the eyes. So a key principle that I'm going to return
to again and again today is that the ways in which
light can impact the biology of your organelles, your cells, your organs, and the tissues,
and indeed your whole body, can either be direct, so for instance, light onto
your skin impacting skin or light onto your photoreceptors impacting the photoreceptors of your eye, or it can be indirect.

It can be light arriving
on your photoreceptors, the photoreceptors then
informing another cell type, which informs another cell type, which then relays a signal in kind of a bucket brigade manner off to the spleen and says to the spleen, "Hey, there's a lot of UV light out here. We're actually under stress. In fact, there's so much UV light that you need to activate
an immune program to protect the skin." And in response to that, the spleen can deploy certain
signals in certain cell types to go out and start repairing skin that's being damaged by UV light.

So we have direct signals
and we have indirect signals, but in every case, it starts with light of
particular wavelengths being absorbed by particular
pigments or properties of the surfaces that
those light waves land on. And as you recall from our discussion about the physics of light, remember, it's not just about light impinging on the surface of your body. Light can actually
penetrate deep to the skin and access at least certain
tissues and cells of your body. Even though you can't see
those wavelengths of light, they are getting into you all the time. So perhaps the best way
to wrap this discussion about the physics and the biology of light with a bit of a bow is to think about light as a transducer, meaning a communicator of what's going on in the environment around you and that some of those signals
are arriving at the surface and impacting the surface of your body.

But many of those signals
are being taken by cells at the surface of your body, meaning your melanocytes in your skin and the photoreceptors of your eyes, and then being passed off
as a set of instructions to the other organs and
tissues of your body. Light can impact our biology in very fast, moderately fast, and slow ways. But even the slow ways in which
light can impact our biology can be very powerful
and very long-lasting. Just as a quick example
of the rapid effects of light on our biology, if you were to go from a room
that is dimly lit or dark into a very brightly lit room, you would immediately feel very alert.

You might say, "No, that's the not true. Sometimes I wake up and it's
dark, and I kind of stumble out and it's lighter out in the next room. And it takes me a while to wake up." Ah, but if we were to move you from a room that was very dark to very bright, a signal conveyed from your eyes to an area of your brain stem
called the locus coeruleus would cause the release of adrenaline similar to the release of adrenaline if you were to be dropped
into very, very cold water all of a sudden. Just an immediate wake-up
signal to your brain and body. So that's an example of a rapid effect of light on your biology, not a very typical one, but nonetheless, one that has a hardwired
biological mechanism.

At the other end of the spectrum are what we call slow
integrating effects of light on our biology. So what I mean by that are
ways in which your body is taking information about
light in the environment, not in the sort of snapshot, acute sense, but averaging the amount of
light in your environment. And that average light information is changing the way
that your biology works. But even though this is a slow process, as I mentioned before,
it's a very powerful one. The primary example of this are so-called circannual rhythms. Circannual rhythms are
literally a calendar that exists within your
body that uses not numbers, but amounts of hormone that are released into your brain and body
each day and each night as a way of knowing where you are in the 365-day calendar year. Now that might seem kind of
crazy, but it's not crazy. The Earth travels around
the sun once every 365 days. And depending on where you are
on the Earth, where you live, you are going to get more or
less light each day on average, depending on the time of year.

So if you're in the Northern Hemisphere, in the winter months, days are
shorter, nights are longer. In the summer months, days are
longer, nights are shorter. And of course, things
change whether or not you're in the Northern Hemisphere
or the Southern Hemisphere, but nonetheless in short
days you have more darkness, that's obvious. And if you understand that
light arriving on the eyes is absorbed by a particular cell type called the intrinsically
photosensitive ganglion cell. It's just a name. You don't need to know
the name, but if you want, it's the so-called intrinsically photosensitive ganglion cell, also called the melanopsin cell because it contains an opsin, a photopigment that absorbs
shortwave length light that arrives through sunlight. Those cells communicate to
particular stations in the brain that in turn connect to
your so-called pineal gland, which is this little pea-sized gland in the middle of your brain that releases a hormone called melatonin.

And the only thing you
need to know is that light activates these particular cells, the intrinsically
photosensitive melanopsin cells, which in turn shuts down
the production of melatonin from the pineal gland. If you think about this
in terms of the travel of the Earth around the
sun across the year, what it means is that in short days, because there's very
little light on average landing on these cells, the duration of melatonin
release will be much longer because as I mentioned
before, light inhibits, it shuts down melatonin.

Whereas in the summer months,
much more light on average will land on your eyes, right? Because days are longer. Even if you're spending more time indoors, on average, you're going to get more light to activate these cells. And because light shuts
down melatonin production, what you'll find is that the
duration of melatonin release for the pineal is much shorter. So melatonin is a transducer. It's a communicator of
how much light on average is in your physical environment. What this means is for people living in
the Northern Hemisphere, you're getting more melatonin
release in the winter months than you are in the summer months.

So you have a calendar system
that is based in a hormone, and that hormone is using
light in order to determine where you are in that
journey around the sun. Now, this is beautiful. At least to me, it's beautiful because what it means is that
the environment around us is converted into a signal that changes the environment within us. That signal is melatonin, and melatonin is well known for its role in making us sleepy each night and allowing us to fall asleep. Many of you have probably heard before, I am not a big fan of
melatonin supplementation for a number of reasons,
but just as a quick aside, the levels of melatonin
that are in most supplements are far too high to really
be considered physiological. They are indeed super
physiological in most cases, and melatonin can have a
number of different effects, not just related to sleep, but that's supplemented melatonin. Here, I'm talking about
our natural production and release of melatonin according to where we are in
the 365-day calendar year. Endogenous melatonin,
meaning the melatonin that we make within our bodies naturally, not melatonin that's supplemented, has two general categories of effects.

The first set of effects are
so called regulatory effects and the others are protective effects. The regulatory effects are for instance, that melatonin can
positively impact bone mass. So melatonin can, for instance, turn on the production of osteoblasts, which are essentially stem
cells that make more bone for us that make our bones stronger and that can replace
damaged aspects of our bone. Melatonin is also involved in maturation of the gonads during puberty,
the ovaries and the testes. Although there, the effects of melatonin tend to be suppressive on maturation of the ovaries and testes, meaning high levels of melatonin tend to reduce testicle volume and reduce certain
functions within the testes, including sperm production
and testosterone production.

And within the ovaries,
melatonin can suppress the maturation of eggs, et cetera. Now, I don't want anyone to get scared if you've been taking melatonin. Most of the effects of melatonin on those functions are reversible, but I should point out
that one of the reasons why children don't go into
puberty until a particular age is that young children tend to have chronically
high endogenous melatonin. And that is healthy to
keep them out of puberty until it's the right time
for puberty to happen. So melatonin can increase bone mass, but reduces gonad mass, so to speak. It's going to have varying effects depending on the ratios and
levels of other hormones and other biological events in the body. But as you can see, melatonin has these powerful
regulatory on other tissues. I should also mention that
melatonin is a powerful modulator of placental development. So for anyone that's pregnant, if you're considering
melatonin supplementation, please, please, please
talk to your OB/GYN, talk to your other doctor as well. You want to be very, very cautious because of the powerful
effects that melatonin can have on the developing fetus and placenta.

For people that are not
pregnant, in fact, all people, melatonin has a powerful effect on the central nervous system as a whole. Your brain and spinal cord
are the major components of your central nervous system , and melatonin, because it's
associated with darkness, which is just another way of saying that light suppresses melatonin, melatonin is thereby
associated with the dark phase of each 24-hour cycle, it can have a number of different effects in terms of waking up or making
our body feel more sleepy.

And it does that by way of impacting cells within our nervous system, literally turning on certain brain areas, turning off other brain areas. And it does that through a whole cascade of biological mechanisms, a bit too detailed to get into today. So melatonin is regulating
how awake or asleep we are. It tends to make us more
asleep, incidentally. It's regulating our timing of puberty, and it's regulating how our gonads, the testes and ovaries, function, even in adulthood, to some extent. And it's regulating bone mass. As I mentioned before, melatonin also has protective effects.

It can activate our immune system. It is among the most potent antioxidants. So it is known to have
certain anti-cancer properties and things of that sort, which is not to say that you
simply want more melatonin. I think a lot of people get misled when they hear something like, melatonin has anti-cancer properties. That doesn't mean that cranking
up the levels of melatonin by supplementing it, or by
spending time in darkness and not getting any light, which would, of course, inhibit melatonin, is going to be beneficial
for combating cancer.

That's not the way it works. It is actually the rise
and fall of melatonin every 24-hour cycle and the changes in the duration
of that melatonin signal throughout the seasons that has these anti-cancer
and antioxidant effects. So when we think about
light impacting our biology, the reason I bring up melatonin as the primary example of that is A, because melatonin impacts
so many important functions within our brain and body, but also because hormones
in general, not always, but in general, are responsible for these slow modulatory
effects on our biology. And so I'm using this as an example of how light throughout the year is changing the way
that the different cells and tissues and organs
of your body are working, and that melatonin is the
transducer of that signal.

So at this point, we can say light powerfully
modulates melatonin, meaning it shuts down melatonin. Melatonin is both beneficial
for certain tissues and suppressive for other
tissues and functions. What should we do with this information? Well, it's very well established now that one of the best
things that we can all do is to get the proper amount
of sunlight each day. And by proper, I mean appropriate
for that time of year.

So in the summer months
where the days are longer and nights are shorter, we would all do well to get
more sunlight in our eyes. And again, it's going to be to our eyes because as you recall, the pineal sits deep in the brain, and light can't access
the pineal directly, at least not in humans. So in order to get light
information to the pineal and thereby get the
proper levels of melatonin according to the time of year, we should all try and get
outside as much as possible during the long days of summer and spring. And in the winter months, it makes sense to spend more time indoors. For those of you that suffer from seasonal effective disorder, which is a seasonal depression, or feel low during the
fall and winter months, there are ways to offset this. We did an entire episode on
mood and circadian rhythms where we described this. So it does make sense for some people to get more bright light in
their eyes early in the morning and throughout the day during
the winter months as well. But nonetheless, changes in melatonin, meaning changes in the duration of melatonin release across the
year are normal and healthy.

So provided that you're not
suffering from depression, it's going to be healthy to
somewhat modulate your amount of indoor and outdoor
time across the year. The other thing to understand is this very firmly established fact, which is light powerfully
inhibits melatonin. If you wake up in the middle of the night, and you go into the bathroom
and you flip on the lights, and those are very bright,
overhead, fluorescent lights, your melatonin levels, which would ordinarily be quite high in the middle of the night because you've been eyes
closed in the dark, presumably, will immediately plummet
to near zero or zero.

We would all do well
regardless of time of year to not destroy our melatonin
in the middle of the night in this way. So if you need to get up
in the middle of the night and use the restroom, which is a perfectly normal
behavior for many people, use the minimum amount of light required in order to safely move
through the environment that you need to move through. Melatonin needs to come
on early in the night. It actually starts rising in
the evening and towards sleep. But then as you close your
eyes and you go to sleep, melatonin levels are
going to continue to rise at least for several hours into the night. Again, if you get up in
the middle of the night, really try hard not to flip
on a lot of bright lights. If you do that every once in a while, it's not going to be a problem.

But if you're doing
that night after night, you are really disrupting
this fundamental signal that occurs every night, regardless of winter,
spring, summer, et cetera. And that is communicating information about where your brain and
body should be in time. And I know that's a little
bit of a tricky concept, but really our body is
not meant to function in the same way during the winter months, as the summer months. There are functions that
are specifically optimal for the shorter days of winter. And there are functions that
are specifically optimal for the longer or days of summer. So again, try to avoid bright
light exposure to your eyes in the middle of the night. And for those of you that
are doing shift work, what I can say is try and
avoid getting bright light in your eyes in the middle
of your sleep cycle. So even if you're sleeping
in the middle of the day, because you have to work at night, if you wake up during that about of sleep, really try hard to limit
the amount of light, which is going to be harder
for shift workers, right? Because there are generally
a lot more lights on and bright lights outside, so you would want to close the blinds and limit artificial light inside.

One way to bypass some
of the inhibitory effects of light on melatonin is to change your physical environment by, for instance, dimming the lights. That's one simple way, very low-cost way. In fact, you'll save money
by dimming the lights or turning them off. The other is if you
are going to use light, using long wavelength light,
because, as you recall, these intrinsically
photosensitive melanopsin cells within your retina that convey the signal about bright light in your environment to impact melatonin,
to shut down melatonin, respond to short wavelengths of light.

So red light is long wavelength light. You now understand that
from our discussion about the physics of light. And if you were to use
amber-colored light or red light and even better, dim
amber or dim red light in the middle of the night, well, then you would probably
not reduce melatonin at all unless those red lights and amber lights are very, very bright. Any light, provided it's bright enough, will shut down melatonin production.

One final point about melatonin, and this relates to melatonin
supplementation as well, is that now that you understand how potently melatonin can impact things like cardiovascular
function, immune function, anti-cancer properties, bone mass, gonad function, et cetera, you can understand why it would make sense to be cautious about
melatonin supplementation, because supplementation
tends to be pretty static. It's X number of milligrams per night, whereas normally endogenously
the amount of melatonin that you're releasing each night is changing according to time of year, or if you happen to live in an area where there isn't much change
in day length across the year, so for instance, if you
live near the equator, well, then your body is accustomed
to having regular amounts of melatonin each night.

When you start supplementing melatonin, you start changing the total
amount of melatonin, obviously, but you're also changing
the normal rhythms in how much melatonin is being released into your brain and body across the 365-day calendar year. So while I'm somebody who readily embraces
supplementation in various forms, for things like sleep
and focus, et cetera, when it comes to melatonin,
I'm extremely cautious. And I think it's also
one of the few examples where a hormone is available
without prescription, over the counter. You just go into a pharmacy
or drugstore or order online, this hormone, which is known to have all these powerful effects. So I get very, very concerned when I hear about people taking melatonin, especially at the levels that are present in most supplements. It's been recognized for a very long time, and in fact, there are now
data to support the fact that animals of all
kinds, including humans, will seek out mates and
engage in mating behavior more frequently during the
long days of spring and summer. That's right, in
seasonally-breeding animals, of course, this is the case, but in humans as well, there is more seeking out
of mates and mating behavior in longer day times of year.

Now, you could imagine
at least two mechanisms by which this occurs. The first mechanism we could
easily map to melatonin and the fact that melatonin is suppressive to various aspects of the
so-called gonadal axis, which is basically a fancy way of saying that melatonin inhibits
testosterone and estrogen output from the testes and from the ovaries. I just want to remind people
that both males and females make testosterone and estrogen, although in different ratios, typically, in males versus females, and that both testosterone and estrogen are critical for the desire to
mate and for mating behavior. There's a broad misconception
that testosterone is involved in mating behavior and estrogen's involved
in other behaviors, but having enough estrogen is critical for both males and females in order to maintain the desire to mate, and indeed the ability to mate.

I discuss this on the episode on optimizing testosterone and estrogen. So if you'd like more details on that, please see that episode of
the Huberman Lab Podcast. Okay, so if melatonin is suppressive to the so-called gonadal axis
and reduces overall levels of testosterone and estrogen
in males and females and a light inhibits melatonin, then when there's more light,
then there's less melatonin and more hormone output from the gonads. And indeed that's how the system works, but that's not the entire story. It turns out that there is a second so-called parallel pathway, meaning a different biological pathway that operates in parallel to the light suppression
of melatonin pathway that provides a basis for longer days, inspiring more desire to mate
and more mating behavior. So if we think of the first
pathway involving melatonin as sort of a break on these
reproductive hormones, the second mechanism is
more like an accelerator on those hormones.

And yet it still involve light. As I'm about to tell you,
in animals such as mice, but also in humans, exposure to light, in
particular UV blue light, so short wavelengths of light, can trigger increases in
testosterone and estrogen and the desire to mate. Now what's especially important
about this accelerator on the desire to mate and
mating behavior and hormones is that it is driven by exposure to light, but it is not the exposure
of light to the eyes. It turns out that it is
the exposure of your skin to particular wavelengths of light that is triggering
increases in the hormones, testosterone, and estrogen, leading to increased desire to mate.

As it turns out, your skin, which most of us just think of as a way to protect the organs of our body or something to hang
clothes on or ornaments on, if you're somebody who
has earrings and so forth, your skin is actually an endocrine organ, meaning it is a hormone-producing and hormone-influencing organ. I promise what I'm about to tell you next will forever change the way that you think about your skin and light
and the desire to mate, and indeed even mating behavior.

I think the results are best understood by simply going through the primary data, meaning the actual research on this topic. And to do so, I'm going
to review a recent paper that was published in
the Journal Cell Reports, Cell Press Journal, excellent journal. This is a paper that came out in 2021, entitled "Skin Exposure to UVB light induces a skin, brain, gonad
axis, and sexual behavior. And I want to emphasize
that this was a paper that focused on mice in order to address specific mechanisms, because in mice, you can so-called knock
out particular genes.

You can remove particular
genes to understand mechanism. You just can't do that in humans in any kind of controlled way, at least not at this point in time. And this study also explores humans and looked at human
subjects, both men and women. The basic finding of this study was that when mice or humans were exposed to UVB, meaning ultraviolet blue light,
so shortwave length light of the sort that comes
through in sunshine, but is also available through
various artificial sources.

If they received enough exposure of that light to their skin, there were increases in
testosterone that were observed within a very brief period of time, also increases in the hormone estrogen. And I should point out that
the proper ratios of estrogen and testosterone were maintained
in both males and females, at least as far as these data indicate, and mice tended to seek out
mating more and mate more. There were also increases
in gonadal weight, literally increases in testy
size and in ovarian size when mice were exposed to this UVB light past a certain threshold. Now, as I mentioned before, the
study also looked at humans. They did not look at
testy size or ovarian size in the human subjects. However, because they're humans, they did address the psychology
of these human beings and addressed whether or
not they had increases in, for instance, aggressiveness
or in passionate feelings and how their perception
of other people changed when they were getting a
lot of UVB light exposure to the skin. So before I get into some of
the more important details of the study and how it was done and how you can leverage this
information for yourself, if you desire, I just want to highlight some
of the basic findings overall.

UVB exposure increased these
so-called sex steroid levels in mice and humans. The sex steroid hormones,
when we say steroids, we don't mean anabolic
steroids taken exogenously. I think when people
hear the word steroids, they always think steroid
abuse or use, rather. Steroid hormones, such as
testosterone and estrogen, went up when mice or humans
had a lot of UVB exposure to their skin. Second of all, UVB light
exposure to the skin enhanced female attractiveness, so the perceived attractiveness
of females by males, and increased the receptiveness or the desire to mate in both sexes. UVB light exposure also
changed various aspects of female biology related to fertility, in particular follicle growth. Follicle and egg maturation are well-known indices of fertility, and of course, correlate
with the menstrual cycle in adult humans and is related overall to the propensity to become pregnant.

UVB light exposure enhanced
maturation of the follicle, which just meant that more
healthy eggs were being produced. These are impressive effects. First of all, they
looked at a large number of variables in the study. And the fact that they looked at mice and humans is terrific. I think that oftentimes we
find it hard to translate data from mice to humans. So the fact that they
looked at both in parallel is wonderful. In the mice and in the humans, they established a protocol that essentially involved
exposing the skin to UV light that was equivalent to
about 20 to 30 minutes of midday sun exposure. Now, of course, where
you live in the world will dictate whether
or not that midday sun is very, very bright and
intense or is less bright. Maybe there's cloud cover, et cetera.

But since I'm imagining that
most people are interested in the ways to increase testosterone and/or estrogen in humans and are not so much interested in increasing testosterone in mice, I'm going to just review what they did in the human population
or the human subjects. What they did is they had people, first of all, establish a baseline. And the way they established a baseline was a little bit unusual, but will make perfect sense to you. They had people wear long sleeves and essentially cover up and
avoid sunlight for a few days so they could measure
their baseline hormones in the absence of getting
a lot of UVB light exposure from the sun or from other sources. Now, of course, these people had access to artificial lights, but as I've pointed out
on this podcast before, it's pretty unusual that
you'll get enough UVB exposure from artificial lights throughout the day. And in the morning you
need a lot of UVB exposure, or we should be getting a lot
of UVB exposure to our eyes and to our face and to our
skin throughout the day, provided we're not getting sunburnt.

This is actually a healthy
thing for mood and for energy throughout the day. It's only at night,
basically between the hours of about 10:00 pm and 4:00 am, that even a tiny bit of UVB
exposure from artificial sources can mess us up in terms of our sleep and our energy levels, and so on. And that's because of
the potent effect of UVB on suppressing melatonin. So the point here is that
they establish a baseline whereby people were getting
some artificial light exposure throughout the day, but they weren't getting outside a lot. They weren't getting a lot of sunlight. And then they had people receive a dose of UVB light exposure that was about 20 to 30 minutes outdoors. They had people wear short
sleeves, no hat, no sunglasses. Some people wore sleeveless shirts. They encouraged people to wear shorts. So they were indeed wearing clothing. They were not naked. And they were wearing
clothing that was culturally and situationally appropriate, at least for the part of the world where this study was done.

And they had people do that
two or three times a week. So in terms of a protocol that you might export from this study, basically getting outside
for about 30 minutes, two or three times a week
in a minimum of clothing, and yet still wearing enough clothing that is culturally appropriate. They were outside, they
weren't sun bathing, flipping over on their back and front. They were just moving about doing things. They could read, they could talk, they could go about other activities, but they weren't wearing a broad brim hat or a hat of any kind, just getting a lot of sun
exposure to their skin. They did this for a total
of 10 to 12 UVB treatments. So this took several weeks, right? It took about a month,
if you think about it, two or three times per week for a total of 10 to 12 UVB treatments.

These treatments, of course,
are just being outside in the sun. And then they measured hormones, and they measured the psychology of these male and female adult subjects. Let's first look at the
psychological changes that these human subjects experienced after getting 10 to 12 of
these UVB light exposure outdoor and sunlight type treatments. They did this by collecting blood samples throughout the study, and they saw significant increases in the hormones, beta-estradiol, which is one of the
major forms of estrogen, progesterone, another
important steroid hormone, and testosterone in both men and women. Now, an important point is
that the testosterone increases were significantly higher in
men that happened to originate from countries that had low UV exposure compared to individuals from countries with high UV exposure. Now, this ought to make sense if we understand a little bit about how the skin functions
as an endocrine organ. Many of you have probably
heard of vitamin D3, which is a vitamin that we all make. Many people supplement it as well if they need additional vitamin D3. We all require sunlight in
order to allow vitamin D3 to be synthesized and perform
its roles in the body. And it turns out that
people who have darker skin actually need more vitamin D3
and/or more sunlight exposure in order to activate that D3 pathway, than do people with paler skin.

And this should make sense to all of you given what you now
understand about melanocytes, that cell type that we discussed earlier, because melanocytes have
pigment within them. And if you have darker skin, it means that you have more melanocytes or that you have melanocytes that are more efficient
at creating pigment. And as a consequence, the light that lands on your skin will be absorbed by those melanocytes, and less of it is able
to impact the D3 pathway. Whereas if you have pale skin, more of the light that lands on your skin can trigger the synthesis and assist the actions of vitamin D3. Similarly, in this study, they found that people who had paler skin and/or who originated from countries where they had less UVB light
exposure across the year had greater, meaning more
significant, increases in testosterone overall than did people who
already were getting a lot of UVB exposure. This led them to explore
so-called seasonal changes in testosterone that occurred normally in the absence of any
light exposure treatment.

So up until now, I've been
talking about the aspects of this study involving
people getting outside for about 20 to 30 minutes
per day in sunlight, in a minimum of clothing. There was an increase
in testosterone observed in both men and women. The increases in testosterone were greater for people that had paler
skin than darker skin. So the data I'm about to describe also come from this same
paper, but do not involve 20 to 30 minute daily
sun exposure protocols. It's simply addressing whether
or not testosterone levels change as a function of time of year. They measure testosterone
across the 12-month calendar. This study was done on subjects living in the Northern Hemisphere
for the entire year. And so in the months of
January, February, and March, of course, the length of days is shortest and the length of nights is longest.

And, of course, in the
spring and summer months, June, July, August, September, and so on, the days are much longer
and the nights are shorter. And what they observed was very obvious. They observed that testosterone levels were lowest in the winter months and were highest in the months of June, July, August, and September. Now, these are very important data. At least to my knowledge, these are the first data
systematically exploring the levels of sex steroid hormones in humans as a function of time of year and thereby as a function of how much sunlight
exposure they're getting. And what's remarkable about these data is that they map very
well to the data in mice and the other data in
this paper on humans, which illustrate that if you're
getting more UVB exposure, your testosterone levels are higher. This study went a step further and explored whether or not
the amount of sunlight exposure that one is getting to their skin influences their psychology in terms of whether or not
they have increased desire to mate and so on. It's well known that sunlight exposure to the eyes can increase mood.

And I talked about this
in the podcast episode with my guest, Dr. Samer Hattar, who's the director of
the chronobiology unit at the National Institutes
of Mental Health. And Samer's recommendation is that people get as
much bright light exposure as they safely can in the
morning and throughout the day for sake of both sleep and energy, but also for enhancing mood
and regulating appetite.

In this study, it was found that both males and
females had higher levels of romantic passion after
getting the UV treatment. In fact, some of them reported
increases in romantic passion from just one or two
of these UV treatments. So they didn't have to go
through all 10 or 12 in order to get a statistically
significant increase in passion. Now, when we talk about passion, as the authors of this paper acknowledge, there's really two forms. There is emotional and sexual, and they parse this pretty finely. I don't want to go into all the details, and we can provide a reference
and link to this study if you'd like to look at those details. But what they found was that women receiving this UVB light exposure focused more on increases in physical arousal and sexual passion, whereas the men actually scored higher on the cognitive dimensions of passion, such as obsessive thoughts
about their partner and so on. Regardless, both males and females experienced and reported a
increase in sexual passion and desire to mate.

And we now know there were increases in testosterone and estrogen, which of course could be driving
the psychological changes, although I'm sure that those
interact in both directions, meaning the hormones no
doubt affect psychology and no doubt the psychology, these changes in passionate feelings, no doubt also increased or changed the hormone levels as well. And I want to reemphasize that there was a component of the study that had no deliberate
daylight, sunlight exposure for 20 or 30 minutes, but rather just looked at hormone
levels throughout the year and found that the increase in day length correlated with increases in testosterone and sexual passion. Now, in my opinion, this
is a very noteworthy study because it really illustrates
that sunlight and day length can impact the melatonin pathway and thereby take the foot off the brake, so to speak, on testosterone, estrogen, and the desire to mate.

It also emphasizes that
sunlight, UVB light, can directly trigger hormone pathways and desire to mate and mating behavior. Now, this study went a step further in defining the precise mechanism by which light can
impact all these hormones and this desire to mate. And here, understanding
the mechanism is key if you want to export
a particular protocol or tool that you might apply. We talked earlier about how
UVB light exposure to the eyes triggers activation of
these particular neurons within the eye, and then with centers deeper in the brain, and eventually the pineal gland to suppress the output of melatonin and thereby to allow
testosterone and estrogen to exist at higher levels because melatonin can inhibit
testosterone and estrogen. In this study, they were able to very clearly establish that it is sunlight exposure to our skin that is causing these hormone increases that they observed in mice and humans. And the way they did that was to use the so-called
knockout technology, the ability to remove specific genes within specific tissues of the body.

