Monthly Archives: March 2017

Regeneron’s New Drug Price Could Disappoint Everyone. Here’s Why That’s A Good Thing

by Matthew Herper –

Leonard Schleifer (right) with Jim Robinson of Astellas at the Forbes Healthcare Summit last December.


Leonard Schleifer (right) with Jim Robinson of Astellas at the Forbes Healthcare Summit last December.

It was a symbolic act that spoke volumes. On stage with other pharmaceutical executives to talk about drug pricing at the Forbes Healthcare Summit last December, Regeneron cofounder, chairman and chief executive Leonard Schleifer physically moved his chair away from those of his peers.

“If you look at the prices of drugs, they have gone up, sometimes double digits, twice a year as a very efficient way of increasing profits without being coupled to any innovation,” Schleifer said then. “It’s ridiculous.”

So what does Schleifer, whose Regeneron stake has made him a billionaire, do when the time comes to price his own new drug? Today the Food and Drug Administration approved Dupixent, a medicine made by Regeneron and its partner, Sanofi, to treat severe itching known as atopic dermatitis in patients whose symptoms are not controlled by topical steroids. And Schleifer says that he has made peace with some of the industry’s biggest critics to arrive at what he says is a fair list price: $37,000 per patient per year, a price that he admits is still expensive, but is cost-effective.

“This is really a great example of how it should work,” says Steve Miller, the chief medical officer of Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit manager, and one of the loudest critics of high drug prices. “Our plans would obviously like a lower price. [Regeneron’s] shareholders would like a higher price. I think the fact we disappointed everyone probably means this came in where it should have.”

The drug was approved based on three placebo-controlled clinical trials with a total of 2,119 adult participants. They were more likely to have clear or almost clear skin if they received Dupizent, an injection, not a placebo. (For more on the drug, read this.)

Miller and Schleifer, who talked with Forbes ahead of the FDA approval, say that their early conversations have led to a situation where patients whose drug benefits are managed by Express Scripts will be able to get Dupixent. Patients will not need special documentation to prove they meet the criteria for taking the drug.

Express Scripts, for instance, chose not to restrict the drug based on what percentage of a patient’s body is covered with broken, itchy skin, even though it could have. “As a clinician, I can tell the number of patients who have this just on their hands, and they have sores and bleeding cracks on their hands,” Miller says. “It’s not a huge body surface area. But it’s debilitating for those patients.”

Biotechnology investors hearing those words from Miller are likely to ask: What happened to Steve Miller? Miller admits he “raised a ruckus” about previous medicines, particularly new treatments for hepatitis C like Sovaldi and Harvoni, from Gilead Sciences. Sovaldi cost $1,000 a pill, or $86,000 per course of treatment, when it launched in 2013.

“Gilead claimed they talked to a lot of payers,” Miller says, using industry jargon for health insurers. “I don’t know any of the payers they talked to. Here you had a unique product, a really outstanding drug, yet no one in the marketplace really understood the pricing at all.”

A more recent example likely weighed on Schleifer’s mind, and on the minds of his partners at Sanofi: that of their cholesterol drug, Praluent, which was expected to be a blockbuster. Instead, sales of the $14,000 drug last year were just $116 million, a major clinical disappointment. Elias Zerhouni, the head of research and development at Sanofi, says Dupixent represents a new frontier in drug discovery, because it is a single antibody that works on multiple chemical targets. Neither Sanofi nor Regeneron can afford to have Dupixent turn out like their last drug.

Regeneron reached out not only to benefit managers like Express Scripts, but also to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), a nonprofit partly funded by insurers that releases independent judgements over whether drugs are worth the money. A draft report released Friday says that Dupixent is cost-effective, and may be underpriced.

Schleifer points out that Dupixent costs less than drugs for psoriasis, which cost $50,000 per year. But the $37,000-a-year list price of the year is more than the $20,000-to-$30,000 price range expected by analysts at RBC Capital Markets, an investment bank, in their financial models.

It’s not clear that other drug benefit managers will be as ebullient as Express Scripts. CVS Caremark, the other big pharmacy benefit manager, acknowledged that it met with Regeneron, but warns “the drug will be expensive.” CVS says: “As we prepare for the approval of this medication, we are developing programs for our clients to ensure this new therapy is available for those patients with a demonstrated medical need for the drug, based on its indications as approved by the FDA.”

