Here are some good tips for refining your yoga warrior poses. It’s still up to each of us to know what we are going to use our powers for though.
From Daily Bandha:
If mindfulness training fails at reducing anxiety, depression, and treating PTSD amongst the Marines, they will still have the possibility to consult with Ellie, “an avatar, a virtual therapist developed at USC with funding from DARPA, the Defense Department’s advanced research center.” Loopy.
Read: Would You Want Therapy From a Computerized Psychologist ? by Megan Garber in The Atlantic.
MDMA ? Not only PTSD might pass in just a few assisted sessions, but who knows, the whole idea of going to war or exerting violence against other life forms could very well pass FOREVER. More about PTSD & MDMA assisted psychotherapy research conducted by MAPShere.
Paris people of ALL genders are invited by Fannie Sosa to come shake, re-shape, reclaim their booty after hours of sitting down on it, and years of constraints on its freedom of movements, MONDAY 26 from 19h to 22h at le Comptoir général, 80 Quai de Jemmapes. There is much more there at play and to play with than the latest TV craze. Find out for yourselves.
Parisiens de TOUT genres sont invités par Fannie Sosa à venir secouer, re-former, et réclamer leurs fesses après des heures passées assis dessus et des années de contraintes sur le leurs libertés de mouvements, LUNDI 26 de 19h à 22h au Comptoir Général, 80 Quai de Jemmapes. IL y a beaucoup plus d’enjeu et de jeu ici qu’une tendance TV. Allez voir par vous-mêmes.
“Nous allons twerker, mais aussi échanger plein de paroles, explorer des lieux inconnus, oublier le corps du bureau et trouver celui de la terre. On va voir des images et en faire, mais surtout nous prendrons le temps de découvrir cet incroyable endroit de power et d’amour qu’est le cul.
La tenue est super importante : il faut ramener cet habit de lumière qui est garanti 100% confort MAIS qui nous fait aussi sentir les rois et reines du dancefloor”
Biopulse School of Massage in Paris proposes well being and massage workshops every Thursday evening from 19h30 to 21h30 for a gentle price of 15 euros. They are open to everyone, amateurs or health / care professionals.
Biopulse Formation Massage Paris propose des ateliers massage et bien-être tous les jeudis soirs de 19h30 à 21h30 au tarif doux de 15 euros. Les ateliers sont ouverts à toutes et tous, amateurs ou professionels du soin.
Inscriptions Call / tel : 01 44 82 51 29
Next workshops / Prochains ateliers
29/05 Thaï massage / Juliette Tissier
05/06 The body as a landscape Part I : Mountains and prairies in the back – Le corps paysage Première partie: les reliefs et la plaine du dos / Emily
12/06 The body as a landscape Part II : The stomach and the aquatic world – Le corps paysage Deuxième partie : Le ventre et le monde aquatique / Emily
19/06 Contact Dance & Massage – Danse contact & massage / Zabou Malher
26/06 Pulsation & massage / Fanny Bonnier
Art ©Julien Pacaud
Free psychedelic literature to download in MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) resources pages, digital books covering History of Psychedelic therapy, Psychedelics and Culture, Psychedelic Experience… It’s HERE.
Go to MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) for psychedelic harm reduction resources and download manual !
“This year, millions of people will use psychedelics outside of supervised medical contexts, many of them for the first time. Many psychedelic users are unprepared to tend to a psychedelic-induced difficult experience if one were to arise. As part of our efforts to minimize harm related to the non-medical use of psychedelics, on this page we provide advice for helping someone having a difficult psychedelic experience”
Jillian York (EFF) In the Guardian today : “We are living amidst a crisis of conscience, politics and action. We must approach surveillance from all angles, taking care not to shame or dismiss people in the process”
She describes the harm reduction approach applied to the epidemic of surveillance she and jacob Appelbaum talked about last week at re:publica 14.
Read her article HERE
Some states of psychological distress can be more severe than others. Some might not require that you seek assistance from friends and/or health-care professionals, some can wait a little before you do, others are emergencies. Some might require medication, even hospitalization, others not necessarily or better not.
When / if your physical and mental integrity are critically at stake, you should seek competent assistance immediately (If you are a friend of such person, stay with them always and seek assistance ASAP). For example, you have been experiencing symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, depersonalization (feeling of being unreal), you have attempted suicide, are thinking about it, or have engaged in other self harming/ dangerous behaviors. A variety of symptoms can come with psychological distress, affecting your overall state, from insomnia to lack of appetite, to apathy, agression, lack of enthousiasm, increased vulnerability to infections, memory loss and other forms of cognitive impairement, and more… Your need for outside help will of course depend on the intensity and chronicity of these manifestations (or the absence of thereof, for that matter). In any case, you should maybe start taking (extra) care of yourself.
Following are some advices for self-care (still valid even if someone else is also taking care of you) to go through such times, based upon my knowledge and experience with myself and others. Please bear in mind that I am NOT a doctor nor a psychology clinician. Like I said, if your symptoms are very intense and/or long going and your mental and physical integrity are at stake, you should seek competent assistance immediately.
For more informations about mental health and what to do in specific situations, you can also look for mental health care “educational” handouts that I have posted from specialized organizations (it can be a good idea to distribute them in your community).
SO, WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW TO HELP and CARE FOR YOURSELF IN TIMES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS ?
* NURTURE YOUR BODY, don’t let it down or put extra stress on it by neglecting your “vitals”. Make sure you get what you need in water, nutrients, sleep, rest / activity. Don’t tire your system more with junk food, excitants, alcohol. Re-install regular cycles for eating, sleeping… Wash. Change clothes. Get some fresh air and light. Get a massage. Use your senses, smell good smells, listen to good sounds. Get moving if you’ve only been resting, get some rest if you’ve only been running. If possible, don’t drop out of your favorite sport or hobby; that is of course, assuming you are eating, drinking water, sleeping, and that you have no injuries or disease (otherwise, physical activities might actually be harmful). In any case, don’t overdo it, your body is probably weaker. Also, in times of adversity, certain holistic disciplines (like yoga or others), practiced safely and softly, can reveal their core-lessons: your learn that you can carry yourself through life. If it has become impossible to look after yourself, consider moving in with someone nice whom you can be inspired by, and or having good people over (for example for meals), until you are able to take good care of yourself and/or taken care of by a professional.
* BE WISE ABOUT (FURTHER) ALTERING YOUR STATE OF CONSCIOUSNESS Consider strong psychological distress as an already altered state of consciousness, a painful one, with its own special chemistry. Maybe it is wiser not to fiddle with it more, at least without competent supervision. Avoid self-medication. Beware of alcohol. Remember what Bob Marley said ? Alcohol just gets you drunk man. Be wise with psychedelics: If you are unexperienced and/or without the supervision of someone who is (preferably not just in the recreative department), then you should maybe avoid them altogether (you can also look for psychoactives / psychedelik knowledge and wisdom through MAPS and/or Erowid resources). If you’re already with a habit of say, smoking pot or drinking, try not to do more, and beware of taking on a new habit you didn’t have before. Also, know that lack of sleep can play serious tricks on your mind too. Careful with sur-stimualtion of your intellect and senses. Get a rest once in a while from your computer (or other sources of mental input) and all it is feeding your burned-out-intellect with.
* IDENTIFY AND STOP SELF HARM. You are aching. You are vulnerable. With vicious logic, you might engage in behaviors that will, more or less directly and quickly, lead to more harm to yourself. Like what ? Like intoxicating yourself, not eating, over-eating, over spending, betting, taking stupid risks, cutting yourself, punching doors, being aggressive towards strangers, driving fast, not wearing a helmet, trusting the wrong persons, disclosing information, lying about your health, sabotaging or destroying your work etc. These behaviors will only make things worse. All aches will ache more eventually. You may be depressed, but if you don’t limit self-harm, then one morning you wake up and you still have a depression + liver damage + weight loss + infection + injuries + brand new addiction + no friends + your work has disappeared + god knows what. Disengage from this process.
* COME OUT about your psychological distress. Say how you are feeling, what your are going through, to your family and/or friends and/or co-workers, without ambiguity, in your own simple words, without minimizing nor exaggerating. You need not go into details, certainly not with everyone. What you want is to make sure that the persons around you and/or whom you trust, become aware that your condition is serious and that you are engaging in a process of taking extra care of yourself. If they are smart and they care about you, from then on they will not take you on crazy binge-drinking sessions on saturday nights, or drop pills down your throat screaming “you gonna be oookaay “. They will not say “I hear you”, then hand you a ten tons file to work on over the weekend. If they still do that after you’ve told them how you are, they might be ignorant/stupid and/or toxic to you, at least for now (see below): Make yourself clear once more and/or maybe avoid them…
* CAREFUL WITH THAT EXTRA LOAD OF WORK / DECLINE MORE RESPONSABILITIES ? Note -and make others note- that if you are not well, it could be irresponsible on your part to accept more responsabilities, especially when OTHER people depend on your good shape for their health and safety. Desist. Don’t raise the probability of “human-error” being made, it’s bad enough as an expression.
* ACCEPT GENUINE HELP from others, whether your know them well or not, when it comes your way. It can be that someone you didn’t think cared about you proposes to drive you somewhere you need to go. It can be a smile or a conversation with a stranger. Something warm, simple, gently destined to you. How do you know if a helping gesture is genuine and good for you ? You feel it, mostly. Of course it has a certain consistency with observable facts. As for feeling, you should feel more free, a little more alive, when you accept/receive the gesture coming from that person, not the contrary. You can know when a hand is lifting you up, or pushing you down. Trust your instinct. That said, beware of full-on saviors invading your life/privacy, especially if their personal life is a total mess !
* ACCEPT THAT HELP MIGHT NOT COME FROM WHERE YOU THOUGHT IT WOULD. We are all different, and all striving at times not to lose it. Your intense state of distress might be to hard to deal with for some, who will tend to protect themselves from it. And maybe they should, so respect that. Let them be, let go of any resentment or disappointment. Who knows, they might start providing help at other stages of the sometime long process of psychological recovery, they might help in ways you don’t recognize yet, they might not help at all. You’ll see if you can catch up with them later. DO KICK them out of your life, though, very far, if they start attacking you, being nasty or clearly disrespectful to you (see below “avoid toxic people”).
Know that when you start REDEFINING yourself, for example through therapy or even self-care, it is not unusual that your relationships, the world around you, start redefining themselves too. It can be an interesting, healthy, and pacific process, with familiar faces moving a bit afar and new faces entering your life. It is OK, it is often for the better, and it doesn’t mean the end of old good things/partnerships. Everyone gets an opportunity to change/update when you do (that they will or will not take, it’s not your call).
* SEEK GOOD COMPANY especially if being alone makes you more at risk of neglecting/hurting yourself. Ask if you can stay with someone close and/or have someone stay over and/or come for meals with you (that will make it easier to actually think about eating). Surround yourself with good harmonious lovely loving beings, inspiring, talented, and caring. Yes, some persons have all qualities and some of them are even your friends. Rub your face in these friendships. Tell them you love them.
* AVOID TOXIC PEOPLE.
I have already mentionned above the full-on savior-invader with fucked-up personal life, well, that’s one type of toxic people. There are plenty. They feed on you, they parasite or pollute you, they irritate, manipulate, exhaust or confuse you, or they make you feel like shit when you’re trying to feel better. Generally, you recognize that someone is kind of toxic to you when you feel somehow worse after they’ve “helped” you or after you’ve been with them than before. And maybe they, on the contrary, strangely look all pumped up, kind of invigorated, by your torments…
* IMPROVE / CARE FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE SURROUNDINGS/ HOME: Keep or make a clean, tidy home. Take the trash out. Open the windows once in a while, let light and air in. Have distinct spaces for distinct activities, if possible (if not possible, you can invent some sort of code/ritual to transition between space/activities). Remember what grandma said: You make the bed you wake up in. You don’t need to master Feng-shui or even “believe” in it to understand that a certain state of things in the house creates a certain flow, a certain circulation, a certain vibe, around the house, around you, that will both reflect and affect you, that will “attract” certain situations, thoughts, feelings, more than others. Well, you know what to do. Help yourself, materialize well.
