Nourishing your relationship
on all of these levels
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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.
Mind your Back
©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 still applies today.
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.
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.
These 5 words of this headline, were taken from a chapter heading in R H Blyth’s beautiful collection - Zen in the Art of English Literature - first published in 1942 by Hokuseido Press in Japan.
It was true then as it is true now.
How we think affects everything we do and when it comes to chronic sickness, our minds play a pivotal role.
In the preface to their 1986 book, The Healing Brain - Robert Ornstein and David Sobel, simply stated “the brain minds the body”. (They didn't apologise for the pun).
They wrote of the pharmacy within - “the continuous flow of chemical messages, neurotransmitters and neurohormones - produced and secreted by the brain to organs that require them - where the brain is able to control precisely the dosage and timing of the release of it s own drugs to maximise specific desired effects and minimise side effects”. And of course now we know so much more of the role of the hormone producers - the endocrine glands - not just in the brain, but in the body also.
Scientists from Candace Pert to Guilia Enders, have paved the way towards closing the gap between the brain and gastrointestinal tract and how these two seemingly separate entities of human physiology, in fact almost operate as one.
All of this physiological activity occurs at the subconscious level - we are mostly not conscious of this happening at the time it does - as we consciously go about our business of the day and the night. Your auto-pilot is your sub-conscious brain - its massive and is much more powerful than your conscious brain, moat of the time.
When your flight or fight response is triggered - it is done so by your amygdala in your old hind brain - now known as your limbic system - long before the conscious brain kicks in.
The amygdala acts as a kind of sentry and when it feels something is wrong, it quickly alerts the attention centres in the prefrontal cortex - the conscious brain - to do something, at times, very quickly indeed.
But your conscious brain can and does teach your sub-conscious brain how to doe things.
Remember when you began to learn to drive a car, trying to coordinate your hands, arms, legs, feet and eyes? All over the place, probably. And now? You don’t even think about how to drive anymore - you just do it, or rather your auto-pilot takes over that task for you while you plan your route and have a chat with whoever is with you.
And the same goes for most motor skills you have acquired over the years - you just get on and ‘do’ them, don’t you?
But what happens when you turn your conscious mind or brain to a particular exercise?
Last year I wrote an article entitled - Healthy Thinking - What part does the mind play in sickness and in health?
In it I wrote of the fantastical studies conducted by Ian Robertson and Norman Doidge, in which seemingly unbelievable results were achieved and observations made, by the mind-body syndrome - what I call the BodyMind.
As we are all now pretty well aware, the conscious mind, at a certain level of heightened awareness, is capable of controlling the sub-conscious mind for short periods of time, and of training it to perform functions automatically.
Jonathan Haidt coined the useful analogy of the Rider (conscious mind) and the Elephant (sub-conscious mind), in his book The Happiness Hypothesis - the explanation of the never ending relationship between the power of reason in the conscious mind and the instinctive power of the sub-conscious mind.
And how much better it was for both, when they agreed to work together.
So, what if our larger sub-conscious mind, were not only able to utilise the inner pharmacy of endorphins and endocrine glands it possesses, but in collaboration with our smaller conscious mind, was able to utilise ingested natural ingredients to target specific locations in the body and assist the healing process in chronic diseases?
This is exactly what I did, which lay at the very core of my daily protocol. And its not just having the "right mindset", or "getting your mind round your cancer" - it is getting your conscious mind into it - at the cellular level.
Which means having total belief in what you are doing.