Maya, the power of Brahman

On the other side of the world from the Mayan people in South America, the word Maya in Sanskrit means the power of Brahman, the Absolute Reality. Brahman is Sat-Chit-Ananda or Absolute Existence, Absolute Consciousness and Absolute Bliss. Brahman is impersonal but not without attributes. This explanation of the Absolute was taught by Shankara and is a belief of Hinduism. Shankara was born in India around A.D. 700-788. His teachings were based on the Vedanta, a monistic philosophy. The world was not created by Brahman but by Brahman’s power, Maya. [1, 2, 4]

Maya is everything, every day. Everything in the world is connected. At the subatomic structure everything is made up of quarks. [5] All of the planets are connected by the relationship between their elements which were once stardust. [3]  Maya day is every day throughout the world.

  1. Harper M.H., Gurus, Swamis, and Avataras; Spiritual Masters and Their American Disciples, (Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1972) pp 10-15 [Amazon]
  2. Maya Is a Power of Brahman,” Sri Aurobindo Studies (Aug. 14, 2010) []
  3. Are we really all made of stardust?” []
  4. Shankara (Indian philosopher)” Britannica Online Encyclopedia []
  5. Nave R, “Quarks” []

Wardrobe extenders may help health

Wearing undergarments like bras that fit too tightly or for most of the day and night may increase risk of breast cancer and can increase pain from fibrocystic breast disease. Bra extenders are very inexpensive solutions to tight garment bands and are available in different sizes and colors. Band extenders that add one to three inches can be purchased for a few dollars. The search term ‘bra extenders’ will provide many examples of the product.

Research has not been performed regarding their use against breast cancer but a better fitting bra may reduce pain associated with fibrocystic disease. Women who did not wear bras regularly had half the rate of breast cancer compared to other women in a study published in 1991. The focus of that study had been on a different topic than clothing habits [1]. A 1991-1993 Bra and Breast Cancer Study found a similar correlation [2]. Mainstream sources do not list the amount of time that bras are worn as a cause of cancer [3].  Further research to substantiate or disprove the correlation from the 1991 studies is needed.

However too tight garment bands can be painful and they may reduce detoxification of blood by the lymphatic system. Lymphatic fluid helps remove toxins from the body at the lymph nodes. The lymphatic system has a series of vessels that are similar to arteries and veins. The lymph fluid interacts most directly with blood flow at the lymph nodes. Blood is pumped through the arteries and veins by the power of the heart.  Only the activity of the surrounding muscles moves lymphatic fluid. Regular movement during exercise or an active lifestyle may help health by increasing the removal of toxins at the lymph nodes. White blood cells that can fight infection and cancer are also active at lymph nodes.

The tightness or over-tightness of the band is likely to be the main issue, but how far the underwire extends under the arm could also affect fluid movement. Lymphatic flow moves sideways towards the underarm area more than downward. [4]

Excess heat of the constricted tissue may also be a concern. [5 and 6]

A study and television documentary, “Bras – Bare Facts,” (2000) found not wearing a bra to greatly reduce fibrocystic breast pain on average for a group of 100 women. – partial transcript on a site with a few anatomical pictures: [6] Excerpt from the documentary about fibrocystic pain:

“It may be that the bra is producing a heating effect on the breast resulting in the breast secreting more fluid. At the moment we don’t know, but it is possible that a cooler is a healthier breast from the point of view of producing less fluid, producing less cysts and producing less pain.” [6]

Iodine deficiency has also been associated with fibrocystic breast disease so complete elimination of bras is probably not necessary. [7] Adequate iodine and selenium intake early in life and elimination of excess bromide might help though.

Men may need to check the fit of their clothing for a different reason. Wearing tight jeans for many hours may reduce male fertility. Increased body temperature seems to be the issue rather than reduced lymphatic flow. A laptop used directly on the male lap has also been associated with reduced male fertility. [9] Carrying a cell phone in a pants pocket for hours may also be a concern to fertility due to the radiofrequency electromagnetic waves [8]

This article is based on a shorter comment and reply that was previously posted elsewhere.

/Disclaimer: Information presented on this site is not intended as a substitute for medical care and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment by your physician./

  1. Hsieh CC, Trichopoulos D.,  “Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk.” Eur J Cancer. 1991;27(2):131-5. []
  2. Singer S.R., Grismaijer S., “Bras Still Cause Breast Cancer: Are Your Patients Dressed To Kill?” ANMA Journal pdf []
  3. Stephan P., “Bras Cause Breast Cancer: Myth or Fact?” (3/17/2010), []
  4. Mitchell A., “Tight Bra Syndrome; Or, why you might want to skip the  underwire and take your bra off when you get home.” pdf []
  5. Kumar A., “Burn the bra! (and men’s tight underpants too): compromised ‘chaotic’ cooling by constrictive clothing in the causation of testicular and breast cancers. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Dec;73(6):1079-80. Epub 2009 Oct 14. [link to a Medical Hypothesis article, no abstract available.]
  6. The British study on bra wearing and breast pain.” -includes a partial transcript of the “Bras – Bare Facts” documentary (2000) []
  7. Jones A., “Fibrocystic Breast Disease.” Women’s Health Institute of Texas []
  8. Mann D., “Cell Phone Use Linked to Male Infertility.” (9/19/2008) []
  9. Sinha K., “Tight jeans reduce fertility,” Times of India, (April 12, 2007) []