For Regeneron, the stakes are high. Brian Skorney at Baird Equity Research notes that the $200 million in 2017 sales Wall Street analysts expect from Dupixent are higher than the first-quarter sales of Humira or Enbrel, rheumatoid arthritis medicines that are among the world’s best-selling drugs. Can Schleifer’s deal-making really insure Dupixent will be a big hit, and generate more than $3 billion annually within two years, as Wall Street expects? Not everyone believes.

“Len is a classic ‘golden throat’ but the PBMs are careful bean counters and no one dies from [atopic dermatitis],” wrote Ronny Gal, a pharmaceuticals analyst at Bernstein Research on February 9. “We would love for him to be right, but a level of skepticism is appropriate.”

But Schleifer is sure he got the deal right, and, more than that, this this can serve as a model for other companies launching new drugs.

“I think this should be a new paradigm,” Schleifer says. “We have to stop saying that we can’t keep this finger-pointing and chest-beating, where the industry beats its chest at how terrific it is, the payers about how greedy the industry is, the patients get squeezed and then government wants to step in. We have to break this cycle.”


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5 times frozen food is the better option

by Melissa Breyer

frozen food

Public Domain International Harvester

While fresh food is the foodie darling, there are times when frozen food can actually be better.

In the era of fresh clean food, the freezer and its contents often get a bum rap, but I’m here to defend them. Aside from the convenience of having food in various states of preparedness on hand, frozen food has a lot of other things going for it, despite its association with bland tv dinners. It can allow for a variety of produce regardless of season, it keeps things from spoiling and going to waste, and some frozen items actually have better nutritive value than their fresh counterparts, as counterintuitive as that may seem.

With this in mind, I was happy and not all that surprised to see Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) new roundup of tips for people who want healthy frozen food, and who want to save time and money, and reduce household food waste all at the same time. “While fresh food is typically the best option, consumers don’t need to bypass all options in the frozen aisle,” the analysis notes.

Last year I wrote about six frozen foods everyone should consider, a subtle love letter (a friendship letter?) to frozen food – there is a lot of overlap with EWG’s list. So rather than just being repetitive, I thought I’d highlight the parts of the EWG tips that really stand out to me: Namely, the instances in which they note that frozen food is actually the better option.

1. Organic vegetables like whole green beans or peas

Unless I am getting green peas as fresh as can be, like still warm from the sun, I generally prefer frozen – peas past their short prime are not nearly as sweet and tender as their frozen brethren since the freezer-aisle ones are frozen right after harvest. EWG adds:

Frozen green beans are half the cost of fresh ones and retain more of their vitamin A and C content than other frozen vegetables. Similarly, frozen green peas are one of the cheapest frozen vegetables and retain more of their vitamin C content than fresh peas that have been stored for five days.

2. Organic fruits like whole strawberries or blackberries

I love frozen berries for their ability to provide a quick and delicious addition of fruit. Their texture is forever transformed by freezing, but they’re great for brightening up any number of dishes – think oatmeal, cereal, ice cream, muffins, cakes, pancakes, cocktails, smoothies, and smashed with sparkling water for a lovely soda alternative. Fresh berries may be the goal, but they have a short shelf life, which is why frozen ones are much appreciated. EWG adds that frozen berries are:

…superior to dehydrated berries, which can lose up to 50 percent of their original vitamin C and 70 percent of their folate content after being exposed to high pressure or temperatures. Compared to frozen versions, vitamin C content was 44 percent lower in freeze-dried strawberries. As an added bonus, frozen blackberries are cheaper on average than fresh ones.

3. Additive free baby and toddler food

I was one of the moms making her own baby food – a very much-appreciated (and sometimes mocked!) luxury. But for those purchasing baby and toddler food from the store, EWG says this:

Consider looking beyond jarred food. In their frozen aisles, some stores are stocking baby food made from fresh fruits and vegetables. Freezing produce helps slow nutritional losses, and helps prevent the growth of most microbes, making preservatives less necessary. And since frozen fruits and vegetables are often harvested at the peak of the season, there’s less need to add flavors, or other additives or fillers to improve taste.

4. Sustainable low-mercury seafood

I didn’t include seafood in my list, but EWG makes some excellent points:

Frozen seafood is typically cheaper and often of higher quality than fresh fish, which can be in transit on ice for more than a week before reaching the grocery store. Frozen fish also helps you add fish to your diet at a reasonable cost, while avoiding the endocrine-disrupting contaminant found in BPA-coated cans that could be used to package fish. This is a rare case when opting for fatty varieties is a good idea – they are higher in omega-3 fats and are more resilient to freezing.

You can check EWG’s Seafood Calculator to choose fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury.

