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July-August 2017 (Vol. 13, No. 4)

Breaking News: The Extraordinary Power of Regenetics to Foster Wellbeing in Body, Mind & Spirit!

Check out this uplifting and inspiring video Testimonial to the extraordinary power of the Regenetics Method of DNA activation to foster wellbeing in body, mind, and spirit!

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“My son has gone from an asthmatic, eczemic immune compromised boy to not needing any meds even if he gets a little bit congested now. The dark circles under his eyes have reduced and he is very loving even though I’ve been a stressed and tough mom sometimes. I can’t attribute all these changes to anything but Potentiation because even if I could rationalise them, I cannot ignore my Potentiation diary that shows subtle yet very significant experiences before each breakthrough which magically line up with your chart […] As for me, my health hasn’t improved like I was hoping though a digestive issue I had been struggling with for a year healed up in the last month. However, my inner talk has taken a complete U-turn and all immediately after hitting the Fragmentary Body. That just cannot be coincidence. And the closer I get to the sealing at 5-month mark, the happier I am being me. I’ve never accepted me, my thoughts or my body before and frankly I really don’t know anyone yet who loves values themselves like I value me now. I cannot ever thank you enough for that … ever. Because I’ve spent the last 12 years trying almost everything to do just that … Holosync, other meditations, EFT, Healing Codes, Cybernetic Transposition and every self-help book out there … . And I all I needed was a free Potentiation and some time.” —Sahl Jamsheer

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For additional information on this “revolutionary healing science” (Nexus), visit …


To your potential!

Sol Luckman


Why Shamanic Healing is Relevant Today” by Itzhak Beery

2. Take Care of Your Body's Microbiome So It Will Take Care of You” by Barbara Minton

3. Psychedelics & Plant Medicines Dispel the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression” by Dylan Charles

4. The Violence-inducing Effects of Psychiatric Medication” by Kelly Brogan, MD

5. Stunning Research: Yoga & Meditation Literally ‘Repair’ DNA to Eliminate Disease & Depression” by Vicki Batts

Featured Videos ... Snooze: A Story of Awakening—Chapter 1, & Snooze: A Story of Awakening—Chapter 2

1. Why Shamanic Healing is Relevant Today

Itzhak Beery

[EDITORS NOTE: This timely article is excerpted from internationally renowned shaman and bestselling author Itzhak Beery’s newest book, Shamanic Healing: Traditional Medicine for the Modern World. I hope you enjoy this segment enough to explore the entire text as well as its excellent prequels, The Gift of Shamanism and Shamanic Transformations. I’m thrilled and honored that my “shamanic” artwork appears on all three covers. If you enjoy these images, please check out my portfolio here. Happy reading and viewing!]

Indigenous people the world over have kept shamanic healing methods and perspectives alive for many thousands of years. Frequently, the carriers of these precious practices struggled to keep them alive, as their cultures and people were being conquered, outlawed, burned, and persecuted by more “technologically advanced” civilizations, which destroyed their temples, sacred places, and heritage. In an effort to preserve that heritage, practices, rituals, and customs were hidden in faraway hard-to-reach corners of Earth and practiced in the thick of night, in the depths of caves, or hidden at the top of remote mountains. These secrets were passed verbally from mother to daughter and from grandfather to grandchild for generations. Within our own Western cultures this wisdom was often hidden and buried in the texts of fairytales and lullabies as well as in religious symbols and rituals. They were also kept as countless superstitious beliefs and grandmother’s tales. In the past few thousand years, the three major monotheistic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—forbade them and punished women who practiced them, sometimes by even burning them alive. We owe a debt of tremendous gratitude to all our ancestors who so dutifully carried this wisdom to our modern-day digital generation.

Shamanic healing returns us to the core principles of healthiness and a balanced life by using the gifts of Earth and those of the spirit world. It brings us in contact with all our senses and develops them, especially the sixth sense, which lets us connect to the unseen world and our intuition. With the proliferation of smart phones and other electronic gadgets, our brain more and more relies on them, making us more dependent and, yes, lazy. I call it “the Big Shutdown of the Senses,” as all the answers and information we are looking for are now easily available through gadgets. We have become less and less observant of and engaged in the world around us. For example, these gadgets “free” us from having to orient ourselves on Earth by the four directions in order to reach our destination: we just follow Waze, Google Maps, or what Siri tells us. We can learn time of the day and the weather by consulting the Internet or an app instead of observing the sky and wind. We don’t have to remember phone numbers, know much math, or memorize history or geography facts. We don’t even have to know how we feel or listen to our bodies; there are apps that do that too. Smart devices create a virtual reality and virtual communities on one small flat screen.

Shamanic healing returns us to personally experiencing our all-encompassing relationship with the universe and the true reason why we are here. Above all, it makes possible the survival of the human race on this miraculous planet we all share.