* PROJECT YOURSELF, VALUE LIFE. You like what you do ? If you don’t like what you’re doing with your life well then, no wonder you are distressed… Maybe it should be the first thing you consider changing ?! But let’s assume you really like what you do, and maybe that you are even very good at it, and maybe that you know it is very important for others – You want to be able to keep doing it, right ? As best as possible ? Is that very clear to you ? I repeat, is that very clear to you ?
* BE COURAGEOUS ! Yes, it takes a load of courage, patience and dedication to get oneself through a crisis, and grow from it. And your own demons and weaknesses can be real hard to face. But guess what, once you start doing that, caring for yourself, you will have plenty more energy free to fight other fights. You will become able to help others better, and maybe in more ways, both simple and sophisticated ways. Remember : COURAGE IS CONTAGIOUS. Help yourself, help others.
(This article was reviewed 06/05 by a friend qualified psychotherapist – It was not changed after except the section avoid toxic people was just shortened a bit not to inspire too much “paranoid” feelings – THANK YOU/HER)
Art ©Michelle Blade – gathering into being
SARAH HARRISON, who, on top of her great work with Wikileaks as an investigative journalist and legal researcher, has provided whistleblower Edward Snowden with some ultimate form of care last year, from Hong-Kong to his asylum in Russia,
together put a few facts straight about Wikileaks, Manning and Snowden in their conversation @ re:publica 14.
Watch it HERE.
TOR IS BEING USED AS A SAFE HAVEN FOR VICTIMS OF CYBER-STALKING, an article by Meghan Neal
“For several years, Tor, spearheaded by Tor Project executive director Andrew Lewman, has been tackling cyberstalking, working with domestic violence groups to set up countersurveillance programs to help victims evade online surveillance, just as dissidents, whistleblowers, or cybercriminals use the onion router to mask their identity.
The onion router can hide a victim’s identity long enough for them to research where to find help, and look up what data they can find about themselves without tipping off their stalker that they’re online, he said.”
“Kids care intensely about privacy, because kids make a lot of mistakes. Making mistakes is how you learn not to make more mistakes in the future. Making mistakes while someone else watches is a qualitatively different experience from making them on your own. Kids know, intimately, why privacy matters.
So I’m not surprised that my kid wants to talk about surveillance with me, and that this subject has grown to eclipse all others during our talks: ‘‘Daddy, let’s talk about the spies some more.’’
Cory Doctorow, HOW TO TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT MASS SURVEILLANCE
Like people didn’t give up on sex because of STDs, they are not going to give up using the Internet or today’s communication devices because they are bugged. There are however (transitive) risks in exposing our lives to constant capture / monitoring by third parties, and these could be minimized if the variety of us become better informed and start to adopt know-better behaviors, like in safer sex. Could we then learn how to use crypto tools like we learnt how to place condoms on bananas ? Drawing analogies with public health campaigns, environmental education for children and other social movements, Jacob Appelbaum (TOR) and Jillian York (EFF) lay out the principles of what could be a harm reduction campaign against the epidemic of mass surveillance and erosion of privacy, in their talk @ re:publica 14. Note that in a salutary queering of the debate, Appelbaum and York also point to the fact that opting out of the problem today saying “I have nothing to hide” is pretty much equivalent to (dominant white male) hetero saying AIDS is a gays thing and doesn’t concern them : false of course, and irresponsible. True, not everyone exposed to mass surveillance in their countries is exposed to the same risks (as of now white westerners might not risk to be put in jail or drone striked overnight for expressing their thoughts or gathering together on a regular basis), but understanding the interconnectedness is a vital key for all across the globe.
Watch the talk here : LET’S TALK ABOUT SEX BABY, LET’S TALK ABOUT PGP
What are the psychological functions of privacy ? What do the psychologists and “academicians” who have looked into it actually have to say about it ? Can we be inspired by some of their findings to better protect privacy, and/or maybe fix the “argumentative gap” with a public too prompt to resolve the problem with the “I have nothing to hide” argument ?
Researching the socio-psychological functions of privacy through its literature in social sciences I find that the works of Westin, Pedersen, Altman seem to have been influentials, ever since they were published already some years ago. Their “models” and understanding of the complex concept of privacy have inspired researchers after them.
Alan Westin, for instance, author of Privacy and Freedom, identified 4 types of privacy : solitude, intimacy, anonymity and reserve – and 4 functions of privacy : personal autonomy, emotional release, self-evaluation, and protected communication
Darhl M Pedersen, contributed numerous research on the subject in social psychology, starting with The Psychological Functions Of Privacy, where he empirically identified 5 functions of privacy: contemplation, autonomy, rejuvenation, confiding and creativity.
Environmental psychologist Irwin Altman also researched and wrote about personal space and privacy.
I came across a Literature review on the subject of privacy inside another article TOWARDS A PRIVACY FRAMEWORK FOR INFORMATION SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT, by Peter J. Carew and Larry Stapleton.
Here it is below.
2. PRIVACY: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
The concept of privacy appears in the literature of several disciplines. There is no universal definition for privacy, and numerous authors have highlighted the difficulties in producing such a definition (cf. Burgoon, 1982; Leino-Kilpi, et al., 2001; Newell, 1998). Theorists argue over whether privacy is a condition, a process or a goal (Newell, 1998). While privacy may be a difficult concept to characterise concisely, the various definitions do have substantial commonalities. One group of definitions emphasise seclusion, withdrawal, and avoidance of interaction with others. The second group puts more emphasis on the control individuals have over their lives.
There are a number of formal models of privacy in the literature, but the theories of Alan Westin (e.g. Westin, 1970) and Irwin Altman (e.g. Altman, 1976) are considered authoritative. Their theories and ideas have stood the test of time and have been the basis of research for many subsequent authors (Margulis, 2003; Pedersen, 1999, 1997; Petronio, 1991). The remainder of this section provides an aggregated overview of some of the core aspects of privacy compiled from the most influential literature. These core aspects set out the theoretical background against which any ISD privacy theory must be constructed.
TOWARDS A PRIVACY FRAMEWORK FOR ISD
3 2.1. Privacy Types, Functions and Mechanisms
People experience and desire several states, or types, of privacy. These include the four identified by Westin (1970): solitude, intimacy, anonymity and reserve. Solitude means to be alone and free from observation by others. Intimacy refers to being alone with a small group to the exclusion of others (e.g. family), and concerns close relationships. Anonymity refers to being unrecognised in a public place – to be inconspicuous and blend into the crowd. Reserve is based on a desire to limit disclosures to others. Pedersen (1997, 1999) extended Westin‟s model by adding isolation (i.e. using physical distance to be alone) and splitting intimacy into intimacy with family and intimacy with friends. Burgoon (1982) identified the following broad dimensions of privacy: social, physical, informational and psychological.
Privacy functions refer to why individuals seek privacy. Westin (1970) identified four functions of privacy: personal autonomy, emotional release, self-evaluation, and limited and protected communication. Personal autonomy relates to independence and self-identity. It is the desire to avoid being manipulated, dominated or exposed by others. Emotional release refers to freedom from the tensions of social life, and being able to deviate from social norms, roles, rules and customs safely. Self-evaluation refers to integrating experience into meaningful patterns, and the opportunity to plan and assess future actions (i.e. self-reflection and assessment). Limited and protected communication provides the opportunity to share personal information with trusted others. Altman (1976) describes three functions of privacy: interpersonal, the interface to the self and the social world, and self-identity. Pedersen (1997, 1999) empirically identified five basic functions of privacy: contemplation, autonomy, rejuvenation, confiding and creativity. From a systems point of view, Newell (1998) argues that privacy provides an opportunity for restabilisation, system maintenance (i.e. healthy physiological and cognitive functioning) and system development (i.e. towards autonomy and self-actualisation). Individuals may seek to protect their privacy to avoid e.g. embarrassment, harassment, ridicule, shame, scrutiny or discrimination (Shapiro and Baker, 2001).
Behavioural mechanisms are used to achieve a desired level of privacy. These mechanisms include verbal, paraverbal (e.g. tone), non-verbal (e.g. gestures), environmental behaviour (e.g. personal space and territoriality), and cultural norms and customs (Altman, 1976; Pedersen, 1999). Personal space is an invisible zone surrounding the human body, separating people from one another (Leino-Kilpi, et al., 2001). Territoriality refers to a perceived ownership of areas, objects, knowledge or status. These privacy mechanisms function as an integrated system, supporting and substituting each other as appropriate (Altman, 1976).
2.2. Circumstance, Individuality and Culture
Privacy interests vary in both content and magnitude across situations and individuals. What may be trivial to one individual may be significant to another (Shapiro and Baker, 2001). Relevant personal factors include the individual‟s need for privacy, personal attractiveness, interpersonal skills, personality variables, and ability to use privacy control mechanisms effectively (Pedersen, 1999). Personality variables include extraversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, openness to experience, and conscientiousness (Zweig and Webster, 2003). Gender also can impact on privacy preferences (Newell, 1998; Pedersen, 1999). Some cultures have a stronger preference for privacy and more privacy needs than others (Kaya and Weber, 2003). The need for privacy is universal but manifestations and privacy mechanisms are culturally specific (Margulis, 2003; Newell, 1998). For example, local culture has been shown to affect people‟s perceptions of crowding (Hall, 1966).
2.3. Intrusion and Privacy Violation
Intrusion essentially is when the desired level for privacy is higher than the actual level being enjoyed (Altman, 1976). Altman‟s process oriented model for social interaction is useful for further describing what is meant by intrusion or privacy violation. In Altman‟s theory, privacy has five properties: units of privacy, the dialectic nature of privacy, the non-monotonic nature of privacy, privacy as a boundary control process, and privacy as a bi-directional process (Altman, 1976). Units of privacy refer to the fact that privacy applies at the individual and group levels, and differences exist in privacy dynamics for various social units (Altman, 1976; Margulis, 2003). The units of privacy can be person-to-person, person-to-group, group-to-person or group-to-group (Leino- Kilpi, et al., 2001). The dialectic nature of privacy refers to the fact that individuals continuously change their desire for interpersonal contact. There are two opposing forces at work at all times – one drawing individuals together, and another pushing them apart. Privacy can, thus, be viewed as a dynamic, dialectic process where the need for solitude and the need for interpersonal contact are constantly in opposition. The desired level of privacy depends on which of the two opposing forces is strongest at a given time. The non-monotonic nature of privacy refers to the fact that there is an optimal level of privacy at a given time, and people can have too much privacy (e.g. social isolation) or too little privacy (e.g. crowding). Privacy as a boundary regulation process offers the notion of a flexible barrier between the self and non-self, which can be opened or closed depending on circumstance (Altman, 1976; Petronio, 1991). Finally, privacy can be viewed as a bi- directional process, involving controlling inputs from others and outputs to others.
In terms of Altman‟s model, intrusion therefore depends on a number of factors. Different social units have different privacy needs (e.g. family, work group, individual), these needs change frequently, and it is possible to have too much or too little privacy. While too much interaction may be experienced as an invasion of privacy, too little may be experienced as loneliness or alienation (Pedersen, 1999). Being forced to interact (i.e. receive input or provide output) beyond the level of interaction desired in a given circumstance is an intrusion as the forced participation implies an attempt to break through the flexible mental barrier (cf. Altman, 1976). The ability to control interactions is essential for privacy management.
Technology has long been recognised as posing a significant threat to the privacy of personal data. The following section looks at some of the privacy related ethical issues in the information society. It shows how ICT is shaping society and the workplace and highlights some dilemmas facing the ethical ISD professional.