And what they found is that UVB light, meaning sunlight-exposed skin, upregulated, meaning
increased the activity of something called p53, which is involved in
the maturation of cells and various aspects of cellular function. And the cells they were focused
on were the keratinocytes, which you are now familiar with
from our earlier discussion about the fact that the
epidermis of your skin contains mainly keratinocytes
and melanocytes. Sunlight exposure increased
p53 activity in the skin.

And p53 activity was required
for the downstream increases in ovarian size, in testicular size, in testosterone increases,
in the estrogen increases, and the various other changes that they observed at
the physiological level when animals or humans
were exposed to sunlight. So these data are important
because what they mean is that not only is it important that we get sunlight
exposure early in the day and throughout the day to our eyes, at least as much as is safely possible, but that we also need to
get UVB sunlight exposure onto our skin if we want to
activate this p53 pathway in keratinocytes and the
testosterone and estrogen increases that are downstream of that p53 pathway. So even though the gene knockout
studies were done on mice, they clearly show that if
you remove p53 from the skin, that these effects simply do not occur. So in terms of thinking about a protocol to increase testosterone and estrogen, mood and feelings of passion, the idea is that you would want to get these two to
three exposures per week, minimum of 20 to 30 minutes
of sunlight exposure onto as much of your body as you can reasonably expose it to.

And when I say reasonably, I mean, of course you have to
obey cultural constraints, decency constraints. And of course you have
to also obey the fact that sunlight can burn your skin. So many people are probably going to ask, "What happens if you wear sunscreen?" Well, in theory, because
sunscreen has UV protection, it would block some of these effects. Now I'm not suggesting that people do away
with sunscreen entirely. I do hope to do an episode all
about sunscreen in the future because sunscreen is a bit
of a controversial topic. Skin cancers are a real thing, and many people are especially
prone to skin cancer, so you need to take that seriously. Some people are not very
prone to skin cancers and can tolerate much more sun exposure. You're probably familiar
with the simple fact that if you've gone outside
on the beach with friends, some people get burned
very easily, others don't. So you really should prioritize the health and the avoidance of sunburn on your skin. However, these data and
other data point to the fact that we should all probably be striving to get more sunlight
exposure onto our skin during the winter months and still getting sunlight
exposure onto our skin in the summer months, provided we can do that
without damaging our skin.

Another set of very impressive
effects of UVB light, whether or not it comes from sunlight or from an artificial source, is the effect of UVB light
on our tolerance for pain. It turns out that our tolerance for pain varies across the year and that our pain tolerance is increased in longer day conditions. And as we saw with the effects of UVB on hormones and mating, again, this is occurring
via UVB exposure to the skin and UVB exposure to the eyes.

I want to just describe two studies that really capture the
essence of these results. I'm going to discuss these in
kind of a top contour fashion. I won't go into it as quite as much depth as I did the last study, but I will provide links
to these studies as well. The first study is entitled Skin Exposure to Ultraviolet
B Rapidly Activates Systemic, Neuroendocrine, and
Immunosuppressive Responses. And you might hear that and think, "Oh, immunosuppressive that's bad." But basically what they observed
is that even one exposure to UVB light changed the
output of particular hormones and neurochemicals in the body, such as corticotropin
hormone and beta-endorphins, which are these endogenous opioids. We've all heard of the opioid crisis, which is people getting
addicted to opioids that they are taking in
drug form, pharmaceuticals. But here I'm referring to endorphins that our body naturally
manufactures and releases in order to counter pain and act as somewhat of a
psychological soother also, because, of course, physical
pain and emotional pain are intimately linked
in the brain and body.

What they found was that
exposure to UVB light increased the release of
these beta-endorphins. It caused essentially the release of an endogenous pain killer. Now, a second study that
came out very recently, just this last week, in fact, published in the journal Neuron, Cell Press journal, excellent journal, is entitled A Visual Circuit Related to the Periaqueductal Gray Area for the Antinociceptive Effects
of Bright Light Treatment. I'll translate a little
bit of that for you. The periaqueductal gray is
a region of the mid-brain that contains a lot of neurons that can release endogenous opioids, things like beta-enkephalin,
things like enkephalin, things like mu opioid.

These are all names of chemicals that your body can manufacture that act as endogenous pain killers and increase your tolerance for pain. They actually make you
feel less pain overall by shutting down some of the neurons that perceive pain or by
reducing their activity. Not to a dangerous level, right? They're not going to
block the pain response so that you burn yourself unnecessarily or harm yourself unnecessarily, but they act a bit of a
pain killer from the inside.

If you heard the word antinociceptive, nociception is basically
the perception or the way in which neurons respond
to painful stimuli. So you can think of nociceptive events in your nervous system as painful events. And there I'm using a broad brush. I realized that the
experts in pain will say, "Oh, it's not really a pain circuit," et cetera, et cetera. But for sake of today's discussion, it's fair to say that nociception
is the perception of pain. So if this title is A
Visual Circuit Related to the Periaqueductal Gray, which is this area that releases
these endogenous opioids for the antinociceptive,
the anti-pain effects of bright light treatment, the key finding of this study is that it is light landing
on the eyes and captured by the specific cells I
was talking about earlier, those intrinsically photosensitive
melanopsin ganglion cells is the long name for them, but these particular neurons in your eye, and in my eye incidentally, that communicate with
particular brain areas. These brain areas have names. If you want to know
them, for you aficionados or for you ultra curious folks, they have names like the ventral
lateral geniculate nucleus and the intergeniculate leaflet.

The names don't matter. The point is that light
landing on the eyes is captured by these melanopsin cells. They absorb that light, translate that light
into electrical signals that are handed off to areas of the brain, such as the ventral geniculate. And then the ventral
geniculate communicates with this periaqueductal gray area to evoke the release of
these endogenous opioids that soothe you and lead
to less perception of pain. This is a really important study because it's long been
known that in longer days or in bright light environments, we tolerate emotional
and physical pain better.

Previous studies had shown that it is light landing on our skin that mediates that
effect, but only in part. It couldn't explain the entire effect. This very recent study indicates that it's also light arriving at the eyes, and in this case, again, UVB
light, ultraviolet blue light of the sort that comes from sunlight, that is triggering these anti-pain or pain-relieving pathways. So once again, we have
two parallel pathways. This is a theme you're going to hear over and over and over again,
not just in this episode, but in all episodes of
the Huberman Lab Podcast, because this is the way that
your brain and body are built. Nature rarely relies on one mechanism in order to create an
important phenomenon, and pain relief is an
important phenomenon. So we now have at least two
examples of the potent effects of UVB light exposure to
the skin and to the eyes. One involving activation of testosterone and estrogen pathways,
as it relates to mating, and another that relates to
reducing the total amount of pain that we experience in response to any painful stimuli.

So for those of you that are
thinking tools and protocols, if you're somebody who's
experiencing chronic pain, provided you can do it safely, try to get some UVB exposure,
ideally from sunlight. I think the 20 to 30-minute protocol, two or three times per
week is an excellent one, seems like a fairly low
dose of UVB light exposure. It's hard to imagine getting
much damage to the skin. Of course, if you have
very sensitive skin, or if you live in an area of the world that is very, very bright and has intense sunlight at
particular times of year, you'll want to be cautious. Heed the warnings and
considerations about sunscreen that I talked about earlier,
or about wearing a hat. But the point is very clear. Most of us should be
getting more UVB exposure from sunlight. I can already hear the
screams within the comments or rather the questions
within the comments, saying, "Well, what if I live
in a part of the world where I don't get much UVB exposure?" And I want to emphasize something
that I've also emphasized in the many discussions on this podcast related to sleep and circadian
rhythms and alertness, which is even on a cloud-covered day, you are going to get far
more light energy, photons through cloud cover than
you are going to get from an indoor light source,
an artificial light source.

I can't emphasize this enough. If you look outside in the morning and you see some sunlight, if you see some sunlight
throughout the day, you would do yourself a great favor to try and chase some of that sunlight and get into that sunlight
to expose your eyes and your skin to that sunlight
as much as you safely can. And when I say as much as you safely can, never ever look at any light, artificial, sunlight, or otherwise, that's so bright that
it's painful to look at. It's fine to get that light arriving on your eyes indirectly. It's fine to wear eyeglasses
or contact lenses. In fact, if you think about
the biology of the eye and the way that those lenses work, that you will just serve
to focus that light onto the very cells that
you want those light beams to be delivered to, whereas sunglasses that
are highly reflective or trying to get your sunlight exposure through a windshield of a car or through a window simply won't work.

I'm sorry to tell you, but most windows are designed
to filter out the UVB light. And if you're somebody who's
really keen on blue blockers and you're wearing your
blue blockers all day, well, don't wear them outside. And in fact, you're probably
doing yourself a disservice by wearing them in the
morning and in the daytime. There certainly is a
place for blue blockers in the evening and nighttime, if you're having issues with
falling and staying asleep.

But if you think about it, blue blockers, what they're really doing is blocking those short wavelength,
UVB wavelengths of light that you so desperately need
to arrive at your retina and of course, also onto your skin in order to get these
powerful biological effects on hormones and on pain reduction. And in terms of skin exposure, these data also might make
you think a little bit about whether or not you
should wear short sleeves or long sleeves, whether or not you want to wear
shorts or a skirt or pants.

It's all going to depend
on the context of your life and the social and other variables that are important, of course. I don't know each and every
one of your circumstances, so I can't tell you to do
X or Y or Z, nor would I, but you might take into consideration that it is the total
amount of skin exposure that is going to allow you to
capture more or fewer photons, depending on, for instance, if you're completely cloaked in clothing and you're just exposed in
the hands, neck, and face such as I am now, or whether or not you're
outside in shorts and a T-shirt, you're going to get very,
very different patterns of biological signaling activation in those two circumstances.

Many of you I'm guessing are wondering whether or not you should
seek out UVB exposure throughout the entire year
or only in the summer months. And that's sort of going to depend on whether or not you
experience depression in the winter months, so called seasonal effective disorder. Some people have mild, some
people have severe forms of seasonal effective disorder.

Some people love the fall and
winter and the shorter days. They love bundling up.
They love the leaves. They love the snow, they love the cold, and they don't experience
those psychological lows. So it varies tremendously. And there are genetic differences and birthplace origin differences
that relate to all this, but really it has to be considered
on a case-by-case basis. I personally believe,
and this was reinforced by the director of the chronobiology unit at the National Institutes of
Mental Health, Samer Hattar, that we would all do well
to get more UVB exposure from sunlight throughout the entire year, provided we aren't burning our skin or damaging our eyes in some way. In addition to that,
during the winter months, if you do experience some drop in energy or increase in depression
or psychological lows, it can be very beneficial
to access a SAD lamp. Or if you don't want to buy a SAD lamp, 'cause oftentimes they
can be very expensive, you might do well to simply
get a LED lighting panel.

I've described one before. And I want to emphasize that I
have no affiliation whatsoever to these commercial sources, but I've described one before
and I'll describe it again. And we can provide a link to
a couple examples of these in the show, in the show
note captions, excuse me. This is a 930 to 1,000
lux, L-U-X, light source that's designed for drawing. It's literally a drawing box. It's a thin panel. It's
about the size of a laptop. Very inexpensive compared
to the typical SAD lamp. I actually have one, and I position it on my desk all day long. I also happen to have
skylights above my desk. I'm fairly sensitive to
the effects of light. So in longer days I feel much better than I do in shorter days.

I've never suffered from full-blown seasonal
effective disorder, but I keep that light
source on throughout the day throughout the year. But I also make it a point to
get outside and get sunlight early in the morning and several
times throughout the day. And if it's particularly overcast outside or there just doesn't seem
to be a lot of sunlight coming through those clouds, I will try to look at that light source a little bit more each day in order to trigger these mechanisms. Now, some people may
desire to get UVB exposure to their skin and they want to do that through sources other than sunlight. And there it's a little
bit more complicated. There are, of course, tanning salons, which basically are beds of UVB light. That's really all they are.

I've never been to one. I know people do frequent them in certain parts of the world. There, of course, people
are covering their eyes. They are only getting UVB
exposure to their skin, typically because the UVB exposure,
or intensities rather, tend to be very, very high. And so you can actually damage your eyes. If you're looking at a very, very bright artificial UVB source up close. So you really have to explore
these options for yourself. Sunlight of course, being the original and still the best way
to get UVB exposure. So without knowing your particular
circumstances, finances, genetics, or place of origin, et cetera, I can't know whether or not you need to use artificial sources. You're going to have to gauge that. Meanwhile, getting outside, looking at and getting some exposure
of UVB onto your skin is going to be beneficial for the vast majority of people out there. And in fact, it's even
going to be beneficial for people that are blind.

People that are blind,
provided they still have eyes, often maintain these melanopsin cells. So even if you're low vision or no vision, getting UVB exposure to your eyes can be very beneficial for sake of mood, hormone pathways, pain
reduction, and so forth. A cautionary note, people who
have retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, or glaucoma, as well as people who are
especially prone to skin cancers should definitely consult
with your ophthalmologist and dermatologist before
you start increasing the total amount of UVB exposure that you're getting from any
source, sunlight or otherwise. There are additional, very
interesting and powerful effects of UVB light, in particular
on immune function. All the organs of our
body are inside our skin. And so information about
external conditions, meaning the environment that we're in, need to be communicated to the
various organs of our body. Some of them have more direct access to what's going on outside. So for instance, the cells in your brain that reside right over
the roof of your mouth, your hypothalamus, they
control hormone output, and they control the biological functions that we call circadian functions, the ones that change every 24 hours.

Well, those are just
one or two connections, meaning synapses away from
those cells in your eye that perceive UB, UVB light, excuse me. Other organs of your
body, such as your spleen, which is involved in the
creation of molecules and cells that combat infection, well, those are a long ways away from those cell in your eye. And in fact, they're a long
ways away from your skin. There are beautiful studies showing that if we get more UVB
exposure from sunlight or from appropriate artificial sources, that spleen and immune
function are enhanced, and there's a very logical, well-established circuit
as to how that happens. Your brain actually
connects to your spleen. Now, it's not the case
that you can simply think, "Okay, spleen, turn on,
release killer cells, go out and combat infection." However, UVB light arriving on the eyes is known to trigger
activation of the neurons within the so-called
sympathetic nervous system.

These neurons are part of the larger thing that we call the autonomic nervous system, meaning it's below or not
accessible by conscious control. It's the thing that
controls your heartbeat, controls your breathing
and that also activates or flips on the switch
of your immune system. When we get a lot of
UVB light in our eyes, or I should say sufficient
UVB light in our eyes, a particular channel, a
particular set of connections within the sympathetic
nervous system is activated, and our spleen deploys
immune cells and molecules that scavenge for and combat infection.

So if you've noticed that
you get fewer colds and flus and other forms of illness
in the summer months, part of that could be because
of the increase in temperature in your environment, because typically longer
days are associated with more warmth in your environment as opposed to winter days, which are short when it
tends to be colder out. Well, that's true, but it's also the case that people around you
have fewer colds and flus and that you will get infected
with fewer colds and flus and other infections,
because if those infections, whether or not they're bacterial or viral, arrive in your body,
right, if you inhale them or they get into your
mouth or on your skin, your spleen meets those
infections with a greater output.

In other words, the soldiers
of your immune system, the chemicals and cell
types of your immune system that combat infection are in a more ready,
deployed stance, if you will. If you want to know more
about the immune system and immune function, I did an entire episode
about the immune system and the brain, you can find
that at hubermanlab.com. We talk about cytokines, we talk about killer cells,
B cells, T cells, et cetera, a lot of detail there.

So we often think about the summer months and the spring months as fewer
infections floating around. But in fact, there aren't fewer
infections floating around. We are simply better at
combating those infections, and therefore there's less
infection floating around. So we are still confronted
with a lot of infections. We're just able to combat them better. What does this mean in terms of a tool? What it means is that
during the winter months, we should be especially
conscious of accessing UVB light to enhance our spleen function, to make sure that our
sympathetic nervous system is activated to a sufficient level to keep our immune system
deploying all those killer T cells and B cells and cytokines so that when we encounter the infections, as we inevitably will, right, we're constantly being bombarded
with potential infections, that we can combat those infections well. And as just a brief aside, but I should mention, a brief aside that's related to tens of
thousands of quality studies, it is well known that
wound healing is faster when we are getting
sufficient UVB exposure.

Typically, that's associated
with the longer days of spring and summer. It is known that turnover of hair cells, the very cells that
give rise to hair cells are called stem cells. They live in little
so-called niches in our skin with these hair stem cells, and your hair grows faster in longer days. That too is triggered by UVB exposure, not just to the skin, but to the eyes. That's right. There was a study published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences a couple of years ago that
showed that the exposure of those melanopsin
ganglion cells in your eyes is absolutely critical for
triggering the turnover of stem cells in both the skin and hair, and also turns out in nails. So if you've noticed that your skin, your hair and your nails look
better and turn over more, meaning grow faster in longer days, that is not on a coincidence.

That is not just your perception. In fact, hair grows more,
skin turns over more, meaning it's going to look more youthful. You're going to essentially
remove older skin cells and replace them with new cells, and all the renewing cells
and tissues of our body are going to proliferate, are going to recreate themselves more when we're getting sufficient
UVB light to our eyes and also to our skin. And so while some of you
may think of light therapies such as red light
therapies or UVB therapies as kind of new agey, or just biohacking, again, a phrase I don't particularly like, this notion of biohacking, 'cause it implies using
one thing for a purpose that it was never tended to have, well, it turns out that
UVB exposure and red light, as we'll soon see, is a very potent form of increasing things like
wound healing and skin health for very logical
mechanistically backed reasons.

So while I can't account for everything that's being promoted out there in terms of this light source will help your skin look more youthful or will help heal your scars, the mechanistic basis for
light having those effects makes total sense. But what you should consider, however, is that if the particular light therapy that you're considering
involves very local application rather than illuminating
broad swaths of skin, and if it has no
involvement with the eyes, meaning there's no delivery
of UVB or red light or the other light therapy to the eyes, it's probably not going to
be as potent a treatment as would a more systemic activation of larger areas of skin and the eyes. Now, again, a cautionary note, I don't want people taking
technologies that were designed for local application and
beaming those into the eyes. That could be very, very bad and damaging to your
retinal and other tissues.

Certainly, wouldn't want
you taking bright light of very high intensity of any kind and getting cavalier about that. Typically, the local
illumination of say a wound or a particular patch of acne or some other form of skin treatment involves very high intensity light. And if the intensity is too high, you can actually damage that skin. And so as we'll talk
about in a few moments, most of those therapies for modifying skin involve actually burning
off a small, very thin layer at the top of the epidermis in efforts to trigger the renewal or the activation of stem cells that will replenish that with new cells. So there's a fine line to be
had between light therapies that are very localized and intense, which are designed to damage skin and cause reactivation of new stem cells, whether that's hair cells
or skin cells, et cetera, versus systemic activation
across broad swaths of skin and the eyes. You really have to consider
this on a case-by-case basis, but at least for now just consider that increases in
hormones, reduction in pain by way of increases in enkephalin and other endogenous opioids, improving immune status
by activating the spleen, and so on, and so on really are all the downstream consequence of illuminating large swaths of skin and making sure that those
neurons within the eye get their adequate UVB exposure or other light wavelength exposure, not simply beaming a
particular wavelength of light at a particular location on the body and hoping that that
particular illumination at a particular location on the body is going to somehow change
the biology at that location.

Our biology just really
doesn't work that way. It's possible, but in general, systemic effects through
broad scale illumination and illumination to the eye, combined with local
treatments are very likely to be the ones that have the most success. Now, I'd like to shift our attention to the effects of light
on mood more specifically. We talked about this in terms of seasonal effective disorder, but many of us don't suffer from seasonal effective disorder. So I'd like to drill a little deeper into how light impacts mood. And here, I want to, again,
paraphrase the statements of Dr. Samer Hattar at the National Institutes
of Mental Health, I should mention the director
of the chronobiology unit at the National Institutes
of Mental Health and perhaps one of the top one
to two to three world experts in how light can impact mood, appetite, circadian rhythms, and so forth. Samer stated on the podcast, and he said in various
other venues as well, that getting as much UVB light
in our eyes and on our skin in the early day and throughout the day as is safely possible is going
to be beneficial for mood.

There's also another time of day, or rather I should say a time of night in which UVB can be leveraged
in order to improve mood, but it's actually the
inverse of everything we've been talking about up until now. We have a particular neural
circuit that originates with those melanopsin cells in our eye that bypass all the areas of the brain associated with circadian clocks, so everything related to
sleep and wakefulness, that's specifically
dedicated to the pathways involving the release of
molecules like dopamine, the neuromodulator that's
associated with motivation, with feeling good, with feeling
like there's possibility in the world, and so on and so forth, and other molecules as well, including serotonin and some
of those endogenous opioids that we talked about before.

That particular pathway
involves a brain structure called the perihabenular nucleus. The perihabenular nucleus gets input from the cells in the eye
that respond to UVB light, and frankly, to bright light
of other wavelengths as well, 'cause as you recall, if
a light is bright enough, even if it's not UV or blue light, it can activate those cells in the eye. Those cells in the eye communicate to the perihabenular nucleus. And as it turns out, if
this pathway is activated at the wrong time of each 24-hour cycle, mood gets worse, dopamine
output gets worse, molecules that are there
specifically to make us feel good, actually are reduced in their output. So while UVB exposure in the
morning and throughout the day is going to be very
important for elevating and maintaining elevated mood, avoiding UVB light at
night is actually a way in which we can prevent activation of this eye to perihabenular pathway that can actually turn on depression.

To be very direct and succinct about this, avoid exposure to UVB light
from artificial sources between the hours of 10:00 pm and 4:00 am. And if you're somebody
who suffers from low mood and overall has a kind of mild depression or even severe depression, of course, please see a psychiatrist, see a trained psychologist,
get that treated, but you would do especially
well to avoid UVB exposure from artificial sources, not
just from 10:00 pm to 4:00 am, but really be careful about
getting too much exposure to UVB even in the late evening, so 8:00 pm perhaps to 4:00 am. I can't emphasize this enough, that if you view UVB light, you activate those neurons
in your eye very potently. And if those cells communicate
to the perihabenular nucleus, which they do, you will truncate or reduce
the amount of dopamine that you release.

So if you want to keep your mood elevated, get a lot of light, UVB
light, throughout the day, and at night, really be cautious
about getting UVB exposure from artificial sources. Now let's say you're somebody
who has no issues with mood. You're just the happiest
person all year long, or maybe you just have subtle
variations in your mood. You feel great about that. Turns out that you still
want to be very careful about light exposure between the hours of 10:00
pm or so, and 4:00 am, in fact, even during sleep. There's a recent study that just came out in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, and it's entitled Light
Exposure During Sleep Impairs Cardiometabolic Function. This is a very interesting study where they took human
subjects, young adults, and having them sleep in rooms that had different lighting conditions, either dim light or slightly bright light. Now, many people can't fall
asleep in brightly lit rooms, so they acknowledge this. These were not very brightly lit rooms.

These were rooms that
had just a little bit of overhead room lighting, a hundred lux, which is not very bright at all. Or they had them sleep in a
room that had very dim light, which is less than three lux. If you want to get a sense
of how bright three lux is versus a hundred lux, I would encourage you to download
the free app Light Meter. I have no relationship to the app. It's a pretty cool app, however. I've used it for a long time, where you can basically point your phone at a particular light
source, sun or otherwise, and you just press the button and it'll give you an
approximate readout of lux, which is the light intensity that the phone happens
to be staring out at at that location. It's not exact, but it's a pretty good back-of-the-envelope
measure of light intensity.

So these subjects were either
sleeping in a very dim room, three lux is very, very dim, or a somewhat dim room, a hundred lux. In this study, they measured
things like melatonin levels. They looked at heart rate, they looked at measures of
insulin and glucose management. Now, in previous episodes, I've talked about how
glucose, blood sugar, is regulated by insulin because you don't want your glucose levels to be too high, hyperglycemia,
or too low, hypoglycemia. And the hormone insulin is
involved in sequestering and shuttling glucose in the bloodstream. Basically, how well you manage
glucose in the bloodstream can be indirectly measured
by your insulin levels. And it's well known that sleep deprivation can disrupt glucose regulation by insulin. However, in this study,
subjects were sleeping the whole night through.

It just so happens that some
of the subjects were sleeping in this very dimly lit room, three lux, and other subjects were sleeping in a somewhat dimly lit
room, a hundred lux. What's incredible about this study is that both rooms were
sufficiently dimmed that melatonin levels were
not altered in either case. This is really key. It's not as if one group
experienced a lot of bright light through their eyelids and others did not.

Melatonin levels were not disrupted. And given how potently
light can inhibit melatonin, this speaks to the fact that this very dim condition of three lux and the somewhat dim
condition of a hundred lux was not actually perceived by the subjects nor was it disrupting
these hormone pathways. They also looked at glucose responses. They had people essentially
take a fasting glucose test in different conditions. I won't go into all the details, but here's what they found. In healthy adults, even
just one night of sleeping in a moderately lit environment, this hundred lux
environment, caused changes, increases in nighttime heart rate, which means that the
sympathetic nervous system was overly active as compared to people that slept in a completely dark or in a very, very dimly lit room. Decreases in heart rate variability, and here I should point out
that heart rate variability or HRV is a good thing, we
want heart rate variability. So they saw increases in heart rate, decreases in heart rate variability, and increases in next
morning insulin resistance, which is an indication that
glucose management is suffering.

So this is powerful. The results of this study
essentially indicate that even just one night of
sleeping the whole night through in a dimly lit environment
is disrupting the way that our autonomic nervous
system is functioning, altering so called autonomic tone, making us less relaxed
is probably the best way to describe it, even though we are asleep, disrupting the way that our cardiometabolic
function operates, such that we have lower
heart rate variability and increased insulin resistance. This is not a good thing
for any of us to experience.

So while we've mainly been talking about the positive effects of UVB light and other forms of light, now we have two examples. One from the work of Hattar and colleagues showing that UVB exposure
via the perihabenula can diminish the output of dopamine and other molecules that make us feel good if that UVB exposure is
in the middle of the night or late evening. And now we have yet
another study performed, in this case, in humans, indicating that even if we fall asleep and sleep the whole night through, if the room that we're
sleeping in has too many lux, too much light energy, that light energy is no doubt
going through the eyelids, which it can, activating
the particular cells in the eye that trigger an increase in sympathetic nervous system activation and disrupting our metabolism.

And this study rests on a
number of other recent studies published in Cell, which
is a superb journal, and other journals, showing
that during the course of a healthy, deep night's sleep, our body actually transitions through various forms
of metabolic function. We actually experience
ketosis-like states. We experience glucogenesis. We experience different
forms of metabolism associated with different stages of sleep, not something that we're
going into in depth in this podcast, we will
in a future podcast. What this study shows is that
light exposure even in sleep is disrupting our autonomic, in this case, the sympathetic arm of the
autonomic nervous system in ways that are disrupting
metabolism, probably in sleep, but certainly outside of
sleep so that we wake up and have our first meal of the day.

