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Take a break: procrastination found to bolster productivity
While the act of procrastination is viewed by many as something highly unacceptable, a trait of the lazy and easily-bored in society, research shows that it may actually lead to increased productivity.
Professor and procrastination expert Piers Steel, Ph.D, gathered 24 participants and divided them in two groups in an effort to assess whether delaying tasks helped or hindered their completion.
News, lead articles, and stories covering a wide range of heatlh matters.
to help yourself
Back Pain Costs.
Do this for yourself
©David Passmore 2019
Imag - Grays Anatomy
Happiness spreads but depression doesn't
Having friends who suffer from depression doesn't affect the mental health of others, according to research led by the University of Warwick............
Vitamin C has a patchy history as a cancer therapy, but researchers at the University of Iowa believe that is because it has often been used in a way that guarantees failure.
Most vitamin C therapies involve taking the substance orally. However, UI scientists have shown that giving vitamin C (also known as ascorbate) intravenously—thus bypassing normal gut metabolism and excretion pathways—creates blood levels that are 100 to 500 times higher than levels seen with oral ingestion. It is this super-high concentration in the blood that is crucial to vitamin C’s ability to attack cancer cells.
Depression has become an all too common condition in recent times. Despite its prevalence, however, pharmaceutical companies have failed to come up with a safe and effective way to address it. Lots of people think they either have to live with their negative feelings or accept the possibly deadly side effects that come with antidepressant use, but there are some natural remedies that can be surprisingly effective – and one of the best may prove to be curcumin.
A compound in the turmeric spice, curcumin is a bit of an overachiever in the health realm, grabbing headlines for its benefits in fighting everything from cancer to memory to arthritis. However, for many people, one of its most exciting benefits is its power to help fight depression.
I have written elsewhere on this site about the role of the mind in sickness and in health and for me, this is an area just crying out for research.
My own experience through the daily practice of meditation with conscious breathing over the years, has led me to conclude that the use of my conscious mind on my cancer helps me enormously to cope with the fears of its possible consequences, which was, and still is, a major motivating factor to maintain the discipline of a daily regime to control and manage what I eat, drink, think and do.
This article was brilliantly written in 2005 and published in 2006.
It is as true now as it was then.
A few snippets for you ...
Regional back pain intrudes into the life of healthy working age people for no particular reason. It is painful, noxious and trying. Regardless of the degree to which it hurts or overwhelms, regional back pain is normal. It is an obligate, frequent, intermittent and remittent predicament of life. It is no more abnormal than cold symptoms, headache, heartache, heartburn, and many other common conditions. Regional back pain has, however, come to hold a special place in the fabric of morbidity; it supports an attributional narrative.....
...Yet, treatments for back pain are wont to focus exclusively on the spine. This treatment focus is the patient’s expectation when seeking care, and it is the approach purveyed by most chosen professionals. The clinical contract demands specific treatment for the cause of the pain. Such a treatment act rests on the shakiest of scientific grounds; there is no compelling, consistent scientific evidence to support specific treatments for regional backache in the people who choose to be patients. It unsurprisingly follows that the response of these patients to such primary care treatment acts is anything but dramatic.
,,, The culprit lurks in an adverse psychosocial context of work, not simply, if at all, the physical demands of tasks.
...If workers were provided the opportunity to labor in a context that is comfortable when they are well and accommodating when they are not, a discussion of the socioeconomics of backache would reflect the triumph of an enlightened society. As it stands now, the worker who finds their next backache disabling is faced with a costly and iatrogenic vortex...
Which basically means back pain costs and the treatments on offer don't always work satisfactorily for very long.
People with shoulder pain who expect physiotherapy to help them are likely to have a better recovery than those who expect only minimal or no improvement, according to our latest study. We also found that people are likely to have a better recovery if they are confident they will be able to continue doing things that are important to them, such as socialising, hobbies and work.
Shoulder pain affects people of all ages and can become persistent. Injury and overuse are common causes of shoulder pain, but sometimes the cause is unclear. It can disturb sleep, interfere with work, leisure and everyday activities like washing and dressing. Exercise, prescribed by physiotherapists, is an effective treatment for shoulder pain, but not everyonebenefits from physiotherapy.
Researchers from the University of East Anglia and the University of Hertfordshire in the south-east of England, together with local physiotherapists, wanted to find out more about the characteristics of people who benefit from physiotherapy compared with those who continue to experience persistent pain and disability.
Knowing the outcome is important for people with shoulder pain as it helps them decide whether or not to pursue a course of physiotherapy.
Our study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, included 1,030 peopleattending physiotherapy for musculoskeletal shoulder pain in 11 NHS trusts across the east of England. We collected information on 71 patient characteristics, such as age, lifestyle and medical history, and clinical examination findings before and during the patients’ first physiotherapy appointment.
A total of 811 people provided information on their shoulder pain and function six months later.
Not everyone benefits from exercise to ease shoulder pain.
What surprised us was that patients who had said they expected to “completely recover” as a result of physiotherapy did even better than patients who expected to “much improve”.
The most important predictor of outcome was the person’s pain and disability at the first appointment. Higher levels of pain and disability were associated with higher levels six months later. And lower baseline levels were associated lower levels six months later. But this relationship often changed for people who had high “pain self-efficacy”, that is, confidence in the ability to carry on doing most things, despite having shoulder pain.
Another surprise finding was that people with high baseline pain and disability, but with high levels of pain self-efficacy did as well as, and sometimes better than, people with low baseline pain and disability and low pain self-efficacy.