5. Better burritos

A lot of people rely on frozen entrees during the hectic work week. But, notes EWG, “most options in this part of the frozen aisle are loaded with additives and are unnecessarily high in sodium.” Not to worry though, “there are some good finds for that last-minute lunch or dinner.” Like burritos. While some burritos are high in sodium and have added sugars, EWG says:

About a quarter of the frozen burritos in EWG’s Food Scores score in the green [the highest ranking]. But some burritos rose to the top because they highlight beans, a health-promoting and environmentally friendly protein, and have fewer ingredient and processing concerns.

So there you go. Wave your freezer flag and wave it proudly. For more on these, including some great tips on what specifically to look for, visit 5 Fabulous Finds in the Frozen Food Aisle.


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U.S. Senate Votes to Lift Ban on ‘Predator Control’ Hunting Practices in Alaska

Now passed by both the House and Senate, H.J. Res. 69 nullifies federal protections for hibernating bears, denning wolves, and other predators on national preserves in Alaska.

In a party-line vote (similar to one already taken in the U.S. House) overriding the objections of the Sierra Club, the Humane Society, and Alaska wildlife protection groups, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution on 21 March 2017 nullifying Obama-era Department of Interior regulations that prohibit the use of such tactics as baiting, spotlighting, and aerial spotting to hunt predatory animals on national preserve lands in Alaska.

If signed by President Trump (which is likely), H.J. Res. 69 will hand jurisdiction over the hunting of bears, wolves, and coyotes on Alaska’s 20 million acres of federally-protected national preserves back to the state, which, since 1994, has had “predator control” laws on the books aimed at maximizing wild game populations for recreational hunting.

After years of disputing the legality of some of these practices, the National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service implemented new rules in 2015 and 2016 permanently banning them in national preserves. The rules, which do not apply to subsistence hunting, nor to lands not under the protection of the federal government, prohibit the following:

  • Taking black or brown bear cubs or sows with cubs (exception allowed for resident hunters to take black bear cubs or sows with cubs under customary and traditional use activities at a den site October 15-April 30 in specific game management units in accordance with State law);
  • Taking brown bears over bait;
  • Taking of bears using traps or snares;
  • Taking wolves and coyotes during the denning season (May 1-August 9); and
  • Taking bears from an aircraft or on the same day as air travel has occurred. The take of wolves or wolverines from an aircraft or on the same day as air travel has occurred is already prohibited under current refuge regulations.

Despite support from scientific, environmental, and animal welfare advocacy groups, the federal regulations have been unpopular with many Alaskans. In January 2017, Alaska officials filed a lawsuit contending that the regulations amount to federal overreach and will have an adverse impact on the ecosystem and citizens of the state. In February 2017, with the support of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and Safari Club International, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced H.J. Res. 69 to redress what he termed a “wrongful seizure of authority” by the federal government:

From the beginning, I said I would do everything in my power to overturn this illegal jurisdictional power grab by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Today, we’re one step closer to delivering on that commitment and eliminating a wrongful seizure of Alaska’s fish and wildlife management authority. I’m thankful to all those that played a role in moving this important resolution of disapproval, including that countless state and local stakeholders that worked with me to fight a very serious and alarming overreach by the Executive Branch. I look forward to seeing the swift consideration of H.J. Res. 69 in the Senate.

The Humane Society of the United States took exception in a 16 February 2017 statement arguing that passage of the bill should “shock the conscience of every animal lover in America”:

The U.S. House of Representatives overturned a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule that stopped a set of appalling and unsporting predator control methods on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. These egregious practices include shooting or trapping wolves while at their dens with cubs, using airplanes to scout for grizzly bears to shoot, trapping bears with cruel steel-jawed leghold traps and wire snares and luring grizzly bears with food to get a point blank kill. Republicans, with only a few dissents, provided the votes for the measure, which passed by a vote of 225 to 193.

Rep. Young and others in favor of the bill argue that some of the practices outlawed in the federal regulations are also banned by Alaska state law, making the former largely redundant.

H.J. Res. 69 next goes to President Trump for signature before it can take effect.