Or even if you're intermittent fasting, you eat that first meal of the day, if your sleep is taking
place in an environment that's overly illuminated, well, that's disrupting
your cardiac function and your metabolism. I've been talking a lot about UVB light, which is short wavelength light. So UV light, blue light, maybe even some blue green light, that's going to be short wavelength light. Now, I'd like to shift our attention to the other end of the spectrum, meaning the light spectrum, to talk about red light
and infrared light, which is long wavelength light. Many so-called low level light therapies, the acronym is LLLT, low
level light therapies, involve the use of red
light and infrared light. Sometimes, low level light
therapies involve the use of UVB, but more often than not these days, when we hear LLLT, low
level light therapy, it's referring to red light and near-infrared light therapies. Low level light therapies have
been shown to be effective for a huge number of biological phenomenon and medical treatments. I can't summarize all of those now. It would take me many, many hours.

It would be an effective
episode for curing insomnia, but it wouldn't inform you
properly about the use of light for your health. Rather, I'd like to just emphasize some of the top contour of those studies and point out that for instance, low level light therapy
with infrared light has been shown to be effective
for the treatment of acne and other sorts of skin lesions. There have been some really
nice studies actually where they use subjects as
their own internal control. So people, believe it or not, agreed to have half of their face illuminated with red light
or near-infrared light, and the other half of their
face serve as a control, and to do that for
several weeks at a time.

And you can see pretty
impressive reductions in skin lesions, reductions
in scars from acne, and reduction in acne lesions themselves, meaning the accumulation of new acne cysts with low level light therapy, using red light and infrared light. Sometimes however, there is
a resistance of that acne to the low level light therapy, such that people will get
an initial improvement, and then it'll go away despite
continuing the treatment. So you're probably asking, or
at least you should be asking, how is it that shining
red light on our skin can impact things like acne
and wound healing, et cetera? Well, to understand that,
we have to think back to the beginning of the episode where I described how
long wavelength light, such as red light and near-infrared light, which is even longer than red light, can pass through certain
surfaces, including our skin. So our skin has an epidermis,
which is on the outside, and the dermis, which
is in the deeper layers. Red light and infrared light can pass down into the deeper layers of our skin, where it can change the metabolic function of particular cells. So let's just take acne as an example.

Within the dermis, the
deep layers of our skin, we have what are called sebaceous glands that actually make the oil
that is present in our skin. Those sebaceous glands are
often nearby hair follicles. So if you've ever had a
infected hair follicle, that's not a coincidence that hair follicles tend to get infected. Part of it is because there's
actually a portal down and around the hair follicle, but the sebaceous gland is
where the oil is created. That is going to give rise to,
for instance, acne lesions. Also, in the dermis, in the
deep layers of the skin, are the melanocytes. They're not just in the epidermis, they're also in the
deeper layers of the skin.

And you have the stem cells that give rise to additional skin cells. If the top layers of the
epidermis are damaged, those stem cells can become activated. And you also have the stem cells that give rise to hair follicles. So by shining red light
or near-infrared light on a localized patch of skin, provided that red light is
not of such high intensity that it burns the skin, but is of sufficient
intensity that it provides just a little bit of damage to
the upper layers of the skin, the epidermis, and that it triggers
certain biological pathways within the cells of the sebaceous gland and the stem cells within
the hair cell niche and the stem cells in skin, what happens is the top layers of the skin are basically burned off
by a very low level of burn and/or the cells in the deeper layer start to churn out new cells, which go and rescue the lesion, essentially clear out the
lesion and replace that lesion with healthy skin cells. This does work in the
context of wound healing, getting scars to disappear.

It also works to remove certain
patches of pigmentation. There are sometimes cases where people will get a red blotchiness due to certain skin conditions or some darker pigmentation
that they want remove, or that they need removed, because it's a potential
skin cancer threat. Now, how is red light actually doing it within the cells of the sebaceous gland, the stem cells, et cetera? Well, long wavelength light can actually get deep into the skin, I mentioned that before, but can also get into individual cells and can access the so-called organelles, which I described at the
beginning of the episode.

In particular, they can
access the mitochondria, which are responsible for producing ATP. Now, the simple way to think about this for sake of this discussion
is that as cells age, and in particular, in very
metabolically active cells, they accumulate what are called ROSs, reactive oxygen species. And as reactive oxygen species go up, ATP energy production in
those cells tends to go down. It's a general statement, but it's a general statement
that in most cases is true. There are some minor exceptions
that don't concern us that have to do with cell
types different than the ones that I'm talking about now. So the way to think about
this is that red light passes into the deeper layers of the skin, activates mitochondria,
which increases ATP, and directly or indirectly reduces these reactive oxygen species. These reactive oxygen
species are not good. We don't want them. They cause cellular
damage, cellular death. And for the most part just inhibit the way that our cells work.

So if you've heard of red light or near-infrared light therapies designed to heal skin
or improve skin quality or remove lesions, or get rid of scars or
unwanted pigmentation, that is not pseudoscience,
that is not woo science. That is grounded in the very
biology of how light interacts with mitochondria and
reactive oxygen species. Some of you may also find
it interesting to note that some of the cream-based treatments for acne, for instance, like retinoic acid, Retin-A, is actually a derivative of vitamin A. And the pathway involving
retinoic acid and vitamin A, believe it or not, is very similar to the
natural biological pathway by which photopigments in the
eye convert light information into biological changes
within those cells.

So the key point here is that light is activating particular pathways in cells that can either drive death of cells or can make those cells
essentially younger by increasing ATP by way of improving
mitochondrial function. And in recent years, there have been some just beautiful examples that exist, not only in the realm of skin biology, but in the realm of
neurobiology whereby red light and near-infrared light
can actually be used to enhance the function of the cells that, for instance, allow us to see better and indeed cells that
allow us to think better. So now I'd like to review those data because not only are they
interesting in their own right, but they also point to
some very interesting and powerful application of
low-cost or zero-cost tools that we can use to improve our vision. If you are somebody who's
interested in the use of red light or near-infrared light, so-called LLLT, low level light therapies, for treatment of dermatologic issues, so anything related to skin, I will include a link to a
excellent set of reviews.

The first one is Light-emitting
Diodes in Dermatology: A Systematic Review of
Randomized Controlled Trials. That one includes review of a
very large number of studies, came out just a few years ago in 2018, and I think is very clearly and cleanly laid out for anyone to access. And you can see the degree of effects of red light, for instance, on treatment of acne
or scarring, et cetera. And I'll also provide a
link to another review, which is Low-level Light Therapy in Skin: Stimulating, Healing, and Restoring. So for those of you that
are interested, again, in dermatologic issues and the kind of restoring youthfulness and the kind of general themes
of anti-aging and longevity and how red light therapies
can be used for that, I would encourage you to
take a look at those reviews.

What you're going to find
is that rarely, if ever, is there a study looking at whole body red light illumination for sake of treating and improving skin. And I mention this because
I get a lot of questions about infrared sauna
and global illumination with red lights. We'll talk more about cases where global illumination
of your whole body or your whole face with
red lights might be useful, but in terms of infrared sauna, I've mentioned on this podcast before, and I will certainly go deeper on this in an upcoming episode, all about the use of heat and temperature for augmenting our biology, but in general, infrared
saunas don't get hot enough, temperature-wise, in order to trigger some of the important effects on growth hormone and heat shock proteins and
some of the other things that sauna has been shown
to be excellent for. That's a general statement. I realize there are some infrared saunas that do get hot enough. There are very few data on the use of whole body illumination
with infrared saunas that really point to any specific mechanistically supported effects.

Almost all the positive effects
that you're going to see of red light and
low-level light therapies, certainly the ones
discussed in the reviews that I just mentioned, are going to be the consequence of very directed illumination
of particular patches of skin that are seeking repair, that people are seeking the repair of. So again, I don't want to
disparage infrared saunas, but in general, they don't get hot enough to trigger most of the positive effects that sauna have been demonstrated to have. And it's unclear at all
as to whether or not they can enhance skin
quality, youthfulness, restore top layers of
skin that are damaged, repair acne, et cetera.

So more on heat saunas and infrared saunas and their comparison
in an upcoming episode. So let's talk about a
clear set of examples where red light and near-infrared light have been shown to have
positive effects on our health. And these are the data that I
referred to at the beginning of the episode from Dr. Glen Jeffery at University College London, who, again, is a longstanding member of the neuroscience community, working on visual neuroscience, and who over the last decade or so has really emphasized the
exploration of red light and near-infrared light for restoration of neuronal function as we age.

This is absolutely critical. We know that we don't
accumulate many new brain cells as we get older. And in some areas of our nervous system, such as our neural retina,
which is the part of our eye, that's responsible for
translating light information to electrical signals so that we can see, we don't get any new cells after the time in which we were born. So the ability to keep our neurons healthy is extremely important
for our visual system, extremely important for our hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory.

And I should just mention that even if people don't get Alzheimer's, there's always going to be some degree of age-related dementia. Sadly, nobody is as cognitively sharp in the years before they die, as they are 20 years before that. It's just never the case. We're all getting worse at thinking, feeling, perceiving, et cetera. The question is how quickly
we are getting worse. So any mechanism by which we can preserve or reverse neuronal function turns out to be immensely beneficial. The Jeffery Lab has published
two studies in recent years on humans that looked
directly, no pun intended, at how red light and near-infrared light can improve visual function. I'm going to describe the
parameters of those studies.

And then I'm going to describe
what they found, exactly. The mechanistic motivation
for these studies, again, traces back to this effect
of light on mitochondria. So to go a little bit deeper into that mechanism just briefly so that you can frame
any potential protocol that you would develop, when light arrives on
cells, including neurons, that light can penetrate into the cells if it's of the appropriate wavelength. Red light can do that,
it can get into cells, it can access the mitochondria, it can increase ATP. In general, anytime ATP is doing its thing to increase energy in cells, it's involving this thing
called cytochrome c, which is an oxidase. Anytime you hear ase, A-S-E, in biology, it's going to be an enzyme. It's involved in some process
of degrading a molecule and creating another molecule, typically.

So ATP and cytochrome c
is going to give you ATP. Now, that's a great thing,
but it creates a byproduct. It breaks things down, such
that you get these ROSs, these reactive oxygen species. And those reactive oxygen species, for those of you that want to know, are involved in things
like redox signaling. And reactive oxygen
species actually change which genes are made in a cell. So the goal of any
treatment is to keep neurons or other cells youthful
and functioning well, and to prevent or reverse aging, is going to be to increase ATP and to reduce reactive oxygen species, and in doing so, to disrupt
some of the normal pathways associated with aging. The Jeffery Lab approached these studies with that understanding
of how mitochondria and reactive oxygen species and ATP work. And what they did was exquisitely simple to the point of being elegant.

And what they found was
really, really exciting. What they did is they had people, subjects that were either
younger, so in their 20s, or 40 years old or older, view red light of about 670 nanometers. 670 nanometers would
appear red to you and me. They, they had them do that, excuse me, at a distance that was
safe for their eyes, so at about a foot away. Now, a foot away from a
very intense red light could actually be damaging to the eyes, so they had them do this
at about a foot away from a red light that was
of low enough intensity that it did not damage the eyes. And they had them do that anywhere from two to three minutes per day. And in one study, they had them do that for a long period of
time of about 12 weeks. And in the other study, they had them do that just
for a couple of weeks.

What's remarkable is that
when you collapse the results across these two studies, what they found is that when
looking at these subjects ranging from 28 years old
to about 72 years old, the major findings were
that in individuals 40 years old or older, so in the 40 to 72-year-old bracket, but not in the subjects
younger than 40 years old, they saw an improvement
in visual function. That improvement in visual function was an improvement in visual acuity, meaning the ability to
resolve fine detail, and using a particular
measure of visual function, which is called the Tritan exam. T-R-I-T-A-N, Tritan exam, which specifically addresses the function of the so-called short wavelength cones, the ones that respond
to green and blue light, they saw a 22% improvement
in visual acuity, which in the landscape of visual testing is an extremely exciting result. Okay, so I think in most studies
of improvements of vision, you'd be very excited to see
an improvement of 5% or 10%.

So a 22% improvement in visual acuity, even though it's in
this very specific form of visual testing, this Tritan
exam or this Tritan score, well, that turns out
to be very significant and translates to the real
world in an important way. In particular, as we age, we tend to lose certain
neurons within our retina, but we don't tend to lose cones. We tend to lose rods. We tend to lose other
cells within the retina, including the cells that
connect the eye to the brain, the so-called ganglion cells.

Cones, for whatever reason, are pretty resilient to age-related loss. However, because rods and cones both are not just among the most
metabolically active cells in your entire body, but the most metabolically
active cells in your entire body that's right, your rods and
cones are the cells that demand, and that use the most energy
of all the cells in your body, not your skin cells, not your spleen, not your stomach cells. Even if you talk a lot, not the cells that are
responsible for moving your mouth.

It is the rods and cones
of your neural retina that are responsible for
using the most amount of ATP and energy in your entire body. And because of that, those cells tend to accumulate a lot of reactive oxygen species as we age. Red light of the sort
used in these studies was able to reduce the amount
of reactive oxygen species in the rods and cones and
to rescue the function of this particular cone type, the short wavelength and
medium wavelength cones, which if you think about the study, is a little bit surprising, because it was red light
and near-infrared light, not short wavelength light, that was used in order to
create this improvement in cellular function. But if you step back a little bit further, it makes perfect sense because
there's nothing specific about the red light in the sense that it gets delivered only to red cones. That red light and near-infrared
light is being absorbed by all the photoreceptors within the eye, the rods and the blue cones and the green cones and the red cones.

It's just that the red cones
absorb that light best. So the important takeaway here is that viewing red light
and near-infrared light at a distance at which it is safe for just a couple of minutes each day allowed a reversal of the
aging process of these neurons, which some people have
heard me say before, and I'll just say it again, the retina, including your photoreceptors, are not just connected to your brain. They're not just near your brain. They are actual central
nervous system tissue. They are the only two
pieces of your brain, meaning your neuroretinas
are the only two pieces of your brain that reside
outside your skull, or at least outside the cranial vault.

So here we're seeing a
reversal of the aging process in neurons by shining red
light on those neurons. Now, of course, the Jeffery Lab is primarily interested in vision, and humans are most dependent on vision as a sense to navigate
the world and survive. So this is really wonderful. Here, we're looking at a therapy that can reverse age-related vision loss, at least in some individuals. But as you can imagine, the study was also done on these cells because they reside outside the skull and you can shine light
directly on them, right? I'm sure that there are
many people out there who are interested in how
they can improve the function, say, of the neurons in their
brain responsible for memory.

And in a few minutes, I'll describe the non-invasive
applications of light to try and restore the function
of those cells as well. So a little bit more about the
studies from the Jeffery Lab. One of the things that they observed was a reduction in so-called
drusen, D-R-U-S-E-N. Drusen are little fatty deposits, little cholesterol deposits, that accumulate in the eye as we age. We've all heard about cholesterol within our veins and arteries and how that can clog
our veins and arteries and how, of course, clogging
of veins and arteries is not a good thing.

Well, our neural retina
being so metabolically active requires a lot of blood flow. It's heavily vascularized, and drusen are a special
form of cholesterol that accumulate in the eye. As it turns out, these red light and near-infrared light therapies explored by the Jeffery Lab were able to actually reduce or reverse some of the accumulation of drusen. And so in addition to reducing
reactive oxygen species, the idea in mind now is that red light may actually reduce cholesterol deposits and reactive oxygen species in order to improve neuronal function. So what should you and
I do with these results? Or should we do anything
with these results? Well, first of all, I want to emphasize that even though these
studies are very exciting, they are fairly recent. And so more data, as always, are needed. There's some additional
features of these studies that I think are also
important to consider. First of all, the exposure to red light needed to happen early in the day, at least within the first
three hours of waking. How would one do that? Well, nowadays there are a number of different red light panels and different red light sources that certainly fall within
the range of red light and near-infrared light
that one could use.

I don't have any affiliation
to any companies or products that promote or make
those red light therapies. I do own a red light panel, so I confess I have started
using this protocol. I am older than 40 years old. I also have been experimenting
with these red light panels as a way of addressing other
changes in biological tissues, for which I'm doing blood work, et cetera. And I'm going to talk about
that in a future episode, but that, of course, is
what I call anecdata. It only relates to my experience. So today, and certainly on all episodes of the Huberman Lab Podcast, we emphasize peer-reviewed
studies almost exclusively, talking about anecdata only when highlighting it as anecdata.

So if you're somebody who wants to explore red light therapy,
here's what you need to do. You need to make sure that
that red light source, whatever source you happen to use, whether or not you
purchase it or make one… And in fact, these red light sources are very, very easy to make. You could essentially
take a bright flashlight and cover it with a film or a filter that would only allow
particular long wavelengths to pass through. This would be very easy to look up online and figure out how to do this. You could probably do this for,
you know, just a few dollars or you could purchase a red light unit if that was within your budget and something that you're interested in. You want to make sure
that it's not so bright that you're damaging your eye. A good rule of thumb is that something isn't painful to look at. And in fact, I should just emphasize that any time you look
at any light source, sunlight or otherwise, that's painful and makes you want to
squint or close your eyes, that means it's too bright to look at without closing your eyes.

Okay, that's sort of a duh, but I would loathe to think that anyone would harm themselves with bright light in any way. I don't just say that to protect us. I say that to protect you, of course, because you are responsible
for your health. And again, retinal
neurons do not regenerate. Once they are gone and
dead, they do not come back. There's no technology to replace them at this current state in time. So please don't damage your retinas. So is a red light source safe to look at if it is not painful to look at? Chances are it is.

And yet I would still encourage you to talk to your optometrist
or ophthalmologist before getting into any
extensive protocols. But if you are still determined to pursue the sorts of protocols that are in the Jeffery studies, certainly we'll provide
a link to those studies. Again, it involved looking
at these red light panels, blinking aloud for two
minutes to three minutes every morning for a period
of two weeks or more. And if you're older than 40, that could very well have an effect.

If you're longer, younger
than 40, excuse me, that's unlikely to have an effect. At least that was what was observed in these particular studies. The lights were not flashing. It was continuous illumination. Again, you're allowed to blink. It does not have to even
be direct illumination. It can be somewhat indirect illumination, much as we described for
the use of UVB light before. The wavelength of light is important. It is red light and near-infrared light that is going to be
effective in this scenario. The authors of this study
emphasized that it was red light of 670 nanometers in wavelength and near-infrared light of
790 nanometers in wavelength that were effective and that those wavelengths
could be complimentary. That's probably why, or
maybe it's just coincidental, but it's a fortunate coincidence that a lot of the commercially
available red light panels that you'll find out there combine both red light
and near-infrared light. However, I want to emphasize
that most of the panels that are commercially available are going to be too bright to
safely look at very close up. And in fact, that's why most
of those red light panels are designed for illumination of the skin and oftentimes arrive in their packaging with eye protectors that
are actually designed to shield out all the red light.

So take the potential dangers
of excessive illumination of the eyes with any
wavelength of light seriously. But if you're going to explore
670 and 790 nanometer light for sake of enhancing neuronal function, set it at a distance that's
comfortable to look at, and that doesn't force you to squint or doesn't make you feel
uncomfortable physically, as if you need to turn away during the period of that two to three-minute
illumination each day. In terms of turning away from light, I'll just briefly mention
that that is not an accident or a coincidence that
you have that response to very bright light.

There is a so-called
photic avoidance pathway that involves cells within your retina, these ganglion cells that communicate with yet another brain station, a certain area of your
thalamus that communicate to areas of your brain that
are associated with pain. So literally that can trigger headache, and that can trigger the squint reflex. Biology is just beautiful in this way. Too much light is bad for us
in that it can damage our eyes and other aspects of our body. So if we look at a
light that's too bright, our eyes send a signal to the brain that gives us a sort of a headache and a desire to squint and turn away. So that can be a useful guide in terms of gauging how
bright a light should be or at least how far away you
should be from a bright source in order to safely engage
with that light source.

So the studies I just
described, once again, involve the use of red
light early in the day within three hours of waking and are for the sake of
improving neuronal function. Red light has also been
shown to be beneficial late in the day and even
in the middle of the night. And when I say middle of the night, I'm referring to studies that
explore the use of red light for shift workers. I know that most people are not working in the middle of the night,
at least I hope they're not, but some of you may do
that from time to time.

All-nighters for studying, I confess I still pull
all-nighters every once in a while to prepare things like
podcasts and other deadlines. I really try not to, happens
less and less as I get older, because I think I get more disciplined and/or less good at pulling all-nighters. But I realize that many
people are doing shift work, or they have to work
certainly past 10:00 pm. Or maybe they're taking
care of young children in the middle of the night,
and they have to be up. In that case, red light can
actually be very beneficial. And nowadays there are a
lot of sources of red light available just as red light bulbs. You don't need a panel. So what I'm basically saying
is that it can be beneficial to use red lights at night. The study I'd like to emphasize
in this context is entitled, Red Light: A Novel
Non-pharmacological Intervention to Promote Alertness in Shift Workers.

It's a beautiful study. They explored the use of
different wavelengths of light, so blue light of 460 nanometers or red light or dim white light, of different brightnesses, et cetera, and looked at things like melatonin. How much does light of a given color and intensity suppress melatonin? They looked at cortisol, a stress hormone. They looked at wakefulness, how much or to what degree
could a given color of light increase wakefulness at
different hours of the day? The takeaway from this
study is very clear. If you need to be awake late
at night for sake of shift work or studying or taking care
of children, et cetera, red light is going to be your best choice because if the red light
is sufficiently dim, it's not going to inhibit
melatonin production, and it's not going to
increase cortisol at night. Cortisol should be high early in the day, or at least should be elevated relative to other times of day if you are healthy. A late shifted increase
in cortisol, however, 9:00 pm cortisol, 10:00 pm cortisol, is well known to be
associated with depression and other aspects of mental health, or I should say mental illness.

So if you do need to be awake
at night or even all night, red light is going to be
the preferred light source. And in terms of how bright to make it, well, as dim as you can, while still being able
to perform the activities that you need to perform. That's going to be your best guide. I'll provide a link to this study as well. Again, it's a really important study because it emphasized that
there are forms of light, red light, provided it's dim, that can allow you to
stimulate the alertness that light landing on
the eyes can provide. So it allows you to stay awake and to do whatever work
that you need to do.

It does not seem to alter
melatonin production, so that's good. It does not seem to alter levels or timing of cortisol production. So yet another case where
red light used correctly can be beneficial. Up until now, we've been talking about the effects of shining
different wavelengths of light on the skin or on our eyes and the downstream health
consequences of that illumination. However, one of the most important goals of science and medicine is to figure out how to change the health of our brain. And of course, our brain is
contained within our skull, and therefore we can't just shine light onto the outside of our head and expect it to change the activity of neurons deep within the brain, unless those neurons are
linked up with our eyes or with our skin.

And as it turns out, even
though there are a lot of brain areas that are
connected through neural circuits and hormone circuits through our eye, and believe it or not, also to our skin, many brain areas are not. Brain areas such as the hippocampus, which is involved in learning and memory, brain areas such as our neocortex, well, some areas of our neocortex
such as our visual cortex are indirectly linked to our eyes, so if we shine light in our eyes, we can change the activity
of neurons in our neocortex, but there are other brain areas that are not directly or
even indirectly connected to our visual system, not at least in any immediate way. So that raises the question of how do you change the
activity of neurons in the brain? Well, there's pharmacology.

You can take pills, you can inject drugs that will change the
pharmacology of neurons and the way they operate and fire. Of course, antidepressants
are one such instance, opioid drugs are another. There's a huge array of
psychoactive compounds, meaning compounds that
will change the levels of chemicals in your brain. Some of those work, many of them also carry side effects. It's all rather indirect, meaning you have lots of different cells in different areas of your brain that utilize the same chemicals.

So a drug, for instance,
to increase serotonin for sake of improving depression will also often have the effect of reducing certain neurons output of serotonin in the hippocampus and cause changes in
appetite or changes in libido and so on and so forth. You could imagine using
electrical stimulation, putting wires into the brain and stimulating specific brain areas in order to activate the
neurons in those brain areas. And certainly that works and
has been done experimentally and is done during
neurosurgery exams, et cetera, but involves removing a piece of skull.

So that's not very practical. In principle, light
would be a wonderful way to modulate the activity of
neurons deep within the brain. But again, the skull is in the way. Recent studies, however,
have figured out ways that light can be delivered to the eyes to change global patterns
of firing in the brain in ways that can be
beneficial to the brain. And the work that I'm referring to now is mainly the work of Li-Huei Tsai at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, and her colleagues. And what they've discovered
that there's a particular pattern of brain activity
called gamma activity. Gamma activity is one so-called wavelength of electrical activity in the brain, so not wavelengths of light, but wavelengths of electrical
activity in the brain that can be restorative
for certain aspects of learning and memory and can actually help create
molecular changes in neurons that lead to clearance of debris and even reductions in
age-related cognitive decline.

So the way to think about brain
waves and brain oscillations is that neurons are electrically active, that involves chemicals, et cetera. And they can be active in
very slow, big waveforms. So you can think of, you
know, Delta waves, meaning, so you can imagine a wave
of electrical activity that comes along very infrequently. So a given neuron fires, and then some period of time later fires, and then some period of
time even later fires. Or you can imagine that that
same cell is very active, fires, fires, fires, fires, fires.

You can imagine if it's firing very often, it's going to be short wavelength, right? Shorter gaps between firing. Or if it's firing very seldom, you're going to think about that as longer wavelength firing. Turns out that gamma waves
are one pattern of firing that lead to downstream
metabolic functions and biological functions that
end up clearing away debris that's associated with aging in cells and that also lead to molecular changes that enhance the kind of
youthfulness of neurons, so to speak. How do we induce gamma
oscillations within the brain? Well, what Li-Huei Tsai and colleagues have beautifully shown is that by delivering certain
patterns of light flicker, so lights going on and off
at a particular frequency, the brain as a whole starts to entrain, meaning it matches to
those particular patterns of light flicker, even though many of the
brain areas that do this are not directly within the
visual system or visual pathway.

So the studies that I'm
referring to are several, but the one that I'd like
to highlight is entitled, Gamma Entrainment Binds
Higher-Order Brain Regions and Offers Neuroprotection. What they essentially did was to expose subjects to 40 hertz, which is a particular
frequency of illumination, to the eyes. So it's light goes on, light goes off, light goes on, light goes off
at a frequency of 40 hertz. And when they did that and
they recorded the activity of neurons within the brain, not just within the
visual areas of the brain, but within other areas as well, they observed increased
gamma oscillations, meaning that the electrical
activity of the brain at large started to match to the patterns of light that were delivered to the eyes. This is really exciting and very unique from the different types of phototherapies that we've been talking
about up until now. All the patterns of phototherapy that we've been talking about up until now involved constant illumination
with a given wavelength. Here, it is wavelength generating
patterns of illumination, light on, light off, light on, light off, at a particular frequency.