First study of its kind
This is the first study to investigate patient expectations of the outcome of physiotherapy for shoulder pain. Earlier research shows that high patient expectation of recovery predicts a better outcome following physiotherapy for back pain and neck pain, and a better outcome following orthopaedic surgery.
On a similar note, this is the first study to show that higher pain self-efficacy predicts a better outcome in non-surgically managed shoulder pain. Previous research has shown that self-efficacy predicts a better outcome for a range of other health conditions. Also, people with higher self-efficacy are more likely to do the home-exercise programme suggested by their physiotherapist.
If you have shoulder pain, there are several ways to increase your pain self-efficacy. Work with your physiotherapist to understand and manage your symptoms. Practice your exercises together and ask your physiotherapist for feedback, including how to adjust your exercises to make them harder or easier. Finally, make sure you discuss what you want with your physiotherapy and the activities that are important to you.
Medicine is undergoing an existential crisis today. Its core value proposition – to help and not hurt -- is failing to manifest. Patients are suffering. Doctors are suffering.
The only exuberant party on the battlefield against disease is the pharmaceutical industry. An industry whose annual casualties far exceed the death total from our two decade long involvement in the Vietnam war.
The entire system is on the precipice of a collapse, if not for economic reasons alone, then certainly for ethical and intellectual ones.
The irony is that the system has become so ineffective and dangerous that avoiding medical treatment (excluding perhaps emergency care) has become one of if not the best healthcare strategy you can implement to protect your health and well-being.
Nowhere is this clearer than in the realm of cancer.
If medicine makes it through the birth process of its own existential crises, these principles will invoke an entirely new medical model where the placebo effect is not to be "controlled for," but liberated and expanded by educating the patient to the fact that they can and do heal themselves, mainly by avoiding medical treatment and doing the right amount of nothing.
Food has been the medicine of humanity since the dawn of time. Many herbs that we associate only with seasoning our food are, in fact, potent herbal medicines.
The distinction between herbal food and herbal medicine is actually quite subjective. There is a wide area of overlap with the two categories. If you think of all the plants we consume, for whatever purpose, as being on a spectrum, from food on one end, to medicine on the other, you will see what I mean. On the food end would be plants like potatoes and carrots- potentially medicinal, but mild and safe. The other end of the spectrum contains medicine plants like opium poppy and foxglove, the source of digitalis- definitely not food, but clearly serious medicine.
The gray area is in the middle. Take echinacea. None of us would consider sitting down to a delicious bowl of echinacea soup. Yuck. But you could. And it would be safe. How about parsley? In a salad, it’s a food. Used as a juice to treat edema, it’s a medicine.
The truth is, herbal medicines have about the same chemical components as food plants. Herbal medicines are just selected from plants that have greater concentrations of active ingredients, making them more convenient to use.
European herbal medicine, the tradition from which contemporary American herbalism mainly derives, does not see much overlap between food plants and herbal medicines. Foods you eat, spices make the food taste better, and herbal medicine you take in a tincture. Asian medical systems, however, make no distinction between the two. Food is just less concentrated herbal medicine, and every meal is viewed as a chance to get in more healing herbs. In fact, the Chinese word for the medicinal brew that people use daily to maintain their health is “soup.”
The complex cuisines of China and India began, thousands of years ago, as recipes to get healing herbs and foods into people. Gradually, as the process evolved, complicated mixtures of food ingredients, herbal medicines, and flavorings coalesced into a tasty amalgam that warms the soul, heals the body, and pleases the palate.
For example, Indian food typically starts with a combination, a “masala”, of onions, garlic, ginger, and other various spices, selected for their medicinal virtues, and taste. Since many of these herbs can cause gas, additional herbs, such as fennel and coriander seeds, are added to counteract that tendency. Ginger and mustard, for example, speed up the digestive process, so that the meal is efficiently processed and moved through the digestive tract.
Although the list of herbal medicine foods is huge, here is a selection of remedies that are easy to find, and particularly effective.
The carrot and parsley family (Umbelliferae), in particular, is a huge source of edible plants and good tasting medicines. These plants grow all over the world, and are used in a broad range of cultures. This group of plant medicines has unusual chemistry, so they make their way into the kitchens and medicine chests of many native medical systems. The seeds are typically the medicinal part, but various parts are used, depending on the plant. Some well-known members of this family include parsley, coriander (cilantro is coriander greens), fennel, anise, cumin, and dill.
Plants in this family contain compounds that act like calcium channel blockers, benefiting angina. Herbs in this family generally have estrogenic action, especially the seeds. The popular Chinese herb dong quai is in this family. These parsley relatives are prized around the world for treating intestinal gas, a property herbalists call “carminative.”
Karta Purkh Khalsa
Adapted from A Mind of Your Own: How Women Can Heal Their Bodies to Reclaim Their Lives by Kelly Brogan, MD
The book is worth a good read in its own right and it comes from a highly respected source.
A SILENT TRAGEDY IS HAPPENING in modern health care in America, but it is rarely discussed. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—prescription pills. More than 30 million of us take antidepressants, including one in four women over the age of 40. Millions more are tempted to try them to end distress, irritability, and emotional “offness”—an exhausting inner agitation that seems impossible to shake.
Down load the pdf below - its free.
Go to the FREE Podcast page and learn how to do Conscious Breathing and Meditation Made Simple - both of which help with depression.