Mind, Body, Soul
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Rescooped by Erin T Albanese from Contemplative Science

A comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and an active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation | Brain, Behavior, & Immunity

A comparison of mindfulness-based stress reduction and an active control in modulation of neurogenic inflammation | Brain, Behavior, & Immunity | Mind, Body, Soul | Scoop.it

"We designed the present study to rigorously compare an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) intervention to a well-matched active control intervention, the Health Enhancement Program (HEP) in ability to reduce psychological stress and experimentally-induced inflammation. The Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) was used to induce psychological stress and inflammation was produced using topical application of capsaicin cream to forearm skin... Results show those randomized to MBSR and HEP training had comparable post-training stress-evoked cortisol responses, as well as equivalent reductions in self-reported psychological distress and physical symptoms. However, MBSR training resulted in a significantly smaller post-stress inflammatory response compared to HEP, despite equivalent levels of stress hormones. These results suggest behavioral interventions designed to reduce emotional reactivity may be of therapeutic benefit in chronic inflammatory conditions. Moreover, mindfulness practice, in particular, may be more efficacious in symptom relief than the well-being promoting activities cultivated in the HEP program."

Via Eileen Cardillo
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Rescooped by Erin T Albanese from Organic Farming

NSW farmer believes increasing soil humus can prompt rain

NSW farmer believes increasing soil humus can prompt rain | Mind, Body, Soul | Scoop.it
Can farmers make it rain?

It's a tantalising question that one farmer has been researching and scientists have been exploring.

Glenn Morris is passionate about humus and believes what you do to the soil on your farm, can affect the rain.

"The humus is the home for the biology, and recent scientific reports coming out of the United States are saying that the biology actually increases up to 160 per cent in the first five minutes following rain, so it's actually an ice-nucleating agent for forming rain," he said.

"We're basically talking about biological cloud seeding."

Mr Morris, an organic beef producer in northern NSW, won a Landcare award last year.

He did his Masters thesis on the link between humus in the soil, the release of rain-forming plant pathogens and how both those things can help to rehydrate the landscape.

A decade ago he was managing a property that was unusually dry.

"The water cycle was breaking down, not so much due to a lack of weather systems coming through, but the fact there was no moisture being held in the system," he said.

"The soil had lost its ability to hold the water and that was due to a lack of organic matter and humus.

"I did a Masters on that subject and tried to quantify how much water we could hold in the landscape by increasing humus."

It took Mr Morris two years to get a number.

"The figures were basically a 1:4 relationship, which equated to every one per cent humus we could increase in the landscape, we could hold an extra 160,000 litres of water."

Mr Morris says grazing management is the way to increase humus in the soil.

"Manage your pasture so that it has the optimum chance to rest, just before the late maturity phase and just before seeding.

"They've got their energy requirement [by then], so they really start dumping sugars into the root zone [and] that's when you start to get really good humus gains."

Grazing cattle is also important, because it allows the organic matter to be broken down into a density that makes a difference.

Mr Morris believes that if farmers band together to increase soil humus, they could effectively seed the clouds and make it rain.

"It's a big call to say that you can make a difference just over your property, but at a regional level, if a few farmers come on board, you are actually cloud seeding."

So is it true? Can farmers band together and attract rain to their farms?

Dr Lachlan Ingram from the University of Sydney is based in Cooma in southern NSW and has also been researching soil organic matter and water holding capacity.

He confirms there is definitely a relationship between humus and the water that soil can hold and also that plants release spores which become nuclei for rain.

But can farmers make it rain by increasing the humus in their soils? Dr Ingram says probably not.

"It's part of a larger process," he said,

"We know that clouds and raindrops form as a result of these small aerosols or nuclei which water binds to, and we know that spores are a really critical part of that.

But, he says, high winds at high altitudes will blow it away.

"The reality is that they're probably going to be hit by winds and perhaps taken downstream a hundred or a thousand kilometres."

Via Giri Kumar
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