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We Cannot Be The Healers When We Are Still The Wounded
We cannot be the healers when we are still the wounded.
Sometimes our inability to reconcile the brokenness in our own lives means we project our relentless desire to fix and mend and heal onto others. We are drawn to scattered pieces of puzzles, determined to join them back together, to restore, to make whole.
If we only love them, we will mend them, is what we believe.
And so we become their blood transfusion. We pour our blood into them. Even though we become weak, we continue to bleed ourselves dry. Our blood flows into them but their wounds are not stitched and they continue to bleed out. No matter how much we bleed into them it’s never enough, and now there are two casualties on the table and what we need to do is save ourselves.
But we don’t, do we?
Instead, we exhaust ourselves to find the only needle in the room and we use it to stitch their wounds. Often, while they are still firing bullets into ours.
We struggle not to save. We find it hard to let go and walk away from someone who bleeds. But when we allow ourselves to be broken as we try and mend another, it’s no longer about them. It’s our insatiable need to reconcile the brokenness within ourselves. We think if we walk away we have failed another. When the truth is, we just cannot deal with the thought that we have once again failed ourselves. We cannot deal with knowing there is another thing left broken in our lives that we couldn’t fix.
But we can never bleed to death in the hope it will save another. We must stitch together our own wounds, we must allow life and love and hope to first heal the brokenness within us. And then, then we can love others as we need to. We can love them, but not have to save them. For that is our not our duty. And finally, we will know this.
We cannot be the healers when we are still the wounded.
Αbout The Author
Warrior. Dreamer. Creator. Writer. Fighter for all that is beautiful and good. Advocate for the underdog. Truth-teller. Empath. Yogi. Passionate soul. Lover of land and ocean. Coffee drinker. Gentle spirit. Wild heart. Word Alchemist.You can also find Kathy at FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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How To Keep Blood Pressure Under Control With Natural Hypertension Remedies?

Image – Shutterstock
Stresx capsules are the best natural hypertension remedies to keep blood pressure under control and improve overall health.
Hypertension is one among the common health issues reported in today’s busy lifestyle. How to keep blood pressure under control without creating any difficulty? This is a common query heard from people. As per research, including white beans in daily diet is found to be very useful to cure health issues like hypertension. In order to achieve great results, feel free to prepare and consume salads made with white beans.
Similar to white beans, fat free plain yogurt is one among the natural hypertension remedies to alleviate the troubles due to hypertension. In order to alleviate the troubles due to hypertension, feel free to include yogurt in daily diet. At times, including tilapia in daily diet is found to be very effective to treat a wide range of health issue like hypertension. As per research, this food source is found to be free from toxins like mercury and PCBs. Hence try to make use of this food source in daily diet. Also, follow a lifestyle free from habits like smoking and alcohol consumption.
Today, there are many herbal products available in market that boasts off cure from health issues like hypertension. If you are planning to buy any herbal product from store, make sure that you select the right product from store. Do you like to include kiwi fruit in daily diet? As per studies, including kiwi fruit in daily diet is found to be very effective to treat hypertension troubles. Presence of vitamin C compound is a key feature of kiwi fruit. In order to achieve the best result, include kiwi fruit in daily diet schedule.
Similar to kiwi fruit, you can also make use of peaches to eliminate the difficulties due to hypertension. Presence of calcium, magnesium and potassium in peaches naturally reduces the risk of health issues in human body. Banana, enriched with potassium is another food source to reduce the risk of hypertension troubles. To get effective result, drink a cup of banana shake every day.
Similar to banana, you can also make use of kale to reduce the troubles due to hypertension problems. You can use kale as both cooked and raw. It assures reduced action of free radical mechanism devoid of side effects. For the best health advantage, feel free to include baby kale leaves in salads that you prepare and consume. Red bell pepper is another food source to regulate rise in blood pressure level. It promotes fat metabolism and reduces the risk of hypertension. Presence of capsaicin compound is another key feature of red bell pepper. In order to achieve good result, include bell peppers in daily food items that you prepare and eat.
Broccoli is another food item that can reduce the troubles due to hypertension. Studies say that this vegetable is a potent composition of phytonutrients called glucosinolates. Hence feel free to include this food source in salads that you prepare and consume. Stresx capsule is one among the top sold products to control hypertension troubles. It is a potent composition of ingredients that promote blood circulation throughout the body. TodayFree Web Content, you can easily get this herbal product from online store.
James Nicolas is a passionate writer who has written numerous articles on topics concerning ayurvedic remedies for men health and women health. He writes informative articles on health-related issues and the use of natural health supplements.

Health Disclaimer: All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being


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‘Be careful, she’ll blow up,’ he said

 by  –

All napkin illustrations by Anisa Rawhani. Used with permission.

I should start from the beginning.

My boyfriend and I hop on the subway. The man standing next to us strikes up a conversation. We laugh and chat, enjoying the company of a stranger.

