Monthly Archives: February 2014

Why Would Parents Purposely Stunt Their Daughter’s Growth?

Why Would Parents Purposely Stunt Their Daughter’s Growth?

Stunt Their Daughter's GrowthI found this most unique of stories recently from the CNN website. It seems that parents of a girl who had been born brain dead purposely chose to use chemical treatment to stunt their daughter’s growth. It turns out that the story had been a very old story, from back in March of 2008 entitled Disabled girl’s parents defend growth-stunting treatment on CNN.

I took the liberty of copying and pasting the whole story below. At this point, I’ve fully realized that often old links and old stories often disappear so most articles or studies will be referenced or posted to this website for safe keeping.

NEW YORK (CNN) — It’s been a year since the parents of a severely disabled child made public their decision to submit their daughter to a hysterectomy, breast surgery and drugs to keep the girl forever small. Today, the couple tell CNN, they believe they made the right decision — one that could have a profound impact on the care of disabled children worldwide.

The profoundly disabled girl known as Ashley, now 10, has achieved her full height, 4 feet 5 inches.

“The ‘Ashley treatment’ has been successful in every expected way,” Ashley’s parents told CNN exclusively in a lengthy e-mail interview. “It has potential to help many others like it helped our precious daughter.”

While unwavering in their belief in the treatment, Ashley’s parents continue to insist on anonymity. In the year since Ashley’s parents went public, not only did the hospital that sterilized Ashley admit it broke Washington state law, but also the doctor who treated Ashley committed suicide.

As scrutiny of the case deepens, so too does the chasm in the medical community: Is it mutilation, with doctors “playing God” — or, is stunting growth a liberating option for caregivers and the disabled children who will need constant care for the rest of their lives?

Ashley is now 10 years old and, at 4 feet 5 inches tall, has achieved her full height and weight, 63 pounds. The treatment permanently closed her growth plates and took more than a foot off her anticipated height.

“Ashley did not grow in height or weight in the last year, she will always be flat-chested, and she will never suffer any menstrual pain, cramps or bleeding,” say her parents, who felt it important to publicly address their decision after repeated interview requests, in the hopes of sharing their experience with other families.

They responded by e-mail only, to protect the family’s identity. (Read the complete interview)

Ashley’s current state — to them — is the definition of success.

She was born brain-damaged, with a condition described as static encephalopathy, or cerebral palsy. One of her doctors described her mental capacity as that of a 6-month-old, dependent upon her parents to meet every need. She does not walk or talk; she’s fed through a tube and wears diapers. When Ashley was 6, her parents approached Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, Washington, for the operations. They believed this would make it easier to cuddle and carry a child who can do little more than lie propped on a pillow.

Weight and height are the “worst enemy,” they write, for children such as Ashley, for whom they’ve coined the term “pillow angels.”

In 2004, Children’s Hospital performed a hysterectomy, removed Ashley’s breast buds and gave her high-dose estrogen to retard growth and sexual maturation — a procedure that has risks, but to date has not harmed her, her parents say.

While the “Ashley treatment” was first published in the October 2006 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, it wasn’t until the family posted its blog last year that a firestorm erupted in the blogosphere, with responses from “inhumane” and “perverse” — to “walk in our shoes.”

“If parents of children like Ashley believe this treatment will improve their children’s quality of life, then they should be diligent and tenacious in providing it for them,” her parents write. “We have a sacred duty to do what we believe is right for our children.”

But in Ashley’s case, what her parents thought was right wasn’t legal.

In May 2007, Children’s Hospital admitted it broke state law by giving Ashley a hysterectomy without a proper court review. To perform any such treatment today would require a court order, as well as review by a panel of experts in medicine and ethics and people with disabilities, says Dr. Douglas Diekema of Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics, the consulting ethicist on Ashley’s case.

So, will doctors stop the growth of more children like Ashley?

Right now, no growth-attenuation therapy is being administered by other doctors anywhere in the nation, according to pediatric experts. Supporters wonder whether another factor, the suicide in September of Ashley’s endocrinologist, Dr. Daniel Gunther, may have slowed wider adoption of the treatment.

“We know from reliable sources his treatment of our daughter was a source of energy and motivation for him,” Ashley’s parents write. “He was frustrated about being blocked from providing this treatment to other children in need. He strongly believed this treatment should be available to them.”

The family appears to be the lone voice with that opinion; CNN shared the family’s comment with Children’s Hospital, but did not get a response. In media reports, colleagues and family members were said to believe Gunther’s suicide was not related to the treatment of the girl.

Another complicating factor — some doctors remain adamant the treatment shouldn’t be available.

“Adults can consent. But for a child, we’re making decisions for them and hoping in our heart of hearts we are making the right decisions,” says Dr. Nancy Murphy, chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children with Disabilities.

Murphy will push for consensus among doctors at a pediatrics conference later this year, but acknowledges strong discord as critics continue to insist that keeping children small reduces them to a permanent infant-like condition, denying the basic human right to experience an adult body, adult feelings and adult relationships. But for Ashley, that may be moot.

