Smallville Star Allison Mack Arrested and Charged With Sex Trafficking

E News

Mack has been accused of recruiting slaves by telling them they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them. She allegedly required her slaves to engage in sexual activity with Raniere in exchange for money or other benefits. If the alleged slaves did not participate, it was thought that damaging information about them and their families and friends would be released. According to court documents, Mack’s alleged behavior took place approximately between February 2016 and February 2017.

Source: ncsf

Insights into Loneliness

Experts are warning us that we are in midst of a loneliness epidemic. In fact, the U.K. has recently appointed a minister of loneliness to deal with what Prime Minister Theresa May says is a “sad reality of modern life.” Our mobile society (with people increasingly moving away from family and friends), our technologically wired culture (where people are engaging less with their real-life environment and other people in it), and the growing pressure to work more (so, in part, that people can consume more), create a kind of existential stew that contributes not only to loneliness, but also to a general loss of connectedness.

Loneliness is invading more and more people’s lives, increasing stress, depression, even affecting physical health (it’s associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease, and research shows that it is as bad for people’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes per day). But what can a person do, given the modern-day barriers that can lead to these feelings of isolation? Perhaps it’s about building our own small communities within the larger context of society, making meaningful connections within the very situations and structures that may have contributed to our loneliness in the first place.  

Loneliness can overtake people in small, quiet towns and in large, bustling cities. It can overwhelm the stay-at-home parent as well as the top executive of a major corporation. No matter where you’re living or what you’re doing, the answer is about making connections with people who care about you — and whom you care about as well. Whether you have moved away from family and friends or are feeling isolated in your own hometown, there are ways to find a new support system. Sometimes it’s as simple as joining a newcomers club or checking out groups, such as a book, food and drink, or hiking club ( lists many different categories — music, film, social, and tech are only a few examples). A friend of mine also says that she’s combated loneliness by going to the gym on a regular basis, which not only helps her physical and mental health, but also keeps her connected to a community that she’s slowly but surely created and that she fondly refers to as her “fitness family.”   

Although clubs and gyms are great ways to meet and connect with people who share similar interests, sometimes loneliness stems from something larger than a general lack of community. Sometimes loneliness hits people because they feel as if no one in their lives can understand their struggles and pain. I know from personal experience that when I first experienced anxiety, I had never felt so alone. Even though I had family and friends around me, it seemed as if I were stranded on a kind of emotional desert island.

With time, I learned to use many modalities to help free my mind from the constant “what-if” thoughts (including the cathartic act of writing, replacing negative self-talk with productive statements, and studying self-help books on anxiety). Part of my healing process also involved connecting with other anxiety sufferers on Twitter. Knowing that I wasn’t alone in my struggles decreased my overall sense of isolation — and, yes, even loneliness. I have read many similar sentiments online as well. So while our technologically obsessed culture can increase alienation and loneliness, it can also have quite the opposite effect. It’s learning how to use it to your advantage by connecting to others going through similar struggles, by not only getting support — but also giving it.

Loneliness can also stem from work exhaustion. In fact, an article in the Harvard Business Review (June 29, 2017), states that close to 50% of people in the General Social Survey of 2016 said they were often or always exhausted due to work. This is a 32% increase from just 20 years ago — and it’s important to note that there’s a significant correlation between feeling lonely and work exhaustion. (This article also notes that research by Sarah Pressman at the University of California, Irvine demonstrates that loneliness reduces longevity by a whopping 70%). Given these startling statistics, it’s important to recognize if one’s feelings of ongoing loneliness are due to work burnout. And if that’s the case, then it may be time to challenge priorities and find a healthier life balance.

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Source: spa

Muscular Strength Tied to Brain Health

A new study finds that muscular strength, measured by hand grip, is a significant indicator of brain health. This link was found to be consistently strong in both younger (under 55 years) and older people (over 55).

Previous studies have only demonstrated the connection in elderly people.