So what they found, for instance, using this pattern of stimulation, and by the way, the
stimulation was called genus, gamma entrainment using
sensory stimulation, so G-E-N-U-S, gamma entrainment using
sensory stimulation, had a number of really
interesting effects. First of all, it reduced
so-called amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau. Amyloid plaques and phosphorylated tau are associated with Alzheimer's and normal age related cognitive decline. So this is incredible, right? A pattern of flashing
light delivered to the eyes creates a pattern of neuronal firing, not just in the visual areas of the brain, but in other areas of the brain as well, that in turn trigger molecular pathways that reduce some of the markers and the cause age-related
cognitive decline in Alzheimer's.

And in parallel to that,
they observed an upregulation of some of the biological pathways that lead to enhancement
of neuronal function, maintenance of synapses, which are the connections between neurons, and so on, and so on. They have discovered and
list out a huge number of these biological effects, both the reduction in
bad things, so to speak, and the improvement in
good biological pathways. And I find these studies so exciting because, first of all,
they're non-invasive, right? There's no drilling through the skull.

They are very tractable
in the experimental sense, meaning that you can imagine that if 40 hertz stimulation turns out to be the very best stimulation protocol to induce these gamma
oscillations, well, great, but because it's non-invasive, it's fairly easy to explore
50 hertz stimulation, 100 hertz stimulation,
20 hertz stimulation, and to do that with different
wavelengths of light. And so that's what's happening now. The Tsai lab and other
labs are really starting to explore the full range of variables that can impact oscillations
within the brain and their downstream consequences. So again, this is phototherapy, but phototherapy of a very different sort that we've been talking
about up until now.

It's phototherapy designed
to trigger activation of biological pathways far
away from the very tissue that's being illuminated. And it calls to mind the
same sorts of mechanisms that we were talking about earlier, where illumination of
the skin with UVB light is setting off an enormous
number of different cascades in different organs and tissues, including the spleen, the
testes, the ovaries, and so on. So again, light has
these powerful effects, both locally on the cells that
the light is delivered to, but also systemically
in terms of the cells that are changing their
electrical and chemical outputs, are modifying lots and lots
of biological programs. Is there an actionable tool
related to these studies yet? Well, that sort of depends
on how adventurous you are. Right now, these studies
are being explored in the context of clinical trials, in people with Alzheimer's, dementia, and other forms of neurodegeneration. Is it dangerous to look at
a 40-hertz flickering light? Well, in general, the
answer is going to be no.

However, if you're prone
to epilepsy, for instance, staring at a flickering light of a given continuous frequency
can induce seizure, right? That might surprise some of you, but it shouldn't, because
as this study illustrates and as anyone who's ever been out at night to a club or something illustrates, when you look at a strobe
light, for instance, your whole world of
visual perception changes, but actually, the rhythm at
which you perceive music, at which you perceive conversation, at which you perceive
the movement of your body actually changes according to the patterns of visual flicker, in most cases, strobe, if we're using the sort
of club dancing example. Your brain is in training
to its outside environment. So given the power of flickering lights to entrain brain rhythms, I think at this stage, it's
probably too preliminary to really suggest a specific protocol, but I would definitely keep an eye out for these sorts of studies.

They are coming out all the time. And I think in a very short period, we are going to see specific protocols that one could use even at home, and of course, these are
non-invasive protocols, in order to place the brain
into a particular state, not just for sake of
offsetting neurodegeneration, but also for enhancing focus, for enhancing the transition into sleep, and other brain states as well. Today, I covered what I would
say is a lot of information. My goal was to give you an understanding of how light can be used
to change the activities of cells, organelles within
those cells, entire organs, and how that can happen
locally and systemically.

We talked about the power of
light to impact our biology at the endocrine level, neuronal level, immune level, mood, et cetera, through both illumination
of the eyes and the skin and other tissues as well. I realize that even though
this was a lot of information, there are many aspects of
phototherapy that I did not cover. I know there's a lot of
interest nowadays, for instance, in the use of red light and
other wavelength light therapies for ovarian health and testicular health. In fact, I get a lot of questions such as, can red light be used to
improve testosterone output? And if so, is that best accomplished by shining red light on the skin or directly on the
gonads, on the testicles? I'm going to cover those
data at a future time.

Right now, the studies that
have been done in rodents, I don't think are easily
enough translated to humans. And the studies that are
happening in humans now are exciting in the sense that
they hold a lot of potential, but the data aren't clear yet. However, the data using UVB
on the skin of men and women in order to increase hormone, in particular testosterone
and estrogen output, those data, I think, are very exciting and very actionable when we
talked about those earlier. So if you want more information on how phototherapy can be used, certainly we will do another
episode on phototherapy in these other contexts. If you're learning from and
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us on Instagram and Twitter, please do so. It's hubermanlab on Instagram. It's also hubermanlab on Twitter. And at both places, I provide science and science-based tools, some of which overlap with
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into phototherapies, meaning the power of light to modulate our biology and health. And as always, thank you for
your interest in science. [upbeat music].

As found on YouTube

Haartransplantation in der Türkei Erfahrungen mit Health Travels | 1 Jahr (Vorher / Nachher)

Hey everyone, my name is Rudi, I am 25 years old and in this video I want to tell you about my hair transplantation by Dr. Demirsoy. A couple of words about my history, I have suffered from hair loss since I was 18 years old. My hairline was receding, and it just kept getting worse and worse approaching my 21st birthday, until it became pretty much impossible to go on normally with the styling of my hair, Which, at that young age, was pretty important to me. I was trying to fight it with all my might, I let my hair grow out, combed it to the side, tried to fill it up with hair fiber, which kind of worked but was a huge effort to do, and I was heavily restricted in my daily activities, for example diving in a pool head first, which was pretty depressing.

That's why I started researching hair transplantation pretty early. I was 24 years old when I eventually underwent a hair transplantation myself, because most surgeons denied to do the procedure on a patient this young, simply because the state of my hair could worsen even more at that age. Fortunately, at 24 I was accepted by Dr. Demirsoy, after I had begun taking Finasterid. Before that, Dr. Demirsoy advised me not to do a hair transplantation, because the state of my hair was so unstable. I was fortunate that I could finally do a hair transplantation. Why did I decide to go with Dr. Demirsoy? That is simple – after researching many possible surgeons online but my primary concern was that the results would flawless. I didn't want anything more than a beautiful, aesthetic looking and thick hairline. If you're searching through forums or the internet in general, you can find a whole bunch of experiences with Dr. Demirsoy, with continously stellar results.

This was the most striking reason for me to choose Dr. Demirsoy. In addition I have to say that the price-performance ratio is absolute world class. I had offers by a number of different surgeons, with pricing up to 15.000 €, which is way too much for a college student to afford. With Dr. Demirsoy the pricing is significantly lower –
1,25 € per graft. The amount I needed was 2500 grafts, which I could actually afford. And if you look at the result, the price-performance ratio is world class When I decided for Dr. Demirsoy following my thorough research, I used a website run by the organization HealthTravels to contact Clemens Weber. At first you undergo an online consulting. You send in some pictures of your hairline and the history of hair loss in your family, etc.

And then you get your feedback, for me they proposed to transplant 2.500 grafts. Provided you agree with that you arrange a phone appointment with Clemens Weber. Then you pay a deposit of, I think it was 500 €. And then you just have to arrange your flight. Everything else was perfectly organized. Upon arriving in Turkey you immediately get picked up by a driver and taken to your hotel, which HealthTravel also takes care of. And the next day you're taken to the clinic. All in all a very frictionless procedure. Communication is no problem at all, since Clemens Weber speaks German. So yeah, the only thing you have to worry about is booking your flight, which shouldn't be a problem.

And then it's off! Upon your arrival you're picked up by a driver whose name I unfortunately forgot. He spoke German as well and was very friendly and pleasant. We drove over to the clinic where Dr. Demirsoy and Clemens Weber were waiting. The first step was discussing the hairline. Me personally, I was hoping for a very straight hairline so I could wear my dream hairstyle, but I was advised against it because on the one hand it wouldn't have been aesthetic and on the other hand, because I'm so young it's still possible that the hair loss continues and I might need additional donor hair to fill up the area further back.

I didn't take much persuading, I accepted the very first proposal almost immediately because these people are professionals and I trusted them. And as you can see it turned out very good and I'm happy I didn't decide otherwise. The clinic itself seemed very clean and very professional. There were no other patients besides me present on this day. That's due to the fact that Dr. Demirsoy prefers to only treat one patient per day. And shortly after shaving me head we went straight to the the surgery room. It all starts with a local anesthesia, which was way less bad than I expected, and after the first two punctures you don't even feel it anymore. And that's when the surgery started, in which Dr. Demirsoy – this took me by surprise – did the whole procedure himself, which you can't take for granted these days. The first step is removing hair roots from the back and the whole donation area. The whole thing was pretty much painless, I even fell asleep in the middle of it.

And then, after lunch break, we continued with pricking the canals in my bald areas in which during the last step the hair roots were put in. Dr. Demirsoy did everything himself, except the insertion of the hair roots. The placement of the roots was done by his assistants, who were perfectly skilled and did a professional and clean job. You can tell by the result. I can't complain at all. The hair transplantation itself took about 8 hours, and it went by completely painless. Thanks to the anesthesia I didn't feel anything and spent most of the time dowsing or sleeping. I didn't notice much at all. After surgery you're given some very important advice on how to act, how you should sleep – preferrably with a neck pillow – they will advise you on all of that.

And finally a couple of words on the time following the hair transplantation. After about 10 days all the scabs were gone and you could finally see the hairline. At first the hair is pretty dense and thick, which looks pretty cool, but don't get used to it, those hairs will fall out pretty quickly. About 30 days after surgery pretty much everything was gone. But on a positive note, at this time you can already see hair growing. Bit by bit you could observe the hair growing and month by month it became more and more. About 4 months post-surgery I could start styling my hair. I decided to still help things a bit with hair fibers, so it seemed a little more dense. After about 7-8 months I had reached the final result, and it stayed pretty much the same until today without much noticable change. I am very happy with the result, it really looks amazing. I don't think anyone who's not involved would even notice that I had surgery done.

Even most of my acquaintances didn't believe it, especially since I did everything to cover up my receding hairline prior to surgery. So to everyone toying around with the idea of doing a hair transplantation, Dot it. It was the best decision ever. You will regain a big part of life quality, you really do, fully recommended. Here's another demonstration with freshly washed and wet hair. You can see the hairline looks very natural. It perfectly fits the rest of my natural hair. And one more time with the comb, so you can really see. And now for another look when it's dry. You can see it looks very natural as well. The hairline. And once more with the comb, so you can see the hair structure better. You can see the hairline looks very natural and the density is very good and fits in with the rest. And here's a short look at the donor area, where the hair has been transplanted from.

You can see that they did a very good job there as well. There's no holes or anything visible. Normally when I go to the hair dresser I get my sides shaved down to zero, and even then you don't see anything. No one could have ever told that I had a hair transplantation done. I wanna say a really, really big thank you to Clemens Weber of Health Travels, who was always by my side and has always been active, before surgery as well as after, even when everything was done and paid for, Clemens Weber was still there to answer any questions. Even one year after the surgery – it is now exactly 12 months – I'm still in contact with Clemens Weber if there's anything uncertain, unclear or if I need any advice. No matter what, Clemens Weber is always there and always quick to answer.

You can also talk to him on the phone. It really is world class service, which you don't find with many doctors. Especially since Clemens Weber as the assistant of Dr. Demirsoy possesses a great amount of know-how himself, about everything related to hair transplantation. That is really helpful and he helped me a lot as well, when I had questions regarding the intake of Regaine or anything else. To everyone interested in more information about me and my hair transplantation, in the description below you will find a link to my post on Alopezie.de forums. There you can find an in-depth description of my entire history. If you have any questions, you can sign up and message me on there, I normally answer quickly. So, again, if you're thinking about getting a hair transplantation done: go for it! I regret nothing and it was absolutely worth every penny and every painful hour post-surgery. It really is a piece of life quality successfully regained. And with that, thank you for watching, and take care.

As found on YouTube

J. Krishnamurti – Saanen 1984 – Public Talk 2 – The relationship of health to freedom

May we go on
where we left off the day before yesterday morning? We were talking about time: time as the past,
if I may briefly repeat, time as the past,
time as the future, time now, at this second. We were saying also that all time, the past, the present and the future is contained in the now. We went into it fairly thoroughly, that the future is the present, because what we are now, our behaviour, our vulgarity, our – what? – our cruelty, bestiality, terror, and all the rest of it, what we are now, violent, tomorrow will also be violent if there is
no fundamental change now.

So the future is contained
in the present. The future, though modified,
is still violence. So please, as we pointed out
yesterday, in greater detail, all time is in the present,
is in the now. If one realises the truth of that it has tremendous significance. I am using the word 'tremendous'
purposely, without exaggeration. It has a tremendous effect in our behaviour,
in our relationship, in what we are actually doing
every minute of the day. It has great significance. If one captures that,
the truth of it, not the mere verbal expression, the intellectual,
logical explanation, description, but the substance of it,
the quality of it, the depth of it, the truth of it, then that perfume
of that which is true affects the whole of our existence. We would like this morning
also in relation to time to enquire together,
I mean together, not I explain,
you just accept, or you deny or agree, but together investigate closely, both intellectually, logically,
sanely, rationally, and also to go beyond it. Because logic, rationality
has its own limitation because it is still
within the field of thought.

We went into that,
we'll go into it again today. So if we capture
the significance of time then we should also enquire
into what is freedom, what is health and what is energy?
Right? Freedom, health and the quality of energy that comes
when one captures or sees, perceives the truth
of all time contained in the now. Right? What is freedom? All human beings throughout the ages have sought some kind of freedom, historically, religiously and so on. And freedom is translated now
as doing exactly what one wants, which you are all doing, obviously. Choice – one can choose to go
from one place to another place, from one job to another job, unlike the totalitarian states where there is total dictatorship
and everything is controlled.

Even your thinking, feeling
is moulded according to a pattern. So there is a denial in
the totalitarian states of freedom, therefore the totalitarian states
are retrogressive. You understand? Going back, not moving. So we must enquire
into what is freedom? Is freedom choice? To choose between two cars,
between two materials, to go where you want, to fulfil yourself at the expense
of everybody else – right? I hope you are following all this. To try to become much more
than what we are – better, nobler, wiser, more acquiring, more knowledge. So – which is the whole
process of becoming, which is called fulfilling. I must fulfil. I must have roots somewhere. You follow? The implication of all that
is becoming. Not only physical becoming, as from an employee to the owner, from an apprentice to a master, but also we feel becoming inwardly. I am this, I will be that. I am envious, greedy, violent – we will use the word 'violent',
that is good enough. We are violent. I will one day achieve non-violence, perhaps in a year or two,
or perhaps at the end of my life when I am just about to die.

Right? And all this implies
a psychological becoming. That's clear. And is there freedom in becoming? You understand my question? Or is freedom
something entirely different? Please, together we are
investigating, exploring. I am not explaining
and you are just receiving. Together we are enquiring which demands
that you exercise your brain, not accept a thing, not accept
whatever the speaker says. Therefore the enquiry must be yours,
not the speaker's. The speaker may just outline,
put it into words but the activity, the penetration,
must be on your part. So we are both sharing in this – right? Not I put something forward
with which you agree or disagree – that implies no sharing.

But if we are both enquiring,
probing, asking, doubting everything we think and feel, and its relationship to time, and see if that becoming
prevents freedom – right? Are we together in this
a little bit? May I still more explain it? That is, if one is a teacher who wants gradually to become
a professor in a university, or an apprentice in any discipline, he is all the time attempting
to become something – becoming more,
becoming a greater expert, greater skill, greater knowledge. This limited energy
given to a certain subject is limiting. Therefore that denies freedom. You understand? Are we together in this somewhat? You see we don't really
demand freedom. We demand only
within the limited area that I must do what I feel, I must act
according to my like and dislike, and in that action I am free, I can choose between you
and another, and so on.

So all that activity
is very, very limited, and that very limitation
denies freedom. Of course. We are also verbally limited, linguistically – I won't go into
the question of linguistics – linguistically we are limited. Let's find out
whether language limits freedom. You understand all this? Language. That is words. Whether –
the speaker is using English whether that language, the words,
condition the brain and therefore it becomes limited. Whether language
conditions the brain – right?
Are you getting this? Or language doesn't limit the brain,
condition the brain? You are enquiring? Please go into it with me. I wish there were
– sorry I don't wish – if there were only
you and the speaker together and not such a large audience, together, my friend and myself, then we can discuss it
very, very closely. And I am going to do that
– right? That is, you represent my friend and I represent the speaker. The speaker and the friend
are discussing this question, which is: does freedom lie in becoming
something all the time? Does freedom lie
in expressing your ambition? Does freedom lie in trying
to fulfil your own desires? And the friend says, 'I really don't understand what
the devil you are talking about'.

We are used to this, our conditioning,
our habit, is this. We are always wanting
to fulfil, to become, as in the outer world
also in the inner world. We must achieve something
otherwise there is no progress. And so on, my friend is saying this,
countering everything I am saying, the speaker is saying. And the speaker says,
don't get so excited about it, let's look at it together. When you are ambitious, both in the external world
and in the psychological world, ambition is the same whether you are ambitious
to become tremendously rich or ambitious to reach Nirvana,
Heaven or illumination, or ambitious to become silent. Ambition is the same. And that ambition,
the speaker is saying to his friend, is limited, is not freedom.

And we have misused
that word 'freedom'. Which is, each person trying
to assert himself, aggressively, holding on to his opinion,
judgement, evaluation, dogmas, creed and so on. And all this we call freedom. And is that freedom? Right? My friend says,
'I begin to understand what you are talking about.
I agree'. I say, don't agree
but see the fact of it, the truth of it – right? So freedom must be
something entirely different. And is it possible to come to that,
to realise that freedom? That is, not to be ambitious at all. Go into it. Which doesn't prevent
the love of doing – right? The scientists throughout
the world are very ambitious too, like the rest of us. They want to achieve
some superior armaments against the Russians and so on. All that game, that horrible game
they are playing. So every human being in the world,
however uneducated, stupid, terribly intellectual, are always caught in this process. And that is called freedom
generally. And the speaker says
that is not freedom. And the friend says, 'Does language prevent, or encourage the limited activity of the brain? You are following all this? Does this interest you? Are you quite sure? Or is it that you are
playing a game with me? Does language condition the brain? It does condition the brain if the words become important.

Whether the words are English words, or French words, or German,
or Italian or Russian, when the word has lost its depth, when the word is used casually, when the word has
special significance to each one, when the words have become
the network of the brain. You understand? Are you following? Then the words condition the brain. Right? But when the words, which are
merely used to convey a certain… used for communication purposes, if you and I, and the speaker, which requires
a certain sensitivity, attention, pliability, affection, then words can be used
without their limiting quality. Then the brain is not
conditioned by words. But now, as we are,
words do condition our brain. When you say
'the totalitarian states', immediately I have a picture of it. You immediately see
various dictators in different parts of the world, because their pictures have
been in every newspaper for the last fifty years. The image springs up and that image conditions the brain. You are following all this? When I use the word 'guru' there you are,
you have a reaction immediately! Or when a word like 'the Christ'
is used to a Christian – immediately.

Or to a Hindu
with his particular word, or the Buddhist. Please see the importance
of the linguistic conditioning, and whether in that conditioning all kinds of troubles arise,
all kinds of conflicts arise – the Hindu conflict
against the Muslim, the Muslim and the Arab
against the Jew, the Christians who believe in God against the totalitarians
– you follow? This is going on. So is it possible to be free
from the linguistic prison? You understand? Sirs, you don't put
your minds to all this. Right? See if it is possible for you,
sitting here now, to be entirely free
of the image of words. So there is freedom – there is no freedom in becoming. There is no freedom
when a man is ambitious, or a woman is ambitious,
greedy, envious. He may think he is free because he expresses his ambition. So there is freedom – there is no freedom in becoming. And there is no freedom
when the brain is caught or imprisoned in words
with their images.

And also we ought to enquire:
What is health? Does this interest you, health? Now, you all wake up! What is health? Can there be healthy organism, biological organism when there is constant conflict? between each other, one opinion opposing the other, one expressing his desires fully
against others' desires? This constant struggle,
strain, conflict in which human beings live, does that contribute to health? Don't say no. Then that means those are
the factors of ill health. Psychosomatic diseases. You understand all this? So can there be intellectual health, and emotions which are healthy, not romantic sentimentality
and all that, that conduces to ill health. I don't know if you are
following all this. So we must enquire very deeply
what is really to be healthy? This enquiry is not just
when you are reaching death, on the deathbed, but one must enquire right from when you are very young,
or middle aged, or now as the speaker is.

What is health? And health implies energy,
tremendous energy. And we dissipate that energy
through conflict, through strain, through
all kinds of tobacco, drinking, you know all the business of it. And without becoming 'food fad' – 'food fads',
you know what that means? Crazy about food, only concerned with what one eats
and nothing else. Without becoming food fads, to find out if the brain can live
without a single conflict. That means without any kind of emotional strain
or intellectual strain. You understand all this? Are you doing it as we are talking,
or you are just listening, agreeing and perhaps at the end of the day
you will try to think about it.

You understand my question?
Are we doing this together? Seeing how ill health
is brought about, heart trouble
and all the rest of it. Suppose I am,
one is highly intellectual; very few people are – but suppose one is
highly intellectual, only using that part of the brain
which is called the intellect, which is only concerned with discovering new ideas,
new expressions, new way of putting it,
new concepts, and disregarding the whole
of one's existence, biological and other ways of living, completely caught in that
– right? Then that affects the health
naturally. And if one is highly
emotional, romantic, sentimental, as most people are, that also brings
various forms of conflicts which effects ill health. Health means energy
– right? Not through drugs,
not through alcohol but, oh, need I explain
all this silly stuff? but when there is
no conflict whatsoever then there is tremendous health. And we said there is freedom,
we talked about, health and energy. There is intellectual energy
– right? The intellectual energy is when
they have put a robot on the moon, it requires tremendous
intellectual energy.

You understand? To invent all the horrible
things of war requires great intellectual
capacity and energy. Right? There is emotional energy
by itself, perhaps slightly modified
by the intellect, but when we are sentimental,
emotional, a kind of ugly
vulgar sentimentality, that too deprives energy
– right? Are we together in this? I don't know
if you are or we are not. I hope I am not talking to myself. So what is energy which is not dissipated at all? – dissipated, wasted. Because this is
important to understand, the quality of energy
which is highly intelligent, highly capable of reasoning, highly capable of analysing,
looking, observing, self-critically aware and therefore constantly removing
any impediment in the movement. That requires
a great deal of energy. People who are purely – not purely, one can't use
that semi-physical energy, you know you have plenty
of them in the world their energy is limited naturally, their energy controls all thought.

You understand? Are you understanding
what I am saying? I may be stupid but I have got tremendous energy. What I think is right
and that drives me. And you see such people
all over the world with extraordinary amount of energy. And those people
who are very, very clever, their energy goes into calculation,
all the rest of it. Now is there an energy
which is not contaminated, polluted by or through conflict? You understand all this? Right? Are we together in this?
A little bit? Then we must enquire:
why we human beings for the last forty, fifty thousand
years of our evolution, which the biologists and
the archaeologists are saying that we have lived on this earth,
as human beings walking on two legs, why from that time on until now we are in perpetual conflict
– right? Why? Is it agreement and disagreement? Look at it.

I agree to something
and you disagree with that. There is the beginning of conflict. I believe in a certain – the speaker
or one believes in ideals, the other doesn't –
immediately a conflict. One likes, the other doesn't like. One protects the few, and the few are
against everybody else. In our relationship with each other
there is conflict – man, woman, conflict. And there is conflict
between the guru and the disciple. Don't you notice all this? The disciple wants
to become like the guru. How silly that is. But the guru himself
is probably rather silly. So there is this
perpetual struggle, conflict. One holds on to something, identifies oneself
with that something, and one resists at any price. And between man and woman
there is not only sexual conflict, but also each human being,
the woman and the man, or the man and the girl
and so on and so on, each wants to express things
in his own way.

He is ambitious
and she is ambitious. And therefore there is conflict
– right? Why do we live this way? That is an immense waste of energy
– right? But why we human beings after this long duration of
experience, knowledge, wars, suffering,
the eternal anxiety and so on, why do we live this way? Why do we, who are so clever, who have so much knowledge, so learned, why do we carry on this way? Please ask this question.
Don't wait to find out.

Ask it, demand it, put your passion behind to find out. Is it our brain which evolved
through conflict, right? Conflict with nature, conflict in the air,
conflict in everything. So our brain has become
accustomed to it. Having become accustomed
it says that is the way to live, that is the way to progress. If there was no competition, there would be no progress. And so the brain which has
become accustomed, used to live
in a certain environment, says that is the way to live.

Are you in that position? You, sitting there,
say, 'Well I am used to this'. And because you are used to it
you rationalise it, you say, 'Yes,
in nature everything struggles. The little tree, the little plant
is struggling towards the light. The tiger kills the deer'.
Right? 'So it is part of our nature'. to be violent, to be in conflict, to be at war with each other and therefore war with much
greater significance – right? We have lived that way. There have been wars for,
historically, five thousand years, practically every year
there has been a war, and we are living in a state of war
– right? And you say that is natural, we have done it for fifty
thousand years, why not? The politicians profit by this
– right? So, we are asking each other: is it possible to live
without a single conflict? From that we have to enquire why we human beings have problems. Problem means conflict – right? Why have we problems? Why does the brain accept problems? Is the brain itself –
you understand? I am going to ask something,
please listen.

I am just discovering it is the brain itself
in a condition of problems? Vows aver compress? Is the brain itself –
[Noise of aeroplane] We won't compete with the aeroplane! Is the brain itself
caught in problems? Is the brain itself, with all the activity
that is going on, that brain itself is a problem? You understand? Gosh, I wish this noise would stop. Our brain is conditioned
from childhood. You go to a school and you have
problems of solving mathematics, how to write. Poor little child goes to a school
and writing becomes a problem. [Noise of aeroplane]
This is a small country and they have all this noise. We are asking whether
the brain itself is the problem? The questioner is part of the brain – you understand? The questioner who says,
'Is the brain the problem?', and the questioner is also
part of the brain, naturally. But the questioner
is asking the brain: why are you in conflict? And it says, 'I have been trained from childhood
to solve problems. I have been to schools as a child, they have taught me how to write
which has become a problem to me.

And how to read, however pleasant that reading may
be, that has also become a problem because I don't know first
what 'A' means, how it looks. So I go through school, college,
university, if I am lucky, and that whole movement of acquiring
knowledge, in any discipline has conditioned my brain'. So the brain is
the problem-solving machinery. You have understood? The word 'problem' means
something thrown at you. Problem means a challenge to you. From childhood something
is thrown at the poor child – right? He must learn ABC, he must know mathematics and so on. So the brain itself has become
a machinery which creates problems, and tries to solve problems. You understand this?
Come on, sir, move – eh? So what is one to do?
Right? If the brain,
that which is inside the skull, is the machinery
which creates problems, it is – mathematical problems,
technical problems, problems between man and woman,
problems with politics, problems with pollution
– right? All the depository of all
the toxic material – you follow? The whole process,
it is all becoming a problem.