“[This disability] shatters the reason we become parents: to watch kids grow, to be part of their lives and to launch into their own lives,” says Murphy. “When you have a child with lifelong dependency, you don’t get to launch your kid, and your caregiver options are limited.”

But like many other people with disabilities, 43-year-old Anne Rader, who also has cerebral palsy but in a much less severe form than Ashley’s, sees the treatment as dehumanizing — and perhaps most significantly — irrevocable.

“The parents are not seeing the potential of the child; they are seeing a baby,” says Rader. “People with disabilities have to look at the potential of our lives: of available new technology, new equipment, medical advances. Things can change so quickly now.”

Some ethicists, too, remain staunch in their assessment that the “Ashley treatment” is a violation of not only human dignity, but also of a physician’s oath to do no harm.

“I think mutilating surgery involving removal of breast buds is indefensible under any circumstances,” says Arthur Caplan, the chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics and director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. “Growth retardation is not a substitute for adequate home aides and home assistance.”

Ashley’s parents remain convinced what they did for Ashley is the most loving choice they could have made for their daughter and want that for other disabled children.

“We feel that if our time and effort ended up helping a single pillow angel… then it is worthwhile.”


(CNN) — The parents of “Ashley,” who underwent a controversial therapy to stop her from growing, agreed to speak exclusively to CNN about their daughter’s health, the controversy the therapy has engendered among disability advocates, the suicide of the doctor who pioneered the procedure and the future of more children like Ashley.

Ashley remains completely dependent, her parents say. She can’t talk or walk and is fed through a tube.

While her parents asked to remain anonymous to protect the family, they did answer CNN’s questions about Ashley via e-mail.

CNN: In photos from 2007, Ashley looks happy and engaged. What prompts her to smile?

Ashley’s parents: Ashley enjoys our company and our voices; when we sweet talk to her she often radiates with a big smile. She enjoys rich music, walks outdoors, a swim on a warm day, the swing, etc.

She is also very fragile; a sneeze can set her crying inconsolably for more than an hour.

CNN: You say Ashley is profoundly dependent on you. How so?

Ashley’s parents: Ashley is now and will always be dependent on us in every aspect of her life: On an hourly basis we give her a position change and prop her back on her pillow; we make sure she is well covered and pull her shirt down to cover her tummy; we wipe her drool, etc. Also there are diaper changes, tube feedings, dressing, bathing, teeth cleaning, stretching, entertainment, etc.

CNN: Has anything changed?

Ashley’s parents: Ashley’s tolerance and ability to sleep at night have improved considerably.

CNN: Does Ashley have interaction with children outside of your family — does she have peers?

Ashley’s parents: Given Ashley’s limited cognitive abilities, there’s not much interaction.

CNN: Has Ashley’s outcome been what you expected?

Ashley’s parents: Thankfully, the “Ashley treatment” went smoothly, and it has been successful in every expected way. Her recovery from surgery was quick and uneventful, the scars are barely visible. There have been no side effects to the estrogen therapy. Ashley did not grow in height or weight in the last year, she will always be flat-chested, and she will never suffer any menstrual pain, cramps, or bleeding!

CNN: What was your response to [Ashley’s endocrinologist Dr. Daniel] Gunther’s death last fall? People will inevitably ask, do you think your controversial case was a source of conflict or personal turmoil for Gunther?

Ashley’s parents: We were shocked and saddened for his loss and feel deeply sorry for his family. He was a kind, dedicated and principled person, whom we and many other families whom he helped have a lot of admiration for.

We know from reliable sources that his treatment of our daughter was a source of energy and motivation for him. We also know from conversations with him that he was frustrated about being blocked from providing this treatment to other children in need. He empathized with parents and with their children and he strongly believed this treatment should be available to them.

CNN: What do you consider Gunther’s legacy to be?

Ashley’s parents: From e-mails we received, there are many “Ashleys” out there, who form a new category of disability that we affectionately call pillow angels (see our one slide summary). We estimate that under 1 percent of children with disabilities are in this category. Outside a small community of parents and caregivers who have the direct experience of caring for pillow angels, society does not know much about them and their special needs. Based on the hundreds of e-mails and testimonies we’ve received from this small community, it is abundantly obvious that increased weight and height are the worst enemy for pillow angels.

Dr. Gunther’s legacy is that he had the knowledge, compassion, confidence and courage to be the first to administer this estrogen therapy to a pillow angel, which sped up the natural closure of her growth plates and kept her small. Given the overwhelming supportive reaction that we have seen from parents and caregivers of pillow angels, we strongly believe that this therapy should be an option for the rare kids like Ashley, and Dr. Gunther has secured a place in history as its pioneer.

CNN: Your advice to others contemplating this procedure for their profoundly disabled children?

Ashley’s parents: As parents we have a sacred duty to do what we believe is right for our children. If parents of children like Ashley believe that this treatment will improve their children’s quality of life, then they should be diligent and tenacious in providing it for them.