Binding of body parts is also likely to cause health problems, reduce lymphatic flow, increase heat and sweat which may promote yeast overgrowth, and possibly restrict motion. If society could just accept people as people instead of focusing so much on appearance and body parts more of us might create wonders with all the energy not being wasted on trying to fit in or on feeling a need to fit gender norms.
“Violence is both a social construct and a (painfully) lived experience –
domestic violence can be viewed as an extension of rigid gender roles that
are socially constructed and involve the sets of traditions, habits and beliefs
which permit some men to assume dominance and control over women, and
thus, to assume the right to use violence as a means of exercising that
control. “

Women and girls are hypersexualized while boys and men tend to be portrayed as people with varied characteristics. Advertising showing girls and women for products may be very sexualized while the same product for men or boys may be presented as normal clothing, a couple examples:

Why are girls shown to wear very little clothing in cold weather and risk getting overchilled? It sets a role model for other girls to also ignore health over societal expectations.
Trans activists send free breast binders to 13 year olds.

Love the body you’re in and the mind – health is something that difficult to recover if harmed.

Self harm can occur with physical and mental problems, therapy and health care both may help.  See this post for more about a physical problem associated with self harm urges, and a link to a book written for counselors from which I adapted the list below:

Pollution risks are shared around the world

I may try to be funny at times but I don’t joke about health or the impact the environment can have on health. Our nation’s future deserves to be protected by all of us including our elected officials. A clean supply of air, water and food is necessary for current and future generations of humans and other life. Pollution is damaging to both our health and our property.Not only our health is at risk but our grandchildren’s children can be negatively impacted by today’s pollutants. Small changes in genetic structure can occur in the eggs that are developing within a female fetus during the prenatal time. Those small changes can reduce the health of the child and be replicated in the child’s children. Protecting pregnant women from stress and harsh chemicals not only helps their babies but it also helps protect the babies’ future children. [1]

Ignoring pollution risks the future of life on the planet. Humans are not the only species suffering from chronic disease and illness. [11] This land is not only our land. Humans are unlikely to thrive on a planet with few other lifeforms. The chemicals that we spread on farm fields or city parks or that we wash airplanes with add toxins to the ground water and eventually pollutants show up in the oceans.

Excess carbon dioxide from combustion is sequestered from air pollution by the minerals dissolved in ocean waters but the buffering capacity is not unlimited. Acidity levels are rising in the oceans. [2,3]

Life and ships may not thrive for long in increasingly acidic sea water. Our oceans are not acidic currently but small changes in acidity do impact the growth of shellfish and may increase the need for maintenance of ships. The paint that we protect our ships with isn’t perfectly healthy either but corrosion would be worse for the ship’s cargo and crew. Maintenance requires the time for staff to order the work and supplies and to perform the work. [4, 5, 6] And staff and supplies require a budget to finance the work and purchases. Coordination and cooperation requires communication and that has a cost as well.

Free information carries the cost of awareness and for some that can be an undesirable expense. Negative campaigning twists words and facts into soundbites that make promises or warnings that may have little foundation in reality. Denial of truth is an easier soundbite to share than the disturbing reality that we actually share.

A recent study at Stanford University comparing food grown by organic or standard methods found a difference in disease resistant pathogens and in pesticide content but not a significant difference in nutrient content. The benefit of reduced pesticide content is not just for the person eating the food. There would be less toxins added to the ground water each year that the chemicals weren’t added to the fields or animal fodder. [8, 9]

We are trying to survive in a world increasingly loaded with chemicals that were previously unknown in nature. Some noticed the increasing environmental and health problems decades ago and have been working to increase awareness and reduce the chemical contamination but more awareness and action is needed. Consumers can use their purchasing and voting power and businesses can develop more environmentally sustainable products and policies.

My opinions are my own, no disrespect is intended.

/Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and  the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./

  1. Varghese AC, et. al., “Oocyte developmental competence and embryo development: impact of lifestyle and environmental risk factors,” Reproductive BioMedicine Online (2011), doi:10.1016/j.rbmo.2010.11.009 []
  2. “Ocean Acidity” Figure 1: Ocean Carbon Dioxide Levels and Acidity, 1983-2005, []
  3. Article by Helen Scales, Oceans Becoming Acidic Ten Times Faster Than (previously) Thought, (Nov. 24, 2008) Nat. Geo: []
  4. Salt Water, Fasteners and Boats, [] *Guidance for the small boat owner.
  5. US Navy, Corrosion Control, NAVFAC MO-307, Sept. 1992, [] *A long document that I included  simply as an example of the many details involved in planning for maintenance needs.
  6. Ship Maker Denies Responsibility For Rust on New Navy Ship, (June 21, 2011) PaintSquare: []
  7. Article by Andrea Shalal-Esa, “Austal’s first high speed ship completes U.S. Navy acceptance trials” (Aug. 30, 2012) Reuters, NBC News: []
  8. Article by Shannon Pettypiece, “Organic Food Adds No Vitamins for Extra Cost, Research Finds,” (Sept. 4, 2012) WashingtonPost: []
  9. Article by Robyn O’Brien, “Organic Food vs. Conventional: What the Stanford Study Missed,” (Sept. 6, 2012) Huffington Post: []
  10. A prior post included information about problems that have been seen in the health of coral reefs and sea turtles. “Coral reefs in peril, less perilous topic than religion or politics” (April 9, 2012) []