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Showing posts from April, 2016

May 2016 Planetary Report

May is the perfect month to plan, research, contemplate, and engage in some inner soul searching.

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May 2016 Pet Horoscopes

Expect Taurus pet to be light loving, happy and bright this month.

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Friend Is Going ‘Crazy’

I am really scared as my friend has started saying some really weird things like that I am going to hell and that someone close to me will turn on me which will cause me to go to hell and sometimes she goes into this trance and starts talking to someone like someone else is there when there is none she also says that she is part of another realm called the shadow realm and will just randomly be like we have to go its not safe here they are after us she also said that she is the daughter of the devil and when she was at my house she said that her dad was there and she started to talk to him as if he was there I am really worried and don’t know what to do. This has freaked me out so much that I don’t want to be her friend anymore.A. You should immediately tell your parents and her parents about your concerns. Tell them everything you’ve written about in this letter and anything else you think would help. Her parents may not be aware of her problems. They need to know what is wrong so th…

Early Autism Diagnoses Can Bring Earlier Intervention

A change in guidelines on when children should be screened for autism means earlier diagnoses, which leads to earlier intervention.That’s the takeaway from a new study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting.According to researchers, children with autism who were born before the 2007 recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that all children be screened for the disorder at the 18- and 24-month well child visits were diagnosed significantly later than they are today.For the study, the researchers compared two groups of children initially diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) between 2003 and 2012 at a university-affiliated developmental center in the Bronx. The first group were those born before 2005, a pivotal year because children born then would have been 24 months old when the AAP recommendation was issued, while the second group was born in 2005 or later.What the researchers discovered is that the average age of diagnosis for those born…

Junk Food Junkies Go Healthy for Long-Term Rewards

A new study at Cornell University finds that junk food junkies are more likely to buy healthy food when it comes with a long-term reward incentive. In fact, receiving a future reward appears even more effective than an immediate price reduction of equal value.Now that obesity is one of our nation’s biggest health concerns, nutrition advocates are calling for fast-food restaurants, schools and food providers to promote the sale of salads and vegetables as alternatives to burgers and fries.According to the researchers, the most effective strategy for influencing such healthy food choices is not calorie counts and reduced prices, but rather more subtle incentives that reward healthy eating behavior.The researchers observed the effects of two types of reward-based programs: one group of customers earned reward points redeemable for later purchases and the other group received price discounts effective immediately.In one experiment, a reward-point group of customers was told they would rec…

Do All the Different Medications Make It Worse?

From Switzerland: My story began in 1999 at the age of 29, when I was diagnosed with depression and agoraphobia. In the years between now and then I struggled with various prescriptions. The „protagonist“ was always a SSRI. I tested around six of them. Then of course after the severe anxieties and panic attacks they gave me bezodiazepine Lorazepam (named Temesta), where soon I was addicted to and still am.Now, after all these tests (been with several psychiatrists and therapies) and ups and downs, my lastest internist together with my latest psychiatrist prescribed the following:
1 SSRI (duloxetin: Cymbalta), 1 atypical antipsychotics (quetiapinum: Seroquel XR), 1 antiepileptics (pregabalinum: Lyrica) and of course Lorazepam (Temesta) on own need (ie. on reserve, presently up to 4mg/day).When I now say, that I feel like “poisoned” (and that’s not just because of all the other medications I take because of the side effects), I am sure you understand what I mean.Throughout the years I a…

What Helps Kids Thrive in Face of Adversity?

New research shows that certain family, social and community supports may boost a child’s chances of thriving in the face of adversity.According to researchers, people who experience four or more adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), such as economic hardship, exposure to violence, or the death of a loved one, are more likely to have lasting physical and mental health problems.But a new research abstract presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies 2016 Meeting identifies several protective factors to help children avoid those problems.For the study, researchers analyzed data from the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, in an attempt to gauge children’s health and well-being, physical, emotional and behavioral health indicators, family context and neighborhood environment.“We focused on questions about ACEs exposure, but also family, social and community assets that could serve to moderate that risk or enhance resili…

Tonyehn Verkitis from Eco-Arts Living

Tonyehnis the owner of Eco-Arts Living. Eco-Arts Living is aboutinterconectedness, living with wholeheartedness and meaning, andthe lives we want versus the lives WE CREATE for ourselves.  We spend too much time focusing on what we don’t have the time, the skillor the money to do.  Life is about making the time, finding the space and doing your best.Tonyehnis an avid gardener, foodie and prior restaurant reviewer, and sits on the board of The Greenhouse Project.

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Why Do I Have Cravings to Poison My Body?