CNN: Do you consider yourselves a voice for any group? Do you consider yourselves foes of any group?

No and no. We’re simply passionate about sharing our experience and learned lessons with other families since we know it has potential to help many others like it helped our precious daughter. We feel that if our time and effort ended up helping a single pillow angel and her/his family, then it is worthwhile.

CNN: You’ve had more than 2.5 million hits to your Web site, and have processed thousands of e-mails. Why do you think those people who came out so strongly against you did so?

Ashley’s parents: If you look closely at the evidence, critics might be loud but they are a minority opinion on this issue. From the e-mail we received, for every negative message there were 19 support messages (see full stats in our first anniversary update). Also, an MSNBC survey with more than 7,100 respondents shows 59 percent in support of the treatment.

It seems that the treatment does not fit an ideology that has been developed by persons with disabilities and disability scholars. Even though this ideology might be serving the broader disability community quite well, it is clear to us that it was developed without considering the extreme case of pillow angels.

Furthermore, a lot of the criticism came from people who themselves have disabilities and was based on their feeling about how inappropriate the treatment would be for them. Clearly Ashley is in a vastly different category of disability than someone who is able to blog and write e-mails and can make decisions for themselves. A chasm separates the two, not a slippery slope like some fear or claim.

CNN: Do you think you changed any minds?

Ashley’s parents: More than 115 people e-mailed us explaining how their initial reaction was negative and changed to strong support upon better understanding. Their initial reaction was to sensationalist headlines and misleading reporting. They changed their minds once they visited Ashley’s blog and saw a happy and well cared for child through her photos, and then read the factual story. Many of them apologized for judging us without seeking the facts first.

CNN: Will you consider writing a book or doing a movie about Ashley?

Ashley’s parents: We are considering writing a book and/or telling our story in other ways, and we will do so only if we thought it would be helpful to other pillow angels and their families.

CNN: How has having Ashley at the center of a highly publicized, controversial medical story affected Ashley’s siblings?

Ashley’s parents: We’ve been successful at sheltering her younger sister and brother from this media frenzy. Thankfully the media and our community have been respectful of our family’s privacy.

CNN: Will you consider revealing your identity?

Ashley’s parents: At this point we feel that the blog and written interviews are a better approach, since we are dealing with complex and controversial issues that require carefulness and thoughtfulness. We will consider doing a quality interview only if we feel that it will make a material difference in helping other children and their families.

CNN: One year after going public with Ashley’s blog, was that the right thing to do?

Ashley’s parents: If we had our way, we would have chosen a more focused channel to convey our experience to medical professionals, caregivers and parents without looping the general public into the discussion; however, the story went public long before we published Ashley’s blog, and at the time we posted it there were already several articles and dozens of blogs with all kinds of misinformed opinions without the benefit of many of the facts and details of the story.

CNN: Your most important thought you’d like to convey?

Ashley’s parents: The Ashley treatment is relatively safe and has significant and lifelong benefits that can prevent serious pain and suffering and improves the quality of life for children like Ashley. The treatment was deemed appropriate and beneficial to Ashley by her parents, by her team of doctors, and by a multidisciplinary ethics committee in one of the best children’s hospitals, a committee whose mission and sole purpose is to consider what was in Ashley’s best interest. The treatment went smoothly and was successful in every way. More than 1,100 caregivers and family members with direct experience with pillow angels took the time to e-mail us with their support. Many included detailed testimonies (some are posted on Ashley’s blog) of why this treatment brings significant and direct benefits to these children.

We are in the unfortunate situation today where activists with political power and motivated by their ideology have successfully taken a potentially helpful option away from families whose pillow angels might benefit. 

A collective agenda/ideology is being shoved down the throat of all individuals with disabilities, whether it serves them as individuals or not. This is disturbing in a society that believes strongly in the well-being of children and in individual rights. Pillow angels should not be deprived of this treatment when their parents and their doctors have carefully considered the options and concluded that it would be of benefit.

Our Thoughts On The Story

Michael (This is only my own personal opinions, no one else’s): While the purpose of a website like this has been to always to look for new ways and ideas on how to increase our height, we almost never think about the reasons why any person would ever want the exact opposite effect, especially on a their own children. My initial personal response to reading this story was to raise the question “Why would any parents purposely want to stunt their own daughter’s growth?

The parents made their point that if they keep their daughter’s body in a permanent, little girl’s state, it would be better for her and they would be able to take care of her throughout their life. They note that she would always be flat chested, will never have to feel the pain of menstruation, cramping, etc. and will never go through the changes of puberty that almost all other kids will go through in their development.

Ashley’s unique situation is very sad: She can’t feed herself but is fed through a tube. She can’t walk or talk. She has never developed any of the necessary cognitive abilities to ever function properly in society.