But before we start, here is a courtesy warning: what you are about to read is written from my collected and scattered personal notebooks, from my subjective memory, and from my accumulated and personal work experiences. As I am sure you well know, memories can be very fluid. Two people who take part in the same event describe it in two different ways and from two different points of views. For this reason, I have not included a bibliography, notes, or resources at the end of this book.

I hope that you will allow yourself to experience my stories with all of your senses. I assume it will require a considerable leap of faith. It is my modest personal journey and life experience, and by all means, I invite you to disagree or even prove me wrong. I am sure some of my teachers would say that they never meant or said this or that, or that I misunderstood what they said. It is possible; it is the nature of shamanism. It is an ever-changing personal journey of each individual shaman, sometimes contradictory, as is the nature of the world itself. Time and time again, my teachers would change the strict explicit instructions they gave me and would instead “improvise,” as the spirit instructed them at a particular moment and under the conditions that were presented to them. One teacher said, “Spirit told me to … ,” while another told me, “There is no right or wrong; it is in spirit’s hands,” which sometimes left me, of course, puzzled.

To keep the reading flowing and interesting, I have tried to write the book through adventures and storytelling from which the reader can extract the techniques and teaching. The generous teachings, which I am attempting to share with you, came mainly from my two teachers. Additionally I took some liberty to incorporate my other teachers’ teachings into the stories as well.

Shamanism has become a mainstream cultural buzzword in recent years. It’s truly everywhere you turn your head to, from hit movies to video and computer games and the music industry. Bookshelves are exploding with new titles for adults and children in the shamanic category. Magazine and newspaper articles abound; even mainstream-media-sensationalizing celebrities seek shamanic healing. Soccer teams and politicians call on shamans to help them win. New forms of shamanism are now popping up everywhere: shamanic yoga, shamanic reiki, shamanic trance dance, shamanic breath work, and shamanic astrology are just a few examples of this trend. Shamanic seminars, teachings, and adventure trips to faraway exotic places are plentiful and growing, and if you search the word shamanism on the Internet, you will see millions of entries. You might ask yourself, “What’s going on here, and why now?” There are many very good reasons.

The shamanic worldview is an antithesis to our Western industrious, scientific mind culture’s teaching, which celebrates and rewards separateness of the human race and the superiority of the ­individualist—exemplified by Ayn Rand’s writings—over the well-being of the whole community, vilifying codependency. Worldview that admires scientific brain power and control over nature and weather and of other people, worldview that sees success in accumulation of personal resources, wealth, and property, that values competition and lives in fear of scarcity, worldview that encourage a person to follow orders of governments, corporations, or dogmatic religious teachings.

Indigenous societies, however, hold the belief that the Great Creator, that great mysterious force that has no form or gender, created all there is for a reason, sometime unbeknown to us. Thus everything in our world is sacred and one and the same. In other words, humans are not superior in nature’s pecking order to other animals or the environment and thus should not have dominion over nature. They believe in interdependency; they believe in living in harmony with nature and sharing Earth’s abundance of resources without private ownership of the land. They believe people should experience and practice as their own spirits direct them.

My main realization when I first visited the rain forest was that every plant couldn’t grow without its supporting neighboring plants. Every animal serves a unique purpose to the whole ecology of the jungle, just as the jungle has a special relationship to Earth. If you remove a single plant or animal, the whole environment around it collapses. We truly are all interdependent.

The scientific and technological innovations of the past decades have brought about globalization, which has brought us closer together. Through satellite connections and the World Wide Web, we can reach almost every corner of the world; city and jungle dwellers can meet and exchange information instantly. People deep in jungles or on the tops of high mountains are exposed to Western ideas, music, fashion, and technological innovations.

We too are now able to comprehend and appreciate indigenous societies’ age-old wisdom, simple practicality, and stewardship of Earth. Within the diversity of their traditions we can find an outline for our own well-being and survival. Recognizing that although we have almost everything we need in our materialistic world, we are missing a deeper connection to our primal roots of the natural world and to our own nature. I believe we are all souls who yearn to be one, to reunite with all of nature again. Additionally, I feel, as many in our society do, an uneasy feeling that many questions about our current life complexities are not being answered by technology, mainstream religions, and institutions, which are failing to address and offer real solutions.

Interestingly, two trends are happening simultaneously. In the West, since the 1960s, people like Michael Harner, Hank Wesselman, and John Perkins, who were sent by the Peace Corps or their universities into the jungles of South America, Africa, or Asia, have been attracting people with their stories, books, and teachings, including myself. By studying with them, we discover that we can trust the unknown, our own powerful connection to the natural forces, and our ability to interact with those forces, as well as the importance of supportive communities. At the same time, following their ancient prophecies’ teaching of the arrival of new era of collaboration among all people on Earth, many shamans are coming out of hiding. They hear the call to share with us in the Western world their secrets, which have kept those societies alive from beginning of time.