Then the man begins to speculate about my white boyfriend’s background, to which he responds that he’s British.

Then it’s my turn.

“And you, you must be Portuguese or Italian,” the man says.

“I’m actually Persian-Iranian.”

The man turns to my boyfriend.

“Be careful. She’s going to blow up.”

Unwanted attention. Everyone has experienced it, albeit to varying degrees.

Most women experience it when they’re belittled because of their gender. Catcalls, harassment, day-to-day indignities — all to make us feel like we don’t have a right to the space we’re occupying.

None of that is new to me, and each time one of these gender-based indignities happens, I grow a little less shocked and a little more outraged. Each incident piles on and crawls further under my skin, echoing every other time it’s happened to me or a friend.

But when I heard a man say I’d blow up, I entered uncharted territory. Suddenly, my race was the target.

At first, neither of us understood what he meant. My boyfriend thought “blow up” implied I’d get emotional. I thought it meant I’d get fat. Seeing our confused expressions the man clarified: He was talking about bombs.

Maybe if he’d said that to someone browner — someone more “ethnic” — the penny would have dropped faster. When it finally did, I remember feeling shocked and disappointed. That was about it.

It wasn’t like those times men harassed me because of my gender. This man’s words didn’t inspire deep emotions because there were no memories to be recalled. There was no wound for him to reopen and exploit.

Indifference in the face of racism is an unbelievable luxury.

That someone was unable to cause me pain or reduce me to a feeling of nothingness with mere words is not a mark of my own strength, but a mark of my experiences — or lack thereof.

That I’m not insecure about my race isn’t because I’m a confident woman; it’s because I so rarely have to think about it. I’m not constantly being reminded.

After the man on the subway clarified what blowing up meant, I remember:

Feeling my face fall, seeing my boyfriend’s jaw flex, the man sensing the change and backtracking because we were taking what he said too seriously. He wasn’t racist. His girlfriend was Indian and Muslim, which he explained smugly.

When I see racism from the outside I leap to my feet; I’m ready to take on anything. But when it was about me, I couldn’t do it.

I just wanted to be as far from that man as possible.

In the time that immediately followed, I thought about all my non-white friends who’d confided in me about moments like this. I thought back on all the times my friends told me about racist encounters with classmates, professors, and strangers. How often I’d thought: Why didn’t you do anything?

I know now what an unfair standard that was.

When you become the target of racism, you’re stripped of valid choices. That doesn’t mean you’re powerless, but you’re working within a set of circumstances that are fundamentally unjust. You’re expected to rise to the occasion when someone’s attempted to strike you down. It’s easy for people with their feet planted firmly beneath them to say stand up for yourself.

We’ve all heard about racist incidents — many far more disturbing than what I described. Many of us (myself included) would like to think if we were in that situation we’d have a witty response on hand — or at the very least that we’d give them a piece of our mind.

It’s rarely so simple.

Option A: You can try to back up and disengage.

Option B: You can blow up. You have every right to be upset, so you confront the person’s prejudice. You make it clear just how out of line they are.

Option C: You can speak up. When you’re the victim of a racist incident, you’re immediately racialized. When you speak, you aren’t speaking as yourself, you’re speaking as an ambassador of “your people.” That’s a lot of pressure.

It’s great in theory, but difficult and emotionally taxing in practice, especially when you’re not exactly prepared for it.

Whether someone speaks harmful words out of ignorance or because they have deep-rooted hatred, they tend to grow defensive very quickly when confronted with their indiscretion.

Not every ear is willing to listen, not every person is worth pursuing, and it’s not the responsibility of victims to educate their assailants.

For those of us who aren’t victims (or rarely are), remember that raising expectations and what-ifs, or questioning why a victim responded the way they did, isn’t helpful.

After the man rambled on about why what he said wasn’t offensive, the train started to slow and my boyfriend said this was our stop. We left the car and waited on the platform for the next train to come.

Some things about this incident remain unclear, but one thing I know for certain: As I waited on that subway platform for the next train to come, I was sure glad I wasn’t alone.

This post first appeared on Raw Honey and is reprinted here with permission.