The findings also show that maximum hand grip strength is strongly linked to both visual memory and reaction time in people with psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia. In the future, the researchers plan to investigate whether weight training could benefit the brain health of people with mental health conditions.

Using data from 475,397 participants from across the United Kingdom, the new study showed that on average, stronger people performed better across every test of brain functioning used. Tests included reaction speed, logical problem solving and multiple different tests of memory.

In addition, maximal hand grip was strongly correlated with visual memory and reaction time in over one thousand people with psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.

“When taking multiple factors into account such as age, gender, body weight and education, our study confirms that people who are stronger do indeed tend to have better functioning brains,” said Dr. Joseph Firth, research fellow at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University in Australia.

“We can see there is a clear connection between muscular strength and brain health. But really, what we need now, are more studies to test if we can actually make our brains healthier by doing things which make our muscles stronger, such as weight training,” said Firth.

Firth analyzed the numbers using data from the UK Biobank. Previous research by the group has already shown that aerobic exercise can improve brain health, but the benefit of weight training on the brain has yet to be fully investigated.

“These sorts of novel interventions, such as weight training, could be particularly beneficial for people with mental health conditions,” said Firth, also an honorary research fellow at the University of Manchester.

“Our research has shown that the connections between muscular strength and brain functioning also exist in people experiencing schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder — all of which can interfere with regular brain functioning.”

“This raises the strong possibility that weight training exercises could actually improve both the physical and mental functioning of people with these conditions.”

The study analyzed data from the UK Biobank (2007-2010), which included 475,397 individuals from the general population, and 1,162 individuals with schizophrenia.

The findings are published in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Source: NICM, Western Sydney University



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Study Links More Sugar Consumption to Poorer Cognition in Kids

Study Links More Sugar Consumption to Poorer Cognition in Kids

Eating more fruits and less sugar — and avoiding diet soda during pregnancy — could have a beneficial effect on a child’s cognitive functioning, according to a new study.

Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study found that poorer childhood cognition occurred, particularly in memory and learning, when pregnant women or their children consumed greater quantities of sugar.

Substituting diet soda for sugar-sweetened versions during pregnancy also appeared to have negative effects, according to the study’s findings.

However, children’s fruit consumption had beneficial effects and was associated with higher cognitive scores, researchers said.

For the study, investigators collected dietary assessment data for more than 1,000 pregnant women from 1999 to 2002 who participated in Project Viva. Their children’s diets were assessed in early childhood.

hild cognition was assessed in early- and mid-childhood, at approximately age 3 and 7, researchers reported.

Key findings from the study include:

  • maternal sugar consumption, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), was associated with poorer childhood cognition, including non-verbal abilities to solve novel problems and poorer verbal memory;
  • maternal SSB consumption was associated with poorer global intelligence associated with both verbal knowledge and non-verbal skills;
  • maternal diet soda consumption was associated with poorer fine motor, visual spatial, and visual motor abilities in early childhood and poorer verbal abilities in mid-childhood;
  • childhood SSB consumption was associated with poorer verbal intelligence at mid-childhood;
  • child consumption of both fructose and fruit in early childhood was associated with higher cognitive scores in several areas and greater receptive vocabulary;
  • fruit was additionally associated with greater visual motor abilities in early childhood and verbal intelligence in mid-childhood;
  • Fruit juice intake was not associated with improved cognition, which may suggest the benefits are from other aspects of fruits, such as phytochemicals, and not fructose itself.

“This study provides evidence that there should be no further delays in implementing the new Nutrition Facts label,” said lead investigator Juliana F.W. Cohen, Sc.D., School of Health Sciences at Merrimack College and the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “The new label will provide information on added sugars so that pregnant women and parents can make informed choices regarding added sugars and more easily limit their intake.

“This study also provides additional support for keeping federal nutrition programs strong, such as Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the National School Lunch Program, because their promotion of diets higher in fruits and lower in added sugars may be associated with improved childhood cognition,” she continued.

