Source: Wikimedia Commons | Nobu Tamura People have long pondered what consciousness actually is. Consciousness seems very different from other biological functions—like some sort of nonmaterial essence within our heads. Thoughts and feelings seem ethereal, untethered from anything physical. Self-awareness seems like a phenomenon utterly divorced from anything that could possibly be produced by cells comprised of physical particles. People used to think of life itself that way too, and many still do. But biologists solved the enigma of what makes things alive mid-way through the twentieth century, the foundations of that understanding having been built over the preceding century. Before that, living things were believed to possess some sort of animating essence that accounted for their difference from inanimate matter. People could not imagine how the same material particles that comprise inanimate matter could be arranged in such a way as to make something alive , without … [Read more...] about What Actually Is Consciousness, and How Did It Evolve?
Woman with Jaw Pain Source: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels After surgery for endometriosis, which ultimately resulted in a complete hysterectomy in 2005, my migraine cycle worsened for an extended period of time, and I gradually developed unusual jaw pain with constant aching on both sides. The increase in discomfort and the resulting limitations were gradual, but eventually opening my mouth wide enough to eat was difficult, and yawning was agony. I saw my chiropractor, Dr. Leslie Lange, who worked on the inside of my jaw, (intraoral myofascial release) and outside of my jaw, which did (and does) help, but he eventually ordered an MRI, resulting in a diagnosis of severe TMJ dysfunction and dislocation. In 2008, my headache specialist, Dr. Joseph Mann, made the connection between my surgery, my worsening migraines, and the ensuing battle with my jaw problems, concluding that the extended intubation during my surgery may have offset what was previously a tenuous balance of my … [Read more...] about The Connection Between TMJ Dysfunction and Migraine