What can be the benefits of shamanism for you? Spiritual, emotional, and physical healing are common benefits in the shamanic practice. It releases anxiety and stress, eases loneliness, and restores faith and the physical body’s vigor. Shamans view illness as caused by falling out of balance and being separated and disconnected from nature and one’s family and community.

Shamanism offers its practitioners an alternative way of life, personal empowerment, and a kindhearted community. Shamanism’s nonverbal communication methods seep deeply into one’s soul, activating the primary forces that trigger all of our senses. It helps us get in touch with our own dreams, magic, and mystery. Shamanism is a way to look at what’s going on around us and make sense of it without fear, guilt, or shame. As Lynn Andrews said, “Bring chaos into balance.” It’s a way to live in inner balance and connected to the matrix of life. It’s also an opportunity to create personal and community rituals and ceremonies for each stage of our lives.

So how can you bring shamanism into your life? You can read a book or an article on the Internet, take part in a workshop, or experience shamanic healing. But most importantly, start by going to the source. Nature. Observe its life cycle and its flow. Learn to revere and celebrate nature and the environment around you. Go outside of your sheltered life. Worship every blade of grass. Find a tree that is “calling” you and hug it. Close your eyes, listen to the birds calling you, and breathe in deeply. Form a connection with the tree. Feel the interconnectedness that flows between you and the entire universe. Feel your body as the tree trunk. Feel your legs turning into roots, deepening into the earth, pulling in nutrition and energy from Earth’s core. Feel your hair becoming the tree leaves and branches fed by the heat of the sun. Feel how you are becoming a bridge between heaven and Earth, between Father Sun and Mother Earth. Feel the connection between you and all other trees. Now, ask the tree a personal question and wait for an answer. I do it often, and I’m always amazed by the wisdom and insights I receive.

I’m sure that you’ll feel self-conscious doing that, afraid your friends and family might think you are a bit weird, which reminds me of a story my mentor Ipupiara once told me.

“Every morning my wife and I went to one of Washington, D.C.’s parks to hug a tree, in a simple honoring ceremony. One morning, a young boy of a family that also used to come at the same hour saw us performing our ritual. The boy spontaneously ran toward us and asked me curiously, ‘Uncle, what are you doing, why are you hugging these trees?’

“With great patience I explained to the boy, ‘You see, trees are living beings too, just like you are. Trees, through their branches and leaves, connect to the sky—the heavens, the sun, the stars—and with Mother Earth. They are holding the world together.’ And I showed him with my hands and my feet. ‘When we hug them we become connected to the whole world, and we don’t feel alone. Each tree has its own ­personality: some bear fruits; some do not. Some are green all year long, some shed their leaves in the fall, some have deep roots, and some are shallow. Some are tall, some are short, just like people.’ And then I asked him, ‘Do you know that trees can talk to each other through their leaves and roots?’ The boy looked at me with surprise in his big eyes. ‘You can speak to them too, and they will understand and send your prayers. Here, touch this tree. Hug it. Can you feel its energy?’

“The boy stretched his small arms around the tree and hugged it strongly, and then with a big smile on his face, he nodded his head up and down for yes! Then without saying good-bye he ran to share his experience with his watching family.

“You wouldn’t believe what happened next,” Ipupiara said with a smirk in his eyes. “A few days later the whole family came toward us. ‘We saw you hugging trees for a few weeks now. Can we participate in your strange ceremony too?’ the father asked. I gladly invited them to choose a personal tree for each one of them. In the following days more people joined in until a few months later, we had a regular group of tree huggers. It was so beautiful.”

You can agree with me that Ipupiara showed courage and determination. By connecting with nature, following his heart, and feeding his soul through a simple ritual, he created a loving and supportive community of former strangers. That is why ancient shamanism is so relevant today.

Shamanic Healing by Itzhak Beery Copyright © 2017 Destiny Books. Printed with permission from Inner Traditions International. For more information visit www.InnerTraditions.com.

Itzhak Beery is an internationally recognized shamanic healer and teacher. He was initiated into the Circle of 24 Yachaks by his Quechua teacher in Ecuador and into the healing tradition of his Amazonian Kanamari pagè teacher. The founder of ShamanPortal.org and cofounder of the New York Shamanic Circle, he is on the faculty of New York Open Center and Kripalu. The author of Shamanic Transformations and The Gift of Shamanism, he lives in New York.