Source: Elsevier

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Source: spa

Short-Term PTSD Therapy Can Yield Long-Term Benefits

Short-Term PTSD Therapy Can Yield Long-Term Benefits

Civilians and military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) reap long-term benefits from psychotherapies used for short-term treatment, according to a new study.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, was based on a meta-analysis of 32 PTSD-related studies involving 72 treatment conditions that followed up with patients at least six months, and up to nearly two years, after treatment ended, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Patients displayed less-intense symptoms up to two years after treatment ended, compared to six months post-therapy, according to the study’s findings.

“It is possible that the longer time between post-treatment and follow-up assessments may provide a better opportunity for new skills to be practiced and reinforced, and for treatment gains to crystallize,” said Alex Kline, a co-author of the study and a Ph.D. student in adult clinical psychology in the university’s Department of Psychological Sciences.

Treatments found to be effective in both the short- and long-term include trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy.

Both are relatively common in veterans’ facilities, yet are inconsistently available elsewhere, a major barrier to access and effective treatment, Kline said.

“It’s important to get a better understanding of who responds to what and why,” he said. “Showing that PTSD treatment gains are being maintained is meaningful for health-care providers choosing how to improve patient outcomes and drive down costs of ineffectual care.”

Cognitive-behavioral therapy reduces symptoms by changing patient behavior and addressing maladaptive thoughts.

Exposure therapy — considered the current standard for PTSD treatment — exposes patients to feared stimuli under deliberate, controlled, safe conditions.

While some PTSD patients do not respond to current treatments, most do, according to researchers.

“Eventually, our findings and others could optimize treatments,” Kline said. “The goal is to match patients with what’s best for them.”

Source: Case Western Reserve University
Photo: This is Alex Kline, Case Western Reserve University. Credit: CWRU.

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Source: spa

How the Practice of BDSM is Linked to Relationship Satisfaction

People who are into bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism, and
masochism (or BDSM for short) experience a lot of stigma. For one thing,
they are often seen as psychologically disturbed, despite research showing
that BDSM practitioners appear to be just as psychologically healthy as
everyone else. For another, many people—including a lot of mental health
professionals—question whether you can practice BDSM and still have a
healthy relationship. In fact, in one survey of therapists, fully one-third
of them reported being unsure of whether someone into BDSM could carry on a
functional relationship [1].
Source: spa

D. “Choc Trei” Henderson appointed as an NCSF Board Member

The Board of Directors of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom is pleased to announce the appointment of D. “Choc Trei” Henderson as an NCSF Board Member for a one year term. Choc has been active with NCSF in representing our Coalition Partner, 1st Capital Finance, and heading up the NCSF Southern Advocates team, The House of Trei.

During NCSF’s Anniversary weekend in Atlanta, Choc participated in the NCSF Annual Meeting and co-presented a workshop at LLC called Liberation is Felt, Seen and Heard, conceptualized by Ruby B. Johnson and co-presented by Aida Mandulay.

The House of Trei also set up a refreshing midday break during the NCSF Annual Meeting and donated lunch for all of the participants. In addition, NCSF Board Members were very pleased to accept a $1,240 check from the 1st Capital Finance’s annual Coalition Partner fundraiser on March 3rd that was co-produced by Dale Maddox, Ms. Atlanta Eagle 2017, and Kae Trei at the Atlanta Eagle.

NCSF is grateful to have the advice and energy provided by Choc throughout the coming year. Please support her by getting involved in her Southeast Regional planning!!

Choc pic

Source: ncsf

Students, business people unpack the 'safe, sane and consensual' world of BDSM

The Vermilion

“You can try yourself,” Menard added, “but the time required to understand BDSM can be greatly lessened by getting involved with the community.

“It’s like Ollivander’s, the wand shop in ‘Harry Potter:’ you gotta find the right one,” David said of the various leather and BDSM related items.

“I hope that people who are interested in kinks take the time to find resources that will take that journey along,” Menard said.

Source: ncsf

LINK posted

Click HERE to visit the link postedFrom grades and chores to talking about sex. Are we raising the generation the next generation to be successful? This is worth a listen: More
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