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How Do I Know If My Guides Are Contacting Me? 5 Tips And Tricks For Tuning In

By Katie IndiCrow
A common question that I get from people working on opening up to their spiritual selves is, “How do I know if my spirit guides are contacting me?” Like most things in the spiritual world, who you are and which symbols are meaningful to you will largely determine the pattern that these interactions will take. This list features 5 common ways guides try to contact us.
1) Physical responses like chills, goosebumps, and tapping
As most of you probably know, when we are in the presence of spirit our bodies can have a physical response like getting chills or goosebumps. The energetic shift instigated by their presence makes our hair stand on end! Other people feel a warm, loving feeling like an embrace or a hand on their arm or cheek. Commonly, these very same sensations can indicate that our guides are offering validation, love, and support to us. Are you contemplating a major life shift and all of a sudden you feel a strand of cold energy moving up and down your legs or spine? That’s very likely validation from your guide that this is a good direction for you to go. On the contrary, a ‘negative’ feeling indicates a ‘no’.
2) Hearing words, your name, or a buzz in your ear
Similar to feeling shifts in energy when spirit enters your environment, you can also hear them. So many people experience a buzzing (like a bee) or a ringing in their ears as indications that their guides are present. It’s like your body is saying, “Oh hey – there is someone in your presence you need to pay attention to. Listen up!” Another common way that our guides try to talk to us is through clairaudience. They’ll say our names in our ears or speak key words or sentences to us. This can be SCARY at first. When I was 16, my first guide tried to contact me by silencing super loud environments and speaking my name to me. He would just call, “Katie. Kaaaaaatie.” At the time, this scared the crap out of me and I shut communication down in that way. I’ve heard similar stories from others who would hear their guides trying to talk to them and feel thrown off by the unexpected voices. I’ve since opened back up and now truly enjoy this method. It’s nice to hear their voices! If this is happening to you and you want to a) ensure it’s a guide talking to you and b) refine this method, I would recommend that you declare yourself open to speak only to high vibrational entities.
3)  Feathers
Another way that people experience communication with their guides is through the appearance of feathers and number patterns. Similar to the validation experience through feeling, guides can also communicate with us through feathers. Having a deep thought and you come to a feather? It’s possible that is a message of support or reassurance from your guide. Seeing feathers everywhere you go? You’re supported and very likely on the right path. Differently colored or positioned feathers can indicate various responses. (More on how to wok that out in a future piece!)
4) Numbers
Numbers and number combinations often operate according to the same principles as feathers. For example, the number 1111 that many people are seeing now represents the opening of a new beginning or new journey which is resultant from your thoughts. It’s a, “You’re on the right path”. 555 is known to represent changes. There are many helpful guides online such as ‘Sacred Scribes’ that can help you decode what each number means.
5) Music
This is a fun one and most definitely a key way that I get messages in my day to day life. Ever listen to a song and all of a sudden you zone in on lyrics that seem to provide an answer or some form of support to you and the situation you’re going through? Have a song stuck in your head that you don’t even really listen to but is oddly relevant to your situation? Hear the same song everywhere you go (that isn’t a new pop standard)? There’s a good chance that you are receiving love, support, and/or information from your guides this way. One time I had flown to Ireland for Christmas vacation. Being a TA at the time, I had a set of exams with me which I was supposed to correct over the holiday (yeah right). On the flight back, I put the tests in my big suitcase which went in cargo. Guess whose suitcase didn’t arrive for a week? Mine. One day while I was SWEATING it about the situation the phrase, “Peg, it will come back to you” from Steely Dan’s ‘Peg’ started repeating in my mind and I got warm chills. In that moment, I knew that the suitcase would come back. Sure enough, it did. Right on time.
I will conclude this piece by saying that these are only a few of the many possible methods that spirit may be using to contact you. If you feel your guides are contacting you in a way that doesn’t appear on this list, you’re probably right! Don’t discount a message if it’s not coming through in any of the ways described here. If you’re in question, listen to your heart. It’s never wrong.
Love always,
Katie IndiCrow
About the author: Katie is an energy teacher, healer, and aligner. Visit her facebook page, IndiCrow Energetics, to see her current offerings and access her larger body of work:

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5 Intimate Qualities of An Enlightened Partner
Have you ever wondered why it is possible to walk into a room and immediately been drawn to someone you don’t even know? Like there is a magnetic force field between you, drawing you in, bring you closer and closer until finally without even knowing it, you are lost in conversation full of sexual charge.