Sol Luckman (cover illustrator) is a pioneering ink painter whose work has been featured on mainstream book covers and award-winning author whose books include the international bestselling Conscious Healing and its bestselling sequel, Potentiate Your DNA. His shamanic novel, Snooze: A Story of Awakening, winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction, is the coming-of-age tale of one extraordinary boy’s awakening to the world-changing reality of his dreams. Sol’s latest book, The Angel’s Dictionary: A Spirited Glossary for the Little Devil in You, winner of the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Humor, reinvigorates satire to prove that—though we might not be able to change the world—we can at least have a good laugh at it. Then again, maybe laughter can transform the world!

Featured Video ... Snooze: A Story of Awakening—Chapter 1

2. Take Care of Your Body’s Microbiome So It Will Take Care of You

Barbara Minton

With every chance they get, natural health authorities are telling people to add more raw fruits and vegetables to their diets. One important reason is that eating raw foods keeps your microbiome happy, and when your microbiome is happy, you will probably be happy and healthy too. What’s a microbiome? It’s a new word to describe the friendly microbes that have lived in symbiosis in the intestinal tract of humans since the beginning of time.

Trillions of friendly microbes inhabit our bodies, or it least they should. These include bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and viruses—about 500 species in all, and about three pounds worth in every person’s gut. In fact, we have more microbes in our guts than cells in our bodies, if things are going well. The microbes that constitute the microbiome are your defenders. Because they want to protect their warm and cozy home in your gut, friendly microbes will go to great lengths to protect you. They will wage war against unfriendly microbes and pathogens, and in the process keep you safe and sound.

What happens when you kill off the members of your microbiome with antibiotics or environmental poisons? The promise of symbiosis is broken, and there is virtually nothing left to protect you against disease. This is why those natural health authorities also say death begins in the gut.

The microbiome makes up 70% of the immune system, so it is largely responsible for destroying cancer cells. If you have been well and fit for the past several years, be sure to thank you microbiome. It has kept you safe from digestive problems, colds, flu, allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases (irritable bowel syndrome, acne, chronic fatigue), depression, mood disorders, slow metabolism, weight gain, autism, dementia, and cancer.

What can go wrong with this happy story are antibiotics, chlorinated water, pesticides, vaccines, pollution, and the food we chose to feed our microbiome. Each can drastically reduce its friendly population or annihilate it completely. That would be a terrible outcome, because the creatures that inhabit your microbiome assist at every meal, breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, keeping out toxins and producing other nutrients, in addition to keeping disease away.

The microbiome works to keep extra pounds away too. Research with 123 non-obese and 169 obese individuals showed that those who had reduced levels of friendly gut microbes displayed more body fat, insulin resistance, inflammation, elevated LDL cholesterol, and stoke compared to those who had normal amounts of friendly gut microbes.

If you currently have a health problem, the first step to start alleviating it is to attend to your microbiome, no matter where in the body the problem is located. Gut health or the lack of it affects the entire body.

The best way to start building a healthy microbiome is by increasing intake of raw fruits and vegetables, the foods that help the microbiome thrive. Then cut back on processed sugar, which assists unfriendly microbes to grow and multiply. There are plenty of research studies on the positive effects to the microbiome of eating like our ancestors did. Their food was fresh because refrigerators were small back then, and people had to shop every couple of days. There was hardly any processed food because it had not been invented, and people ate primarily fruits, raw and cooked vegetables, and meat. Obesity and heart disease were virtually unheard of then.

The Microbiome & the Big Picture

Evidence abounds showing that the immune system is a key communication pathway between the gut and the brain. As such, it plays an important role in stress pathologies. In addition, the microbiome produces most of the common neurotransmitters found in the human brain, along with antimicrobial peptides, short chain fatty acids, and several vitamins.

It is now beyond doubt that the content of the gut plays a central role in the development of immunity. Early disruption of the symbiosis between humans and microbes, such as what results from the taking of antibiotics, may lead to lifetime consequences in the brain and distal organs, as well as interrupting intestinal function.

The immune and nervous systems are in continuous communication in order to maintain homeostasis, the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between the interdependent elements of the body.

Though not all is known yet about the effect of the microbiome’s role in coordinating the immune-nervous system dialogue, studies using animals, infective models, prebiotics, probiotics, and antibiotics have increased understanding of this interplay.

What is known is that early life stress can have a lifelong impact on microbial content in the intestines, and may permanently alter immune function. The field of psychiatry has long known that life stresses impact psychopathology.

For scientists, the challenge remaining is to fully unlock the molecular mechanisms linking the microbiome with the immune and central nervous systems. This would produce an understandable network of communication impacting on behavior patterns and psychopathology.

As a team of researchers in Ireland said in their study extract published in June (2016):

The challenge now is to fully decipher the molecular mechanisms that link the gut microbiota, immune and central nervous systems in a network of communication that impacts on behaviour patterns and on psychopathology, to eventually translate these findings to the human situation both in health and disease.