And the problems have arisen
because of the brain. Right? Just a minute,
we are moving further. So the brain is
responsible for problems and the resolution
of those problems. Right? Are we clear on this matter?
Somewhat? Need I go more into it? Do you want me to go more into it? Why? It is so simple, isn't it? Religiously, look at it, you are trained as a Christian,
to have faith. Saviour and faith. And those who are the Buddhists
say that is all nonsense. That is the invention
of the Western priests which is probably true. They say there is no such thing
as Saviour, Buddhists, or having faith; they say doubt, question,
enquire, never accept. So there are two and the Christian says
that is all rubbish, the pope says faith is important. And my family, my education
has been Catholic so I am programmed,
as the Arab is programmed, as a computer – right?
And so on. So our brain is a form
of computer programmed. And when a brain is programmed,
as we are, linguistically, religiously, with many, many problems, the brain says I am tired, I can't think,
you tell me all about it.

That is what is happening here. So your brain becomes
gradually withering, gradually atrophied, which is with problems. Krishnamurti says something
and that has become a problem. So can the brain
be free of problems? You understand? That is, there are problems in life,
you can't help it, it is so. But to meet the problem
with a brain that has no problems – do you understand? That is, my statement,
do you understand? You put in front of the speaker
a problem. If his brain is also
full of problems, he will solve your problem
and create more problems out of it.

Right?
Haven't you noticed this? That is what
the politicians are doing. The economic problems
are solved by experts and other experts come along
and say sorry it is all wrong – right?
And so on and on and on. So to find out
whether you can have a brain that is not a mechanical brain, that is not a machinery
that is solving problems, which means to have no problem. And that is possible –
I will show it to you in a minute, if you go into it carefully, that is possible only
when you understand time.

As we said, time is the past,
present and the future. All that time, all the past,
the present and the future is held in the now – right? You understand? Problem means a future. You get it?
Come on, sirs. You understand? Any problem implies
the resolution of it, which is in the future. Right? That is why it is very important
to understand all time is now.

Sirs, see the beauty of it. So you put a problem, there is a problem – there are several problems,
I know, I am aware of, in all the places I go to,
the various schools I go to, various politicians one meets,
the scientists one meets, they are all asking,
demanding, questioning, and if your brain is also full of
problems, anxieties, uncertainty, then your answer will be
as muddled as theirs – right? So we are asking: whether the brain
can be free of problems? And to understand
the nature of that freedom you have to enquire
into time – right? That is, as there is no… the now has no future, the now is in the future – right?
I wonder if you understand this? So any problem arises and the solution means time
– right? Therefore if you understand
very clearly – I am going to go into it,
very slowly.

I am also learning as I go along. It is fascinating, this. Let me take a breather. There are problems,
life has problems because human beings are so obstinate, so arrogant, full of their own importance. I have done this,
I am going to stick to it. And they create problems, and the speaker has to meet them
– right? If he is also full of problems,
he will make a mess of it – right? So to be free of problems implies
the enquiry into time – right? Because the problem and its solution
implies inherently in it, time – right? I have a problem,
I must think over it, I will discuss it,
I will go into it, I read books about it, or consult my guru – you follow? All that goes on.

So the problem and its solution,
inherent in itself, is time – clear? Then we have said previously,
time is contained in the now. See the relationship between the
problem and the time, do you see it? Therefore any problem I meet
has no time. It must be solved instantly. You have understood this? That implies – may I go on? I hope you are as excited
as the speaker is, because he is discovering
something new each time. That implies
perception of the problem perception, not according
to your prejudice, according to your judgement,
according to your opinion and so on, but perceiving with your brain, with
your heart, with your whole being. Seeing,
in which there is no distortion. There is distortion
the moment there is motive. So to put away motive, direction
and absolutely perceive as it is, and not allowing a second
to hinder the solution. You understand?
I wonder if you understand this? Look, sir, there are problems
between man and woman, there are other problems,
I am just taking that one problem. Man and woman. They quarrel. This is one of the unfortunate
things that happen in relationship.

They quarrel about god knows what, every petty little thing on earth. They quarrel. And they never solve the quarrel. You understand? They keep on
until it becomes unbearable and one of them says,
'I'll buzz off'. And thereby they think
they have solved the problem. Then they get married
to another man or woman and start the whole game again. You must all be familiar with this,
aren't you? That is why you are all
in agreement with this, I see. So this goes on. Now if the man or the woman
understood the nature of time, the truth of it – you understand? that is,
to see the quarrelling going on, the conflict going on, and see, perceive, and you perceive it
instantly the cause, and instantly remove the cause because you are not
allowing time at all to interfere with the solution
of the problem.

You understand this?
Come on, sir. Is this somewhat clear? That is, when time becomes
the most important thing in life, the understanding of it,
not mere verbal description of it, the agreement with it, but you yourself see
the truth of it profoundly, then there is no problem at all
for the brain. You may have a problem. But the brain that meets the problem
is all important. How you approach the problem. If you approach the problem already having a solution
to the problem, then it is not soluble – right? You solve it
according to your old pattern. But if you approach it
without any bias, without any sense of anxiety, and you can only do that
if you understand the depth and the strength
and the vitality of time.

Is that right, clear? So can your brain, which is no longer a slave to linguistic control,
linguistic images, and has understood
the nature of freedom, real freedom in which there is no sense
of moving away from something. If you move away from, let's say, if you move away from anxiety, the movement is time. And therefore that movement
may appear secure, security but that movement has inherently
in itself uncertainty. Right?
You are getting it? Is this too intellectual?
No. It is just common sense. So enquiring into freedom, enquiring into what is health, because if you are not healthy? you cannot have freedom,
because that will impede you. I may be paralysed but still
I can be healthy – you understand? I may have only one eye
to see clearly but that doesn't prevent me
my health. Health is destroyed
by this constant conflict, achievement, success, ambition, uncertainty, confusion,
all the pain of life. And energy, energy never dissipated.
You understand, sirs? By chattering, arguing,
holding on to what you have done and say, 'This is right,
I am going to stick to it'.

You understand? Energy implies constant movement, constant discovering something new, not technologically,
psychologically. So that your brain
becomes extraordinarily active and not dissipate that energy. When you have that energy
then you can look at problems – you understand?
And understand time. They are all dove-tailed,
they all fit together, they are not separate. It is one long steady movement. And also we ought
to talk over together why human beings are hurt, psychologically wounded, why human beings
in their relationship quarrel and so on. I don't think this morning
there is time for it – it is now twenty to twelve.

So may we stop this morning and continue on Thursday morning? Would that be all right?.

As found on YouTube

Our Future in Mind (Day 1) | Mental Health Summit | IDONTMIND and Mental Health America

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You are exactly who this is for. The fictitious step in making a difference is that little seed of inspiration is caring about something and making it personal and wanting to get out there and do something about it. In fact, I would argue that is — that is the most important element of advocacy. Because working to change something and in the really caring about it is — it is, you know, unproductive at best and I guess harmful at its worse. It is like when you see a politician showing up to a rally for some cause they don't care about but looks good and it feels absent. Know what I'm talking about? It is — it really does — it is figuring it out and what being an advocate really is and difference in caring about something and being an advocate is moving from initial inspacing SPRAGS you have and desire to do something and start to take action.

That can be really daunting. It can feel like I don't know how to begin. I know I want to do something but what? I felt that. When I started, I don't mind, it was — you know, it was years after I had the idea and wanted to do something and it took me a long time to figure it out. It was an idea that percolated for a bit but I knew through my own experiences with mental health be it my own struggles with depression and low self worth or losing family members to untreated mental health conditions I knew this work was important to me and knew that I cared and if I could figure out a way to make a difference and find the right place to do that, that everything would just click.

Now, the thing is though you have to start somewhere and find those organizations you want to work with or your niche and why we put the summit together with most coolest and innovative mental health organizations and athletes and educators. We are here to connect you with people out here doing this work so maybe you can find inspiration or maybe something will click and you feel you found your place and hopefully it will happen faster for you than it did for me. We have an awesome weekend planned. Day 1 is today and all about learning and unlearning the basics of mental health and mental health systems currently in place and we will talk about what is not talked about; right? What is usually left out of the conversation of mental health. We will explore how to talk about mental health at its very basic level and what things effect our wellbeing and what we have to do to build an inclusive future and tomorrow is about getting started and talking to advocates making a difference in many, many different ways and should say bringing to mind it is important to note that mental health like anything really has — we have differing opinions and perspectives and not everybody agrees on everything in this space.

That is the nature of life. Right? That is okay and okay to hear different perspectives and people you hear from this weekend speak honestly and sharing their specific approach and ripping that BAND-AID owe of and really getting there and you might not agree with everything you hear but they might not agree with each other also. That is helpful. By listening to others who may see something in a different way or have experiences we haven't had or maybe sometimes they know something we don't know with you can broaden our perspective we can learn about things that are new and I encourage you to keep an open mind and come in ready each day to ask questions to follow your curiosity and challenge what you think you know about mental health already. SHLGS right? Before we take action, we have to educate ourselves and shouldn't write a how to do pottery book before we take our first class or it is out of the wheel. We are building a better future for people with different mental conditions and we are doing it from the bottom up.

I'm all for disruptions and love it and live for it and think it is terrific. We had to learn about the systems that impact mental health before we can get in there and disrupt them. Mental health advocacy has to be inform and inclusive and intersectional. I will make a bit of a promise to you and speaking for everyone. I didn't ask if I could do that. I promise my support if I don't mind in mental health America won't end when the summit is over we are promise to follow up with you and offer options and ideas and opportunities to follow with us and o are, gs we will talk to this weekend and goal being we won't get you worked up and excited and just leave you out in the cold.

We are here to help you make the difference you want to make and thanks for taking time to be here and for taking the first step. Enough heavy stuff. Let's get to it. We have incredible sessions today talking about challenging stigma and discrimination and talking about fighting loneliness and peer support and role of climate change in mental health and much more. We are live right here on YouTube all day long until 8 p.m. eastern time and tomorrow all the way through 6. Don't just tune out today and leave us. We want to hear from you. Give us a shoutout from social and comments and observations and ideas and reflections and whatever. We want to know what you are thinking and we will take live questions during the summit. Stay tuned to see how it works with the moderators. I will pop in and out throughout the couple days here. We will talk about all sorts of things and lots of it is important and flagging some might press on people and some might feel too heavy. Turn it off if it gets to be too much. Step away and come back to it or not at all that is okay.

Pick and choose parts you need and skip those that you don't. If you feel you are in crisis, please text IDM for a short for I don't mind IDM741741 to speak to a trained crisis count lore and thanks YouTube for hosting us and all support for making this happen and to panelists and moderators, thanks for participating and making the weekend possible and most importantly to you. Thank you for showing up and for being here and thank you for getting this work started. Don't go anywhere. Stay here and keep watching our future in mind. I will see you in a little bit. >> Hi, everybody. I'm Kelly Davis and associate vice president at peer advocacy America. In the past year and a half we talked about mental health publicly more than ever before. The truth is that mental health challenges whether it is suicide attempts self-harm depression and anxiety and all these things have been growing among young people for years before Covid started and we are now in this place we are talking about it and at a critical time we can do something different.

People who are in the positions to lead and who can give us valuable input in what we do moving forward are people most impacted by this especially young people and they have grown up in a world that is so different from anything you have seen before with technology and with climate change and all these things in the world. Now with Covid generations before really do not know what it is like to grow up in the world today. It is kind for us to listen to people with lived experience.

I will share a little about my story and how it impacted work I do today with young adults at mental health America. Growing up from as early as I can remember, I felt like there was something different happening with me compared to people around me. It often felt like my feelings were physically too big for my body. I had no words to explain what was happening to other people. By the time I was 10, I had my first suicide attempt and spent next years and years of my life in mental health treatment inpatient outpatient intensive patient family group and all these TH different things and medication and treatment trying to figure out what was happening to me and learn something about how I could navigate the world. When I was 19 years old in college on VERJ of dropping out I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and given a message you have a serious mental illness and people like you don't do WM in college or well in the world.

Maybe you should go home and not stress yourself out too much. It was in that moment I was like, okay. I see this future that has been given to me and remembered a couple years beforehand. I had been online and saw this image of an elephant. It was a story saying when baby elephants are in captivity they use chains to keep them from running away. By time they are full will I grown they can easily run away. They don't try and truly believe they can't do anything. I thought maybe all these messages I had received about myself and I was getting now, maybe they weren't true. Maybe I could find another way to build a life and build a life that I wanted.

It was at that point I got connected to a movement of people with lived experience and peer support movement and through that I was able to find things for me some we will talk about today like yoga and mind/body practices peer support and disability accommodations and all these things that help me survive and thrive whether it was at school and I didn't realize that because I had a mental health diagnosis when I was feeling depressed I could ask for accommodations to turn things in later and miss classes for doctors appointments and all these things when my life had been presented to me that mental health is something that do you in secret and you go to the office and go to the doctors office a couple times a month or few times a week or wherever you are and keep it to yourself and don't share it with everybody.

We are at an amazing time where people who have that experience are speaking out and once I was okay. I learned this stuff about myself and I can do something about it and tell other people they don't have to listen to things people have said about them. What I found is when I started to share my story that all of these people around me, so many of them were going through the same thing. They were waiting for somebody else to say it. Not only were they waiting for somebody else to say it but they had ideas too for those things that could be done better and differently whether that was mental health education in schools and training sports teams and creating an app and using social media and different parts of our lives because lives are important for us to talk about mental health and it is important for everybody to get access to resources they need.

We really have to make mental health bigger than just getting A- K cress to resources and I have been excited for mental health young adult leadership programs many folks that have been involved you will hear from today. They are really leading from their lived experience and that is something we want you to take away too. People have different stories; right? Your story could be I was never able to talk about mental health and reached out for health and felt supported and life changed and take time with people in community talking about mental health and could be you had injury on sports team and you had to pretend nothing was happening struggling in silence creating spaces there.

Wherever are you and whatever your story is there is not WRUN way to be a mental health advocate. It is about exploring what happened you to and what felt good for you and helped you and how you can use it that to build a better world to support other people and we wanted to say too no matter where you are right now, you might be coming home from work or driving home from school.

You might be having such a hard time and so many of us are having hard times and you are watching this alone in your room super upset because you had an awful day or week and you don't know what you will do about your own mental health. Wherever you are, I want you to know this is a space you belong. You will hear so many people who are in the position who have been in the position that you are in right now. Mental health America for those who don't know was founded in 1909 by a man named clifford beers he was in the state psychiatric hospitals at the time and thought to himself this is unacceptable. We can't force people to live like this. There has to be a better way. He is considered the founder of the modern mental health movement and has been through the whole history of the mental health movement and people with lived experience who had diagnosis and themselves went through mental health challenges have been living this and are you in a community with other people who said this should happen to me and should never happen to anyone else ever again.

What it is, is for you. Today is time to listen and hear all of the folk WLZ it is what they created and what we are unpacking intersectionality, racism, economic justice and all these things bigger than starting the conversation about mental health and tomorrow talking about what they do and for young folks; right? Often times you don't have a say in your life. People don't listen you to and are not taking you seriously. This is a space for you to know your voice matters and you have something valuable to contribute to the situation and for folks listening, they are learning from you and learning from young people and leader who's built movements to change mental health whatever intersection they are coming from. Stick around today. Your voice and ideas matter and mind matters. We are so grateful to be with you and we will close off today with an activity for tomorrow and stay tuned and feel free to drop thoughts and fieldings and ideas in the comment. We are here to build a community and movement and none of this stuff depends on one person but all of us working together with whatever strengths and whatever unique perspectives and ideas we have to build a better future for mental health.

Next we will here from Ivan Tchatchouwo and hear about his journey with mental health. Thanks for being in community with all of the wonderful speakers and with you as well. >> Hi. I'm Ivan and happy to be part of I don't mind and mental health America conference today. I want to open this by talking about what mental health is and why I'm passionate about it. My mental health journey came to when I was in the states at 5.5 and went through a big culture shock. Basketball helped me get through that anxiety and learn English language and make many friends. Fast forward and I had an opportunity to play college basketball in junior year stepping into height of my career was named cocaptain attained with everything I worked with and hit with an injury. This is when the whirlwindgan being from African household and inner city in the Bronx. When I was injured I stopped wanting to be part of society and stop godding to classes for months and started to smoke and drink in the morning.

At that time I had no idea what I was struggling with. I knew I wasn't myself and didn't want to do anything. See people. I felt I was nothing during society. During time my coaching staff realized I was failing badly and asked what was up. They got me to the school psychologist we had on campus. I was finally happy to know there was a road map to being better finding out I was struggling and what I was struggling with helped me start my journey and I realized many people don't know how they are being impacted mentally causing them to go down the spiral and do other things negatively to them. I starts on this journey wanting to educate young people around mental wellbeing.

What is mental health? People are starting to be impacted however people are still looking for answers I can't say I have all of the answers and it will solve anything for anybody. I don't believe there is a definition for mental health. What every human struggles with is their own truth we can't heal everything but identify and find better ways to cope with each other and people are not bound by one thing. Nobody is immune to mental health you can be impacted by family traumas financial struggles overworking loneliness and deaths to say the least leading to anxiety stress and depression. We as humans are going through a real-life experience needing to be compassionate with ourselves and start to become proactive not just on physical health but now is time to start to do things for our mental health even if we can't quantify or see what is wrong, ways I believe you can start to practice positive mental health is asking yourselves daily how are you dog and be honest.

You might not want to talk to someone talking to yourself about it and educating practicing self-habits working for you will KROOate a gradual process nobody is immune 6 '2 blackmail not educated on mental health until I was impacted by it. Some don't get through what I got through. I'm stressing importance of beginning self-journey of understanding how it can impact you. As you go through today's conference and listen to leaders. A better you is a better society and mental health has a lot to do with that. Thanks again I don't mind mental health America thanks for having me and enjoy the conference. Thank you. >> Hi, everyone. I'm Amy and a body centered practitioner and board member of mental health America and excited to be here with Arthy Suresh. I would love to introduce Arthy to get started in a conversation about the mind/body connection and bringing the mind and body into our healing and growth. >> Thank you for the introduction, Aimee.

Hi. I'm Arthy and a freshman in Ohio and doing an 8 year medical program hoping to be a psychiatrist and integrating approaches into the field of psychiatry. I'm happy to be here. >> Great. Arthy, my experience when I thought about mind/body I thought of it as we are our mind and we are our body. It didn't take me long to realize that we — they are all connected and it is one in the same; right? As we heal our mind and body and as we heal our body we heal our mind. How did you come to the understanding of the mind/body connection? >> I think for me it was experimenting with mind/body approaches. I was able to understand I could use my conscious mind to effect workings of my brain and rest of my body. So, when I was learning skills they taught us science behind how mind/body approaches work before we learn exercises we were doing. I learned about it by exercises effect our hypothalamus that has control over the autonomic nervous system in control of body's functions breathing heart rate and digestion and able to understand when — I could tap into my relaxation response.

That helped me learn about myself and strengthen the effect that mind/body. >> As we become more aware we become more aware and sort of have more to work with; right? As we heal and grow. So, what are some of the interventions you do? What are exercises you have learned and found helpful? >> Yeah. One of my favorite exercises is shaking and dancing. You can kind of think about it as your body when you work out is you are actively sweating and getting all this negative energy out of your body. You feel happier. Your body is releasing endorphins doing a shaking and dancing activity and we do imagery exercises which is nice. Sometimes if you go through a hard time you can kind of tap into your brain and go into a safe space and use imagery as a technique like that. We do drawings and deep belly breathing and writing exercises as well to get our emotions out. >> Great. How have you noticed in people that you work with and in your own work that how have you noticed the shift? >> The shift is truly transformational with mind/body work.

I noticed a lot of people coming into our club very timid and shy and they don't open up at first. As they use mind/body approaches, it gives them a little bit more like — you were talking about becoming more self-aware and comfortable with themselves and their emotions and truly understanding that just because we have emotions like sadness or depression, it is not a bad thing but normal thing and everybody has emotions and it is okay to talk about it and feel that way. I think for lots of people especially teenagers, there is such a big stigma around depression and anxiety. These mind/body approaches open up the space and conversation. >> Yeah. I think that is a great term. It opens the space both kind of literally and figuratively. >> Yeah. >> Our body, the energy moves. Sometimes with depression or anxiety, almost like anxiety is stuck or energy gets stuck. >> Uh had uh. >> And movement allows for release of energy and feeling. >> Yeah. >> Great.

Sounds like tell me a little about the mind/body ambassadors group. You were founder of it. Can you tell me how it came about? >> Yeah. Very early into my high school experience, my school was actually effected by a mass shooting. There was a lot of trauma on campus from students and teachers to all of the people that worked at our school and administrators and such and coming back to school was really hard for everybody, especially for us students it was hard to focus on school. Everyone was so worried about is there going to be an active shooter walking through the door and was hard on us to find [Indiscernible] on ourselves and our AP history teacher my sophomore year started our first day of class with a soft belly breathing exercise. We all thought it was so funny how the exercise goes is you say soft as you breathe in and you say belly as you breathe out. We thought it was so weird she was doing it. We went with it after a few laughs — throughout the year.

So, for us, we found a truly great experience with mind/body approaches. A couple of us. STUDENT: YERNTs and teachers that taught us these skills, we teamed up to create an after school club and how it would work was we would train students for 6 weeks where we would meet once every week and every week teach them a new mind/body skill and meet in the teacher's lounge that is comfortable and beach painted in back and bunch of cozy couches and was a nice space for us to have that open conversation about mental health WHUL we learned mind/body approaches that I think was a very healing experience for us after what had happened. After our students go through a 6 week training they become official mind/body ambassadors and have a chance to go out into the community and share skills they learned at our club. >> That is so awesome. It is so awesome. With teenagers relationship to their body is often not a great one; right? >> Yeah.

>> It is about how it appears or what it does for them; right? If there is trauma we feel it in the physical body. The fact you are bringing in body positive messages and techniques to allow them to have a different relationship with their body and see it as a source of healing is an awesome gift you are giving younger people and sounds like you have given to yourself which is part of your own recovery. >> It has been very powerful and especially everything that happened and I know it happens at every high school and kids get a lot — kids get exposed to drugs and alcohol and use that in a way to tap into the relaxation response. It was important for us to help kids get caught up with all those things after a tragedy that happened and help them heal in a natural way becoming aware of their body and using body positivity.

>> That is great. I admire you for your resiliency and way you have taken this and turned or took something tragic and terrible and turned it into an opportunity to actually spread the word about ways in which we can heal. >> Yeah. >> Yeah. Sounds like with school you are studying and you want to study psychiatry. I imagine you will take mind/body approaches and theory of mind/body into your practice one day.

Is that your goal? >> Definitely. As I have started to get into this work, I always have done loads and loads of research about the psychiatry field that is drug-dependent feel and go to psychiatrist and you go there to get drugs that help your body. >> Using mind/body approaches could be initial kind of line of treatment and moving from there if you need it take drugs and lot of people in the field don't really use these integrative medicine or alternative medicine approaches in their practice.

>> Yeah. It is tricky. It is action oriented and body supported approaches that have been around forever and medication and I think there was a time that got replaced with mind as priority and potentially medication as a benefit. >> Uh-huh. >> Both are important and almost like we are coming full circle coming back to traditional approach where's body is a source of healing and, again, it is awesome to see your generation leading effort into that. >> Yeah. >> I wish you a tremendous amount of luck in all do you and keep spreading the word and let us know us somatic practitioners out there how we can support your efforts.

Anything you want to share before we move on? >> I guess a little last tip for anyone out there wanting to explore practices or getting into mind/body approaches I recommend having an open mind experimenting with approaches that are out there. There is lots of different approaches that work for different people and they effect your body differently. I know when I first started to use practices I was a little iffy about it and there was activities that didn't work for me and some exercises that helped me a lot.

It gets easier with practice. Yeah. That is what I would say as a tip. >> Yeah. That is a really important one. I think that sometimes with body approaches you might be asked to move your body in ways you have done before and might feel it looks silly or is too big or small or too loud and important to continue to lean in with curiosity and an open mind which is an important tip.

>> Yeah. One last thing I like to think about it as all our doctors tell us to exercise our body and work out and be healthy and we need to be exercising our mind as well. That is when I use this tip and tools and what I like to think of I'm working out my mind as well. I think lots of people place more importance on their physical health than they do on their mental health and taking care of it on a daily basis. >> How can people find out about the mind body ambassador program? >> We work closely with center for mind/body medicine go to CMBM.org for mind body approaches and being involved with training and reaching out to me exploring how you can incorporate clubs in your school or start one at your school.

You can reach out to me on Instagram which is at arthy Suresh my first and last name. >> Thank you so much for important and great work you are dog and so great to speak with you. >> So great to speak with you as well. Thank you. >> Hi, everyone. I'm Arthy. I will lead you through a shaking and dancing session today. This is something I have been using up through high school and up to now and know when I would have a big dance performance I was nervous for or track meet, my friends and I would gather in a circle before our event that had sonar wrists and we did this exercise to get nerves out and hope you can do the same thing here with me today.

Shaking is a very primitive form of movement that is often used in stress-reducing response. If you have a dog and you have seen your dog shake uncontrollably after they hear thunder or what scares them this is what we aim to mimic after this exercise. You will shake off all your stress. Trust me, I have done this so many times after a long time of working at my desk for hours on end and exercising and feel so energized and revitalized after and know it sounds like she is using all these big words . Trust me. You genuinely feel energetic afterWOIRDs and this is a great exercise I used to do to melt away my stress. It sounds intimidating shaking and dancing. Some might thisty is weird at first and awkward to do. I promise if you use me as a guide and dance and shake with me it would entbe as weird as you think it is. I want you to get the most out of this exercise. Stand up and find a space you have enough room to move and shake and be part of this activity and give your body what it needs.

Go ahead and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. I like to do this exercise with my eyes closed it makes it less awkward. If someone is in room next to you kick them out and if you face a wall, that might help too. I like to exercise with eyes closed. I will invite you all to do the same if you would like.

We will just start by breathing in and breathing out slowly. Go ahead and take a deep breath in through your nose. Feel your chest and your lungs with your breath. Hold it there. Go ahead and let it out. I want you to notice how your body feels. Maybe you have tension in your shoulders. Your neck. Maybe your knees feel a little stiff. Go ahead and take a few moments to just keep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Noticing where in your body you have a lot of tension and maybe a lot of stress built up. If you have physical limitations, I will invite you to do this activity maybe sitting down. Kind of just listen to your body and do what is necessary for you and there is really no right way to do this exercise.

It is all about doing what your body wants you to do. As we are breathing here I want you to notice how your body and your breath feels and when you hear shaking music begin, start to shake. Whatever it means you to, start shaking. When you hear the music begin. Just keep shaking your body and maybe start slow. Shake your arms and fingers and shake your shoulders. Keep shaking to the music. Feel the music and keep shaking. Shake different parts of your body and shake your legs, knees, hips and shake your head. That is my favorite, shaking my neck. Feels so good. Shake in any way your body feels comfortable and shake to the beat if it makes the process easier. Just keep shaking. I know this might feel a little weird. Keep going with it. I promise you it is weird for both of us. This exercise really does help after you feel so pumped up and your blood is pumping and you have so much energy.