P. Carew, and L. Stapleton (2005). „Towards a Privacy Framework for Information Systems Development‟, in O. Vaselicas, W. Wojtowski & G. Wojtowski (eds.), Information Systems Development: Advances in Theory, Practice and Education, Kluwer Academic Press/ Plenum
Radio WFMU and Free Music Archive propose mixes of creative commons workout tunes for non commercial use.
As noted by WFMU Jason Sigal, these are good for schools, non profit fitness centers and other organizations who can’t pay the (pumped up) price to do squats to an original Britney Spears song, and are not too interested either in getting cheaper mock up versions of it.
So get into comfortable clothes and grab some for your community:
WFMU/FMA CC Workout mix
Remember no one actually has to become super better or optimized or anything, although, for those who like, a Mister Universe kind of workout is also available: The Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Body Workout MP3s
A woman hid her pregnancy from the Internet, using TOR, cash not cards, personal server, local lockers instead of house mailbox, and of course, not feeding uncle Facebook the happy news. Educational.
“My story is about big data, but from the bottom up,” she said. “From a very personal perspective of what it takes to avoid being collected, being tracked and being placed into databases.”
Surveillance & Society is an international, interdisciplinary, open access, peer-reviewed journal of Surveillance Studies.
One cumbia a day keeps the doctor away – or is it champeta* ?
Datalove.net shares torrents of it, and champeta, and chicha, and salsa, and merengue, and other sensational street finds.
See how much good vibes yours systems can take in, set to expand that capacity,
And don’t forget to share-care
* Champeta is a “super-popular rythm, mixing traditional Colombian sounds with modern tropical rythms of obvious afro-carribean influence”, and it is really keeping us healthy around here.
Published in May 2011 in The International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, here is a read for health-care professionals who care about privacy
“This paper highlights potential challenges to privacy posed by electronic health records and proposes to increase patient involvement in maintaining the privacy of their data. Electronic health records are heavily promoted in the United States, rendering sensitive health information accessible and potentially jeopardizing patient privacy. Yet certain HIPAA regulations are consistently violated, suggesting that the Federal Government is unable to fully enforce privacy standards. On the other hand, proportionately there are few civilian complaints to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), implying that patients are unaware of privacy breaches, the means to report them, or both. Without permitting patient control over information, the proposed privacy system assumes that leakages will occur and offers to notify patients of breaches after the fact. This deprives patients of the right to defend their intimate details, which are more available to caretakers, employers, and insurers than ever. Our proposed solution is to render usage of patient information transparent by default, so that patients can monitor and control who is privy to what input. This will enhance patient empowerment, feeding into improved governmental control over health data.”
Talya Miron-Shatz MA PhDa and Glyn Elwyn MB BCh MSc FRCGP PhDb
a Founding Director, Center for Medical Decision Making, Ono Academic College, Israel; Lecturer, Marketing Department, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
b Professor of Primary Medical Care, Clinical Epidemiology Interdisciplinary Research Group, Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
It’s raining cats and unicorns on the Internet and we hope this will positively influence the climate and conditions for life there.
Some salutary raindrops come in the shape of signatures to OUR!NETmundial’s message to the governments of the world.
A global response to the successful failures of Internet Governance Meetings, the letter calls for strong principles and actions in order to End Global Surveillance and Protect a Free Internet, Internet being envisioned here as a common good.
This is also stated by Jérémie Zimmerman’s in a publication presenting the campaign “The Internet Governance’s Farce and its Multi-Stakeholder Illusion”
Those interested to learn/reflect more about “the commons” can search the Digital Library of the Commons, which “provides free and open access to full-text articles, papers, and dissertations (…) relevant to the study of the commons.”
Pay attention and FEEL the differences between postures to help yourself minimize body harm from your long desk hours. Here are two images to reflect on what can be a less straining posture at your desk.
Young man sitting in front of a computer screen, by Jonathan Janson
Computer Eye-gonomics, from article in the Atlantic by Lindsay Abrams
Addition to this post :
Ironically, there is actually more life “portrayed” in the first picture. I don’t know about you, but in a way I’d rather be the first dude, even with shoulder strain. As much as postural advices are interesting, they should not become a cold, rigid, norm… It’s not about seeing 90° angles everywhere and becoming postural orthodox, right… ? Careful how you hold yourselves, and don’t freeze into any posture..
One way to improve posture so as to avoid piling up strenuous tensions is to think of it as a continuous flow.
The image of flow is a tool dear to (re) educational somatic disciplines (e.g. Feldenkrais or Alexander techniques), and of course to dancers, whom it helps perfect their art.
In the practice book Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, we read:
“The concept of flow is crucial to creating dynamic alignment. Just as we have said that your mind can sculpt your body into a certain posture, your mind can also help your body flow into better alignment. And here is the good news: A flow cannot be held because it then ceases to be a flow; therefore alignment based on this notion cannot become rigid. If you begin to realize that your alignment is flowing, constantly changing, even if on a cellular or molecular level, you are able to take charge of this flow. Using imagery, you can constantly guide your alignment toward increased efficiency without ever holding onto it. If you were to stop the flow, even in what appears to be a biomechanically well-aligned position, tension would ensue. The building blocks of our body, our cells, are both filled and surrounded by fluids. Therefore fluid motion is inherent in our very structure.”
In a resting still position, the image of flow can also be used to “flush” muscular tensions:
“Imagine a river flowing down your back, expelling all muscular tension (figure 12.40). Visualize the tension points as little rocks and pieces of wood carried out with the flow. Imagine the murky water turning crystal clear. Watch the river flow down through the gutters between your spine and ribs to flush out all remaining tension”
Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, by Eric Franklin.
Long hours in front of a computer screen can cause great eyestrain and fatigue.
The “repetitive stress”corresponding to such constant focusing and adaptive efforts from the eyes can lead to a bunch of symptoms, hence a syndrome, conveniently called Computer Vision Syndrome: Blurred Vision, Double vision, Eye Dryness, Headaches, Neck pain…
This is where the project Redshift comes in.
“Redshift adjusts the color temperature according to the position of the sun. A different color temperature is set during night and daytime. During twilight and early morning, the color temperature transitions smoothly from night to daytime temperature to allow your eyes to slowly adapt. At night the color temperature should be set to match the lamps in your room. This is typically a low temperature at around 3000K-4000K (default is 3700K). During the day, the color temperature should match the light from outside, typically around 5500K-6500K (default is 5500K). The light has a higher temperature on an overcast day.”
It sounds both poetic and soothing although I haven’t tested it, and I believe it would be for everyone to make their own opinion. I am told some are very satisfied with it and wouldn’t live without it, while others cannot stand it – or simply find it incompatible with their tasks, being, for example, graphic designers working with colors.
French readers can read a review of Redshift by Geekfault (stroll down the commentaries for users feedbacks).
Redshift, ne vous abimez plus les yeux la nuit, by Geekfault.
When is the last time you powered down. All the way down. Not asleep. Not in airplane mode but ON | OFF. Try it with me now. Take your phone out, if you’re not already futzing with it, and turn it off (note: this is not advised if you are reading this on your mobile. In this case you are probably too far gone). Fair warning, you will experience a short stint of anxiety and emptiness. These mobile withdrawals are unpleasant (and slightly pathetic) but the sobering and liberating experience is worth more than your 25th snapchat today. I promise.
I was a mobile junkie. The phosphorescent glow left me mesmerized and needing more. Each Snapchat or push notification fueled my need for news, updates, and winning the battle against boredom. At my worst, most conversations with friends and family would start with “do you have a charger?”
I remember the turning point. I had just returned from a camping trip where I ‘witnessed’ a beautiful sunset. As I was reminiscing over the dozens of photos I took, I barely had any recollection of ACTUALLY being there. I was so focused on eternalizing the moment through my phone, that I hadn’t taken the time to eternalize it in my brain. I accepted my addiction and decided to make a change.
Full disclosure: I’m a technologist that works almost exclusively on mobile. I’ve had the opportunity to build some really neat things (thing 1 and thing 2) alongside very talented people. So my telling you to put your phone down is a little bit like a girl scout telling you only to buy 2 boxes. We (as app makers) want them to be addicting. Like a potato chip manufacturer, we try to put just the right crunch and the perfect amount of salt so you can’t help but have just one more. We want you to get addicted. It puts the potato chips on our table.
read the rest on : https://medium.com/medium-long/15308056cfae
Nous passons beaucoup de temps assis, tête rivée à des écrans, ordinateurs à bout de bras, clic sous index droit, téléphones en mains, tablettes…
Comment nos corps sont-ils affectés par nos usages des nouvelles technologies et outils de communication ? Souffrez-vous un peu, beaucoup ? Qu’est-ce la posture ? Quels gestes pouvons nous pratiquer, pour nous-mêmes ou en massage, pour soulager des tensions et prévenir des maux plus graves sur le long terme ? Quelles habitudes simples pouvons nous adopter et/ou suggérer à nos clients ?
Emily propose d’explorer ces questions dans un atelier découverte ouvert à toutes et à tous, chez Biopulse Formation Massage
12 Rue Saint Sauveur
Tarif: 15 euros
Inscription au 01 44 82 51 29
“There are some things in our nation and in our world to which I’m proud to be maladjusted… I never intend to adjust myself to segregation and discrimination. I never intend to become adjusted to religious bigotry. I never intend to adjust myself to economic conditions that will take necessities from the many to give luxuries to the few, and leave millions of people perishing on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of prosperity. I never intend to adjust myself to the madness of militarism, and to the self-defeating effects of physical violence… And I call upon you to be maladjusted to these things until the good society is realized…Yes, I must confess that I believe firmly that our world is in dire need of a new organization – the International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment…Through such maladjustment we will be able to emerge from the bleak and desolate midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, into the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom and justice”
Martin Luther King “Don’t Sleep Through The Revolution,” speech delivered at the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly in Hollywood, Florida (May 18, 1966).
Transcript from “Taking Martin Luther King’s for creative maladjustment seriously”, on Mad in America
For the women out there who still wouldn’t know about the Mighty Menstrual Cup as excellent alternative to tampons, it is my pleasure to introduce it to you here. Safer, greener, cheaper, “no strings attached”. Powah periods everyone !
(Mooncup is one menstrual cup, there are indeed many others brands to choose from. Luna, Mia, Diva, Iris, NaturalMamma…This french site lists and compares quite a few: http://www.easycup.fr/description-coupes.php)
Physical therapist Sophie Hiltner offers a quick review of Workrave ”a program that assists in the recovery and prevention of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), frequently alerts you to take micro-pauses, rest breaks and restricts you to your daily limit.”
More from Sophie in the talk she gave at 30C3 last December, CODING YOUR BODY.
Workrave: being programmed by a program
A review by Sophie Hiltner
Sitting at my desk working as usual I suddenly feel the urge to stretch my arms high in the air, extending my thoracic spine. Two seconds after I had followed my impulse, the little reminder from workrave popped up to tell me I needed a micro pause. What happened here, had the one week trial phase already left its impression in my movement patterns inside my brain?
I will give you a quick overview about the program workrave (http://www.workrave.org/), my experiences with it and a physiotherapeutical evaluation of its function.
Workrave is a programm that monitors the use of keyboard or mouse. The programm offers two different kinds of pauses, a microbreak and a coffeebreak. The preset timing, of the intervals of the pauses, did not feel good to me, therefore I chose a twenty minutes rhythm for the micropause of thirty seconds and one hour rhythm for the coffee break of five minutes. During those breaks your monitor is blocked, unless you decide to skip or postpone the break by a certain period of time. In general I use these microbreaks to stretch, get out of the chair, go to the bathroom or fill up my tea cup. Choosing a small cup and putting the tea pot at the other end of the room is a great opportunity for a small walk between the sitting phases of your day.