As of now, key sites of communication are being identified where the human microbiome can be tampered with in the name of improving mental health. Whether this will be another takeover by the drug companies, as we have seen with children diagnosed with ADHD, remains to be seen.

For more information:


Copyright © Barbara Minton. All Rights Reserved.

Barbara Minton is a school psychologist and the author of Dividend Capture, a book on personal finance. She is a breast cancer survivor using bioidentical hormone therapy and a passionate advocate of natural health with hundreds of articles on many aspects of health and wellness. She is the editor and publisher of AlignLife’s Health Secrets Newsletter. See other articles by Barbara at http://www.naturalnews.com/author358.html.

3. Psychedelics & Plant Medicines Dispel the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression

Dylan Charles, Waking Times

Depression is now the number one worldwide cause of disease and disability, according to the World Health Organization. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the psychiatric industry’s bible, defines depression as the near daily existence of at least 5 of the following 9 conditions:

1. Depressed mood or irritable most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad or empty) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful)
2. Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities, most of each day
3. Significant weight change (5%) or change in appetite
4. Change in sleep: Insomnia or hypersomnia
5. Change in activity: Psychomotor agitation or retardation
6. Fatigue or loss of energy
7. Guilt/worthlessness: Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
8. Concentration: diminished ability to think or concentrate, or more indecisiveness
9. Suicidality: Thoughts of death or suicide, or has suicide plan

(Proposed (not yet adopted) anxiety symptoms that may indicate depression: irrational worry, preoccupation with unpleasant worries, trouble relaxing, feeling tense, fear that something awful might happen.) [Source]

Diagnosis using this array of possibilities is highly subjective and hardly scientific, and the DSM-5 recommends treatment with pharmaceutical antidepressants, supportive psychotherapy, best guesses, trial and error, observation, hope and luck.

Antidepressants aim to correct chemical imbalances in the brain by adding reactive chemicals to the body, an approach based on the theory that depression is the result of deficiencies in certain chemicals. This theory is tested by tinkering with brain chemistry while looking for signs of decrease in the aforementioned symptoms.

This model is not at all unanimously agreed upon, but it dominates our treatment of depression, although it is just a guess, as admitted in the DSM-5 itself:

The undoubtable success of various antidepressants has focused attention on the biogenic amines: given that all antidepressants have effects on either noradrenergic or serotoninergic functioning, it appears reasonable to assume that there is a complementary disturbance in these amines in patients with major depression. Despite enormous research effort, consistent findings implicating these amines have been difficult to obtain. One exception is the finding that, in patients with major depression currently in an SSRI-induced remission, a depletion of tryptophan, the dietary precursor of serotonin, is generally followed by a rapid relapse of depressive symptoms. [Source]

The chemical imbalance theory is weak, but worse than that it’s one-dimensional, focusing on body chemistry alone without consideration of the emotional complexities of the human psyche and of life itself.

Research into the use of the psychedelic drugs ecstasy, ketamine, LSD, and psilocybin, and the use of shamanic plant medicines ayahuasca and iboga, takes us even further in dispelling the myth of the chemical imbalance theory. Patients, as well as many ordinary people who have experienced these substances, commonly report dramatic breakthroughs in their mental health, even with low doses.

The commonality in these substances is that they have a distinct psychoactive element, drastically altering ordinary consciousness. Ayahuasca, for example is gaining in renown for its ability to treat depression by inducing a deeply meaningful and personal spiritual experience that offers insight into one’s behavior and past experiences, helping them to develop a more healthy relationship with themselves.

A 2016 review of observational studies of regular users found reductions in dependence and substance use; a preliminary 2015 study for depression treatment found 82 percent reductions in depression scores; and another 2016 review found that short-term use was associated with “improved planning and inhibitory control,” with potential antidepressive and anti-addiction applications. [Source]

The African plant medicine iboga works in a very similar manner, and can reprogram self-defeating and self-destructive patterns of thought in a single shamanic ceremony by sending patients on an intense personal journey of introspection and connection to the higher dimensions of themselves, even allowing them to communicate directly with their own soul.

These substances work by affecting other components of the multi-dimensional human being, and as these concepts fall far outside of the purview of the scientific method, they are easily dismissed by the type of empirically minded scientists involved in projects like creating the DSM-5. Nevertheless, the psychedelic experiences mentioned here can be highly effective, offering compelling evidence that depression is, at least for some, a spiritual condition, and as such the chemical imbalance theory is incomplete.

The chemical imbalance theory is critical to the domination of depression treatment by the pharmaceutical industry, but as research proceeds, and as people continue to relay their personal experiences in healing themselves with the aid of these consciousness expanding substances, we have more and more evidence to suggest that the pharmaceutical treatments may not be the best or only option for treating depression.