From Sweden: So, I suffer from mild depression and severe social anxiety, and this past year I’ve been craving caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol even though I have never tried the two last ones and I always hated caffeine. I cut sugar from my diet almost entirely. I cannot stomach sugary things and instead I crave anything that’d somehow poison my body. The cravings are worse and worse and I told my therapist about this so I’ll be taking medication to stop the cravings, but I wonder why does this happen? It’s not like I’ve been drinking or smoking or even drinking that much coffee before so how come I can physically crave them? Does it have something to do with taking the psychological pain away? If yes then why am I able to crave it physically.A: Thank you for reaching out with your question, but I do not think this is about you wanting to poison yourself. There are two things I would encourage you to get more information on. The first is about your depression. You live in a country w…

Observing Parents Accept Failure Helps Kids Develop Mindset of Perpetual Learner

Teaching kids that they need to be a life-long learners is not an easy task. Even more difficult may be instilling an appreciation in children that failure is often a way we learn.New research suggests parents’ beliefs about whether failure is a good or a bad thing can guide how their children think about their own intelligence.Investigators found that it’s parents’ responses to failure, and their beliefs about intelligence, that are ultimately absorbed by their kids.“Mindsets — children’s belief about whether their intelligence is just fixed or can grow — can have a large impact on their achievement and motivation,” explains psychological scientist Kyla Haimovitz of Stanford University, first author on the study.“Our findings show that parents can endorse a growth mindset but they might not pass it on to their children unless they have a positive and constructive reaction to their children’s struggles.”Despite considerable research on mindsets, scientists have found little evidence t…

E-Cigs Can ‘Radically’ Reduce Death, Illness Caused by Tobacco Smoking

In a new report, experts assert that electronic cigarettes are able to significantly lower the chances of death and illness caused by Britain’s biggest killer — tobacco. Professor John Britton at the University of Nottingham and his colleagues point out that nicotine causes little if any harm on its own and that it is the carcinogens, carbon monoxide and thousands of other toxins in tobacco smoke that kill. Their findings are published in the journal The BMJ.Reviewing a new report by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) on the role of e-cigarettes in tobacco harm reduction, the authors write that e-cigs and other non-tobacco nicotine products “offer the potential to radically reduce harm from smoking in our society. This is an opportunity that should be managed, and taken.”The authors explain that, although cigarette smoking has declined in recent decades, there are still nearly nine million smokers in the UK, a high percentage of whom are among the most disadvantaged in society. Smo…

Risky Drivers Have Distinct Emotional Profiles

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and injury among people under the age of 35 accounting for around 5 million casualties every year. Sadly, repeat offenders are common and are often minimally responsive to education and prevention efforts.As such, McGill University researchers believe a better understanding of the subconscious and emotional processes of high-risk drivers could make a difference.In a study focusing on repeat drunk driving and speeding offenders, researchers discovered each of these forms of risky drivers have a distinct behavioral, personality and neurobiological profiles.“Surprisingly, these drivers usually don’t consider themselves as risk takers,” says lead author Thomas G. Brown, an assistant professor of psychiatry at McGill and researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute in Montreal.“If drivers don’t believe they are risky, they will not accept the need to change. On the other hand, if we and they don’t understand their behav…

My Son Is Showing Strange Symptoms

My 13 year old son has been before diagnosed with GAD, but recently he has been very depressed for most of the time, and only ever showing signs of happiness when he has food or toys. He spends most of his time alone, but his grades are fine. He never really wants to leave the house, and he never wants to socialize with his friends anymore. 2 years ago he switched to a private school for middle school, and we thought smaller classes would be better for him participating, but he is now detached from all his friends. Also, he gets very angry for no reason at me or my husband or people that have not directly done anything to harm him. He can get angry from the slightest thing. He seems to have trouble sleeping, and he says it is from thinking of something really said or worrying, and he cannot stop thinking about it. Girls do not hang out with him, but with many of the richer more popular boys, they like. He used to love doing a lot of things that he does not find enjoyment in anymore, a…

Ocean Views Relieve Stress

Maybe owning some ocean-front property is not such a bad idea. Actually, property with a view of the ocean will suffice as new research suggests an ocean view relieves stress.The Michigan State study is the first to find a link between health and the visibility of water, which the researchers call blue space.“Increased views of blue space is significantly associated with lower levels of psychological distress,” said Amber L. Pearson, assistant professor of health geography. “However, we did not find that with green space.”Using various topography data, the researchers studied the visibility of blue and green spaces from residential locations in Wellington, New Zealand, an urban capital city surrounded by the Tasman Sea on the north and the Pacific Ocean on the south.Green space includes forests and grassy parks.To gauge psychological distress, the researchers analyzed data from the New Zealand Health Survey. The national survey used the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale, or K10, wh…

What to do About Online Troublemakers?