Here parents have to do everything for her, including feed her, and change her. Her mind causes her to still be at the level of a baby, and the parents seem to only identify her as a baby. I am guessing that their reasoning is that if her brain is going to cause her to always be a baby, they should keep her body like a baby to stay congruent with her mind, to keep what they believe her identity is intact, for the rest of their lives.

In terms of the medical treatment that was done to her, she had a full hysterectomy done, had her breast buds removed, and given high dose levels of estrogen to fully ossify her bone growth.

We obviously don’t know the whole story so we are not sure if the suicide of Ashley’s endocrinologist, Dr. Gunther has any relevance to her condition. Did he feel so bad and morally responsible that he would take his own life through breaking maybe breaking the basic code of becoming a doctor, which is to do no harm? Maybe he later regretted his decision in going through with stunting the growth of Ashley so much that he couldn’t take the guilt he felt.

My opinion is that what the parents did, they did it to protect their daughter from more pain later in her life. However, I believe in the power of medical innovation. I feel that instead of trying to protect her, they should have let her grow naturally, and let her body go through the natural stages of puberty. Ashley is still young. She might live for a full 50-60 years more, even though her brain may not change much. In the next 50-60 years, there will probably be so many medical breakthroughs and changes, and people might figure out a way to help Ashley become more cognizant. If she gets the treatment and finds out that her parents 40-50 years ago purpose made sure that she would never get a normal sized body, she may hate and resent her parents for their decisions.

In the moment, when a person is a parent, the first thing they always try to do is make the decisions which will protect their children, to shield them from as much future harm as possible. The problem is that by shielding the child, they are also just pushing back the inevitable, where one day the kid they wanted to protect will have to be forced to face the real world. They should have instead focused on the future, focused on her potential, and worked on finding ways to regenerate her neural abilities, whether through stem cells or future medical research. They took the easier, and more cowardly way, because in the short term, it is the easier path to take. In the long term, it is likely that they inhibited the real possible ways for growth for Ashley for the long term, and they didn’t realize it. The way that medical breakthroughs and revolutions are made routinely these days, by the next decades, maybe there will be hope for Ashley to fix her brain.

I guess the only reason I wanted to repost this story is to give the readers something else to read and think aboutt.

How Bosnian Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic Is Still Growing At The Age Of 26

How Bosnian Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic Is Still Growing At The Age Of 26

Bosnian Goalkeeper Asmir BegovicI am not sure where I originally found this unique little story (most likely from one of the forums) but apparently the Bosnian Foutbol Goalkeeper called Asmir Begovic (currently associated with Stoke City) seems to be still growing in height, even at the age of 26.

That story was reported on the online website for the newspaper The Sentinel at

From various online sources, this goalkeeper has been listed at 1.96 meters, to 1.98 meters, to what is now being reported, 2.00 meters tall.

So what can we as researchers take away from this unique news? Is there anything useful which we can glean out of this story?

We might have to actually raise the upper age limit for when men can still possibly increase in height.

Something which I sort of figured out from reading from various height statistics websites has been that men who are ethnically from the serbian-croatian-bosnian-herzegovinian region of Europe are abnormally tall. There are even anecdotes that men from the Bosnian & Dalmatian region of Europe is even taller on average, than even their serbian and croatian neighbors. Since I’ve never been to that part of Europe before, I can’t validate this claim. We either take this claim at face value, be sceptical about it, or just keep that type of anecdotal claim in the back of our minds when we are doing our research.

This is based on personal experiences and looking at statistics on soccer players. I had this theory in my our mind that the reason why the men (and possibly also the women) seem to be so tall is because they have a longer time before cartilage ossification just last night. There was one study from PubMed which showed that prepubescent serbian (or maybe croatian) boys increased their height much more after taking a certain type of vitamin (Maybe Vitamin D??). The rate at which they increased was what surprised me, since between the age of 10 to 12, their heights shot up dramatically.

If we combine all those studies and stories together, then the idea that this Bosnian Goalkeeper named Asmir Begovic still having working growth plates doesn’t seem to be all that uncommon then. It could be that his genetics has some way to modulate (or in this case, decrease) the rate of growth plate chondrocyte senescence.

{Tyler – What’s interesting is from the picture is that he still looks skeletally and physically mature(He looks like he would have stopped growing from his facial structure)?}

I agree with Tyler that his body shape, being rather broad just that he seems to be filling out, horizontally as most men who are completely skeletally mature does during the early to late 20s.

There really is not much else we can personally say, or anything which we can recommend on how a person can change their own behavior or lifestyle habits to get the type of body physiology as this guy. It just seems to be very strange, and applies to only people who are of the serbian-croatian-bosnian descent. We’d have to do a meta-analysis study on the SNP groups for the serbo-croatian ethnicity groups of people to find anything of value, which would take too much time to do.