This article (Psychedelics & Plant Medicines Dispel the Chemical Imbalance Theory of Depression) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Dylan Charles and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.

Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, a practitioner of Yoga and Taoist arts, and an activist and idealist passionately engaged in the struggle for a more sustainable and just world for future generations. He is the editor of WakingTimes.com, the proprietor of OffgridOutpost.com, a grateful father and a man who seeks to enlighten others with the power of inspiring information and action. He may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

4. The Violence-inducing Effects of Psychiatric Medication

Kelly Brogan, MD, KellyBroganMD.com

On May 17, 2017, we learned that Chris Cornell of Soundgarden had reportedly committed suicide by hanging. His family report knowing a different Chris than one who would make this fatal decision, and suspect his anti-anxiety prescription in the altered state he was witnessed to be in the night he died. Perhaps an “addict turned psychiatric patient,” like so many, Chris Cornell seemed to have left the frying pan of substance abuse for the fire of psychiatric medication risks.

For reasons that remain mysterious, those under the influence of psychiatric medication often specifically choose to hang themselves in their moment of peak impulsivity. Some, like Kim’s husband Woody who was never depressed a day in his life but prescribed Zoloft by his internist, even verbalize a felt experience of his head coming apart from his body in the days before he was found hanged in his garage.

Then there’s 14-year-old Naika, a foster child in Florida who hanged herself on a FB livestream after being treated with 50mg of Vyvanse, a drug treatment for ADHD that leads to a domino effect of diagnoses and psychiatric meds including a 13 fold increase in likelihood of being prescribed an antipsychotic medication and 4 fold increase in antidepressant medications than controls.[1]

Are these just rare anecdotes? Is this just the cost of treatment that is helpful for most? Are we blaming medication for what might have been severe mental illness that was undertreated and/or undiagnosed?

Informed Consent: The Premise of Ethical Medicine

I believe first and foremost in informed consent. If you are informed of the risks, benefits, and alternatives to a given treatment, you will be empowered to make the best decision for yourself based on your personal, family, philosophical, and religious life context. But the truth is that prescribers are not in a position to share the known risks of medications because we learn only of their purported benefits with a short tagline of dismissively rare risks that are thought to be invariably outweighed by the presenting clinical concern.

But what about serious risks—including impulsive suicide and homicide—surely we are informing patients of that possibility, right?


In fact, the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry have gone to great lengths to conceal multiple signals of harm so we certainly can’t expect your average prescriber to have done the investigative work required to get at the truth.

In fact, from 1999-2013, psychiatric medication prescriptions have increased by a whopping 117% concurrent with a 240% increase in death rates from these medications[2]. So let’s review some of the evidence that suggests that it may not be in your best interest or the best interest of those around you for you to travel the path of medication-based psychiatry. Because, after all, if we don’t screen for risk factors—if we don’t know who will become the next victim of psych-med-induced violence—then how can we justify a single prescription? Are we at a point in the history of medicine where random acts of personal and public violence are defensible risks of treatment for stress, anxiety, depression, inattention, psychosocial distress, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue, and even stress incontinence?

Let the Science Speak


Prescribed specifically to “prevent” suicide, antidepressants now come with a black box warning label of suicide risk since 2010. Multi-billion dollar lawsuits like the settlement of Study 329[3] have been necessary to unlock the cabinet drawers of an industry that cares more about profit than human lives. A reanalysis of study 329[4] which initially served as a landmark study in 2001 supporting the prescription of antidepressants to children, has now demonstrated that these medications are ineffective in this population and play a causal role in suicidal behavior. Concealing and manipulating data that shows this signal of harm, including a doubling of risk of suicide with antidepressant treatment,[5] [6] [7] has generated seeming confusion around this incomprehensibly unacceptable risk profile. In fact, a reanalysis[8] of an influential US National Institute of Mental Health 2007 study, revealed a four-fold increase in suicide despite the fact that the initial publication[9] claimed no increased risk relative to placebo.

According to available data—3 large meta-analyses—more psychiatric treatment means more suicide.[10] [11] [12] Well, that might seem a hazard of the field, right? Where blaming medications for suicide would be like saying that umbrellas cause the rain.

That’s why studies in non-suicidal subjects[13] and even healthy volunteers who went on to experience suicidality after taking antidepressants are so compelling[14].

Benzodiazepines (like what Cornell was taking) and hypnotics (sleep and anxiety medications) also have a documented potential to increase risk of completed and attempted suicide[15] and have been implicated in impulsive self-harm including self-inflicted stab wounds during changes to dosage[16]. We also find the documented possibility that suicidality could emerge in patients who are treated with this class of medications even when they are not suicidal with recent research stating that “benzodiazepine receptor agonist hypnotics can cause parasomnias, which in rare cases may lead to suicidal ideation or suicidal behavior in persons who were not known to be suicidal”[17]. And, of course, these medications themselves provide the means and the method with a known lethal poisoning profile[18].