During the coffeebreaks the programm offers excercises for shoulders, eyes, fingers and arms. For example: stretching out your fingers or neck muscles. Each exercise is about twenty-five seconds long. Depending on your motivation you can choose up to ten excercises per break. These exercises are helpful from a physiotherapeutical point of view, but especially the stretches are way to short. If you like the excercises offered I would suggest doing one maximum two and repeating those for at least one minute each. Concentrate on your breathing while stretching, for example your neck, and feel the tension leave your body while you exhale.
A friendly person sent me his comment about workrave “Since I use workrave, my room is much cleaner.”. I have to agree, besides the stretching I used the breaks also to tidy up things quickly, wash the dishes or make fresh tea.
Besides all those advantages I have two points I am not happy about. First of all, when you are not typing or using your mouse the programm counts it as a break. Since I am also reading a lot when working I need to remind myself of those breaks. But after using workrave quite often while I was writing, my body started to remind itself of the needed breaks. This does not mean, that the program became unnecessary, but that Pavlov was correct. Bottomline: the programm helped me to be more aware of continuous sitting periods and I start to move subconsciously whenever a break should be taken.
The second point of criticism: workrave is incredibly sexist, since the person presenting the exercises is a big busted woman with braided hair. A neutral person would be more suitable, at least for my taste.
Another thing is, that wordrave is not availabe for Mac L sorry to say. If anybody knows a mac compatible programm let me know.
That is what I have to say about workrave. If you have questions, suggestions or critique: Let me know! Till then keep working out in the office,
RxISK.org is a “free, independent drug safety website where you can research your prescription drug side effects or report a drug side effect.”
There are “zones” where you can find out if the drugs you’re taking are affecting your hair, skin, sex life… or if they have been linked to violent or suicidal behaviors. There is also an “interaction checker”, and a zone to check if your symptoms are linked to withdrawal from a drug.
Tip: if you live outside of the countries covered, you might not have the same trademark medicine – try entering the name of the active molecule (ex: ibuprofen)
“Mental health first aid has been defined as the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis. The first aid is given until appropriate professional treatment is received or until the crisis resolves. Training courses started to be developed in Australia by Betty Kitchener, and Anthony Jorm in 2001, then spread to other countries (…)”. It aims apparently to “increase mental health literacy, expand knowledge on how to help someone in a psychological crisis, connect individuals with professionals, and reduce stigma”.
But then MHFA stems from a medical model which can have its limits. It has been argued that it could in fact result in more stigma, if not more alienation, through the use of clinical labels, prompt resort to medical authorities / psychiatric services, and medication. These points are addressed in Three reviews of mental health first aid on the Mad In America website:
“Edward Duff: Mental Health First Aid is pretty good if you ignore the labeling system and just pay attention to the very gentle form of peer support, harm-reduction, and listening they advocate. This is a big IF since the main response of the program is to lead people into psychiatric services. It’s also a form of response short of an emergency hospitalization/capture scenario. This can be a very good thing to avoid, for sure.”
With this in mind, you can explore MHFA Australia material on how to pick up signals, how to approach and help someone with depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, panic attacks, drug or alcohol use problems… or help returning to work after depression. Also, it has guidelines adapted to different cultures.
* MHFA Australia free GUIDELINES *
“In order to improve the quality of the mental health first aid techniques being taught to the public, MHFA Australia and researchers in the Mental Health Literacy Research Team lead by Professor Tony Jorm (now the Population Mental Health Group at the University of Melbourne) have developed guidelines on what constitutes best practice first aid, as informed by expert consensus (i.e., consensus-based guidelines). (…) Guidelines in the following areas have been developed, and are available for free download below.
How to use these guidelines
These guidelines are a general set of recommendations about how you can help someone who may be experiencing ———. Each individual is unique and it is important to tailor your support to that person’s needs. These recommendations therefore will not be appropriate for every person who may have ———-.
Also, the guidelines are designed to be suitable for providing first aid in developed English-speaking countries. They may not be suitable for other cultural groups or for countries with different health systems.
Although these guidelines are copyright, they can be freely reproduced for non-profit purposes provided the source is acknowledged.
Please cite these guidelines as follows:
Mental Health First Aid Australia. Psychosis: first aid guidelines. Melbourne: Mental Health First Aid Australia; 2008. Enquiries should be sent to:
Mental Health First Aid Australia email: email@example.com
GO TO the DOWNLOAD PAGE
The Icarus Project is a “radical mental health support network, online community, and alternative media project by and for people struggling with extreme emotional distress that often gets labeled as mental illness.” You can read their mission statement, here. Principles like access, transparency, looking beyond the medical, self and/or alternative education, all guide a relaxed yet resolute, diffracting yet convergent, initiative for the well-being of extra-ordinary people. Browsing through their pages you’ll find they provide a lot of resources (articles, forums, etc.) to help one “navigate the space between brilliance and madness”. It will speak to whoever is confronted to “madness” at some point in their life, one way or another, in a world that is constantly LOSING IT in many aspects.
Taking care of oneself or helping someone in a psychological crisis can be tricky. Not everybody is experienced or comfortable in dealing with different, awkward, or extreme states of consciousness. As a matter of fact, many people it seems become clueless when confronted to psychological distress, even their own… Some psychological states are indeed impressive, and some can actually threaten a person’s mental and physical integrity. But with appropriate reactions (often rather simple ones, like keeping the voice down or introducing oneself), informed attention, kindness and clear intentions, a little help can go a long way in supporting recovery or preventing harm. Even better is the care we can provide as a group, attentive, resilient, aware and creative, because it will be more sustainable, and so the recovery or at least the safety of the person will stand more chances too in the long term.
So how to take care of oneself when the mind is troubled ? How to take care of friends, of strangers, of friends who suddenly become strangers ? Breaking the taboo around “madness” in one’s community can be a good start, making a safe space, becoming a bit more literate in psychology / caregiving, aware and confident… By not being afraid to do good ?
Following is a small selection of handouts, information sheets, guides and zines I found on Icarus website relative to psychological care. They are all interesting to read, print, post, share. They can give you insight and clues and confidence. All Icarus Project material is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND.
* NAVIGATING CRISIS handout
“Someone’s personality starts to make strange changes, they’re not sleeping or sleeping all day, they lose touch with the people around them, they disappear into their room for days, they have wild energy and outlandish plans, they start to dwell on suicide and hopelessness, they stop eating or taking care of themselves, or they start taking risks and being reckless. They become a different person. They’re in crisis. The word “crisis” comes from a root meaning “judgment.” A crisis is a moment of great tension and meeting the unknown. It’s a turning point when things can’t go on the way they have, and the situation isn’t going to hold. Could crisis be an opportunity for breakthrough, not just breakdown? Can we learn about each other and ourselves as a community through crisis? Can we see crisis as an opportunity to judge a situation and ourselves carefully, not just react with panic and confusion or turn things over to the authorities? “
* CRISIS PLANNER pdf
“Noticing and responding to symptoms early reduces the chances that you will find yourself in crisis. But it is important to confront the possibility of a crisis because in spite of your best planning and assertive action in your own behalf, you could find yourself in a situation where others will need to take over responsibility for your care. (…) Writing a clear crisis plan when you are well, to instruct others about how to care for you when you are not well keeps you taking responsibility for your own care.”
* HELP GETTING TO SLEEP information sheet
“Not sleeping for long periods of time is extremely dangerous for physical and emotional
* FIRST AID FOR EMOTIONAL TRAUMA information sheet
“Trauma (or post-traumatic stress disorder) is the emotional “shock” after a life-threatening, violent event. Anything that makes our body panic and go into a fight/flight/freeze response can leave us traumatized. The effects may be immediate or take time to surface, and can be felt for the rest of our lives. “
* HURTING YOURSELF zine
“how to take care of yourself when you feel the urge to hurt yourself ”
Excerpt : “Applying harm reduction philosophy to mental health is a new but growing approach. It means not always trying to eliminate “symptoms” or discontinue all medications. It recognizes that people are already taking psychiatric drugs, already trying to come off them, and already living with symptoms — and that in this complicated reality people need true help, not judgment. It encourages balancing the different risks involved: the harm from extreme states, as well as the harm from treatments such as adverse drug effects, disempowering labels, and traumatic hospitalization.
Making harm reduction decisions means looking honestly at all sides of the equation: how drugs might help a life that feels out of control, how risky those same drugs might be, and the role of options and alternatives. Any decisions become a process of experimentation and learning, including learning from your own mistakes and changing your goals along the way. Harm reduction accepts all this, believing that the essence of any healthy life is the capacity to be empowered.”
The possibilities and dangers -closing in on us- of “pseudonymized” health records central databases, with police backdoors, scientists, insurers, and other third parties authorized to mine the “care.data” are exposed in this guardian article “Police will have backdoor access to health records despite opt-out”, by Randeep Ramesh.
This puts into light an architecture of biopower (as conceptualized by french philosopher Michel Foucault) where control over people’s destinies can technically and easily be exerted via the subjugation of their own bodies.
Let’s not forget that today, people’s personal health informations ALREADY are used against them and negatively affect their fundamental freedoms, for example of movement and/or economic interaction, whether it is a matter of crossing a border when you’re HIV+ and/or getting/keeping a job when you’re a smoker.
Overall it is a particularly aching reminder of the importance of protecting the personal data of the weak, in that it concerns the very place where people are the most vulnerable (that’s when we go to a doctor, right?), and a place that is still considered a safety and confidentiality haven – with privacy being a component of good care.
“PRIVACY FOR THE WEAK, TRANSPARENCY FOR THE POWERFUL”
as advocated and enabled by Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange,
really sounds like the right line.
Phil Booth of medConfidential, which campaigns on medical privacy, told the Guardian: “This is precisely the danger when you create a giant database of highly sensitive information about people – all sorts of other people want to go rifling through it, including the government.” There’s always another good reason to go digging, but no one thinks of the catastrophic breach of trust this represents.”
“The lack of independent oversight and transparency is what’s most worrying. People trust their GP, but who’s heard of the Health and Social Care Information Centre or the four people who sign off on access to all our medical records?”
by Bonnie Berkowitz and Patterson Clark, Washington Post Health & Science
About sitting around the clock:
Sitting all day can have real negative impacts on our well-being and health. You can take a quick look at this Sitting is Killing You infographic to get a picture, and/or watch the talk Coding Your Body physical therapist Sophie Hiltner gave last week at 30C3.
One of my favorite “hack” to remedy for this problem has to be the UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIR, which was cited by Sophie Hiltner at the end of her talk. When asked by someone in the audience what is the best chair to prevent musculo-skeletal disorders caused by sitting all day, she answered that the best chair could actually be the most uncomfortable of all, the most basic one, because then one has no choice but to stand up every so often to stretch. I think that is brilliant. It reminds me of a friend, movie director, who used exactly the same trick for a different, and also very interesting, purpose: He said he would always sit in the most uncomfortable chair to watch movies, because he believed comfort was detrimental to a healthy critical sense, and he certainly hated falling asleep in the arms of whatever storytelling.
Sophie Hiltner also cited having INCENTIVES TO STAND UP in the room, like placing the pot of tea or coffee on a different table than the actual desk, so one has to stand up every once in a while to get a refill. It’s a good one too, though the incentive has to be pretty strong, knowing how sometimes we don’t get up to go to the bathroom even though we are bursting.
Another woman we met told me how she cannot stay, and will not, stay in place behind her computer even though she does spend hours on it, and how she was always POSTURE SHIFTING at her large desk. She demonstrated to me a few moves, options for sitting, kneeling, forward bending, and it resembled a strange, very personal kind of yoga involving office accessories. And, she also moves/works away from the main desk, to other spots in the room where she experiments with other postures. She said it will all be perfect when she gets a desk that can adjust its height so she could then include standing postures in her “routine”. Very refreshing 🙂
STANDING DESKS are an interesting option by the way, you can read some posts about them + IKEA hacks and how to build your own here on lifehacker.