(Note: I am not political in nature, so I don’t wish to get into any type of heated talks about religion, politics, etc. on here about all the genocides and mass murders that was occurring in Yugoslavia-Serbia-Bosnia back in the 90s with Slobodan Milosevic & Ratko Mladić. We don’t get into those types of talks on this website)

Expectant Mothers Drinking Milk Results In Faster Growing Babies and Taller Teenagers

Expectant Mothers Drinking Milk Results In Faster Growing Babies and Taller Teenagers

Faster Growing BabiesThis post is a tip on what a mother can do to help her future children become as big as possible. A few things we’ve found before has been that babies who are born during the summer seems to grow slightly faster than babies born in the winter.

This post is a repost of multiple articles which came out in the end of last year (2013).

We refer to multiple news sites which published the exact same information



The study looked at groups of mother who drank more than 150 millilitres, roughly a quarter of a pint of milk, a day during the pregnancy compare to groups which drank less than the pint of milk. This equals to about 3 cups of milk a day.

The study is really interesting since the study managed to track most of the mothers up o a 20 year time period.

The study is entitled Maternal milk consumption, birth size and adult height of offspring: a prospective cohort study with 20 years of follow-up

It is noted by most people however that genetics will almost always overrule the effect of the milk.

What are the implications?

Something which has not been suggested by any of the journalists is the generational effect of this habit. Based on my personally experiences with meeting multiple people who have a milk allergy aka lactose intolerance, I’ve noticed that people who can’t convert the lactose in milk end up slightly shorter than their peers who can ingest the milk.

The result is that the already taller mother who can drink milk will on average have even taller kids while the already shorter mother who can’t consume milk with have her kids end up shorter. The result is that the the heights of the offsprings of the two groups of mothers, will diverge away, resulting in on group being noticeably taller than the other, as the generations go by. Of course, in the real world, you can’t segregate people based on height and we are sure that the two groups of offsprings over the generations will intermingle and mate together, normalizing out the heights so there is no bipolar distributions.

Glucosamine, Vitamin K2, and Fosamax Supplement Formulation For Height Increase

Glucosamine, Vitamin K2, and Fosamax Supplement Formulation For Height Increase

Fosamax SupplementAfter the recent look at the possibility of using Vitamin K2 and Alendronate on increasing BMD in the post “Reverse Low Bone Density aka Osteopenia Leads To Height Increase In Older Women“, we believe that taking the Glucosamine with the two compounds might have an additive effect. What we propose beside the Glucosamine Sulphate for slight height increase from our post “This Non-Prescription Supplement Has Been Scientifically Proven To Make You Grow Taller Even With Closed Growth Plates” is to now do a combination pill formulation.

Use all 3 in combination

  • Glucosamine Sulfate – 1500 mg
  • Vitamin K2 (take both MK4 and MK7) – 50 mg/day
  • Fosamax – We haven’t researched this compound yet. – This is the only compound which will require a doctor’s prescription to get.

This formulation is something which will not work for most people who have ossified cartilages. It will only work for a very small percentage of people, possibly as small as 1-3%.

Those types of people will most likely have the following traits

  • Female
  • Has a very thin body type with
  • Low on estrogen levels
  • Has low bone mineral density and possibly suffering from osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • In the mid-age range and possibly going through menopause.

Even then, this formulation should only result in maybe 1-2 cms of extra height increase. We believe that it would work on maybe just 1% of any randomly selected size group of people with all the features we have listed above.

Since most men don’t have a problem with their BMC, the formulation would be even less effective for them.

The Vitamin K2 with its ability to remove calcium deposits from in-appropriate areas of the body and redistribute the Ca to the right organs and tissue in the body suggest that is might be able to reduce the level of calcification in cartilage.

Legends On 9 Foot Tall Tibetan Lung-Gom-Pa Runners Jumping And Levitating In The Air And Himalayan Yetis

Legends On 9 Foot Tall Tibetan Lung-Gom-Pa Runners Jumping And Levitating In The Air And Himalayan Yetis

Tibetan Lung-Gom-Pa RunnersWhen I was a young kid in elementary school, and even a little in middle school I was fascinated by the occult and the paranormal. I’d try to read all the books I could in the local library about strange and supernatural phenomena.

One of the places in the world that really fascinated me was the closed off land of Tibet and Nepal. I heard so many crazy legends of how Tibet was the spiritual center of this world and about the amazing abilities that the Tibetan Yogis supposedly possessed.

There was also myths and stories about this secret Spiritual place called Shamballa or Hsi Wang Mu, or Olmolungring. There is a book called The Return of the Wisdom of the Serpents which I read a decade ago which introduced me to this alternative interpretation of historical events. Obviously most of the stories in this “paranormal” based book is completely made up in the imagination of the author, but there are some information and facts about the story which can be validated by historical facts (like dates, names, and events). It is just that the way the authors of these types of books try to connect the various events of history cause them to weave the type of story to explain everything from a mystical/occult perspective, which is not helpful for a person who was trained in the sciences.

One story which I remember quite vividly was from a unique paranormal book series. I read a very short excerpt on legends of extraordinary beings which moved around in the Himalayan Mountains. The story goes that there was a group of Western (European, British, or American) mountain hikers who were trekking through the Himalayan mountains. I would assume that maybe they were explorers from back in the late 19th century or early 20th century. They were probably part of a mountain exploration expedition.