Clearly, murderers are mentally ill, right? What if I told you that the science supports the concern that we are medicating innocent civilians into states of murderous impulsivity?

When Andrew Thibault began to research the safety of a stimulant drug recommended to his son, he entered a rabbit hole he has yet to emerge from. After literally teaching himself code to decrypt the data on the FDA Adverse Event Reporting System website, he was able to cull 2000 pediatric fatalities from psychotropic medications, and 700 homicides. A Freedom of Information Act and a lawsuit later, he continues to struggle with redacted and suppressed information around 24 homicides directly connected to the use of psychotropics including the homicide by a 10-year-old treated with Vyvanse of an infant. Another case, ultimately recovered, involved statements from a 35-year-old perpetrator/patient, who murdered her own daughter, as directly implicating as “When I took nortriptyline, I immediately wanted to kill myself. I’d never had thoughts like that before.”

To begin to scientifically explore the risk of violence induced by psychotropic medication, a study sample needs to be representative, the reason for taking the drug needs to be taken into consideration, the effect needs to be controlled for, as do any other intoxicants. Professor Jari Tiihonen’s research group analyzed the use of prescription drugs of 959 persons convicted of a homicide in Finland and found that pre-crime prescription of benzodiazepines and opiates resulted in the highest risk (223% increase) of committing homicide[19].

Relatedly, eleven antidepressants, six sedative/hypnotics and three drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder represented the bulk of 31 medications associated with violence reported to the FDA[20]. Now an international problem, a Swedish registry study identified a statistically significant increase in violence in males and females under 25 years old prescribed antidepressants[21].

Implicated in school shootings, stabbings, and even the Germanwings flight crash, prescribing of psychotropics prior to these incidences has been catalogued on https://ssristories.org/ leading me to suspect psychiatric prescribing as the most likely cause in any and all reports of unusually violent behavior in the public sphere.

Is Association Really Causation?

Beyond the cases where violence to self or others was induced in a non-violent, non-depressed, non-psychotic individual, what other evidence is there that speaks to how this could possibly be happening?

The most seminal paper in this regard, in my opinion, was published in 2011 by Lucire and Crotty[22]. Ten cases of extreme violence were committed by patients who were prescribed antidepressants—not for major mental illness or even for depression—but for psychosocial distress (e.g., work stress, dog died, divorce). What these authors identified was that these ten subjects had variants to liver enzymes responsible for drug metabolism exacerbated by co-administration of other drugs and substances including herbs. All returned to their baseline personalities when the antidepressant was discontinued.

Now referred to as akathisia-induced impulsivity[23], the genetic risk factors for this Russian Roulette of violence are not screened for prior to psychotropic prescribing. Akathisia is a state of severe restlessness associated with thoughts of suicide and homicide. Many patients describe it as a feeling-less state of apathy—and what I would describe as a disconnection from their own souls, their own experience of human connection, and any measure of self-reflection.

The genetic underpinnings of this kind of medication-induced vulnerability are just beginning to be explored[24] with identification of precursor symptoms to violence including severe agitation. In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, healthy volunteers exhibited an almost 2 fold increased risk of symptoms that can lead to violence[25]. A 4-5 fold increased risk was noted in patients prescribed a generic version of the antidepressant Cymbalta, off-label, for stress urinary incontinence (a non-psychiatric indication)[26].

There Is Another Way

Perhaps it’s as if we are offering the blade edge of a knife to those falling off the cliff of struggle and suffering. Because the idea of managing a chemical imbalance with chemicals seems to make sense. But at what cost? The laundry list of acute and chronic adverse effects is growing, and the unpredictable risk of medication-induced violence should lead to an urgent cessation of all psychotropics. Because it takes 17 years[27] for physician practice to reflect published science, we need grassroots level information sharing. We need to inform ourselves before we consent to engage a system that regards you as an impersonal statistic.

We live in a cultural context that makes no room for the relevance, meaning, and significance of symptoms—symptoms are simply bad and scary and they must be managed. We don’t make room for patients to ask why they are not ok.

If you knew that your symptoms were reversible, healable, transformable, you might consider walking that path instead of assuming this level of risk for placebo-level efficacy of psychotropic medication. We would only euthanize a “mental patient” if we felt their condition was lifelong and unremitting. In fact, every woman I have ever tapered off of psychiatric drugs into experiences of total vitality once believed that she would be a medicated psychiatric patient for life. If you knew that radical self-healing potential lies within each and every one of us, if you only knew that was possible, you might start that journey today. It’s side effect free …

Copyright © Kelly Brogan. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Kelly Brogan, MD. For more articles, sign up for her newsletter at www.kellybroganmd.com.