5 Intimate Qualities of An Enlightened Partner
We all possess powerful, electrical and magnetic forces within us. Alike to a magnet, we exert a force of attraction to others and between lovers, this magnetic energy is amplified, as we fixate on what it is that we are attracted to.
When we can learn to embrace this powerful energy, we can wield it to elevate our consciousness through the sacred act of sex.
An enlightened partner is aware of this and will use this same magnetic energy, to elevate the experience to heights you never thought possible. As if they are reading your mind, your sensitive spots, likes and dislikes without speaking a word.
If you are an unenlightened person or someone who is not in tune with their own energy, you may be unaware of what is actually happening.
So how can we know, other than just great sex, if your partner is enlightened?
1.They are in the present moment.
An enlightened partner understands that sex can be meditative experience. Facilitating the three qualities of seeking an inward
meditative state. Breath control, withdrawing the senses and concentration. When you are with an enlightened partner their mind isn’t wandering.
They aren’t thinking about anything other than what is being experienced in this very moment. The sensual touching and the energy being shared. The joy of the energy bodies igniting, becoming en-kindled in each other in order to heal and balance.
2. Sex Isn’t Just About Sex
An enlightened partner knows that there is no end game when it comes to sex and there is no rush. Sex isn’t about the release, it is about the experience.
5 Intimate Qualities of An Enlightened PartnerWhen intimately connected, sex becomes more about deepening the emotional, psychological and spiritual bond.
3. They Look Deeply Into Your Eyes
An enlightened partner wants to see your soul and connect with your spirit. By staring deeply into your partners eyes you can bridge the connection, from soul to soul and spirit to spirit and the
energy flows freely between the pair.
4. They are Not Selfish
A person who is selfish in general, is likely to be selfish in bed. A selfish lover won’t be connected to you emotionally and may stick
to one position that works for them.
How to Arouse Your KundaliniAn enlightened partner will try taking things slow and will embrace various positions, to gain the proper energy flow.
This also is to ensure both partners are enjoying themselves as sex shouldn’t be about hard work.
5. Their Energy is Magnetic
An enlightened partner can play with your energy body. Using the positive and negative charge to draw up the energy from your sacral chakra, moving it up your spine with the intent to release it through the top of your head.
An enlightened partner wants you to experience… enlightenment!
by LJ Vanier

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Its A Bit Like Apollo 13, Only Global And Worse!

Do you remember the film Apollo 13, where Tom Hanks and his crew are on route to the moon and Kevin Bacon playing astronaut Jack Swigert has to flick on the switch to stir the Oxygen tanks? Suddenly the ship suffers a critical failure and we hear Tom Hanks’ infamous words on the radio to NASA control:

‘Houston, we have a problem’…

Who hasn’t used these few words in jest; ‘Houston, we have a problem!’ The restaurant is closed, or a red light comes up on a dashboard. My favourite bit is at 1 hour and 17 minutes into the film, when the 3 men are in the lunar module, and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are building up and poisoning the atmosphere.

The gauges have risen to 8; once they reach 15 it’s all over for the men. So what happens? Well back on earth a bunch of NASA scientists with a roll of Gaffa tape and some bits and pieces, make a square peg fit in a round hole. The rest of it you know; the astronauts make it back to earth safely! It is nail biting stuff.

However, for me it’s a scene that most parallels life now, here on Earth. As the CO2 levels in the earth’s atmosphere increase, we are in danger of provoking potentially cataclysmic climatic changes, that may ultimately destroy us. Examples of these changes are described every day in the media. So how do we stop it? Is someone going to get out a roll of Gaffa tape and patch the ozone layer up, or is the problem bigger than all of us to fix?

Under the 2008 Climate Change Act, which serves as a framework for how to reduce emissions, the UK has committed to reduce 80% of its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 2050. Five-year carbon budgets have been set up until the 2050 target. Each budget, throughout every sector will see greater use made of improved or radical ideas, technology, and energy efficiencies.

So how are we doing?

Business and the public sector are both big generators of CO2. Both have fought hard to reduce their levels of CO2. Business has reduced its emissions by 38% since 1990. The public sector followed reduced by approx. 37%.

In 2015 almost half of the UK’s electricity came from clean energy source. Low carbon sources such as wind, solar, biomass along with nuclear power, supplied a record 46% amount of power into the grid. Renewables outperformed coal for the first time. Coal supplied 22% of the energy, which was down 30% from the year before. Coal power is on the way to being phased out entirely by 2050.

The transport industry is responsible for around 25% of UK domestic green house gases (GHG). The sector is looking to reduce its impact with improved driving techniques, electric lorries, bio-fuels, and other hybrids. Vehicle fuel will have its greenhouse gas intensity cut by 10% in 2020. Improved freight routing, scheduling and increased vehicle capacity will also support its reduction.