They suddenly noticed that below where they stood, high above a mountain ledge, there seemed to be this very tall man jumping across the himalayan fields. The man who they estimated to be maybe 9 feet tall was jumping across through the himalayan mountains while gazing forward or upwards, never changing his gaze. He was described to have been jumping extremely high up in the air, and seemed to be landing slowly. It was said that this man was supposed to be levitating (or gliding) through the air. He was described to have been wearing wearing thin robes, as opposed to the thick covering most normal people would be wearing walking through the insanely freezing element of the mountains. It seemed that he did not feel the cold.

I am reminded of the ability of the Late Dr. Murdo Macdonald Bayne, who also trekked through the Himalayan in the early 20th century and claimed that he had the ability to levitate slightly, due to childhood experiences. The most famous Tibetan yogi, Milarepa was said to have learned how to perform Lung-Gom-Pa and found that he was able to cover amazing distances after he achieved a high level of spirituality.

Lung-gom-paI did not believe in that story until years later when I found out that there seems to be indeed a group of Tibetan monk runners who did this exact thing, as a form of spiritual practice. They are known as the Tibetan Lung-Gom-Pa Runners. They practice what I believe is probably the most extreme form of long distance running in the world, beyond anything that should be possible for humans. The most commonly referenced similar practice has been the Japanese Monk Marathon Runners (called Kaihogyo) of Mt. Hiei, but these Japanese Monks seem to cover only 1/10th of the distance that these Tibetan Runners cover. For further reading on these guys, read the Biography on the Monk Yusai Sakai who only recently died back in Octover of 2013. Even the newspaper The Guardian did a piece on these Japanese runners who walk around Mount Hiei. (Available Here)

It is really hard to separate the real from the fiction, the actual from the supernatural, especially in a place like Tibet, Nepal, and the Himalayan mountains since humans after thousands of years still haven’t been able to take over this most extreme of environments. Legends like Shamballa and Shangri-La have developed in the minds of the Westerners, who just a century ago thought that these remote cultures who lived tens of thousands of feet above normal sea level in the freezing Himalaya Mountain was some sort of secret location which represented some type of occult hidden dimension.

From the writings of Alexandra…

The student must sit cross-legged on a large cushion. He inhales and allows his body to fill with air. Then holding his breath, he jumps up with legs still crossed using no hands to support him. He repeats this always remaining in the same position. This method enables them to become extremely light, almost weightless. “The lung-gom method does not aim at training the disciple by strengthening his muscles, but by developing in him psychic states that make these extraordinary marches possible.”

Only after years of drilling oneself with different types of breathing exercises are they permitted to attempt the actual racing performance itself. When he finally reaches this point in time, he must completely concentrate on the walk, the in and out breathing rhythm, always looking ahead, never speaking. He can not be distracted by anything and must keep his eyes fixed on a single object.

The best conditions for their runs are flat plains, desert spaces, and evening twilight. Even after walking for miles or days, when the evening has been reached, the tiredness of the run subsides and the lung-gom-pa runner and continue on for miles more. During their runs, they are continually told to keep their eyes fixed on a particular star. Some float through the air so much, that they wear heavy chains around their bodies so that he is not in danger of floating in the air.


At this point, it is probably very important that we as scientific research take great effort in being able to separate the real from the crazy, the possible from the impossible, and somehow try to make a real effort to not turn this type of extreme event and reframe it into some type of mystical or spiritual thing. We have to be aware that there is going to be some things which will sound too fantastic to believe.

While our effort is to figure out how does the body increase in height, it is also interesting to look at the phenomena of levitation, which many people have claimed these Tibetan Yogis can perform.

Tibetan Marathon RunnersWe refer to the picture to the right, which was taken from the 14th page of the website/magazine Oct 2011 Issue. The 1 page excerpt talks about these tibetan runners.

Apparently before the Chinese Occupation of Tibet, the Lung-Gom-Pa Runners were only trained in two Buddhist Monestaries…

  • Nyang-To Kyi Phug Monestary – this is supposed to be near a place called Shigatse)
  • Samding Monestary

Two Westerns have documented this meditation practice. They are…

  1. Lama Anagarika Govinda, a German-born Buddhist monk (traveled through Tibet in 1947) – wrote about it in his memoir The Way of the White Clouds (Full Text Available Here)
  2. Alexandra David-Neel, an early 20th-century French explorer, was the first European woman to reach Lhasa, Tibet’s remote and forbidden capital. The surreal encounter is recounted in her memoir Magic and Mystery in Tibet. She managed to stumble across a working lung-gom-pa while crossing a remote Tibetan plateau in 1924

The claim is that these runners are supposed to be able to cover 200 miles within a span of 48 hours within rest. The training is supposed to take on average 3-7 years. You give up your previous life completely (including one’s name) and go into a cave to do meditations, visualizations, and breathing patterns. Over time, you are supposed to leap into the air in the lotus position, and when the tibetan yogi is supposed to drop back down, the descent is slowed down. That is the phenomena known as levitation.