She also mentioned her and her son trying the exercise BALL as an office chair, but said that it proved tiresome and too f****ing distracting in the end. I have never tried it so I wouldn’t know. I hear that the interest is that you have to keep moving to maintain your stability, and that this gets your (forgotten, atrophied) stabilizing muscles to workout and that it prevents you from turning into a petrified human that will end up breaking at some point.
Me, I ideally like to have a chair with a wide enough seat (not too soft or spongy) so I can sit in a SEMI-LOTUS POSE on it every now and then with a straight back (not straight as in straight, straight as in with nice spinal curves). Days when I’m not flexible enough, I will add a CUSHION under my bottom, just so my hips are higher than my knees (if not, the effort I have to make to raise myself over the level of my knees is too much and counterproductive). This is also known as “ZAFU SITTING” for meditation. This way of using a cushion or “prop” can be useful even when sitting more classically on a chair (legs uncrossed), for elevating the hips and helping reinstall the healthy spinal curves. DO think about it whenever you are working on the floor at a low table.
About computers and other devices sucking life juices out of you…
The same woman mentioned another very interesting “trick” (that is way more than a trick, actually) so that machines would not end up sucking all life out of her : She has DOGS. Most of us have probably already heard how stroking a “pet” can be soothing for the mind and emotions, but that is not exactly the point here. In her case it has more to do with sharing her work space with OTHER LIFE FORMS, having a room inhabited, kept vibrant with life. Not to mention the fact that dogs will always remind you that is is TIME TO TAKE A WALK (how’s that for an incentive?!). She cites dogs for lively counterpoints to computers and/or points of reference for what matters in life (that is, life), but of course there are many ways in which to explore how to keep a connection to the living world while giving it all at the work place. It can make it easier to COME BACK from long deep immersions into technological realms.
I like PLANTS for that purpose. Indeed they are more easy going than dogs, yet not less alive. I sometimes like to suggest CARING FOR A PLANT as means to start taking care of oneself (better), and to stay connected to life. An idea to make it even more fulfilling is to pick a plant which kind of resembles you: in shape, original habitat (where does it grow), cycles, flowers or no flowers, spikes or no spikes, needs for water and sunlight, and whatever more you find relevant. A plant that you will like and will like to care for, and that, without you really knowing at first, will care for you too (no, I’m not crazy). Then keep it with you at your work place. Look at it from time to time. What does it need ? Do you provide it ? Does it look well? If it has become dusty, asphyxiated, dehydrated, is turning yellow, is losing its leaves, and is shrinking… You probably are too.
A taste of other well-being hacks and how nice it could be to create a WELL-BEING HACK BOX
Other people at 30C3 shared with us other well-being hacks, tricks and personal rules that work for them and that one can use to improve their quality of life in relation to extensive use of computers and other devices. For example, not having devices in the bedroom (a huge step for many!), or at least turning them off before bed (yes, that is taking action), covering computers with a blanket (making them disappear for the time being almost like a magic trick would), taking offline holidays, only allowing oneself 10 minutes of use before breakfast, installing some software that will interrupt the computer work regularly… These tricks and hacks can be already well known and/or very singular and surprising, and they come in response to a vast array of discomforts, in relation to eating, sleeping, socializing… Each of these topics would deserve specific articles. Here now I just wanted to give you a glimpse of how nice it good be to actually collect and put some more of these hacks and fixes together in relation to specific problems so we can all pick from a box, be inspired, and overall feel better.
If you feel inspired and want to contribute with your own hacks, cyber grandpa and cyber grandma home remedies, go to our survey page on the menu of that blog ! THANK YOU 🙂
Erwin Wurm, Idiot II & One Minute Sculpture
Mark Wentzel, XLounge
In this 30 minutes talk, physical therapist Sophie Hiltner explains basic anatomy of the musculo-skeletal systems, the physical structures that hold us together and enable our actions. This is of course of interest to people who spend most of their time holding themselves the same way, not shape-shifting much, sitting all day, heads tilted over screens, forever clicking… You get the picture.
How is a little anatomy interesting ? Understanding the physiology and mechanics of the bones, muscles and connective tissues, leads to a better understanding of the constraints and stresses our postures exert on these systems everyday all day, and of the negative consequences these postures can have for the general well-being and health. Over the years, these consequences can in fact turn out quite bad, Sophie remarks, as she invites the audience to not lose more time before starting to listen to important warning signals from the body (you know, like pain). Note that the worse posture of all can be any posture in which one will let themselves become a statue, that is to say, lack of movement sabotages us in the long term. On that subject, French readers can read my post “l’effort musculaire de la statue”, on my massage blog.
From Sophie’s overview of the musculo-skeletal systems it then becomes quite clear that preventing and/or reversing the negative effects of still and sloppy habits can/should be in one’s power, as one becomes more aware and hopefully doesn’t wait to be too hurt before he or she takes simple steps that can go a long way. Like… Getting up ! Moving! A little later on after the talk, Sophie took the crowd outside (best place, given the hot air, lights, hyperactivity and electricity inside the building) for a little stretching and moving about. NICE ONE
So yes, a little knowledge in anatomy is very useful, and it can trigger a realization that movement is vital, which can save everyone some avoidable pains and strains (not all pains in life in the world are so easily avoidable, so we might as well prevent those which we can). It was great that Sophie was there at 30C3 to communicate this, because as crucial as it is, this kind of knowledge and practical body wisdom is not much represented… I myself am not fond of the analogy with machines when speaking of the body (I like to stick to the living), but I guess it helped in getting the message across at 30C3, which mattered. As an experienced masseuse I guess I also would have enjoyed it if there had been more time for Sophie to present the case studies of her patients she had brought but… next time !
Good points made about “macho-dominated technology landscape”, sexist marketing, “pink coding” and other “dumbing down” of tech products in Casey Johnston’s article on Ars Technica.
“The poorly thought-out tech product for women hardly needs an introduction. Rare is the week that goes by without a company (or a Kickstarter) deciding that there just aren’t enough products for women amid the macho-dominated technology landscape and rolling out a new pink monstrosity.
It’s probably unfair to say that many of the most offensive products targeted at women cropped up because someone’s wife, girlfriend, or mom casually complained once that her smartphone wouldn’t do what she wanted, and suddenly she needed a solution tailored to her feminine ways—but it’s easy to envision that backstory for many of them.
Products that target women tend to fall into three basic problem categories through flaws of logic and, in some cases, morality.
The simplest tactic used to target women is giving the product a stereotypically feminine design—pink, purple, sparkly, curvy, and so on. Contrary to popular belief, women are not biologically wired to like stuff that is pink or tiny or pretty. Some, however, are culturally wired for these things, as history and research on product segmentation show. They’ve been conditioned to believe pink and delicate things are made for them because the two are so often linked, and eventually this conditions what they choose for themselves. But that does not necessarily make it okay to reinforce this coding through your product marketing.
Continue reading (and have Santa read): FLOWCHART: HOW NOT TO DESIGN A “WOMAN’S” TECH PRODUCT
Following the lovely experience together at OHM2013, Hacking (with) care members gladly respond to the invitation of La Quadrature Du Net to once again team up with them, this time at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, from December 27th to 30th. Emily and Baba (and Anne sending and picking up infos and vibes from Quebec!) will basically offer the same body & soul treats to caring hackers, + new ideas and little improvements that will hopefully make it even better, including:
– Well, this blog, to start with..!
– Morning and evening stretch sessions guided by volunteer Stretch masters
– DIY massages/ individual tutorials with Emily, available in addition to individual massages session
– Energy showers…
And more !
Keep posted with 30C3 thanks to the wiki, AQUI
Après l’agréable expérience partagée cet été à OHM2013, les membres de Hacking (with) care sont heureux d’accepter une nouvelle invitation de La Quadrature Du Net à se joindre à eux, cette fois lors du 30C3, Chaos Communication Congrès, du 27 au 30 décembre à Hambourg. Emily et Baba (et Anne, émettant et captant infos et vibes depuis Quebec!) proposeront à peu près les mêmes gourmandises et soins pour le corps et l’esprit qu’à OHM, + de nouvelles petites idées et améliorations pour rendre le tout encore meilleur, notamment:
– Ce blog, pour commencer..!
– Des sessions d’étirements le matin et le soir menée par des “stretch masters” volontaires
– Des petit travaux pratiques, supervisions avec Emily en massage, disponible en plus des séances individuelles de massage.
– Les “douches d’énergie”..
Et plus !
Vous pouvez rester branché.e.s grâce au wiki LQDN 30C3, AQUI
During 30C3 I will be giving massages on a futon on the floor, working over comfortable clothing (one-size-fits-all-yoga-pants will be provided). Indeed, we are now in winter, and in a semi-nomadic situation I want to optimize the warmth and coziness of individual sessions. Consequently the massages will use a combination of techniques drawn more from Asia than California, with powerful palm pressures, cat paws and elephant walks, yoga-like stretches… I also like to integrate to them tools coming from occidental body-mind therapy, like guided deep breathing exercises, subtle stomach massage, and other minimal moves for maximum mind soothing benefits.
To give you an idea of the family of massage I am referring to, I looked for a demo video. I came across this thai yoga massage demo by teacher Ralf Marzen, whom I have never met and whose school I didn’t go to. But he seems to be really good at what he does, and these 9 minutes of demo are inspiring and instructive. I chose it because I loved the sequence at first sight and could almost feel it while watching it: I immediately wanted to try it (to receive and to give it).
So those of you who didn’t know anything about Thai massage can have a better idea of the style (there are of course many more techniques and moves and styles and practitioners, and the beauty of it is also a diversity outside of strict protocols). Furthermore, watching a good demo (or watching someone IRL) gives an opportunity to really observe what goes on in giving a massage. We can maybe understand, “copy-feel”, integrate moves, and by the wonderful ways of memory and imitation, we grow a new practice. These aspects have been discussed in my workshops OBSERVE-HACK-MASSAGE.
Now, here are some of my thoughts as I observe this demo.
Although this sequence looks smooth and easy, it is actually (indeed) advanced. Quite advanced, more than I am at present -yet nothing I couldn’t grow capable of, precisely because it looks so tasty and I like to look up to things that look so tasty and learn from them.
It looks easy and smooth because it is executed with great art, grace, and presence. In general a massage feels quite like it looks. So you can pretty much trust what you see, and/or feel, watching it.
It looks and probably is then, smooth ad easy, because the giver is himself comfortable in his own skin and bones, has gotgreat coordination, feet sensitive as hands, to name a few. He seems to have very well integrated what he is giving, his knowledge seems “incarnated”. Also, he looks in an attentive yet relaxed state, and in a kind of a “blurry focus”, quite characteristic. Indeed thai massage is traditionally done /approached by giver and receiver like a meditation.
Notice the similarities with Yoga, it is – yet another – form of Yoga.
Notice the similarities also with Dance: how the giver communicates his “groove” to the receiver, and how rhythm is kept throughout. Notice if you can, how this groove and rhythm originate from the center of his body (belly) and propagate to his limbs, hands, feet (it’s not just the hands doing something independently). Notice also how the bodies respond to each other, echo, however passive the receiver may seem (I would argue that receiving a massage is not such a passive thing, by the way).
Notice how the structure of the body (of receiver, but also giver) is very well handled, notice how movement is initiated where movement should be initiated: at the articulations. Notice how amplitude comes with opening (of the joints, of breathing..).