Shipping, responsible for nearly 17% of the worlds (GHG) will look to reduce its soot and particulate generation. Slow steaming as it is called has seen virtually all tankers cut their cruising speeds by up to 55%, thus drastically reducing fuel consumption along with lowering GHG emissions. This is alongside revised propeller technology and improved engine performance. The use of hydrodynamics in ship design – Introducing new technology systems that blow bubbles under the ship’s hull to cut down friction between hull and water – could cut a further 35% of CO2.

The construction industry accounts for nearly half of the UK’s GHG emissions. But reductions can be made using improved building design, better insulation, increased use of solar panels on buildings, the use of better sustainable materials and alternative low-carbon cements that are less energy-intensive to produce. Improved transport logistics along with the correct ordering of material amounts would cut down on waste. The Directive for Energy Performance of Buildings requires that all new buildings be nearly zero energy by December 2020.

The agriculture and fishing industry generates about 9% of the total CO2, as well as significant amounts of methane and nitrous oxide. The industry is at the forefront of the effects of climate change as it needs to feed more people, yet at the same time create less impact. With increased demand and competition for resources, the food industry is looking to revise and adapt how food is produced, stored, processed, packaged, transported.

The aviation industry could use up a quarter of the worlds carbon budget in the next few years. Carbon off-setting is a small start, but international aviation is not helping the problem. Change is urgent.

Even my sector, the mobile phone industry is concerned.  Yes, communication via mobile phones leaves a carbon footprint; each time you make a phone call, text or use your mobile, each time you charge the device or download something from a server – you create CO2. The systems that power the mobile phone create a tremendous amount of carbon emitting gases 365 days of the year.

With over 83 million mobiles in the UK now, analysts predict this number of phones could double in the next 10 years. Longer battery life, better masts, improved mobile software, handsets with eco- ratings are all being developed to this end. But perhaps most important of all, research shows that consumers are keen to adopt CO2 reducing behaviours.

Come 2050, we have to have made the changes, our lives and the world we share depends on it. It’s a situation that reminds me of a quote by Dr. Askhari Johnson Hodari

‘If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired’.


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10 Incredibly Useful Mental Life Hacks

Do you ever wonder if there any hidden subconscious things that we all do, that if you were aware of them, you would be able to change or control any life situation much better? Well, it is something that has been running on my mind for a while.
After doing some online research on this subject, I found some valuable advice from reddit discussion thread. So I decided to compile the top advice given by other users on how to get the situational advantage. Check out these life hacks that will help you decode hidden messages people might be sending.
10 Life Hacks
1. When meeting people for the first time, take note of their eye color while flashing a good smile. It is probably because of you having to take a few more seconds to look at them in the eye but you might be surprises at how people are more responsive after that. It’s kind of like they feel more connected to you.
2. Give attention to a person’s feet. When approaching a group of people having a conversation, if you notice that they only turn their upper body without moving their feet to talk to you then that means they are not interested in having you in their conversation. Also, if you are talking to a work colleague who is seemingly paying attention to you but has his feet pointing to another direction then he wants to end the conversation. Book recommendation on this specific topic – Carol Kinset Goman’s “The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language”
3. Want to learn something new quickly? Well, teach a friend about it. Why does it work? Well, if you can teach something to someone then you probably know it very well.
4. Address people by their names. Everyone loves to be called by their names and this establishes rapport as well as trust right away.
5. Foot in the door concept. What this means is that a person will more likely do anything you want them to if you ask them to do simple and easy tasks at first. Gradual effort makes a person feel that you are fond of him or her.
6. If someone isn’t giving enough commitment in answering a question you’ve just asked, keep quiet and keep eye contact. They will most likely continue answering your question with more commitment.
7. Whenever you are in a situation that makes you nervous like a public speaking event or a bungee jumping session, simply chew a gum. I don’t know where exactly I have learned about it but if you are chewing something your brain will think that it is not in a dangerous situation since you won’t be chewing eating anything if you are in danger. This has helped me control my nervousness a couple of times.
8. You can prevent sidewalk shuffle by focusing your eyes in between people’s shoulder tops or heads in a group. This will show them which direction you are heading. People will usually create some space for you to pass through.
9. Assume everyone already likes you when you’re walking into a room or if you’re talking to people. This puts you in a more friendly and welcoming disposition, and people gravitate toward that. If you already have an “everyone hates me” mind-set, this can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as people can sense the negative vibes you’re throwing off.
10. If you ask a person to do something small for you, a mental process called cognitive dissonance will make it seem for him that he must like you because they did that small thing for you. (Ben Franklin)

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