[1] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0706743716689055
[2] http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_stats/download_data_files_results
[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11437014
[4] http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4320
[5] http://www.bmj.com/content/330/7488/396
[6] http://www.bmj.com/content/352/bmj.i65?etoc=
[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12601224
[8] http://content.iospress.com/articles/international-journal-of-risk-and-safety-in-medicine/jrs0645
[9] http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=210055
[10] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15555028
[11] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/26713983
[12] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160252713000587
[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2301661/
[14] http://davidhealy.org/articles/#Suicide_Articles
[15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28257172
[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2047018/
[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27609243
[18] http://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/abs/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303061
[19] https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-06/uoef-fsa052515.php
[20] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3002271/
[21] http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001875
[22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513220/
[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27138119
[24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27324805
[25] http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0141076816666805
[26] http://www.cmaj.ca/content/189/5/E194
[27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22179294

Dr. Kelly Brogan is boarded in Psychiatry/Psychosomatic Medicine/Reproductive Psychiatry and Integrative Holistic Medicine and practices Functional Medicine, a root-cause approach to illness as a manifestation of multiple-interrelated systems. After studying Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT and receiving her MD from Cornell University, she completed her residency and fellowship at Bellevue/NYU. She is one of the nation’s only physicians with perinatal psychiatric training who takes a holistic evidence-based approach in the care of patients with a focus on environmental medicine and nutrition. She is also a mom of two and an active supporter of women’s birth experience. She is the Medical Director for Fearless Parent and an advisory board member for GreenMedInfo.com. Visit her website.

Featured Video ... Snooze: A Story of Awakening—Chapter 2

5. Stunning Research: Yoga & Meditation Literally “Repair” DNA to Eliminate Disease & Depression

Vicki Batts, NaturalNews.com

Balancing activities like Tai Chi, yoga and meditation are touted for their ability to promote a sense of well-being and reduce stress, but is there more to it than meets the eye? While these exercises are known for being great ways to relax, new research has shown that their benefits extend far past the ephemeral. The relief mind-body interventions can offer isn’t just mental; in fact, these activities can actually bring about physical changes at the molecular level.

A recent study led by scientists from Coventry University and Radboud University have shown that mind-body interventions can turn back molecular reactions within your DNA that cause disease and depression.

The study’s lead researcher Ivana Buric, from the Brain, Belief and Behaviour Lab in Coventry University’s Centre for Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement, commented, “These activities are leaving what we call a molecular signature in our cells, which reverses the effect that stress or anxiety would have on the body by changing how our genes are expressed. Put simply, MBIs [mind-body interventions] cause the brain to steer our DNA processes along a path which improves our wellbeing.”

Buric also noted that millions of people are already reaping the benefits of mind-body exercises like yoga and Tai Chi, without even realizing how truly beneficial these activities are for their bodies. Buric states that while more studies still need to be done to fully ascertain the scope of what mind-body intervention can do, she believes that their research is a key building block for future research efforts.

Published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, their study analyzes more than a decades’ worth of research on how mind-body intervention strategies can impact the behavior of DNA. Genetic expression was a focal point of the team’s research, because the way genes are activated to produce proteins can have a system-wide impact. The biological composition of the brain, body and immune system can all be affected by the way genetic proteins are expressed.

In total, the team reviewed 18 studies with a combined 846 participants. The experts determined that when looked at as a whole, the 11 years of data “reveal a pattern in the molecular changes which happen to the body as a result of MBIs, and how those changes benefit our mental and physical health.”

It’s known that when a person undergoes a stressful event, their body goes into what’s often known as the “fight or flight” response. This process also triggers the production of a molecule that regulates gene expression, known as nuclear factor kappa B, or NF-kB.

“NF-kB translates stress by activating genes to produce proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation at cellular level,” as SCIENCE DAILY explains. While this reaction is useful temporarily, when it is consistent over time, it can be quite damaging and increase the risk of diseases like cancer and disorders like depression. It can even accelerate the aging process.

However, the research team found that people who practice mind-body interventions on a regular basis showcase a reduction in the production of NF-kB and related cytokines. In turn, this leads to a decrease and reversal of pro-inflammatory gene expression. Ultimately, this lowers the risk of inflammation-related conditions.

Past research on meditation and other similar activities has also indicated that these exercises can have far-reaching effects on the brain and body. For example, recent research has shown that meditation can help keep your brain youthful and on average, reduce “brain age” by over seven years.  Earlier this year, a research team from Harvard University also found that yoga can elicit positive changes in metabolic function.

These mind-body activities are clearly a force to be reckoned with.



Vicki Batts is a writer for NaturalNews.com, where this article originally appeared.


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