Notice the fluidity in the whole sequence, the oceanic vibe, brought by rocking and oscillating moves. Also, the stretches are many, long and soft. The masseur is taking his time, not rushing things, sometimes even pausing. He is listening, feeling.That leaves space for (deep) breathing. It also indicates that the pressures are applied progressively on the receiver’s muscles, thus respecting her body and needs. The whole thing is not so tonic, meaning the intention, and effects, are probably more about relaxation than waking-up or preparing for action. It is about gentle unblocking, melting tensions and opening of flows in the bodies. I guess it could be one metaphorical illustration of how “data must flow” can resonate in massage.
These are really cool massages to learn. So cool that to practice them well, you have to be really flexible and CHILLIN’. You cannot escape (at least not for long) working on your own body and mind (which is true with any massage but is especially true here with Thai, for occidental people). Once you integrate its aspects, some of which I have described, you become comfortable and capable of giving this kind of massage to almost anybody, even somebody with a body much larger than yours.
Jeudi 12 Décembre chez Biopulse Formation Massage s’est déroulé l’atelier débrouillard et futé OBSERVER-HACKER-MASSER, animé par Emily et tous les participants ainsi que Baba ! Nous avons noté en direct sur cette page certains éléments de cet atelier, et voici notre rapport ! Pour mémoire, inspiration, et partage !
En guise de préambule aux activités pratiques les participant.e.s ont réfléchit à 2 questions. L’une portait sur les “qualités” personnelles, l’autre sur les modes préférentiels d’apprentissage. Ces réflexions avaient pour objectif de sentir en soi le potentiel et la variété des formes apprentissages (et de transmissions ), libres, personnelles, collaboratives, et de prendre conscience de ses capacités, pour développer “son art” à partir de ses forces, ses sensibilités, ses ressources existantes, tout en mettant en commun avec ses pairs, pour augmenter encore d’avantage les connaissances et capacités de toutes et tous. Nous avons évoqué le concept anglo-saxon de “empowerment”, dans le sens de “se rendre capable”, de se concentrer sur ce qui va être “capacitant” pour soi, plutôt que le contraire…
Les réponses ont été mises en commun, discutées, et notées en direct, les voici – les prénoms sont remplacés par des pseudonymes
> Pensez à 3 qualités, talents personnels que vous avez… A priori éloignées ou pas, qu’est ce que ces qualités peuvent vous apporter en massage ?
> Quelles sont vos modes préférés d’apprentissage ? Comment retenez-vous le plus facilement quelque chose ?
Ces réflexions et mises en commun ont été suivi d’un réveil corporel ludique et sensible spontanément animé par Sarah, fait de secousses de 4×4 et ébrouements et cris d’ours.
De là nous avons chacun procédé à un “body scan”, ce qui nous a permit d’identifier et d’approcher de quelques “problèmes du jour”(en vue de “résolution” par notre groupe de hacker masseurs !)
Chacun profite de son réveil corporel pour ressentir dans soi l’état présent de son corps, identifier un “problème” du jour, et chacun profite de son ressenti pour dire de quoi, de quel(s) geste(s) cela lui donne immédiatement envie (le ressenti nous INSTRUIT sur le geste). Quelques problèmes et envies, suggestions:
Exploration en groupe de l’outil MAIN… et des manières imaginables de se servir d’une, ou deux, mains, paumes, doigts, pouces, éminences thénar… Poings… Percussions… Frictions…. Cela en fonction du “problème”, du “site” sur le corps, de ses caractéristiques etc…
Here for your enjoyment some yoga / stretch / fitness exercises from Stan Lee’s STRENGTH & FITNESS book.
A few stretches in the morning and/or evening can go a long way. You don’t necessarily have to jump like Silver surfer, in fact, maybe you shouldn’t jump first thing, but do adopt a little morning routine to wake your body gently and activate your vitals so you can kick ass all day. Make it indispensable and obvious like a shower (let’s hope you do shower from time to time). In the evening, stretching will help you lose the tight uniform of a hero, so you can regenerate at ease, make room for new moves and ideas, sleep well, and be fit to kick ass again tomorrow.
The exercise below, the Jameson Roar, is a take on Simhasana, the Lion pose, in Yoga (as shown here also by BKS Iyengar). It is for me a MUST in morning stretch, very accessible and rewarding. It opens your face, brightens your vision, takes away tension in the jaws and at the back of the neck. Interesting for people with bruxomania (compulsive grinding of teeth in sleep) AND very interesting to practice before giving a speech
When bending forward and letting your head hang like Spiderman below, you might want to flex your knees, to go easy on them and your legs if you are not very flexible (you should not feel pain). Certainly flex your knees on the way up, even if you’re flexible, and rise up slowly, vertebra after vertebra, from the sacred to the cervical region where your head rests. Once you are standing, see that your shoulders are in a good alignment, not falling in front, not too much in your back, and keep them low (you ARE strong, no need to brag about it more).
Interviewed about her book IN THE BODY OF THE WORLD, in which she describes her battle with cancer, writer and activist Eve Ensler speaks about violence (more specifically against women), separation (mind/body, self/others, wo.men/nature…), and puts personal traumas into perspective with the ongoing world wars. She shares thoughts on how to overcome these failures of humanity, towards a revolution which she believes people are ready for. To “consuming” she opposes “connecting”, to “transaction”, “transformation”. She has inspiring words about empathy and embodiment “of intelligence” as collective empowerment tools, and gives a big up to truth tellers good doers like Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. She also salutes Terence Mc Kenna, and defines miracles not as magic, but as powerful leaps into positive change, created by vision, audacity, strong will, and community.
I like and find inspiring the way she puts that question : “How do we encourage more people to develop their renegade muscle or energy?”
And the interview ends with these words:
“It’s an amazing time to be alive right now— the stakes are so extreme and obvious—the creative possibilities are astounding and the possibilities for darkness are astounding, too.”
Read the interview by Michael Klein HERE on Guernica
WHAT IS STRESS ?
Stress is a useful, dynamic state of tension that will boost your mind and body when you need to actively and quickly respond to extraordinary demanding situations. Hence the idea is not to rid our lives of stress altogether, but rather, to learn to operate at “optimum” levels of stress, to calm down when stress is done serving its purpose, and to find balance between challenges. Indeed, if the mind and body do not experience regularly the state opposite to stress -rest, relaxation, regeneration- the general well-being and health of a person can suffer some serious aches in the long run.
STRESS activates your senses for action, it prepares you to “flee or fight“, as evolution scientists like to put it. It can be defined as a powerful set of physiological and behavioral responses to a set of demands and pressures. Some of the demands and pressures you perceive come from outside (surveillance dispositive, laws, heavy work-load, aggressive threats, poor weather, noisy surroundings, lack of daylight…), some you might have “internalized” (education, prejudices, norms…), and some are more personal/internal and/or or related to your actual physical condition (ideals, personal views, illness, hunger…). These are often entangled. When they “reach” a critical level, very subjective, all these demands and pressures trigger your stress response.
REACTION AND OVER-REACTION
Together, your nervous and endocrine systems operate some switches and start “firing” their neurotransmitters, and specific stress hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine, a.k.a. adrenaline and noradrenaline, cortisol…), which, networking between your organs via nerves and blood vessels, sensitize and prepare all systems for a joint action. Your heartbeat rises, your breathing becomes faster and shallower, your digestion and excretory functions are put on hold, memories are pushed aside to boost focus on one concern, your muscular skeletal system gets extra tensed and tonic, you mouth goes dry, you start to sweat, etc.
That is a LOT of ACTION. Normally, it all goes back to a calm pacific state once the danger is dealt with, mind and body rest and you regenerate after the extra struggle. But if/when all this ACTION goes on after the challenge has passed or if – as is the case – the fight or resistance is NEVER OVER and you cannot allow yourself to stop, your mind and body become at risk of turning into a devastated, depleted battlefield, with little resources for you (or others) to draw from, and a likely generalsensitization that will make you each time more vulnerable to the next attack… until you are the one unconsciously attacking yourself with this chemistry. And while the demands and pressures are probably still (out)there stressing you, your stress response also starts feeding on itself… And there you are, entering the dodgy state of CHRONIC STRESS…
Symptoms of CHRONIC STRESS will quite logically and frantically reflect the havoc in all your body systems: tormented digestion (diarrhea for example) which in turn might lead to bad assimilation of nutrients, bad sleep (insomnia…), poor immunity (susceptibility to infections, allergies, auto-immune and inflammatory diseases…), cognitive disorders (bad memory, memory loss, poor concentration..), heart problems (high blood pressure, tachycardia.. ), emotional distress (depression, rage, panic attacks…), below ground libido and/or sexual dysfunctions, muscle strains, pathologies of the tendons, ligaments and joints (caused by some of the above + bad posture associated with chronic tensions), adoption and/or abuse of “toxic” and/or addictive substances (alcohol, tobacco, pain killers, sleeping pills, coffee… you name it) in attempts to self-regulate and/or compensate for difficulties in all the above areas, more vulnerability to addiction. So much for “survival” then…
Once the damages are done it takes long for the mind and body to recuperate (of course the longer the non-stop stress period the worse). Better then to think about how to balance your forces AS YOU GO. If/when you understand better your stress response and become more aware of how efficiently or badly it affects you, you can start having ideas on how to prevent damage to yourself and yes, to others (whom you might be neglecting or shouting at, or taking ill advised, impulsive decisions for). You are welcome to share these ideas ! Here are some known tricks and strategies I have used for myself and, sometimes others, with positive results.
SWITCH OFF the STRESS RESPONSE WITH DEEP (ABDOMINAL) BREATHING
The part of the nervous system that is specifically involved with the stress response is the autonomic nervous system (a.k.a involuntary) responsible for the automatic (without thinking) control of basic essential and visceral functions, which I have described above (respiration, heart rate, digestion…). The autonomic nervous system is comprised of two antagonist systems, that is, two distinct networks of nerves connecting the same organs but with opposite effects: the sympathetic nervous system stimulates action as in the stress response, where it prevails, while the parasympathetic system is responsible for rest and regeneration (both do so by inhibiting or stimulating this or that, see image). The nerve branches of the sympathetic system exit the spine at the thoracic and lumbar vertebras, while the nerve branches of the parasympathetic exit the spine at the cervical and sacred vertebras.
In stress response, the sympathetic system is king. As I have said, breathing is faster and shallower. The muscular work/effort of breathing (which always involves various principal and accessory muscles) tends to be concentrated in the shoulders and thorax, with the diaphragm not going down very low in the abdomen. Next time you feel stressed, anxious, observe what is happening with your breathing, what do you notice? (notice, for example, how your tummy is sticking in and not ballooning out like a kid’s). We cannot control the fact that we breathe to be alive -that’s where the autonomic nervous system is involved- but we can have control over HOW we breathe thanks to our central nervous system and brain.
To switch to the parasympathetic system, that will favor a state of relaxation, you can try deep abdominal breathing. Lower the shoulders (=lower the guard !), lie down if you can, place a soft hand on your abdomen, another one on the thorax/heart (feel the heart pounding and later feel how it slows down). Breathe in through the nose, extend your diaphragm to the max, let air in all the way DOWN to the most remote places of your obscure belly, let your abdomen fully BALLOON. Breathe out (empty slow the balloon) through the mouth until there is no air left down there. Then, naturally, just like a pump, fill your belly up again. Think only of what you are doing : breathing in and out, and FEEL what it feels like. What does it feel like in the abdomen when it stretches to the shape of a balloon ? What does it feels like to have that “knot” at the solar plexus slowly soften, untie ? There in your plexus, travels a very important nerve of the parasympathetic system, called the vagus nerve. The movements of your deep diaphragmatic breathing will likely stimulate this nerve and help you switch systems, from sympathetic to parasympathetic. Meanwhile, the fact that you are no longer breathing so much in the thorax will lessen the stimulation to the nerve branches of the sympathetic system that exit at these vertebras and also contribute to that switch. Slower heartbeat, loose breathing, that chilly feeling, laid-back stomach sounds (indicating a restart of peristalsis) all signal that you have made it to a quieter state.