Keep shaking and shake your elbow and your arms and your fingers. Shake your legs. Keep shaking. You got this. Only a few more seconds left. Keep going. Shake harder than you have been shaking before. This is the last stretch. Just keep shaking. Okay. As music comes to a stop, keep your eyes closed. Just take a deep breath in. Let it out. As you breathe in and out deeply, I want you to drop your shh arms about I your side. Notice how your body feels now. Maybe you feel a tingling sensation at your fingertips. Notice how your body feels. As you breathe in and out.

Catching your breath. Noticing how the energy around you. Now, as you hear the music begin, start to dance. You can keep your eyes closed or face a wall if that feels comfortable for you. Dance and move the way that the music and body wants you to move before we begin. Yes! Keep dancing! There is no right way to do this. Just move how you want to move.

Dance to the music. Woo hoo! Keep dancing! Imagine yourself on a little island dancing on your own. If you get tired, keep dancing even more. I know this exercise can tire us out a little. Keep dancing until the music stops. You got this. We will be dancing for 30 more seconds. Keep going with it. Make these last 30 seconds count. Okay. As the music comes to a stop, take a moment to yourself to kind of just stand there.

Again, breathing in through your mouth. Breathing out. It is really important that we breathe in-between these little shaking and dancing exercises. I want you to notice how you feel this time maybe not just by the energy but with words and what are words that come to mind as you are thinking about how you feel right now. I want you to think about how you felt before the exercise and how you feel now and if you feel a lot more energized and you feel better and maybe there is a smile on your face now.

Really keep that in mind as you maybe use this exercise as a tool in the future for yourself. I know that I did exercises all the time, at least once a week. Thank you guys so much for joining me today. I hope you all continue to do this exercise. Keep in mind it may not work for you the first time or might feel uncomfortable or awkward. Maybe next time cow do it with friends if it makes you feel comfortable and gets you in the spirit a little bit and thank you to everyone for joining me here today and giving me an opportunity to lead you through this exercise. Don't be afraid to keep an open mind. Thank you! >> Hi, everybody. Thank you for joining I'm Marissa Byers. I'm excited to introduce to you Wawa Gatheru. Take it away and tell a little about yourself. >> Thank you everyone for that kind introduction. I'm so excited to be here and talk about an intersection that is extremely important in a day and age where climate crisis is at forefront of all our lives and a little about me and my name is Wawa.

I'm a writer and current road scholar at University of oxford and research looks at intersections between social justice and racial justice as well as access for all people in the climate space. A huge part of access is making sure that everyone is able to part in climate change activism and mental health in really upkeeping that is important in making sure it is truly accessible and excited to be in this conversation with you and sharing this virtual space with everyone tuning in. >> Absolutely. I know you have been Jet setting around Europe this past week for climate conferences and exciting you are able to speak with us in this space. Thanks for that. Setting the stage for the conversation I want to dive into how environment is important for our mental health and how we don't really talk about and magnitude of climate change could be challenging for mental health working in advocacy to support that.

Big problems about big feelings and how we protect ourselves working towards a better future and intersections that come along with that. What do you see about relationship between environment and mental health? >> Good question. I think environment and mental health have everything to do with each other and jumping back to do a framework I work upon which is environmental justice framework looking at environment from interdisciplinary point of view and environment not only natural spaces about you places we eat and sleep and pray as well as own bodies and mental health have everything to do with that especially in day and age where climate crisis is at forefront of our minds and every day it seems there is a new climate report coming out and there is very, very normal and natural responses that we have to such overwelMing news and our mental health having access to information is a huge point of conversation we need to have when we talk about climate change advocacy.

>> Absolutely. Interesting looking at work as environmental advocate and on mental health. Climate change issue causes lots of stress and when we go back to nature is where I see connection between environment and mental health and benefits of being outdoors whether in a built environment like a park or out in the wilderness, whatever you have access to; right? Being out in green space has physical cognitive emotional benefits for us complex relationship with mental health and climate change and answer to dealing with it as I see it is being able to be in green spaces where we can have experiences decreasing serotonin levels exposing us to microbes in soil that decrease cortisol and increase serotonin and being able to work in conjunction with nature to restore our mental health and we talked about impact of climate change on mental health and big ways that happens and what advice do you have for advocates working in this space in terms of protecting their mental health in face of the big issues? >> Fantastic question that I think about all the time.

First, I want to reaffirm everything you just said in regards to the answer and lots of times we are seeing research coming out saying spending time outside and in green space is helping people cope with ecoanxiety and climb YAELT grief that is an interesting juxtaposition. For me, I see climate crisis being the earth's feedback to us and telling us systems we relied on for years now are not working and earth is giving an opportunity to restructure systems that make the world go round and thinking critically about them and seeing what is not working and revise them. We do see that especially I don't want to be it that person that is jen Zers and seeing with research and instance folks part of gen Z demographic I'm part of we spend time before us and many reasons and interesting to see now there is research coming out saying demographic it that is experiencing climate grief and anxiety at such high rates are also maybe not always tapping into the answer.

To really use that to frame how I will answer the next point, I think that spending time outside is so, so important and taking time to be in the sun for instance. Vitamin D is extremely important and impacts your mental health in so many different ways and will say that action is a great way for people to really deal with a really complicated and emotional responses that people have to climate change. Chimate change is above all else a story of grief and helplessness and is a story of hope; right? There is things happening around the world looking on the news and seems there is a natural disaster or seeing another report like I said about high-level sea rise and P in certain places in the world that might not be above water.

As little as 50 to 60 years; right? At the same time, there is so much opportunity to act and there is so much hope in that. I would say for folks that are watching TRIENDing to figure out what to do with these emotions that understanding that all these emotions are not dead end emotions but are a massive entryway for you to act whether that is joining a climate group that is nearby your community or starting your own or connecting with folks online doing really cool work. When the pandemic happened, I felt lost. My way of activism has been in person and grassroots organizing and suddenly I couldn't do that. Then I found a whole huge community online of young people from around the world that are exchange evering ideas how we can get involved in climate action.

We are able to mobilize together and create really, really firm and authentic friendships that are really important. We get to talk about the way we are feeling with people going through the same thing. >> Absolutely. I 100% agree with everything you just said. I think especially when people are thinking how do I get involved whether climate advocacy or mental health advocacy connecting with community whether in person or online is a key and recently was an article published from university of Beth 10,000 respondients and young people around the world were asked about climate change and experience they had in regard to it.

Things came up people said climate change makes them feel sad and angry and anxious and powerless and when asked if they had spoken to people about climate change a significant nearly half of the people who spoke to someone else about climate change said they were ignored or dismissed about concerns or feelings and adding isolation or feeling of rejection on top of already complex feelings compounds a lot of the pain and grief we are feeling already. Plugging into a community and looking attur own strengths and what they are. You don't have to be spearheading these efforts. So much is going on and we have different roles to play. I think that finding that community and getting plugged in on what the best role is for you is so important.

Then when it comes to creating the community, Wawa, what do you think is a good way for someone to reach out and get plugged into the movement? >> Great question. I think what you said at the end of the question is where you are talking about the fact that we have a role to play. That really applies into figuring out what role we have to play in our communities; right? Instance, there is some people that are public speakers and are communicators and folks that are out there talking about climate change making it accessible to different folks and feel I might fall within that category and are artists and people using music or artwork as a way to communicate way that climate crisis is impacting them or way to spotlight places in the world that are experiencing climate crisis and so many different ways for people to participate.

Either there are caregivers or folks that are going to be the future ecotherapists able to deal with patients dealing with climate anxiety and have tools to be able to equip patients figuring out how to navigate emotions and at a time of such uncertainty and so many incredible roles to play and would say a first thing to do that is something I like to do and my therapist helped me navigate this. She was like, okay. Wawa, what were loves you had as a child and things you gravitated towards where nobody was telling you to do them but they were innate loves and passions you had. For me, I love to talk and could talk anybody's ear off. I also love music. For me, something I realized is a way I found communicating in climate space is communicating and sharing love of music and sharing music with favorite artists talking about huge massive social justice issues with music and great way to find community and tap into the child's and passions and loves you have.

Often times you have those that are really sustainable and regenerative and are great for overall health in general also saying don't be afraid to reach out to people in your community you haven't spoken to and feel active and reach out to. I come from a small town and felt like I was one of the only people talking about environmentalism. When I got an Instagram, I saw there were people from around the world doing this. I had made a lot of friends in the past two years and those that have become best friends that I have been organizing with that I shot my shot in the DMs, my friendship shot. I love your work and would love to connect and two years later we are drinking coffee in London and this is the reality. I would say reach out to people and don't be afraid to. There is so much. There is so much power in having community. We can't deal with these issues by ourselves. If only one person could deal with these issues, then they wouldn't be possible.

These issues wouldn't be able to be solved. Find solace in that and in making friendships and really putting yourself out there to instill community and if it doesn't exist in your backyard or community start one yourself. Start an organization or a walking group. So many creative ways you can get people involved in climate and in the environment. >> Beautifully said. I'm loving that and hearing you talk about different ways to be involved in activism and ways to play on strength and share message and looking at self-care is similar and different people have different ways that they make themselves feel better protecting their energy looking at tips there are. >> Self-care looks so different for all of us and what make me feel good might not be what makes you feel good.

That is totally fine. — something that I like to do for self-care that makes me feel guess specially when feeling down or burnt out I like to write poetry or songs in my lonesome and is fun to take a walk at a park and sit at a tree and do it outside. Might no the be possible in the winter but taking a couple seconds to walk outside and observe and use it to inform things I write down and I like short stories and things I like to do and people watching at a park and making up stories and bustling around New York City is super fun and bringing practices outside and understand first and foremost what makes you feel good and your self-care is valid and might not be part of traditional mainstream definition of self-care. If it works for you it works for you.

Way you should do this is also through listening to your body and listening to your body is so crucial to ensuring physical or mental health are upkept and I feel as someone who has been [Indiscernible] for a long time I sometimes feel I might not be listening to my body as much as I should be. I will SPENTD several weeks working or organizing endeavor or campaign and realize you need a couple days owe of to really just sit and care for yourself. So, definitely listen to your body. Your body knows you better than anybody else. Never take it for granted. >> Absolutely. I love it can be so personalized. Just creativity that goes into developing your own self-care routine. I will add lots of times ecotherapy, people have a notion that it is going out into the wilderness is a big thing and you have to travel somewhere far and want to disspell the myth ecotherapy and working with nature to receive benefits and de-stress and calm doesn't have to be complicated about you could be stepping outside and taking a breath and looking at the sky.

Don't have to travel somewhere or doesn't have to be Instagramable. Getting outside and if just reading a book where you can feel the breeze on your skin and connect in a little more of a deep way. Not all places like I live in a city without equitable access to parks is not walkable and hard to get to places unless you are in a car. Having practices that use the environment you have is important. Even if it is not a picturesque mountain range place you are are important and roots in that place are important and there is a lot to learn from being outside in the different environments. So, I think kind of dispelling the myth of getting outside has to be a chore or big ideal is something I'm passionate about. You can make it work wherever you are. It is a big lesson we learn from nature and is what I have to add to that little soap box about getting outside and taking advantage of nature.

We can talk about this all day, Wawa. I loved hearing from you and getting to learn about ways to incorporate in aitiure into your mental heal BLG and learning about your advocacy. If people want to stay in touch with you after the talk what is best way to follow you? >> Follow me at inTA gram at wawa –@black girl environmentalists we are a supportive community. We are creating a very intentional and safe space for us to talk about our environmental experiences and work we do. Please feel free to follow along if you are not part of the demographic we are also so interested in collaborating with different allies from different communities. Definitely stay tuned to the fun stuff we have coming up. >> Absolutely.

If you need a nature moment to take a break from processing climate change follow latest project for ecotherapy for all on Instagram for mindful moments and different meditative activities taking place outside in nature. Thank you and for being in conversation with us today. Thank you all for participating in our session. Next, we will have a short five-minute activity to help ground us after this conversation led by Anthony Sartori from evolving minds. Thank you and enjoy the rest of the summit. As you pause you might be aware what is here with you and any emotions or feelings. Deep breath in sounds and space around you grounding attention and aware BS and SOURNDs and m I'm Anthony and director of evolving minds practice and connection and today's video is about connection and intersection of mindfulness and climate change and climate action and how practice of mindfulness is a powerful tool or way of preventing and combating climate change. We will take a pause and practice interconnection and feeling connected to all of life and knowing if there are feelings from previous session those are valid and okay and welcomed in this space.

As we transition into the mindfulness pause you might allow eyes to close. Knowing you can practice mindfulness with eyes open and as you pause you might allow hands to consciously relax and finding support of the chair beneath the body becoming aware of sounds and space around you. Changing nature of sounds, grounding nature of sounds. As you pause, you might become aware of the body from the crown of the head to the tips of the toes and the space in-between and feeling the aliveness. Or maybe a sense of disconnection and not feeling and might present within the body and sense of anxiety or stress or overwhelmed and allowing the shoulders to drop back consciously relaxing the jaw. Allowing breath to move in and out at its own pace and rhythm.

Feeling movements and sometimes could be helpful to place hands on the belly as a way of grounding attention and awareness offering and nurturing presence and touch. As you pause there is connection here with in and out motions and trees are here with us. Cycles of the in and out movement of the breath. This is possible because of the trees. And the plants and the algae and the sea. So, as you pause and breathe and there is a sense of connection here with the earth and sense of movement with the clouds and thunderstorms and rain and water. As you pause knowing there is water within you.

This source of life for all living beings is here. It is all around us. Knowing there is no right or wrong way to be you in these moments. As we transition back to the space around you with eyes open and opening the eyes grounding your attention and color and light and sound. May all beings effected by climate change be free from suffering and be protected from inner and outer harm. This is the practice of mindfulness. Take care and bye bye. >> Hi, everyone. Mental health is a big focus and I'm happy to be here today seeing work you are all doing as advocates. Listen, we are in the midst of a global [Indiscernible] when coming to mental health from increased risk of substance abuse to rising rates of anxiety and depression, toll as been enorm owe us and at YouTube our role is to help people find information and community to help them better manage their mental health.

Through open discussion and education, we can tackle stigma and encourage improved outcomes for people and families and communities and is important to have all of you join the mission challenging notion of mental health advocating for better care and more resources and believe it makes a difference. Thank you. >> Hello, everyone. Welcome to our session fighting loneliness, the power of fear I'm Ysabel Garcia and use she and her pronouns. I identify as a woman and have short dark brown hair and eyes and I'm wearing a red sweater and blue headphones and background is white walls and plants to the right and left. In this session, we are going to learn to help our friends who might feel like there is nowhere for them to go when they need help and we will learn about the power of connecting with friends in new ways and finding new communities where we can be open and honest about our mental health.

Having this amazing conversation we have amazing panelists and we have Stephanie Kaufman who is using they and them pronouns. We have Geela Ramos. She is president of UCF active mind and lastly is Lorne Wood using he and him pronoun and is a training specialist at star training academy. I want to let you know that I have questions for these at the end. Feel free to drop something in the chat if we have a conversation. All righty. So, I will start with the first question. Can you share your experience in how you came into the world of peer support? Stephanie, would you like to start us off? >> Sorry.

Thank you so much. Hi, everyone. Really excited to be had here with you all. And to give a quick visual description of myself. I'm a white non-binary person wearing blue earrings and have a peacock scarf on. I'm in my bedroom talking to all of you. For me, I came into peer support mostly out of survival. My first real memory of needing peer support was being a freshman in high school when I lost a friend to suicide. And my school district did not want to talk about it. It — it meant accepting in their minds liability for what had happens and that fear of suicide and fear of conversation stopped a lot of necessary support. For me, I was a 14 year old and there was a bunch of us who were traumatized and had nowhere to turn and adults in my life had no skills.

If there were folks who we could talk to, many were afraid we could call our parents and families weren't ready to have conversations for lots of different reasons. Fast forward and for me I'm someone who has been through the mentalth health system for many years and through the years have been diagnosed with lots of things with goal of always fixing and curing me and I've had positive experiences in the system and also had really upsetting experiences and for me peer support saved my life and my peers never put me in a cage and listened to me and understood me and talked to me and it is really important to have, you know, peer support with a social justice lens.

Harm is always possible and power dynamics are always there. When thinking about peer support, we want to make sure it is coming from folks who are really considering our liberation in addition to supporting us to give us tools and resources we need to not just survive but feel whole. Yeah. I will stop there. >> Wow. Yes. Not just to survive but to feel whole. Wow, that is powerful. Would anyone else like to answer or learn, Geela? >> I can go next. So, a quick visual description where I am and who I am. Again, I'm Geela and right now wearing rubber duck earrings and wearing glasses and Asian American wearing really bright red lipstick and in bedroom with a duck in the corner representing my university which is university of central Florida that is having homecoming and my experience coming if into the world of peer support similarly started owe of with high school with a close friend who is experiencing depression and I was very confused at the time.

I was use today push off my FEEMings to decide and surely my friend will do the same. It wasn't helping and didn't know what was best way to approach it. He was very close to me and I could only see him suffering and didn't know how else. As a result, luckily, county I come from which is South Florida started a program that focuses on overcoming problems effectively that is abbreviation and acronym and is the start and hope was meant to be a program of peer support.

We were kids trying to navigate this. These were clubs supposed to be self-taught and self-led and teaching myself what it meant to be a peer supporting others including my friends and is a long learning process. I'm still learning I'm in college now and currently part of active minds and was a club I sought out coming into the university and likewise we focus on being self-led and self-taught in how we advocate mental health from social justice lens and counseling and supportive psychological services. We have our chapter there is over 600 in the nation now that are fight ing for the same cause. >> Thanks for sharing your support. I think that is a great segue to the next question which is what is peer support? Why does it matter? Would you like to answer this question? >> Absolutely. Background on myself, HEP hello, everyone. I'm Lorne Wood and started off as a foster youth and taken away from my family when 9 years old and ended up in 14 different foster homes moving from place to place and never quite fitting in.

I received mental health services a number of times and most of it was negative. Some of it was positive. But, I think when I got older I found out about this movement of peers. Right? Peer support. What it is, is really coming from — it is providing mental health services through a lens of lived experiences and lived experience meaning we have been through something. You know, like struggling with mental health and maybe it is substance use. It is — you know, it is a pretty broad definition and is important because it provides another avenue for people to receive services. If I feel like I'm alone and I'm not willing to receive mental health services but hear that somebody has been going through something similar it is the thing I need to feel comfortable into that environment and to open up to somebody else.

>> Hm. Yes. Yes. Well, who else would like to answer the question what is peer support and why does it matter? >> I can jump in. This is Stephanie speaking and for me one of the most important parts of peer support is, you know, this idea of offering care and presence and often just bearing witness to someone's experience and what is happening without always having to put a label on it. Or, you know, rush to medi indicate someone's experience away and in our society in general, if this comes through the language of the mental health system and diagnosis, you know, has often, you know, been in a particular way that says this is what it looks like to have good mental health or to be considered sane and the word disorder what does that mean? I don't know what that looks like.

You know, I think for me peer support could be a form of mental health care. It doesn't have to be but could be a relationship and could be a form of healing. I think for me that it matters so much. You know, I often ask people when I'm doing peer support trainings to think about a time in your life where you really needed support but weren't ready to change and it is hard for people to hold space when we are not there yet. So often my peers have done that for me. The last part, you know, for me, going back to the roots of peer support, they are actually very, you know, radical in nature and way I'm using radical, I'm challenging very nature of mental health system and challenging things like forced treatment and thinking of the way that for so many of us we have been taught the only answer if someone is struggling or having a mental health crisis is calling 911 despite the fact people are dying particularly black and brown and indigenous disabled brown people being killed who need help and support and for me peer support is getting back to roots and really thinking about, you know, what has gone wrong with our system? You know, lots of the peer support that has saved my life has been from folks who are also, you know, in a space of questioning and at different times being willing to help me navigate the mental health system.

I did want to access care. That is a critical part for me as well. >> I think you mentioned several ways which peer support is different from traditional mental health service like counseling and therapy and would like to hear from Geela or Lorne, what do you think about that and what is different for you? >> This is Geela and something different from peer support especially talking about a college or school environment in general is your peers are ones you are immediately connected to and something that is often a common problem is — that doesn't mean they are always readily available sometimes you have to wait over a month to get some support from a therapist and that is especially true for colleges and universities and having a large population such as my university and peer support is first looking to those that you might trust more and feel more comfortable being around and more importantly feel you are more vulnerable around and peer support is something you can just talk about and helps you reduce stigma a lot.

It is same nature and to me you are talking to a friend and to someone who cares about you and to at least some extent and peer support is just something simple we can do not just when we really need it but in our every-day lives. >> I love that. The every-day life aspect, I love that because I — when I talk about peer support I feel it is accessible and mentioning in therm and other systems that waitlist and a bunch of factors getting in the way and effecting those SIFLT ems especially if you hold marginalized identities maybe person of color or part of LGBT community and I'm wondering what are those basics of peer support? How can we make them a daily practice if we are talking about what is accessible.

Well, so, how can we introduce them to our every-day lives? Lauren, would you like to answer this question? >> Absolutely. I should preface this by saying I worked typically the bill K of my experience over the last 10 years is working in direct service mental health services and what would traditionally be considered traditional mental health services and as a peer and doing training as well. What I think is really cool is that the concepts of peer support still remain the same and that most fundamental part of it is human connection. I can relate to. I think that for peer services I think that the common thread is human connection. >> Yes. Human connection. >> I like you spoke about peer support and excess waiting system as well. Not just yes. It is a daily practice and we can have in community and at the same time there are — there is an active program for peer support.

Stephanie, would you like to talk a little about what type of peer support programs exist? >> Yeah. Thank you for that question. I think, you know, there is a whole range and spectrum and when we are thinking about — excuse me. When we are thinking about peer support for some folks it is something that is a career and has become professionalized and — we see folks who are running peer resident pit centers that are really wonderful programs and houses that are often used as alternatives to hospitalization. These are non-clinical spaces led by for peers and many of them you can come and stay for up to 7 days. You can leave if you need to go to work if you have kids I think that is for me a really important example of one of my foundational values which is anti-force and anti-coercion and allowing people to make their own choices.

You know, not having the assumption that someone having a mental health crisis is inherently dangerous when reality is that people who are labeled with mental illness are much more likely to experience violence and be perpetrators of violence and everybody is capable of harm and particularly our communities are repeatedly labeled as dangerous and that is multiplied when you add different identities into the mix. We really see different types of support on college campuses it that is work that we have done with project in particular and were seeing peer support programs were being supervised and run through the university and had almost the same issues that the counseling center had around students not trusting it or not knowing where information is going and what happens and when my college finds out I self-harm or hear voices detours people from using those services.

With project let's we were one of the first peer support programs that was completely student run and not supervised at all by the university and we had built our own protocols around what to do in crisis and how to avoid using cars RAL solutions such as calling the police and is absolutely unacceptable that colleges have their own police forces that will come to students dorm room with a gun in their pocket and say they are there to help that escalates a situation and I think there is a really wide range of uses of peer support whether it is more professionalized or it is happening all the time in community and I want to name that, that marginalized folks queer and trans folks and disabled folks and mutual aid and Covid and surviving so long and mutual aid is a form of peer support and for me last thing I want is a name around a really important value that is around, you know, having space to have multiple world views.

You know, the mental heal BLG system and US-based understanding of psychiatry as a whole is only one way of making sense of the experiences and peer support allows for a whole range. You know, if someone comes to me saying they are hearing voices and are a healer and are communicating with ancestors I have space for that and I won't label that as psychosis. I think that the mental health system has a tremendous amount to learn from peerism and way we navigate peer support. >> Thanks so much. There seems to be many ways that we can reach peer support. I'm wondering how. Like are there Websites or are there — are there — how would we find those services? Geela, would you like to answer the question? >> Of course.

To find services best way to do is ask around and ask a doctor if you have a doctor you are seeing and college campus you can ask and what student services office is and actual counseling and psychological services. If you have friends struggling with the same thing perhaps you want to ask them how they are coping and if they have peer support spaces they go to.

You can also always look it up on the web. There is resources online that can help you and including social media that is the greatest platform we have and is powerful trying to find sense of communities and resources you might be and whether reaching out to community or those that are close to you or general Network and many ways to find these sources. >> Awesome. >> Lauren, would you like to ask resources you know of? >> I think Geela nailed it and biggest thing is asking around and doing research and looking on the web. I got into peer support. If we are talking about how to get into providing peer support, then, you know, I searched around and found it and addressing something I found in the chat in the beginning of the show is somebody said I want to get involved in peer support but don't feel smart enough. Really, I think that you shouldn't worry about that. I started working and providing peer support when I was 19 and thought I was way in over my head and find it is a skill like anything else.

If you want to help people, I say get started with it. Don't downplay that. You are probably interested in helping because of something you have seen or experienced; right? Think of that as an assets and as something that can help you help people. I thought of most of my life as a waste of time for the longest time. I started to do peer work and realize that this is not — these horrible things that happen to me are horrible indeed. But, they are also — they are also a tool that I can use to help other people get through similar things. >> Right. Perfect. Yes. Wow. That comment around feelings of feeling smart enough has had — hit me.

Because I — when I started peer support and to do or educate myself on peer support, I felt like incompetent. I did. I was like, oh, my God. I don't know how to ask a question or open the question. And so I — I would say they are so many amazing educational programs out there. From project [Indiscernible] to tomorrow there is a training I'm going to actually which is about anti-[Indiscernible] practices talking about suicide; right? The thought of peer support and abolitionist approach as well. There is also an organization that is called WAUL flower alliance that is in western Massachusetts. They provide amazing peer support training and provide [Indiscernible] training and [Indiscernible] to suicide training which is my favorite approach coming to addressing suicide ideation or thoughts, et cetera. They are — there are great programs out there that we can use to educate ourselves and to practice and, you know, it takes practice. Like Tiffany says, mutual A in community care system and forever, especially communities of color. I think it starts to — it is time to start to recognize that it is here.

You have always been here. How do we recognize it and start to promote it and that is one of the ways that we are raising that awareness. All righty. We are going to start audience Q & A. We have some very interesting questions. Thank you so much for submitting your questions in the chat. First one is how can you find the balance in peer support between open discussion and promotion? For example, supporting eating disorder recovery versus eating disorder behavior. Who would like to answer this question? >> I can start. I think that is something that as part of an active minds chapter, we have to always strike a very sensitive balance, I guess. Or a [Indiscernible] balance. As an RSO or registered organization, we feel it is necessary to be able to be educated enough to talk about the issues and also recognizing we are here to support others and be in open space and as far as actually being able to encourage recovery versus teaching about it, it is almost in a way 50/50 sometimes.

It is not just me educating myself. For example, if someone else is going through it and don't know what is happening, how can I recognize this and help them to recognize this? Often with peer support it is often a form of listening. Doesn't matter who is listening as long as both are listening to each other. Usually, we practice when we are encouraging recovery in trying to help them recover and practice bar and validate, appreciate, and refer. In the referrals we give, it is not necessarily just referring them to businesses they can access but referring them to here are a few resources you can learn more about what you are going through and explore for yourself what you think is applicable at the moment and there is usually a 50/50 balance when you are in organization that has responsibility. >> Hm. I think it is also important to differentiate between validation and agreement. For me, validation is not necessarily saying, yes. You should do this thing. It is about I believe in your pain. I believe you when you tell me there is pain, I believe you. I think that, that is a difference therebetween that validation and encouragement.