It is very similar to what we see in the early levels of Transcendental Meditation taught by Maharishi Ramana back in the 60s and 70s where the Indian Spiritual Guru claimed that after one reaches a certain level, one would be able to levitate.

To get more information on the exact way that these TIbetan Yogis learn this skill, refer to the article entitled Lung-gom-pa Runners of Tibet


If these claims about how a fellow human is able to run for days without any food or water covering hundreds of miles is indeed valid, human nutritionists would need to reconsider their previous judgements on the limits of the human body.

It is my personal belief that although there might some level of superstition that has permiated completely though the Tibetan culture, some of the claims made by this yogis that reside in the Himalayas may be true. We saw a few years ago about a Boy who called himself a student of the Dharma who showed that he could fast for weeks on end without eating or drinking anything. People around the world called himself the Buddha boy (Wikipedia article on him here) but that would be extremely inaccurate since to label a person a buddha is to say that they have reached the end of their samsaric existence, which is not true.

I have never been able to find the source of where it was said that these Lung-Gom-Pa runners were supposed to be 9 feet tall however it might be that Alexandra’s writings had became re-written many times over throughout the centuries. Is it possible that somehow these Tibetan Monks figured out a way to increase their size as well as learn the skill of levitation? It seems possible, since one of the earliest posts I ever wrote for the website was about the claims of how certain mystic yogis in ancient india was able to perform what are known as Siddhis or super-natural feats. It was entitled Growing Taller By Using Yogic Siddhis. In traditional Hindu Yoga legend, Patanjali was said to have claimed that the spiritual seeker can perform either 8 or 9 main siddhis. One of them is called MADALASA VIDYA or Mahima Siddhi. This power allows for the person to increase their size to be as large as possible.

I had claimed back then that if there is any validity to this claim, then we the person who is performing yoga could at a high enough spiritual attainment and level be able to increase the size of their body. That would explain why the source I remember had the writer say that these Tibetan Lung-Gom-Pa runners seemed to be gigantic in size.

The Yeti

The other most common legend on the Himalayan Mountains about some type of abnormally tall humanoid creatures is the Yeti aka Abdominal Snowman. Is it real or a type of hallucination due maybe from lack of oxygen by climbers? The last I checked after reading over the real scientific research, the best explanation is that the Himalayan Brown Bear, which has a brown coat of fur, is the real culprit for the yeti sightings. What the western mountain climbers actually saw was not some 8 feet tall ancient, hidden ape as some cryptozoologists believe, but actually a bear. For proof on this claim that the Yeti is the Himalayan Bear, refer to the book Abominable Science!: Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids.

We do note that one of the authors of this “scientific” book on mythical creatures is Michael Shermer, who has been the leader and main writer for the Magazine Sceptic for the last few decades. His campaign along with the illusionist James Randi has been to debunk all claims about the supernatural, paranormal ,and the occult, so there is some level of bias in the book to try to explain away all legends as tricks of the mind (as fellow non-believer Derren Brown likes to put it).

Programmable 3D Printers Creating New Epiphyseal Growth Plate Cartilage As Interchangeable Body Parts

Programmable 3D Printers Creating New Epiphyseal Growth Plate Cartilage As Interchangeable Body Parts

Programmable 3D PrintersNote: This will be the last of a series of really long posts I have been writing for this past month. I realize that some of the post I did this month have been extremely long. I need to personally take a break away from the insane speed of writing I’ve done for this website, and will give the research responsibilities to Tyler for the next coming 2 months. The monthly reports will continue though. I am going to diverge a little away from the research when I come back in May since I wanted to expand a little on the subjects I wanted to add onto this website. 

In a recently Youtube Video I watched where the Venture Capitalist Steve Jurvetson was being interviewed by entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, they started to get into talks about some of the companies that Jurvetson has invested in over the last 20 years. His vision is that in the next few decades, the biotech, nanotech, and IT fields will somehow start to merge into one multidisciplinary field which has full of potential for disruptive innovation and technologies. The idea that the field of biology, computer science, and the shrinking of the devices we can design suggest a few ideas which I wanted to propose to the readers of this blog. (I have put the video below)

(Note: I’ve been a huge fan of Steve Jurvetson for years now and after finding this recent article by Eliezer_Yudkowsky on Steve in the post Competent Elites I think it is safe to say that he is one of those people which has a g factor that is far higher than most people in the world based on his academic pedigree. Interestingly, I somehow managed to get to that article from the blog Information Processing run by Stephen Hsu, who seems to enjoy talking about intelligence and the elitism associated with going to good universities. It is really interesting to read about the inner mechanics of what happens in the higher institutions of society. But that is a conversation for another day.)