Practice on yourself whenever necessary and in more quiet times, so that you are ready when it IS important that you come down. Practicing on yourself will then allow you to practice on someone else who might need your help to achieve this switch. It is a very caring hack that requires patience, trust, confidence. You do not impose a way of breathing to someone, you create a space, conditions and contact that are welcoming for them to find their way to relaxation through deep breathing. I have practiced with success on myself and people who showed up at my massage table with a lot of anxiety.
OTHER SUGGESTIONS AND TIPS
– Break it down! You might want to break down whatever “THE” great MISSION into sequences of smaller missions, for a start, so you can identify “cycles” more easily, and make room for rest/recuperation after completion of each task.
– Identify and analyze demands and pressures both external and internal and make all possible changes immediately AT HAND to alleviate these. It might not be easy to influence which scumbag is going to be at the head of a state or an institution, but it is probably in your power to not let yourself starve while thinking about it. Don’t add to a long list of stressors outside by neglecting yourself and/or your surroundings. Take all the “stones” you think are no “big deal in comparison to the importance of the cause” out of your boots NOW so you can have more strength to actually climb the mountain. Meditate to identify which external pressures and demands you’ve unconsciously taken to be yours and can or should discard, spot pressures and demands that actually belong to the past (but for some odd reason you behave like they are still on), reflect upon YOUR interpretations of stressful situations, modify them so they suit you better, and eventually make your mind more caring and comfortable for your SELF, that needs not be oppressed further.
– Acknowledge your emotion(s) and others’ emotion(s) in stressful situations. ANXIETY, ANGER, and SADNESS are the three main emotions associated to the state of stress. Emotions are great, they are vital, so once again, it’s not about getting rid of them, it’s about balance. Understanding emotions, so that they contribute to a vibrant life rather than become a pain (to you and others’) deserves an article which I will write another day. IMHO, one advice that can go a long way is to acknowledge the emotions that come knocking at your door during stress. It sounds easy, but it is in fact quite an art, and most people are not very good at it. And many cannot even tell emotions apart, anger or fear, or sadness… Work on that. Learn to be able to say to yourself (or to someone if necessary -acknowledging emotions actually takes a lot of heat off interpersonal conflicts): “Oh, this is anger – Hello anger – You want to cross me ? Sure, ok, just get across then ! ” Kind of “data must flow” applied to emotional life. It is a 100% non judgmental. ANGER is ANGER, SADNESS is SADNESS, neither good or bad. Resist them emotions, and they’ll bother you for hours. Welcome them, and you’re done with them in 20 minutes.
– Install and SUSTAIN regular eat / sleep / and other life patterns. Most things in the body work hand in hand, alternating with their antagonist and counterparts. It is like a dance, you don’t want all your systems always stepping on each others feet, conflicting, or becoming shy on you or shutting down, you want them to settle a little bit as to when they come in and when they come out to do what is is they have to do for your to be well. Think CYCLES, complete.
– Move your body where it has not been moved and relax that which has been tensed too long.
– Practice relaxation techniques or disciplines that will favor the state antagonist to stress, like Chi-Kung, yoga, mediation, breathing techniques, or other not necessarily “oriental”. The deep tummy breathing described above can be practiced daily. Be aware that SPORTS (as in tennis, or running, or squash) might still solicit your active side. Although sports certainly have good effects (like building stamina or “emptying the mind”) they won’t necessarily bring your system to COOL DOWN. Getting a massage is also a good idea, or getting someone to gently scratch your back…
Disclaimer: I am here to share what I know, what I have experienced and read, but I am not a qualified doctor ! Do consult with one in due time if you experience stress related disorders that you feel might be endangering your physical and/or mental health.
The part of the nervous system that is specifically involved with the stress response (described in details in previous post) is the autonomic nervous system (a.k.a involuntary) responsible for the automatic (without thinking) control of basic essential and visceral functions (respiration, heart rate, digestion…). The autonomic nervous system is comprised of two antagonist systems, two distinct networks of nerves connecting the same organs but with opposite effects: the sympathetic nervous system stimulates action as in the stress response, where it prevails, while the parasympathetic system is responsible for rest and regeneration (both do so by inhibiting or stimulating this or that, see image). The nerve branches of the sympathetic system exit the spine at the thoracic and lumbar vertebras, while the nerve branches of the parasympathetic exit the spine at the cervical and sacred vertebras.
In the stress response, the sympathetic nervous system is king. Breathing is faster and shallower. The muscular work/effort of breathing (which always involves various principal and accessory muscles) tends to be concentrated in the shoulders and thorax, with the diaphragm not going down very low in the abdomen. Next time you feel stressed, anxious, observe what is happening with your breathing, what do you notice? (notice, for example, how your tummy is sticking in and not ballooning out like a kid’s). We cannot control the fact that we breathe to be alive -that’s where the autonomic nervous system is involved- but we can have control over HOW we breathe thanks to our central nervous system and brain.
To switch to the parasympathetic system, that will favor a state of relaxation, you can try deep abdominal breathing. Lower the shoulders (=lower the guard !), lie down if you can, place a soft hand on your stomach, another one on the thorax/heart (feel the heart pounding and later feel how it slows down). Breathe in through the nose, extend your diaphragm to the max, let air in all the way DOWN to the most remote places of your obscure belly, let your abdomen fully BALLOON. Breathe out (empty slow the balloon) through the mouth until there is no air left down there. Then, naturally, just like a pump, fill your belly up again. Think only of what you are doing : breathing in and out, and FEEL what it feels like. What does it feel like in the stomach when it stretches to the shape of a balloon ? What does it feels like to have that “knot” at the solar plexus slowly soften, untie ? There in your plexus, travels a very important nerve of the parasympathetic system, called the vagus nerve. The movements of your deep diaphragmatic breathing will likely stimulate this nerve and help you switch systems, from sympathetic to parasympathetic. Meanwhile, the fact that you are no longer breathing so much in the thorax will lessen the stimulation to the nerve branches of the sympathetic system that exit at these vertebras and also contribute to that switch. Slower heartbeat, loose breathing, that chilly feeling, laid-back stomach sounds (indicating a restart of peristalsis) all signal that you have made it to a quieter state.
Practice on yourself so that you are ready when it IS important that you come down. Practicing on yourself will then allow you to practice on someone else who might need your help to achieve this switch. It is a very caring hack that requires patience, trust, confidence. You do not impose a way of breathing to someone, you create a space, conditions and contact that are welcoming for them to find their way to relaxation through deep breathing. I have practiced it with success on myself and on people when they showed up at my massage table with a lot of anxiety.
This article is part of a previous larger article about the stress response: HACK STRESS and prevent damages to yourself (and others) in the process of fighting for your ideals
La sagesse du dimanche soir:
” Le vrai repos est celui où l’homme s’arrête quand le moment est venu de s’arrêter et se meut quand le moment est venu de se mouvoir”
Richard Wilhelm, à propos du “repos”, dans son commentaire de l’hexagramme 52 KEN (l’immobilisation, la montagne) du Yi King, Livre des transformations.
J’ai remarqué qu’il est fréquent de négliger l’un ou l’autre de ces deux termes/principes, qui pris ensemble opèrent pourtant une bonne régénération des forces vitales, le cycle étant complet. Il semble même que certaines personnes tendent à négliger préférentiellement l’un ou l’autre, l’arrêt ou l’activité, selon leur “tempérament” ou “habitudes”. Il y a alors les personnes qui vont avoir tendance à se dévitaliser d’avantage en s’arrêtant trop, et celles qui vont avoir tendance à persister dans l’activité par dessus les ravins de fatigue qui se creusent, et toutes arrivent à l’épuisement finalement par des voies différentes. Wilhelm émet l’hypothèse que l’interprétation de cet hexagramme renvoie aussi à la pratique du yoga. Je perçois en effet comment le yoga peut contenir en lui même cette grande petite leçon là.
Some sunday night wisdom:
“True rest is when one stops when time has come to stop and moves when time has come to move”
Richard Wilhelm about “rest”, in his commentary of hexagram 52 KEN (keeping still, the mountain) in the I ching Book of changes.
I have noticed that it is quite common to neglect either one of these two terms/principles, which when united bring good, full regeneration of life forces, for the cycle is complete. It even seems to me that some persons tend to neglect preferentially either one or the other, of stillness or activity, according to their “temperament” and/or “habits”. Then, there are the ones who tend to devitalize themselves further by keeping still too much, and the ones who insist on pedaling over ravines of weariness, and all reach exhaustion eventually following different paths. Wilhelm also makes the hypothesis that the interpretation of this hexagram refers in some ways to the practice of yoga. I think I see how yoga can indeed include this big small teaching.
Jeudi 12 Décembre 2013 Emily animera chez Biopulse Formation Massage à Paris l’atelier OBSERVER-HACKER-MASSER.
L’atelier propose de découvrir l’application de l’éthique du hacker à l’apprentissage et la pratique du massage bien-être. Le terme anglais « hacker » peut se traduire par « bidouilleur », « bricoleur », et est loin de ne se référer qu’à la figure du pirate informatique plus ou moins malveillant communément relayée par les médias. Si la malveillance existe (et les questions relatives à la vie privée, à l’intrusion, résonnent avec le massage), il existe aussi de nombreuses personnes passionnées exerçant leur savoir-faire, leurs ingéniosités curieuses, selon une éthique ayant pour coeur le bien commun, la joie d’apprendre, de résoudre des problèmes, de partager le libre-savoir et cultiver les connaissances. C’est dans cette optique que nous nous situons avec cet atelier de massage. Que peut signifier hacker-masser ? Qu’est-ce que ce rapprochement peut nous apporter en tant que practicien-nes bien-être ?
Cet atelier est né d’une collaboration avec La Quadrature du Net, association française de défense des droits et des libertés fondamentales des citoyens sur Internet, lors du festival international OHM (Observe-Hack-Make) 2013 auquel Emily a participé avec eux. Un compte rendu de cette expérience est disponible ici.
Jeudi 12 Décembre 2013, de 19h30 à 21h30
Biopulse Formation Massage
12 Rue Saint Sauveur
Inscription obligatoire 01 44 82 51 29
(image found here )
Some material related to hackers’ psychological well being/health in the article CRACKING SUICIDE: HACKERS TRY TO ENGINEER A CURE FOR DEPRESSION, By Adrianne Jeffries. Full text here.
WHAT’S IN A HACKER ?
(…)Bernadette Schell, vice-provost at Laurentian University, studied hackers for more than a decade. (…) She wanted to know whether hackers matched their portrayal in the media, which at the time considered them maladjusted cyber-psychopaths. ”I kept looking for everything that would support these myths,” she said.
“What I found was that the hacker community was a very well-adjusted group of individuals.“ At the time, the perception was that hackers were computer addicted, high-strung type A personalities. But the hackers in Schell’s study turned out to be emotionally balanced, “self-healing” type B personalities. They were a bit more introverted than the average population, but still socially connected. Most were employed and made more than the median income level. Incidence of depression was not higher than in the general population. (In fact, some studies have shown that engineers, a group that has a lot of overlap with hackers, have one of the lowest depression rates compared to other occupations.) The hackers were so resilient that even being sent to jail or charged for hacking crimes did not affect their reported stress levels long term.
JUST FIX IT
(…)The roboticist, hacker, and Discovery Channel personality Zoz, also known as Andrew Brooks, served as a student mentor while getting his PhD in electrical engineering and computer science at MIT. He ended up counseling a lot of depressed undergrads who tried to reverse-engineer a solution rather than seek help. Many hackers even refer to their strategies for dealing with depression as “hacks.”
(…)Of course, depression can be difficult to synthesize into a math problem. The cause is usually a combination of cascading factors that are often difficult to trace. The solution can be even harder to pin down.