There is a difference there. Anyone else would like to chime in on the question? >> Yeah. For me, something that is coming up is our role as peer supporters is to follow the lead of the person we are working with. You know, people are not projects to be fixed and things are complicated and we have to trust that while, you know, many people don't have access to all of the same types of knowledge that people do know their body minds are best and people have tried things.

It could be extremely invalidating, right? For someone to share something with you and response be have you tried X? Right? Things like that could be really difficult to hear. You know, I think another thing coming up for me is often times people think that the way to encourage someone to change behavior is through shame and punishment and through isolation and through ultimatetivums and through contracts and can't expect people to change and be supportive in changing if only tool we use is the threat of disconnection. You know, I think the way to go about that is, you know, I'm here.

If you are struggling and slip and have a bad day here, I won't shame you or punish you for that or ask you to stop before I can be your friend. I think it is actually could be really dangerous to force someone to heal before they are ready. Someone needs to feel safe inside of their own body and mind before they can access trauma.

Otherwise, we are just forcing someone to open, you know, something that they are not ready for. So, I think that holding space offering and being able to reflect back to our own lived experience and sharing and hey, no pressure. I wanted to offer this thing where you could be a really wonderful way of shining lights on things that folks may not be fully connecting with. >> Thank you. Thank you so much. So, it is actually the end of our discussion.

I want to — first of all, I want to thank all of you and to all of the panelists for taking time to be here and to all of the attendees and thank you for the questions as well. They were submitted in the chat and lastly I want to ask for social media. Are there — where can we find your organizations? Where can we find you? >> Geela, would you like to start? >> Of course. For active mind specifically, you can look up Website active minds.org and on social media platforms and I'm familiar with Instagram at active underscore minds. >> Awesome. Lauren? >> Yeah. So, you can find me at stars tip academy on Twitter.

Stars tip academy. >> Stephanie? >> Yeah. You can find us at project let's.org and mental health system lead by peers and if looking for a place to start and if you have been part of other peer support communities haven't felt aligned with values or where you are at, you are welcome to check us out. >> Awesome. If you are looking for education and in terms of suicide prevention from social justice lens you can find me at — on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Finishing up, mental health America is currently support program on college campuses. If you have participated in college peer support program check out the link to drop in the chat and stay tuned for the next session which is nothings for us without us: Stigma, discrimination, and sanism.

Thank you so much, everyone. >> Telling your story is important and finding pathways to getting support whether peer support or therapy or working with a psychiatrist. You want to make sure everything is freely and readily available in noncoercesive and trauma-informed ways. Thinking as a starting point it is important to unpack what the mental health advocacy world is. So, just to get started, I will kick it off to Ve SP er.

From your perspective why is mental health advocacy bigger than stigma reduction. >> Yeah. Mental health encompasses so many things. People have been treated differently isolated from the rest of society because of socially we have fear of emotional distress. Whether that be ourselves and losing some type of control and fear of sitting in danger and presence of danger with ourselves and danger in our lives on how we can confront it and move through it. Due to this response, we often end up, again, you know, isolating or siloing out, if you will. The disabled and the mad and those with mental health diagnosis. I believe stigma really doesn't talk about the portion of identity where we can reclaim identity around our emotional distress and/or unusual experiences and other extreme experiences or states of being. We don't talk about that enough and freedom to really reclaim that. I like to challenge people around the term stigma which can be utilized in lots of regards. Can we really be speaking to it more from a place of prejudice and challenging the fact that this is, you know, historical context of oppression that has existed as long as humanity has existed.

>> I love how Ve SP er framed that. Piggybacking off you, collegiate innovation council and lots of conversations about stigma as I navigated my personal experiences connecting with peers and I realized this is not stigma but is systemic and discrimination and prejudice. Stigma makes it as if there is something wrong with the person when really those of us with lived experiences, there is nothing wrong with us but is part of our experience we navigate. Not that it is the same issue. I do intersectional work. Racism is systemic and sanism is systemic and policies and laws whether on your campus or just your every-day life existing that impact us. I think like Ve SP er mentioned moving paths and challenging stigma to say this is sanism or a type of discrimination will reframe how we think about our social justice work in this area to not put blame on the person but re-evaluate what are these systems it that we are living in right now? I love that.

I love this conversation already. >> Yeah. So glad to be here and to be exposed to all of you and continue and context and advocates and activists we have to legalize human rights that we have and — patriarchy and institution racism and sexism and there are many other isms that exist within intersectional framework that is mentioned centered around living experiences living experience is a medical discourse no cure to mental health I'm not dead yet and continue to live experiences of emotional distress and childhood trauma and they are all really important points that I think is important that we eliminate sanism as form of ableism. Ableism is barely existent and sanism and we can start that conversation dialogue today. >> I would love to follow up, Matt, and then to Ve SP er and A /* Jalyn. I want to make a difference in the lives of other people and to your point, Matt, there is a conversation about all ableism and sanism.

Those words are — many people don't know what they are or what they mean. Often, you don't realize, right? To Jalyn's point you are used to system excluding and alienating and marginalizing people mental health condition and madness and whatever language you use it is hard to begin to impact that you are often faced to deal with it by yourself. Can you give examples what we really mean? What does it look like to face sanism or ableism in context of mental health? >> Facing sanism and in context of mental heal BLG is often when we see circumstances of unhoused person who is on the street who is, you know, really, really struggling in ways that they may be and existing in ways they do, all of a sudden they are being treated as someone who needs to be put away and taken out of a capitalist society that has to exist in a certain way and because they are not contributing to this and rate of productivity in capitalist society and all of a sudden they are disposable and treated as disposable.

That is one context which sanism exists and I think in representation of identity and how we carry ourselves and this really is a colonial idea that, again, has historically existed and that we are supposed to carry ourselves and act a certain way and be a certain way. And there is such a fear of, again, danger and loss of control that — that really makes us respond in that way. I also — I also want to say that in a framework of what our society often calls mental illness, I would like to challenge that.

When we say mental illness, what ends up happening is that we are not talking about one, the context of identity where what we are siloing it again. Two, when we say mental illness, we are not really — we are not putting pressures on systems or society to be more accessible to us in ways in which we exist and how we get into disability justice framework and not about anything wrong with your mind and body as you exist; right? Rather society has to be more accessible to you as you are. And we don't talk about that enough. When we have mental illness paradigm, what it does is you are responsible for recovery and for doing this. It is back on the individual. >> I'm happy to continue to piggyback off that. I call it psychiatric disforia and like gender disforia. There is no pill for homophobia or racism and mental health issues are direct result of systemic and structural oppression and is convenient for government and psychiatry to blame individuals within illness paradigm and framework for emotional struggles when in reality we have to look at intersecting lines of oppression and higher rates of mental issues and — Research that works for them.

This is a very dark system and very dark and went into — >> I don't have much to add. Period Ve SP er and what Matt mentioned and yeah. I think it plays into re-evaluating what is normal and acceptable. Because like they were mentioning, it is systemic like you can't take a pill to just a pill alone won't fix everything and me taking a pill will not fix racism or mental health to prison pipeline or disparities we face or disparities in housing and those with disabilities and mental disabilities we have most issues keeping housing there is so many systemic things and capitalism, I'm just like woo. I'm processing what they said. Also, just agreeing with everything you are mentioning. I think it is important for us to challenge. People can think and process and function in different ways and that be acceptable and it shouldn't be a norm that our worth is only based off productivity and being productive in a way that is seen as normal, I guess. >> I think that lots of people who hadn't maybe engaged with it that idea before really confronted it over the past year and a half with Covid where I have seen in my college mental health advocacy so many things where people were dealing with depression or different challenges pre-Covid were denied things that were freely given to people when everybody was struggling during the pandemic; right? If I, for example, somebody who when I was experiencing depression 16 hours a day and couldn't function and got extensions on assignments and changes to my course load so many people get accommodation Oz R need support like that and are meant you don't deserve to be here this might not be the place for you and during Covid when became everybody's need suddenly they were able to do things like that.

We are using a lot of broad language. So, just to get a little more specific, I will ask you, Jay willin our intersections came around college and lots of folks listening will be our students or people who are recently in school. Can you illustrate what sanism and ableism and like what are types of discrimination that students whether in high school or college are dealing with when it comes to mental health? >> Yeah. It is so interesting just in the journey and now I'm working at the center that is looking at the issues from kindergarten to really not just college but professional programs like law school and grad school as well. My personal experience coming into this space, I really empathize with people navigating Covid and now getting more access to accommodations in crisis as well as so many people who are being left behind due to the pandemic. For instance, from my experience I took a medical withdraw for example and survivor of mental health systems and people don't talk about ableism and systemic discrimination that you have to navigate to return to school after medical withdrawal and see I'm a first generation student.

I'm in group chats with students who talk about I'm struggling to secure housing from my experience pre-pandemic getting back to campus after a medical withdrawal was a battle to get housing and I was the last to be able to choose my classes as a junior in college. They can be terrifying. You just see a lot of financial and systemic obstacles and barriers that students face pre-pandemic and is more exasperated.

Now, it is more intense. That is like I guess my first thought on what students have to navigate now and just incars RAL STUGSs are a layer of being incarcerate and systems should be seen as institution and if you are unwillingly trying to catch up in classes after it that. From my work from the Baslon center seeing it across the country and personal experiences seeing Covid impact are things that I keep seeing over and over.

I hope with conversations we can start to end this. Form of leprosy and spreading subservience or homosexuality up until 2000 seven and 2013 and challenging the nature of how we are categorizing to stress and oppressing people further and how that exists now. >> Yeah. The overmedicalization and industrial complex of medicalization of human suffering is designed to impress those in power often cisgendered white upper class men who like to manSPLAN their way through the world a couple are lovely but very rare and to give an elevator pitch and language to jump on what Ve SP er is saying words like idioim bass I'll moron are used in stages for children in institution mad or crazy and people use this language in every day language that is sanism we have to start challenging that. Think as somebody who talked about the ideas and was exposed to ideas at a time I felt disempowered by mental health services one of the — some pushback you get when you critique systems saying this is not right or sometimes often systems harm people and people feel you are saying, well, we shouldn't help people or provide resources to people.

Ve SP er, I heard you talk about this and what does it look like to — some people benefit many people benefit from therapy and many people benefit from all sorts of types of traditional mental health services even if there is a lot more community stuff whether peer support that we will talk about later and obviously dismantling other types of oppression and how do you rebuild or reframe things so that it is not, I guess, pushing everybody against one another.

I think lots of people will hear this saying you are saying nobody should ask for help. That is not what is being said. Can you share a little about what — I would love to hear from all of you and how do you respond when somebody says your critiques mean are you telling people that they are not asking for help? >> I say it is not intended to be. Don't pursue help or look for types of supports. Rather I'm trying to have folks be informed as to what is out there as possible and harm that could be caused from it. Therapy for example, you know, I used this example before and will speak to it again. Therapy could be used as a tool for social control. It is just the transparency that, that has happened and that currently happens is what we are looking for.

And acknowledgment and policies and practices that could be informed by people who are most impacted; right? Disabled and mad folks who could really speak to, hey, this is how this approach should be. If a practicing doctor does something like this, it is a form of discrimination on the basis of disability and on basis of identity that is a form of violation and form of harm and that we are speaking to that and acknowledging that and simultaneously you can pursue these types of help. It is important that professionals within the mental health system really understand that the mental health industrial complex is built on a foundation of harm historically and currently. We have to address it can't continue in ways it happens we are seeing more and more people experiencing emotional distress throughout this time is really highlighting what mad and disabled folks have encountered over thousands of years. >> Absolutely talk being programs and ideas that are actions and reflexive inaction.

What are alternatives? Dismantle DSM or pathward framework and understanding people's human experiences. We view people through a humanistic experience who would have thought. There is medicalization viewing people that operate TLUZ psychology and psychiatry and diagnostic model of viewing human experience and allied health based understandings in interventions managed or led services with living experienced people that are trained in living experience and peer methods. There is ONGSs addressing social injustices around the world and intersections are solutions and we can talk about problems and are solutions happening around the world in pockets.

>> For me, I would say, you know, I would encourage everyone to look up disability justice and there is a great resource on things valid online and home and community-based services. What is so interesting to me and concepts I like in disability justice focused on collective liberation and intersectionality and the most impacted I like that one. We are not sitting here to complain. We are directly impacted people and here are things we want to address to have a more intersectional and equitable world. And just also understanding the mental health rights is part of disability rights movement that I push to reframe and center BIPOC people with disabilities because historically like OEM stead versus LC case is what gave us the legal rights to be integrated in schools and in work.

LC stands for Lois Curtis a black woman with mental health disabilities and moments to unpack disability is not just a white issue or just a health issue but intersectionish touching on what Matt and VES per were saying and education like Kelly was saying and everything. If we don't look at or center us who are most directly impacted and also consider community-based services to be as integrated in society as possible, we are not going to get the answer until we are all working together no matter what individual experiences are to give everyone an opportunity to do that.

>> Can you all speak a little more? I think many people are never exposed to the idea that there is a conversation to be had around mental health rights. What does that mean and what is intersection of mental health rights and what does it look like and what are examples? >> So, the right to informed consent is a big starting point. >> I think in context how we reframe understanding what is in prison in society is important and we don't equate psychiatric institution or nursing home or geriatric facility and we don't equate cars RAL behavior and impact on mental health that means encouraging a culture of punishment and when something happens immediate response must be a punishment which is the way to then address the issue and often not talking about community compassion and collective responses to healing and working together.

I think every culture across the world might have idea what individualism and collectivism might mean to them and with regards to disability justice like Jaylyn spoke to earlier and we can in fact be the experts of our own experiences because we have been through it which is nothing new and existed in indigenous societies for a long time ancestors and elders and tribes guide someone through experiences of hearing examples or experiencing emotional distress because they have been through it before or are going through it. That is a way of addressing emotional dress that for some reason or not for some reason but because of racism or a multitude of other reasons, we don't often, you know, think about that as an approachable or evidence-based approach of connecting with each other and simple human connection and lack of it is what is causing immense amount of emotional distress on top of everything else right now.

>> I would add on to that concrete things people would be able to relate to in terms of things being cars RAL and excluded if you demonstrate behavior making people feel uncomfortable or nervous or people thinking you are danger to yourself you can be kicked out of school or fired from job or often rejected by people around you because of laws and rules and cultural norms around what is acceptable and tools that people have to support one another; right? If we built this inclusive world, people would be able to understand and identify and have more room; right? This is about to Jalyn's point will IB raition and people being who they are and inclusive of people being who they are and not teaching people to be something ems and your discomfort is uncomfortable for me and you shouldn't act like that or feel like that and for a little more context too about informed consent I will turn it over to Matt I love lived and knowledge experience reframing that. Informed consent is often when you seek support because people don't have the information and they are often doing things by themselves and in secret; right? You are treated like you have no say.

And you have no valuable say in your own care and services and in what matters to you. Can you — you are often not listened to. Lots of times that is perpetuated by the idea and laws saying, well, if you don't do what we want, you are not part of our community or school or workplace. Can you share, Matt, a little about what is some work that people with living experience and people with diagnosis and with identity ABDZ experiences, how are they making things better? >> For sure. I want to start with a broader concept. We understand social context is important now biopsychosocial. Pollityisizization of mental health and capitalist society and umbrella of concept of epistemology and research and how do we construct knowledge and privilege knowledge and research and science waned know there is certain privilege knowledge bases that are colonial. It is biological sciences and legal theory in practice biomedical psychiatry and legal system dominate power base and informed consent and everyone turns to doctor and lawyer and tribe auto unnal member coming to making a decision and what happens is knowledge bases are guided by what is institutionally racist knowledge base of hierarchy and living experience is bottom along with indigenous understandings cultures spirituality social sciences anthropology and social practices sociology and occupational sciences psychology and at top is medicine, of course, with law and what we need to do is challenge epistemic injustice that is challenging very notion of institutional oppression around construction of knowledge that is around colonization of what we define as science in the last few hundred years.

>> Yeah. >> That is something young activists challenge and get understanding of BIPOC and indigenous communities. >> Yeah. I feel it is a question of whose ideas and experience matters. What do we build at that point and core of it? >> I was saying yup and agreeing to everything that we were saying. >> You talked about an example how to learn or expose to idea of disability justice. Who or where should people go learning more this idea of mad pride and disability justice and history American history and founder was a person who was in and out of the psychiatric units in late 8 TAEB 0s and experienced that abuse and nobody should ever have to deal with this and for people who don't know mental health America, this is another point. Symbol is a bell which is made of the melted down shackles used in mental institutions and there is lots here under the surface that people don't get exposed to.

For people interested in learning more about some ideas, where do you recommend that they go? >> I think Jalyn talked about earlier sins invalid that I highly recommend principles of disability justice. Jalyn mentioned a few and importance of that is I invite you to take that and revisit your framework around what society has called. You know, the mental illness and deficit-based ah PROECH that existed for a long time and continued to exist for today and I invite people to look into the history of pride and psychiatric survivor of history movement and sometimes as simple as Googling.

I mean, there is a platform I host called madness Network news and lots of old newsletters in the archives of psychiatric survivors in the United States and around the world if you go to later issues and there is Phoenix rising which is an old newsletter through madden Canada and recommend mad in America or madness Canada, earlier. Many of these platforms I would recommend. I would also say project let's is a good organization that is great with information sharing and the — the institute for the developmental human arts is also very good for a platform. There is many and many platforms. >> Yes. I definitely can't emphasize enough checking out 10 principles. For me personally working with mental health America on collegiate council, I tried to create a space on campus because as a student and now as a younger professional, it is — it is really tricky and difficult in my journey to have found intersectional spaces. I think that if you look at principles, it will really — it inspired me to create or integrate or find more people who create spaces like VES per mentioned and only one I would add to the list is the named advocates.

If you go on the site, Carey grey made inspiring group. There is a lot of blogs and just unpacking about whiteness and disability and mental health and conference coming up as well and black and BIPOC-led spaces that I hope more people check out and look into. >> Great points. I want to echo all of that. We have knowledge-base in our studies that is a collective knowledge of our history and movement and activism that really challenges the very foundations and is involved in critical disability studies and has strong disability justice focus that is really helping to develop that knowledge and helping to develop foundations of sanism is a form of ableism that is emergient in the last 15 years and new masters of studies at [Indiscernible] online that starts in January. There is a social movement going on and we need leadership to do that and continue you to look it up and that is in literature as well. >> Thank you all. To VES per's point Steve from project let's will speak later on peer support and from Jesse from institute of development of human arts tomorrow talking about why shared learning and living is important in transforming and doing mental health advocacy.

You will hear from amazing people and you just did also. I want to thank you all so much for sharing some ideas for people. When you are used to having to reject parts of your experiences also. I want to thank you again and before we close, for folks who want to stay and touch, would you all share social media handles or how to stay up to date on all cool things are you doing? >> Absolutely. I'm on Facebook and Instagram. I'm on Twitter and LinkedIn. Any of the platforms and most of them are at VES per Moore or@vES per hiven J Moore and I would search for VES per Moore and find me on any of the platforms. >> I'm exactly the same. LinkedIn is a good space. I'm in a department in Melvin that is cool and getting to be psychiatric discourse and academic environment welcome to look up steps college and.

This is Australian center for lived experience and can you contact me through there too. That has a whole repository in terms of access and repository on information on madness and history and all things mad. Mad, mad, mad. >> Same for me. I'm on disability everything. Don't find me on TikTok. I watch on there. Search my name and I will come up on Twitter and think this is Jay with underscore and full name is too long for Twitter. On Instagram if you are a policy nerd, my link in my bioI'm sharing what organizations are dog and I have the Bazlon center linked on there if you laic to read legal stuff like me I'm a weirdo or whatever reach out to me.

>> Awesome. Thanks again. I'm super excited to talk through important owe Id YAZ in history of the present and certainly the future and so much leadership in mental heal BLG is being changed fundamentally with living experience and having mental health conditions or illness. Thank you all again. >> Hey, everybody. Welcome to our future in mind mental health summit we are talking about intersectionality and mental health and challenging the status quo and you appreciate you being here this evening. I'm here with amazing panelists and want to introduce panelists letting them know to give them a wave and the jury here and want to start with Cyn Gomez who is an activist where are you now? >> At BSHGly. >> They are at Berkeley right now. Berkeley is in the house from California.

Next we have founder of YLG research. Where are you? >> Up in no SHG NOSHG at Cornell University. >> New York. East coast. I'm in Charlotte repping east coast as well. We have counseling psychology PHD student at Columbia university. You are in New York too; right? >> Yes. Manhattan. >> Manhattan. Cool. We will jump into this. We have a wealth of knowledge that everyone wants to share with you and get to your questions towards end of the actual session. Identities provide framework for how we view mental health and race and ethnicity and culture and all these different aspects play a huge role into the way that we experience the world we want to unpack different identities and how they play a role into the way that we actually receive mental health care and how we also identify it. We will be — we will also be collecting questions so we can have them at the end of the show and go through questions necessary.

If you have questions please drop them in the chat and we'll make sure we get to them once we go through all of this information. So, one thing that we wanted start off with is I want you all to please share with me or us about the lived experience and why this work is important to you? >> Go for it. I mean — yeah.

Go ahead. >> I was going to start off saying my family has had a pretty interesting history of mental health and Latina background there is not lots of conversation you have regarding mental health couple things religion and socioeconomic standing and whether be culture aspects whether or not it is valid or real or important to the conversations we are having. My family was force today TRAIL blaze and have conversations and growing up I got to see what sister's mental health journey looked like with various identifying the process of getting the help and religious finding what practices worked for her and later years after I struggled with mental health throughout middle and high school and throughout same time I was coming to terms with identities I hold and I was finding myself struggling and when I was eating and perceiving myself and thoughts I was having and wanted have help and know what this meant and why I was experiencing different things and in recent years I have been able to get diagnosis and help and get to see pitfalls within mental health system and all these different things and everything from larger scope of culture to individual experience made me want to start to do this work and why I'm here today.

Go ahead. >> I think for me I come from a mixed household half Japanese and half English for a while chill when I was 8 older brother attempted suicide and cultural differences led that attempt lack of understanding and communication and as a family shedding a light why it is important to talk about culture in mental health and why I'm here today. >> What about you, Brie? >> I was going to say for me it was personal journey and when I was younger I suffered from childhood depression and it wasn't diagnosed and took the form eventually high-functioning anxiety I was terrified to make mistakes and growing up in rural south I was usually the only one or just, you know, one of a few black kids in the class. And feeling, you know ostracized because of my color and having things and being called names and having experiences at a young age took a toll on my mental health and as a black woman and girl blocking outlets to express emotions and lacking outlets to explore bad emotions and anger and frustration and sadness.

I think that growing up in a black southern household, church was important and made to feel when I expressed emotions like that or if I had emotions like that I was guilty of something that I wasn't grateful enough or praying enough and took a toll on me and doing this work. I know my experience and narrative is not novel. People experience things like this and experience feelings of self-silencing and internal racism and young age that continues to grow throughout adulthood. I'm interested in making mental health specifically for marginalized communities a topic of national conversation really changing culture around mental health. This previous culture of stigma and ost TRA criesing is not working and why I do it. It is a lot of our lived experience. >> I think what you say coming to lived experience and appreciate you all for sharing and for me mental health work is important I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2006 when I was a SOV P more if in college and I was safest age when I was diagnosed actually in a psychiatric ward and I'm a suicide attempt survivor as well being a black male and felt I couldn't talk about this stuff and Y- reason I became a therapist and pursuing PHD as well and pursuant I do community work with non-profit and private practice to address issues within the community and with that being said, we talked about our array of different backgrounds.

We all said we have some type of lived experience when it comes down to dealing with mental health challenges and coming to intersectionuality of why does it matter for mental health? >> Yeah. I will go up right now. It is an umbrella term and it hits a bunch of different areas of life. When we talk about mental health discussion around them are two different things mental health hits different terms and aspects of life and is individual and in a way we institutionalize it to make it overall governing thing. Intersectionality and mental health comes to where you grew up from and what beliefs you were taught and how it effects a person continuing rest of their lives we don't spend time thinking of what makes up a person's well-being. That is my answer. >> >> Anyone else? >> Yes. We are in a society thriving off labels and label can do a lo the and indicator supposedly of who you are. Intersectional thinking in the mental health space provides space for comprehensive foundation and direction for label we are given going deeper in individual identities incorporating systems and into pathology and personhood and your overall human experience.

Intersectionality in that way is important. It gets to the root of who we are. >> Yeah. Both Seika and Bri bring up good points we can't reduce someone's mental health or wellness or illness to that one thing or one contributing factor. Thinking of intersectionality and why it is important in mental health, thinking of fact you can't reduce someone down to this one thing. Looking at we have to also acknowledge and advocate for mental wellness and intersections and approaches to mental health and securing mental wellness now are looking at one component and identity at a time. And it matters. We look at intersections because identities and experiences as Bri mentioned we have FASnation with confinement and using to be expansive and improving mental health resources because there is different realities and experiences that need to be acknowledge today adequately support someone's mental wellness long-term and for me being a young trans person of color and low income and first gen, I can't separate these from my mental health and looking at these one at a time I wouldn't get adequate support I need to have mental wellness.

You can't look at one singular thing and identify it as one person's whole experience. You know, I think intersectionality allows us to look at different things and components of one's self. That is how we need to approach mental health and no space anymore to have conversations one at a time. >> Man, you dropped balls on different things there. Cyn, I love you brought up so many things where institutions and systems want to focus on one label or component at a time; right? Bri, you mentioned aspects and labels and for me when I was going into the hospital I was terrified going into it black male going into a psychiatric ward and is something that it put fear in my heart because of the different systems and stuff in place.

I know history especially in our nation doesn't necessarily treat people that look like me fairly. So, when it comes down to a system only addressing one component at a time, how does that do harm for people living with a mental health challenge? >> Yeah. I mean starting off the bat, you can't prescribe same medication to every single patient is logic. So, when we look at mental health and talk about it, like we said so many factors weigh into it. Super dangerous when we spend time focusing and funding only certain area of mental health going need indication and what is available for minorities. This is a constant battle what was and what we have to do and large part of it is you can't prescribe same medicine and dosage to every person.

Like you won't treat a cancer patient same way wow someone training ankle same with mental health people with different areas struggle with different things it is personal matter and intentional thing to deal with and put into perspective it is separate and individualized. >> Definitely. Coming down to that, you are thinking about those and individual things and thinking of individual and treating that and do you know of different initiatives addressing totalities issues instead of focusing on one thing? >> One thing coming to mind for me across the board DIFSH Metropolitan cities — there is countless initiatives you can look at. I speak on this because within my city and City of Berkeley and student I see ways homelessness interacts with one's mental health whether student experiencing it or community remember that you know was a resident before and is unable to live in the City of Berkeley anymore. These different things, you know, they are motivating initiatives at the city level and state of California. We are seeing different initiatives and our state is experiencing huge surges responsible with job loss associated with Covid and we are seeing these are one way we will see intersection amount approached to mental health and so much to be done with that being said and we will start to see initiatives springing up across the country or targeting racial identities and mental health and in this case socioeconomic housing as a component and starting to put down initiatives together we will start to see actual conversations we have here right now come into effect.