Something that he did mentioned/reference in other videos I’ve seen him in, like in Google Talks and Entrepreneurship & Startup Business Conferences has been this seminal work entitled The Law of Accelerating Returnswritten by Ray Kurzweil back in 2001. I spent a full hour dissecting that particular piece of analysis to get a vague idea of how a person should understand the process of the growth of technology and innovation, and what might be expected in the coming decades.

It is really worth the time of the readers of this website to see what the Singularity University (or even the idea of the Technology Singularity) is all about. At the rate at which technology is completely overtaking almost all areas and aspects of our lives, there may come a point within the next century where the vast majority of people will no longer have jobs since they are completely done by robots which have intelligence and capabilities which far outstrip our own.

He also mentioned Kathleen Eisenhardt who is a Professor at the School of Engineering in Stanford University and also the annual retreat by Google called the Google X Retreat and Larry Page’s personal desire to beat death itself in starting Calico, which is supposed to do breakthrough research to help people increase their longevity.

So what does all of that have to do with what we are trying to figure out, which is a way to increase our height?

Well, there was some mention of the disruptive technology of 3D Printers. At some point before, I’ve written a short post on the possibility of using Electro-Spinning and growing cartilage tissue in a culture dish Increase Height And Grow Taller Through Bioprinting And Electrospinning. There was a famous picture I had on that post, of a fully regrown ear which I will post below. Ear is made from fibrocartilage. Fibrocartilage is not the same type of cartilage found in growth plates but it would not be that hard to make 3D models of other types of cartilage.

Interchangeable Body Parts

When I get back to the States, specifically Seattle in a few months, I am going to plan to look into the possibility of starting a small corporation to obtain laboratory equipment from the local University of Washington Surplus Store. Over time I am interested in buying a fully functioning 3-D Printer, and getting the neccessary tissue engineering cultures to print out unique batched of human tissue.

I want to personally try to run my own lab in house to test the viability of growing human tissue, specifically neural and chondrogenic tissue. I fully believe that with the right type of chemical compound like Thyroxine we can get the chondrocytes to be align properly, forming one of the key layers for growth plate formation, for easy implantation of cartilage tissue between bone segments.

I would like to refer to the article from Live Sciences “3D Printing Aims to Deliver Organs on Demand“. They talk about how the level of difficulty in reconstructing different types of tissue and organs can be divided into 4 groups.

  • 1st Level (Easiest to build): Flat structures with mostly one type of cell, such as human skin, represent the easiest organs to make
  • 2nd Level (Still somewhat easy): Tubular structures with two major cell types, such as blood vessels, pose a greater challenge
  • 3rd Level (Medium in difficulty): Hollow organs such as the stomach or bladder, each with more complicated functions and interactions with other organs
  • 4th Level (Extremely complex): Fourth level of complexity includes organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys — the ultimate goal for bioprinting pioneers

We briefly mentioned Anthony Atala (Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C) before in the last post about using 3D printers to be used for bio-printing and electro-spinning. He founded the company Tengion to look into the various ways to regenerate the types of tissues in the human body.

From the article….

  • Regenerative medicine has already implanted lab-grown skin, tracheas and bladders into patients — body parts grown slowly through a combination of artificial scaffolds and living human cells
  • “Atala’s group previously built lab-grown organs by creating artificial scaffolds in the shape of the desired organ and seeding the scaffold with living cells”
  • “The ability to print full-size functioning organs depends on figuring out how to seed 3D-printed organs with both large and small blood vessels that can supply nutrient-rich blood to keep living tissue healthy. So far, no lab has succeeded in 3D-printing organs with the network of blood vessels necessary to sustain them.”

It is my belief that the entire structure and form of most growth plates would put the level of difficulty in creating such a cell in scaffold structure to be in just the 1st level of difficulty. Most growth plates are only about 2 cm thick, even among the youngest of children. That thickness can be modeled easily by a 3D bioprinter. The way that bio-printers work is from depositing layers and layers of cell culture/alginate/hydrogel/scaffold on top of each other, dispersing the live cells of various types evenly distributed over the previous layer.

After the cartilage layer has been created to be similar in shape & form to the normal cartilages, we would test the material strength and properties of the home-grown tissue. Over time, we will put it to structural tests over its tensile strength and compressive strength. It will have to be able to withstand

It is my hope that within 5 years, we would be able to test the idea on humans. I would personally put my own body to the test, wherein I would get one of my fingers to be fractured/cut and have the cartilage implanted to show that implantation of mass bio-printed growth plates would lead to the bones regrowing in length again in the natural process.

We refer to the person to read the following posts below which shows why this idea is completely valid…

From reading over the various groups of surgeons who already tried the physeal transplantation on children who might have had some type of tumor on the growth plate cartilage, after the excision of the tumor, they replaced the tissue area with the cartilage. The major problem has been on how do the surgeons get the implanted cartilage to become vascularized. Our biggest technical problem will most likely be on how do we make sure that the cartilage tissue that we print out gets the micro-blood vessels to run through the cartilage, which is supposed to be semi-anaerobic in nature. One group used something known as  microsurgical anastomoses, which we havent’ done any research on yet.