“It can be incredibly frustrating to be sitting there, looking at your own brain, and going, ‘right, I entirely understand that something is not quite right with the way that my neurotransmitters are communicating with the receptors in my brain,’” Patterson said. “‘I recognize that I can tinker with this balance and otherwise engage in manipulations of my own mental state to try to resolve this situation. I understand all of this, and why is it not working?’”
HACKING TOWARDS SOLUTIONS
(…)The popular impression that hackers have a high suicide rate could be because many of the hackers who killed themselves were at the top of their fields, and the highly gifted are statistically more likely to suffer from depression. The community’s facility for dissecting, analyzing, and communicating on the internet — a medium that naturally amplifies its message — has also contributed to the perception that there is a hacker suicide crisis.
In reality, the situation is getting better. While there are still some negative associations with mental health issues among hackers, that’s true of most cultures. Like the broader public, awareness of mental health issues is growing, and resources like BlueHackers.org, which has information about depression geared to hackers, and IMAlive, an instant message version of a suicide hotline, have helped countless hackers through their issues. Hackers are also eager to help each other; the line for Baldet’s talk started forming 20 minutes before it was set to start, and she was mobbed by questioners afterward.
Six months after Sassaman died, Patterson appeared on a panel called “Geeks and Depression” at the 2011 Chaos Communication Congress (CCC), an international hacker conference.
(this article was first published 28th August 2013 by Le massage en images)
“Lack of choice makes strain habitual”
“As long as superfluous effort is invested in any action, man must throw up defenses, must brace himself to great effort that is neither comfortable, pleasurable, nor desirable. The lack of choice of whether to make an effort or not turns an action into a habit, and in the end nothing appears more natural than that to which he is accustomed, even if it is opposed to all reason or necessity.”
“Habit makes it easier to persist in an action, and for this reason it is extremely valuable in general. Nevertheless, we easily over-indulge in habits, until self criticism is silenced and our ability to discern is diminished, which gradually turns us into machines that act without thinking.”
Text: Moshe Feldenkrais, in Health Exercise for Personal Growth.
Illustration: Fritz Kahn, Man As An Industrial Palace, 1926
Here I am back from my tour with time to reflect on the wonderful experiences I’ve lived this summer in company of La Quadrature du Net, the french organization in the defense of civil rights and freedom on the Internet, and friends from around the world.
Invited to join their village as a hacker-masseuse on the OHM2013 festival for hackers and makers in the Netherlands, I took part with all my heart for a week, along with a team, to bring massage and care to a place where it was not much represented…at all.
Our “Hacking with Care” team was composed, for massage, of myself and physiotherapist student Baptiste, who had come to lend a hand (two actually!), of JB hacker-maker of MyOwnStretchWare (nice piece of “reverse engineering for public health”), with whom we put the proposal together and who was also behind the funky initiative Nail art for nerds, and of dancers Karine Rathle and Anne Goldenberg from Quebec, with whom we teamed up to propose workshops.
The Nail art for nerds, carried out on a playful DIY basis proved great to bring awareness, sensation and meaning (messages, symbols, logos were painted on nails) to the tip of these ultimate 21st century tools which are our hands and fingers. Massage was MUCH wanted all day long and MUCH appreciated. Workshops had great, happy, responsive, audiences.
Indeed, the two consecutive workshops Karine, Anne and I gave on the third day made for a sensational afternoon. First, Karine and Anne conducted Atten!ion Som(t)a(c)tic, an embodiment workshop in which participants were invited to explore through various postures the physical and more subtle sides of their relationship to their devices (computers, phones…), and to pain and pleasure when working with a machine. Then, to an already quite relaxed and very enthusiastic crowd, I gave a hands-on massage workshop, named after the festival : Observe-Hack-Massage ! My intention was rather simple: With the same passion everyone around felt for their discipline, I set to explain to bright crafty people how the same hacking spirit they apply to pretty much everything can also be applied to the art of massage and body care – a dimension where most had been more shy all week – with great enjoyment and results ! It was very exciting, and people were still exchanging massages on our village after the workshop was over. I heard some were already talking of setting up a massage corner in their hackerspace, and already thinking about how to build the massage table themselves…
At the end of the camp, it was obvious the “Hacking with care” team had done a wonderful job. Each activity invited people to engage with each other (and their devices !) in a variety of (new) ways, brought awareness about one’s body, one’s relationship to others, to machines and to work, and helped soften some barriers between genders, in a community still dominantly masculine (it felt more balanced on our camp..).
Most of all, all these activities blended very well with the magic conviviality of the tea house, which was at the heart of La quadrature du Net’s project for OHM2013.
The tea house was ran collectively by LQDN’s team and visitor volunteers, who were spontaneously taking turns at being Tea Masters -very horizontally though- and served a fine selection of tea to everyone from dusk ’til dawn. Various workshops and debates took place sitting at these handmade tables, sipping erva maté or pu-erh, discussing topics such as Net Neutrality, Copyright Reform, or how to “make datalove” to your neighbor, as heartily and rightly argued by spokesperson for LQDN Jérémie Zimmermann in the talk he gave.
It was a beautiful gathering and bridging of talents and hearts. We all got a LOT of positive feedback. Many people expressed many gestures of gratitude and support for the hacking with care project, whether they had individually received a massage or not.
We know now there is clearly room for more hacker-masseur and hacker-masseuses like me (and other body and soul practitioners) in the hackers world, just as there are, I believe, many massage or other healthcare/body practitioners who could benefit (and so would everyone they care for) from injecting some of that hacking spirit into their own practice.
A downside of this beautiful success ? I didn’t have much time to attend talks or workshops given by others… Indeed, for the proposal to be as successful as it turned out to be, I kind of had to stick around the massage booth ! I have lots of catching up to do !
Luckily, La Quadrature du OHM’s Village attracted many talented persons in its DIY dwellings (almost pumping them in and out like a strong loving heart would do). In the end I had the opportunity to exchange thoughts with the passers by and I learnt a lot, thanks to a genuinely generous attitude I find many had in common. I even got the chance to swap sessions and received one of the most beautiful massages in my life (which is always a lesson in itself). Hackers, you will learn, are certainly not all disembodied goofs like you’d expect them to be. Clichés are often worth crap, but they seemed to make even less sense there in this community. There are many colors to the hackers hats, not just white or black or grey, and sometimes rainbow ! Speaking of which, we were called “hippies” a couple of times, which I actually take as a compliment, if not a manifest, in times so perverted with murderous greed and totalitarian fear. Shouldn’t ideals of love, goodness, sharing and caring, be key ingredients in any form of resistance to human-made evils ? Doesn’t the world stand better chances to be a nicer place for all if/when these ideals are “built-in” our technologies ? LQDN seems to think so, and I think so too.
So it was an important week… For us, and for two civil disobedience heroes in particular: Private Bradley Manning -from now on Chelsea Manning- who was convicted on July 30th of 17 charges including 5 counts of espionage and theft, and whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was granted temporary asylum by Russia and left the Moscow airport on the 1st of August of that week.
French readers who wish to find out more about these events and what went on in OHM2013 can read a series of articles written “en direct” from OHM by journalist Jerôme Hourdeaux for Mediapart.
Finally, I would like to say once again THANK YOU to everyone and to LQDN especially. I hope to be back with more projects and collaborations soon, we sure have lots of ideas to explore and put into practice !
I will be giving the Observe-Hack-Massage workshop again, starting with a session on Thursday December 12th, at the Biopulse School of Massage in Paris. Contact them directly, not me, for information and registration.
Meanwhile, if you want to help La Quadrature Du Net to keep on keeping ‘on, you can make a donation on their website (or reach them if you have other helpful propositions to make). If you want to help me to keep on keepin’ on, well, be sure to book a massage or workshop next time I’m in town ! It will do everyone good
PEACE AND DATALOVE
(this article was first published August 22nd 2013 by Emily King – Le Massage En Images here)
Taking media analyst Marshall Mc Luhan’s famous theoretical pun that “the medium is the massage” almost to the letter as a staring point, chinese artist Yin Aiwen designs a performance-installation in which massage plays a central part, until the initial statement appears to be reversed, and “the massage” re-installs itself as “the medium”. A true human massage ultimately appears as a possible antidote to the panoply of psycho-physical pains quite willingly (=unconsciously?) inflicted to oneself by the modern human, otherwise “massaged” into a disembodied alienation by the soft, gentle, falsely-caring mass media machinery.
I as a masseuse happen to think highly about massage, and this work strikes me as interesting. I may have a few hesitations about the piece (mostly about the dispositive), still I feel it is conveying important, inspiring, and potentially emancipative material.
The dispositive is as follow: Yin Aiwen gives a 15 minutes a chinese medical massage to a participant installed in a massage chair, at the headset of which is installed a tablet playing a video-montage of clips from mass culture. A voice over reads, in a more or less relaxing, therapeutical tone, a text exploring the relationship between media, machines (computers specifically) and the receiver’s body, their pain, their vitality, all along questioning them, engaging them in instructive feedback loops with their sensations. A small audience is invited to watch the session.
It is almost a clever piece of reverse engineering, Yin Aiwen giving a massage and deducing, from the informations she collects at her expert fingertips, the design of the “end product”, the end product here being the human being in the capitalist world… So that she could then re-build this human being, re-model them, correct them, free them from this socio-economical-mechanical blocking ?
I have not assisted to the performance myself, so my judgment and impressions are of course limited. I only watched the video documentation, which I find was already quite an experience, and I strongly advise you to watch it ! As for the text, for which I post below a full transcript, it contains some gems and, in the light of my own experience, it speaks a lot of truth, however in somewhat dark aspects of it.
In the end, the piece altogether appears to be slightly too demonstrative, still too spectacular to my taste, authoritarian and somewhat cruel for the receiver (!) but Yin Aiwen completely admits it, for it serves her purpose : “The harsh, ruthless massage has no interest in your pleasure”, she writes. It gets the “message”/”massage” across…
However I believe this “message” is in essence one that emerges from massage during a private session. Indeed, a good massage will “inform” you of your condition. Here and now, and before, and even possibly give you an insight on after. It will move and question those layers of histories embedded in your flesh, sometimes it will allow images, memories, dreams, fantasies, to flash behind your eyelids, without a video being necessary. It will present to your consciousness, at your own pace, material very personal, possibly life improving; hints, cues, directions given by your senses to finding yourself again, connecting with yourself so that you be again the one “living” rather than the one being “operated” by. This way of the massage is known, and listened to, by many massage artists, practicians and therapists.This piece speaks to me of the substance of which good massage sessions are made of.
Find out more about the Massage is the medium by Yin Aiwen here.
Anatomy of the region:
Q/A (from wisegeek.com)
WHAT CAUSES TENDINITIS ?
“Tendinitis is a condition that is created by some type of irritation or inflammation of the tendon. Since tendons are the connecting tissue that adheres muscles to the skeletal structure of the body, this inflammation can be extremely painful. Tendinitis can come about as the result of certain types of physical activity and exertion, as well as be the product of other health ailments that are creating adverse effects on other parts of the body as well as the tendons.
WHAT IS THE CARPAL TUNNEL ?
“The carpal tunnel is a narrow area that is located under the ligament, a band of tough tissue, of the wrist. It consists of both tendons, which are connective tissue between the bones and muscles, and nerves. One of the primary nerves in this area is known as the median nerve, which is located down the forearm into the wrist. When the median nerve becomes irritated or otherwise affected, it can cause pain in the tunnel and lead to the condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome.
When the area near the carpal tunnel, especially its tendons, becomes swollen or inflamed, it can result in the tunnel becoming more narrow and pressing down on the median nerve. This narrowing of the tunnel is often due to repetitive movements of the wrist that may end up irritating the median nerve. It can also be caused by having a naturally smaller carpal tunnel, which can make even slight constriction of the tunnel press down on the median nerve and cause symptoms.”