We are in the early stages in my opinion what is possible when it comes to addressing this intersection away and initiatives that are attainable. I think when we start to address one issue at a time in legislation and policy we can start to build off one another and places like New York and California are doing this in a really significant way. I'm really excited to see where it goes. Yeah. Just to say one thing on that. Policy that looks at intersection of one's in this case socioeconomic standing and racialized identities because in California most unhoused communities are black and brown people. Lots of times resources are not addressing that and still have a long way to go.

I want to echo your story and say there is so much to do because of institutional aspects you are experiencing and we are expecting better results without changing it and excited to see where it goes we are right now at a point we have lots of individualized policy in my opinion. >> Definitely. Anyone else? >> Yeah. I would say even going back to what intersectionality is and how it came about. It was developed by Kimberly Crenshaw with help of long lineage to describe ways US justice system fails black women and expanded into lots of different marginalized communities and identities and is important to know that historical understanding of intersectionality and how we approach things now and would say developed in academic realm and in academia now and can speak from that and not necessarily an initiative but way we are doing research now is completely turned on its head or we are understanding narratives as important [Indiscernible] to people's stories and who knew people were not reduced to numbers and could give us lots of good stuff and researchers themselves having conversations of positionality and who should do this work and who is right to be in the conversations WHOOND is an expert on a community and is there such a thing? I think that research in general is shifting and changing.

We know lots of legislation is influenced by people in academia as well. I would say that we are borrowing especially in psychology borrowing from public health frameworks and you have seen pictures of racism as public health issue and influenced by different things really trying to get comprehensive holistic understanding what effects a person's mental health whether be context or position and I think that research in general are being developed to incorporate all systems in a person's identity and development of their mental health. >> Definitely you bring up a good point. They have historically let this type of intersectionality when coming to addressing these issues. You, you know, that is your bag right there I would love to know like — you know, what is your thoughts on that when it comes down to research aspect and you know even out intersectionality when coming down to mental health? >> I will say with my organization and initiative I have been running focuses on having young researchers lead conversations and when you talk about health research who is researching it? I'm minoring in anthropology now at university and lots of case studies are dictated by white people specifically white men and not necessarily findings are wrong but bias that goes into it don't have variability in terms what and who is leading research and first thing we are seeing in shift of how research is happening in mental health is who is leading it and why it is important to have leaders talking about experts in mental health and adults in mental health experts will be adolescents those living currently and experiencing currently and can define it and large part I'm seeing in mental health research is how we define it and talk about it and where differences are when we talk about it don't think it is one single definition of mental health it is a topic it that is individualized big part of research is who is leading research and why it is important we are giving people and space and microphone to need it.

>> Definitely. Thank you. Starting own organization asking you how prioritizing intersectionality in their mental health work. >> I do work in various context and lots of intersectional efforts happening now that have potential to have intersectional approaches to them when it comes to mental health and addressing it we have seen different recent movements strive for queer rights and racial justice and, you know, things like equitable housing and equitable voting acts and all these different things and we need to — when people are asking how we can have more intersectional work and part of this is including mental health. Lots of times we like to think of mental health as own separate at gory and separate from initiatives we are taking and when in reality they can be fundamental to work are you dog and when we are looking at recent like issues and struggles and fights for racial justice.

You know, we are seeing communities at the border and how that is impacting mental haemth there is countless studies on it two researchers in the room that can vouch for the fact this is consistiently something that needs to be explored looking at racial identities and how their experiences are impacted by generational trauma and how, you know, where we are today is largely due to the fact of where our community has been. I think that, you know, when we are approaching what justice can look like, we need to look at mental health justice too and equitable access to mental health. This is in large part how we can approach, you know, like including mental health part of intersectional work and we are looking at how race and gender and class are intersecting and acknowledging mental health as a component of different identifiers and building off and bouncing off of different identities is something we have to look at.

Now when we look at them one at a time or, you know, only as pair Oz R trios of different identities how they interact with each other we lose a big part how that interplays with future effort APDZ generations and we have to acknowledge fact that work we are doing today and experiencing today as an individual and community will have an impact on future communities and our Lynnage of how their mental health will be impacted by what we are experiencing today. The fight for different, you know, initiatives whether it be racial justice or everything I have mentioned so far. You know, we often times lack the prevalence of mental health in conversations and when we look ated we are able to move in a direction continuously looking at mental health and will see how this impacts future generations when their advocacy work is including mental health and where future can go and understanding as a crucial component of work we are doing today as an advocate and burnout could be an easy way to start to look at how mental health is in your space of advocacy.

>> Definitely. Thank you. Anyone else? >> I agree. It that is mental health equity can go and what it can look like and for me and perhaps all of us starting in this work, it didn't just come to us. I think lots of people get very overwhelmed with different variables that can influence a person and really looking within is where the conversation begins. Introspection and evaluating and re-evaluating past experiences and what makes you a person and looking to see it in others and amplifying their voices and elevating their experiences looking at places to hold privilege and power and where you might not in the past and how it influences how you go about the world and that is scary for lots of people to do especially how culture is now.

We don't want to look back or think of deep emotional things. It is scary and complex and think that is where it needs to start and wish it was something that was taught in schools and from an early age and unfortunate thing is lots of us are learning to do this now as adults and taking knowledge and passing it on and like they said, it is crucial in beginning and continuing sustaining these movements of intersection amount and mental health. >> Definitely. I think that introspective way of thinking for me as an advocate starts within myself and understanding how many different labels I have and understanding my own privilege and things I also do not have. Then going into being open to learning about other people and allowing people to challenge my own way of thinking and own, you know, thought processes and way I was brought up and I understand that people are people and connecting with people on those different levels. We have phi minutes left and want to get to some questions from the audience. One of the questions is what resources is this for self-education and unlearning biases in mental health? >> I would say that there is two answers to that.

One, you can look at institution programs and organizations that lead that area and also the biggest resource that we skip over is own communities around us and echoing what everyone said it is really important to listen to other people. If you want to unlearn things you need to unlearn, talk to someone and have conversations with parents or friends. Might no the be greatest conversation or might get pushback but is interesting and important to hear how people think and feel and ignore first resource out of the hands it that is own around us and spend time listening to people around you.

>> Yeah. >> I love it. Anyone else? >> I want to aced it that getting out there and putting yourself in these — Seika eludes to uncomfortable situations best place to start get comfortable in uncomfortable when learning things we are learning and that is important to know no the to put anyone on a pedestal and continuously looking for opportunities to learn. Attend protests and meetings and sit in on organization events and sit there and learn and stay after and ask questions and be willing to connect and continuously foster relationships. You know, from single encounters with a family member or community organizer or things like that could help you build foundation of own thoughts around it and help you you might become an advocate right alongside that person and realize it was something you didn't know you were looking to do. There is lots of opportunities for growth when you start to look locally or closely at what resources are around you.

>> I love that. You know, just lean on to your neighbors. It is that simple. Anything to add, Bri? >> No. You covered it. I like I'm leading in stay hungry and open and when learning ask people how are you and really listen how are they? Listen to what they have to say you might think you know what your friend is going through but do you know? That is a person you can ask and start to gain information and knowledge and branch out from there. Thank you, Cyn and Seika. You did it.

>> I appreciate Cyn and Seika and Bri for being here and addressing this issue from multilevels we need to address. With that in mind where can people find you as far as socials and keeping up with work you are doing. >> Follow me on Instagram Seika brown brown like the color or check out my Website seika brown.com. >> Same here, Cyn Gomez and linx the in my events show up and hopefully at mental health again. >> I'm not so great with pictures so at Twitter at BriannaA baker and my Website as well. >> Check out their work they are amazing advocates and people as well. If you can spell my name you can find me anywhere Website or social media at Rwenshaun. Up next is the closing activity. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Peace. >> Thank you, everybody. I hope you had an amazing day and we had great conversations learning and unlearning about mental health. Tomorrow after we heard everything today we will talk about okay what do I actually do to make a difference? So, I wanted to thank all our panelists for our opening tomorrow we will — we are close to the end.

I will be quick. Opening tomorrow we will hear from rain Wilson at 12 p.m. eastern 9 a.m. Pacific. He will share a little about his mental health story and why gratitude and how gratitude has been really important for his well-being and recovery and would love now. I know we have been seeing awesome comments in the chat how people are learning and how people are connecting with one another and would love for folks still here while you are here and this evening when going to bed and getting up tomorrow. Shoot us a tweet or drop in the chat what you are grateful for from today or maybe things you learned from today. We will have a conversation and Chris Wood and I will be back after hearing from rain and will go through questions we didn't answer today and will get to panelists who will show you and let you know about how they did all these amazing thing WLZ it was doing policy advocacy in their school, creating mental health and sports program and using art for advocacy and political education and we will see you tomorrow and hope you have an amazing evening.

As I said earlier we are creating a space for belonging and movement and are happy to be in movement with all of you. Have a good night, ya'll.

As found on YouTube

Doctors Debunk 13 Caffeine Myths | Debunked

caffeine will make up for lost sleep [Music] caffeine detoxes your body oh please no caffeine is addictive this is a good one hi my name is dr sophie balzoura i'm a gastroenterologist at nyu grossman school of medicine hi my name is dr ugor roku i'm a gastroenterologist at mount sinai hospital and today we'll be debunking myths about caffeine caffeine is bad for you caffeine is not bad for you so there was a time where i must admit i had bought the hype that caffeine was bad for you but when you do the research you find out that a lot of the concerns really don't hold up the concerns about caffeine causing osteoporosis but when you look at it the amount of milligrams that they need to consume to cause that are excessive of 700 milligrams a day the amount of caffeine that's being consumed daily is usually on the order of less than 300 milligrams a day and so a lot of these concerns really don't apply at those levels there's actually a lot of benefit to caffeine and coffee so there have been studies showing you know decreasing cancers like colon cancer head and neck cancers breast cancer chronic liver disease a lot of other kind of inflammatory conditions that we worry about so chemicals that are able to act upon that and reduce inflammatory processes and caffeine is one of those compounds that can do that three cups of coffee is seen to lower your risk of stroke in certain studies tea can do the same by lowering the risk by 20 and also dark chocolate and then those few instances where your specials may tell you to cut down on caffeine whether it's your cardiologist or your gastroenterologist those are isolated cases so speak to your doctor but in general myth caffeine is not in general bad for you caffeine will make up for lost sleep [Music] that's a myth because there is nothing that could make up for lost sleep other than adequate restful replenishing sleep all caffeine dead is increase your alertness and make you feel like you're more energetic but it doesn't actually give you more energy nature has created an important molecule called adenosine and that's this molecule over here and essentially adenosine tells your brain it's time to go to bed what caffeine does is to block adenosine message and keep you thinking that you should be awake but when the effect of caffeine wears off the adenosine's still there and your body will still crash and go to bed if a person does choose to neglect their sleep and try to replace that with caffeine they're going to find that their sleep pattern is just continually affected they'll have lower levels of rem sleep and if you drink too close to bedtime they'll actually have a decreased amount of sleep as well ultimately the brain needs sleep and you're not going to get that from consuming extra amounts of caffeine this is a good one decaf coffee doesn't have caffeine i've been waiting to do this decaf may sound like they completely deed the calf but it does not mean that it just means it's reduced i think by the fda formal recommendations are that they should be 95 of the caffeine taken away from a content before it can be called a decaf but sometimes there can be variation from cup to cup to cup you might see it somewhere on the order of 15 or so milligrams a cup and again this is as compared to 80 to like 160 milligrams depending on the exact type of coffee you're drinking as a gastroenterologist if i'm talking to a person who has a lot of acid reflux sometimes what we want to do is to reduce the amount of caffeine that the person takes not down to zero the reduced amount sometimes does help that person get over their reflux symptoms a little better it's not zero but it's a lot less caffeine than typically you would find in that cup drinking coffee will stunt your growth so thankfully drinking coffee uh drinking caffeine all those things do not stunt your growth most of our growth happens during our childhood and adolescence of course ultimately once bone growth is complete then there's no stunting of growth that occurs when you look at the amount of caffeine consumption in teenagers it usually typically maxes out at about 80 milligrams a day and any kind of risk to your bones with calcium or magnesium loss again usually occurs above 700 milligrams a day so the kids will be fine they're not consuming in general enough caffeine to really warrant any concern about calcium lost from their bones 700 800 grams a day that's like at least like eight plus cups of coffee that's so it's a lot of that that's a that's a huge amount so i mean the things that affect bone growth the most would be the health status of the kid chronic illnesses or something that causes malnutrition for instance genetics so how tall are your parents how tall your siblings those are the types of things that really impact growth it's not really going to be caffeine consumption what she said caffeine and soda is much less than caffeine and coffee i'm going to say that that's a myth i think that what's important to know and i think what people don't really realize is that it really depends on the beverage there are some sodas that have tons of caffeine right significantly higher amounts than what we consider in an average cup of coffee you really got to look at that label to see what the caffeine content is so as you can see here soda has 40 milligrams in that can of cola and that's a greater than your shot of espresso which only has 27 milligrams at the same time it's also less than your black tea which has 45 milligrams less than your instant coffee at 82 milligrams and less than your brewed coffee at 95 milligrams these are averages but it just goes to show that soda can just have have more caffeine than some drinks and less than others caffeine detoxes your body oh please no one of the more common conversations i'll have with my patients is about this concept of detoxification they may see something on the internet which promises that no matter what you eat or consume that if you take this detoxification product it just takes out all the bad items and leaves you feeling healthy unfortunately it's not that easy it's better to watch what you're putting your body before you put it in there than to try to edit it after it's already been incorporated and so this concept of caffeine as a detoxifying agent is one of them because it can lead to people using it as an enema so that means when they insert fluid into the rectum up to their colon but it's not safe it has not been proven and it could lead to a lot of injury in the colon burning perforation even that is what the kidneys for that is what the liver is for that is what your intestines are for really is to get rid of waste if there's one detoxifying agent it's just water you just want to make sure you're drinking enough water so that your bowels are moving your kidneys are happy the urine is flowing the body will take care of the rest caffeine dehydrates you this is one of those tricky ones that's not completely true caffeine is a mild diuretic if you consume about 300 milligrams of caffeine it might slightly increase your urine output by about four fluid ounces but that's not a large amount especially if you think about the fact that a lot of the ways we consume caffeine are filled with water themselves so i'm going to call this myth i could not agree more ugo i think that's a huge myth i think that people can get thirsty after drinking caffeine especially if you're adding things to the caffeine right or if there's a lot of extra sugar in that caffeine then that can make you thirsty and so it's not really the caffeine itself that is causing that sensation of thirst but perhaps the additives to the drink um as a whole the other thing is that everyone gets thirsty and so you probably just aren't drinking enough fluids so a cup of coffee is not going to do it make sure you're drinking a lot of fluid throughout the day caffeine is addictive this is a good one caffeine is not considered an addicting substance there is a need to use it oftentimes routinely to maintain alertness especially in the morning right upon rising but at the end of the day it's considered that your physical dependence on caffeine as a substance is not so severe to truly call it an addiction if you were to go cold turkey with your coffee intake as much as that scares you you'd feel horrible for about a day or two lasting for an additional week you'd feel off but then you'd find yourself back to a new normal and so no caffeine is not necessarily an addictive substance caffeine is short acting there's no danger in going you know completely cold turkey from drinking caffeine every day you know multiple cups just stopping having more than one cup of coffee a day is bad for you i'd say that's definitely a myth the general thought is that if you're consuming 400 milligrams or less of caffeine in a day that's a very safe amount for you to consume now what you have to remember is what's in a cup may differ depending on exactly how big that cup is and exactly what type of caffeine preparation you're drinking so you want to define what a cup is typically it's eight fluid ounces you can have many of those before you run into that 400 level which is considered a nice low level that you can reach every day not all things are equal it applies to different people so if you're pregnant for instance if you may have certain heart conditions or gastrointestinal conditions then those kind of rules may vary and you may have a recommendation from your physician that you may be drinking much less than that if at all so all my patients who are about to show me this video stop this applies to you for different reasons you can't have that fourth cup but maybe when you're feeling better we'll talk about it you won't be able to sleep if you have caffeine at night i'm gonna say this is a myth so when i drink coffee at night nothing happens the way that caffeine affects you and your brain really varies from person to person so we can't have this blanket statement saying you know you can't drink caffeine or coffee before bedtime so part of the reason why people can drink caffeine at different hours of the day has a lot to do with how you metabolize it in your body and that is in large part due to genetics it's good to note that a caffeine as a molecule has a half-life of five hours what does that mean it means that five hours after you consume it you'll just have about 50 of that cup of coffee left in your body the one thing we will say is that drinking a lot of caffeine especially close to bedtime will probably affect your sleep health you might find that you have a less amount of sleep per night or less amount of hours getting that good deep refreshing rem sleep but again everyone metabolizes things slightly differently it's not consumed in a vacuum right there's so many other things going on in our day-to-day that affect how tired we are how alert we need to be so if you've been up all day and you've exerted a lot of energy and you're just tired and fatigued you will still crash and go to bed caffeine can mess with your heart rhythm i am going to say myth to this this is actually an issue that has been studied extensively there was a recently performed study where they looked at a community-based cohort of over 30 000 people and what they found was that caffeine intake in moderate levels did not increase risk of arrhythmias in fact they found that for every additional cup you had you had a three percent decrease in your likelihood of having an arrhythmia sometimes people can get heart palpitations or feel like their heart is racing which we call tachycardia right and that can happen with caffeine and there can also even be a transient increase in your blood pressure but these things are not long lasting these things aren't dangerous and what's even more good news is that for habitual coffee drinkers or caffeine consumers that effect eventually wears away so when we think about abnormal heart rhythms or dangers to the heart we actually see that caffeine is protective talk to your cardiologist but thus far myth oh this is a hard one tea is healthier than coffee i'm gonna call it a myth and the reason why i call it a myth is that you cannot say tea is healthier than coffee as a blanket statement and it always holds true if you dump tons of sugar in your tea you cannot still say that that's a healthy beverage and then to balance that coffee can be very healthy as well coffee again is a major source of antioxidants for americans we don't perhaps eat enough fruits and vegetables and so we end up getting a lot of things that we should be getting from fruits and vegetables believe it or not from our coffee plant what we also need to understand is that i think there's a lot of more robust data for coffee and it's been studied a little bit more and we can make more kind of concrete statements about its benefits so it's not to say that tea benefits aren't there or that we know for a fact that tea is healthier than coffee because we don't but right now you know we have to say this is a myth if you're trying to drink one over another for health benefits and it's about the caffeine you know i think it's comparable i think that there's this misconception that there's not as much caffeine in tea which is quite false and it all depends on exactly what tea and what coffee you're talking about we're trying to use generic terms for very different substances you have teas like real boys teas and teas that are green teas and earl teas they're all very different with different components in general they tend to represent a good healthy source of caffeine and other substances but so do coffees too the way you prepare your coffee doesn't matter myth there's so many different ways to prepare coffee and it does matter in terms of how much caffeine results in that cup so if you look at this little graphic it shows you a number of things that might affect the amount of caffeine that's in your beverage what's the particle size what's the brew time how hot is the water you're using for your brewing and then also how much are you diluting your actual caffeine in your content you tend to have a fairly high quantity of caffeine in your coffee pods because it's ground really finely the temperature used to brew it is very hot and so a lot of caffeine can be extracted up to 75 to 150 milligrams per cup for your french press although there is a prolonged brewing time oftentimes the actual size of the grinding is very coarse and so that limits the amount of caffeine that you'll find in your fresh press and also where it comes from too i think where the bean actually originates can affect how much caffeine is present so at the end of the day i think what we learned is that caffeine actually can be very good for you despite all the myths that we've heard all our lives i think that some people have guilt around drinking caffeine and coffee but there's so many benefits very few risks of course it's important to talk to your doctor about what's best for you but ultimately we don't want to deprive people of something that they love because the benefits are abound and you know what it really tastes great [Laughter]

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ED | Symptoms | 0:15 | ENG

When people seek non-emergency 
care at emergency departments,   it can cause long wait times and delay 
care for true emergencies. So ask yourself,   what's the right place to receive the right 
care. Learn more at health.ri.gov/rightplace.

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Study: 1 in 3 COVID-19 survivors develop mental health problems within 6 months

IN SIGNIFICANT News. Show that COVID-19 THIRD OF PEOPLE WHO SURVIVE affects the mind and COVID DEVE very HEA significant ways IS . Researchers RDERS THEY found a third of people who survive COVID developed R HAD BEFORE. mental DOCTORS SAY health SUGGESTS T issues or brain disorders that they never had before. NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO WILL NEED HELP… FOX13♪ )S BRIONA And doctors say the research suggests a bigger number EXPLAINS WHAT of people IDERS ARE DOING will be needing help in the future. FOX 13's Briona Arradondo explains what providers were doing to get ready for that wave. ((TAKE PKG)) SOME PEOPLE WHO RECOVER FROM COVID-19 MAY GET MORE THAN JUST A Some people NEW STUDY who recover LANCET PSY from L IN APRIL LOOK COVID-19 AND CO make RESEARCHERS it more than HEM DEVELOPE just antibodies DISORDERS WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS AFTER . A new study THAT published DEPRESSI in A STROKE. TH The Lancet DED TO DE psychiatry THE SIX journal EY STUDIED in April, looked at 236,000 COVID survivors, Researchers found a third of them developed mental health or brain disorders.

Within the six months after the infection that includes anxiety, depression or even a stroke. Psych burden tended to decline a little over the six months that they studied people. That's all they did. It was still there at the end, so it's not like it always goes away on its own. You might need help with Dr Glenn career heads up the psychiatry department at the University of South Florida. He tells us over video conference. This study shows how COVID-19 puts you at risk. There is more wife spread awareness of this in the medical kit. Yeah, it's up to us who work in specialty areas such as psychiatry, so organized care that's appropriate for folks. Florida Behavioral Health Association president Melanie Brown Wool after says mental health provider saw more people needing their help. In the last year. The industry and system of here is feeling the pressure. On, you know, creating access getting people in where they need to be seen and then being able to provide the appropriate treatment for them, so they're getting ready to meet even more demand.

We're lifeline. You know, we're here for anyone who's experiencing any kind of difficulty. Experts say the takeaway is how important it is to talk to your doctor. Don't minimize it. Don't be alarmist, but realized there's help to be had. And if people are struggling with any of this, they should seek out that help reporting in Tampa Briona Arradondo Fox13 News, Florida's manatees are in big trouble. They're dying across.

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What is depression? | Mind of the matter: Hear from the experts

Depression is, I think it's more than just feeling 
sad or down for a couple of days at a time. I think we all go through 
periods where we feel unhappy and we feel fed up at times, but I think 
depression is more so when those feelings and thoughts are sort of consistent and persistent 
and they affect your sort of everyday life. So we kind of think about it in maybe the 
milder sense of depression, so as I said, there's persistent feelings of sadness or 
feeling down all the time and whilst it may not be at the point where it's affecting your everyday 
life everything just feels a bit more difficult and then we kind of get to a point 
where depression is a bit more severe. These are the times where maybe it's more 
concerning because it can be life-threatening.

We know that people who are severely depressed 
can go on to experience suicidal thoughts and I think it's kind of being mindful and aware 
of that sort of persistent sadness and the impact that it can have in your everyday life.
I think it's important to to think about how depression is going to affect each individual 
person in particularly individual ways. So there are many sort of signs and symptoms. It can 
affect the way we think about ourselves and then sort of think about the world; so we might 
be sort of wracked with feelings of guilt or feeling quite worthless, or question our place 
in the world, or kind of have low self-esteem. It can impact our emotions, so feeling of 
uncontrollably sad, feeling quite upset, tearful. But it can also impact us physically and 
in terms of the way in which we behave. Feeling more tired for example and 
sometimes people experience a kind of loss of their sex drive, a loss of appetite.
And then in terms of how we interact or behave with the world we might become a bit more 
isolated or we might become a bit more withdrawn and all of those different symptoms, as I 
said, can sort of manifest in different ways for different people.

Again it's keeping 
a track of those symptoms and thinking how severe are am I experiencing this? How 
persistent is this sort of sadness? How long has this gone on? and What sort of impact is it 
having on my day-to-day life? So, is it affecting my relationships, affecting my ability to work, 
is it affecting my ability to sort of concentrate? And I think for each person they'll be able to to 
maybe recognise that at different points and so I think the the best thing to do is 
think about if you recognise that, if you recognise a change that doesn't seem 
to be going away after sort of days and months to get the right support and seek help for it.
Often I think there are kind of different sources of information that people can sort 
of interact with but thinking about getting the right help and at the right time it is vital.
Speak to your to your GP if you have concerns but then also think about well-known sources.
So for example MIND as a charity thinking about accessing their resources to 
develop your understanding of what might be going on for you and what you might be experiencing 
and how best to go about managing that

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Climate Change Impacting Children’s Health

IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN CHILDREN FROM ASTHMA AND ALLERGIES TO PREMATURE BIRTH. HOW DOCTORS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE DRIVING A CALL TO ACTION. Reporter: AS WILDFIRES BURNED NEAR SAN FRANCISCO LAST SUMMER, PEDIATRICIAN LISA PATEL SAID SHE SAW FIRSTHAND HOW CLIMATE CHANGE CAN AFFECT HEALTH. LATE SEPTEMBER, I REMEMBER SHIFT AFTER SHIFT I HAD SEVERAL DELIVERIES I WOULD GO TO AND EACH SHIFT THAT MOMS ARE COMING IN AND LABOR A MONTH OR TWO MONTHS EARLY. PREVIOUS STUDIES SHOW AIR POLLUTION AND EXCESS HEAT CAN CAUSE PREMATURE LABOR. AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS CALLS CLIMATE CHANGE ONE OF THE TOP HEALTH THREATS TO CHILDREN. WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON CHILDREN? EVERYTHING YOU CAN IMAGINE. THAT IS WHY ALL OF US ARE SO INVOLVED IN THIS.

NOW WE UNDERSTAND THAT CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECTS EVERY PART OF OUR BODIES AND HEALTH. IT INCLUDES POLLUTION TRIGGERED ASTHMA, SEVERE ALLERGIES, AND HEAT ILLNESSES WITH RISING TEMPERATURES. TO PROTECT FAMILIES, U.S. PEDIATRICIANS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE BANDING TOGETHER AND LOBBYING LAWMAKERS FOR CHANGE. CLIMATE CHANGE ADVOCATES WITH THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS ARE PUSHING FOR NEW LAWS ON RENEWABLE ENERGY. PASSING CLIMATE RESOLUTIONS, AND EDUCATING OTHER PHYSICIANS. MONTANA PEDIATRICIAN LAURA BYRON FOUNDED THE PROGRAM. WHETHER IT IS DOING IT OUT OF YOUR HOME ARE USING YOUR ECONOMIC SECURITY SOMETIMES FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS LIVING.

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