A new UK investigation of online troublemakers discovers the perpetrators are often socially well connected. As a result, some Facebook users remain friends online with troublemakers because they are worried about the repercussions if they ‘unfriend’ them.Sarah Buglass, a PhD student in the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University will presented her research this week at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference in Nottingham.The issue of online troublemaking is a growing concern as more people use online social networks as a focal point for social relationships.“People are spending more and more time online making them more vulnerable to potentially damaging social tension and disagreements. Our study explored the characteristics of people who might be more likely to cause this sort of trouble in an online social network,” explains Buglass.The researchers analyzed the online relationship characteristics of 5,113 network contacts from 52 Facebook users (13 …

New Mayo Clinic Book Guides Women through Menopause with Clinically Proven, Practical Advice

ROCHESTER, Minn. — As preteens, girls often take health classes to teach them about their changing bodies during puberty. For moms-to-be, classes deal with pregnancy and newborn care. Yet, few classes are offered about menopause, a part of life that 6,000 U.S. women reach every day. A new book released today aims to address that [...]

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Too Extreme and Frequent Mood Swings

From India: Sometimes I feel so energetic, fresh, free and confident, I could say anything to anyone without hesitation. These are the times when I wonder why I ever get sad. But when I do get down, it’s intolerable, I feel desperate, restless, nauseated, I feel my stomach churning, a gut wrench, I cannot sleep, I keep turning, I get suicidal thoughts such that I often plan my suicide, I wish to cry and just keep sleeping. Right now, I’m feeling such a low, but a mere 3 hours ago, I was something else, I was dancing. I wouldn’t wish to self diagnose and I believe that Bipolar doesn’t have such quick and frequent swings.A: Thank you for writing. You’re correct. It’s not a good idea to diagnose yourself. And I can’t do it on the basis of a letter. Do see a mental health counselor for a thorough evaluation. You deserve to know what you are dealing with. Although Bipolar is a possibility, there may be medical or other psychological reasons for your feelings and behaviors.Just for your inf…

Mindfulness Cognitive Therapy Shown to Lower Risk of Depression Relapse

New research finds significant benefit in the use of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to reduce the risk of depression relapse.The mindfulness-based cognitive therapy approach was compared to usual care with the results comparable to other active treatments, as measured over a five month period.Recurrent depression is a serious issues as it causes significant disability. Interventions that prevent depressive relapse could help reduce the burden of this disease.A growing body of research suggests mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) is efficacious.In the study, researchers reviewed the results of analyses of individual patient data from nine published randomized trials of MBCT. The analyses included 1,258 patients with available data on relapse and examined the efficacy of MBCT compared with usual care and other active treatments, including antidepressants.From the review, Willem Kuyken, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford, England, and coauthors report MBCT was associated with…

Genetics May Show Who Benefits from Exercise for Depression

For some people with depression, an exercise prescription may one day take the place of a pharmacological remedy, suggests a new research study.University of Florida Health researchers have found that exercise provides significant relief from depression in people with certain genetic traits. Moreover, investigators discovered specific genetic markers that put people at risk for depression also predict who might benefit from exercise.The benefit of exercise toward relieving depression symptoms was especially apparent in some men.Specifically, the researchers found that men who were carriers of two specific genes had the most significant response to exercise. The results suggest physical activity as part of a treatment plan — exercise as moderate as walking — could help the carriers of these genes.“I want to better understand who could benefit most from physical activity. I’d like to take the same approach to exercise that we take to medication, which is to have a personalized medicine …

Managers Should Not Burn Bridges with Ex-Employees

New research suggests it is important for leaders to maintain good relationships when workers exit the organization.“When we, as researchers, study organizations, or even when we study how managers look at employees, we see that businesses often assume that the relationship terminates when a person leaves the organization,” said Dr. Sumita Raghuram, associate professor of human resource management at Pennsylvania State University.“However, in our research, we extend the employment boundary outside of the organization. We believe that the relationship does not end there and you have to be mindful of the people who actually left the organization.”The researchers collected data from employees of a global information technology firm headquartered in India. A total of 128 employees were tracked over an 18-month period, which included time that they were employed and after they quit the company.During the interviews, the former employees were asked their opinion of their former employers, w…

Supporting My Boyfriend’s Parents

My boyfriend and I have been living together for almost a year. I know that he is the man that I am going to spend my life with and I have no doubts about that. We live in his home with his parents and because they are not working we completely support them and pay for everything. His mom has a multitude of health issues and is in her 50s she hasn’t worked in over 20 years. His dad is 46 and stopped working after hurting his knee at work when my boyfriend was 18. Since then my boyfriend has been supporting them completely. My boyfriend is a caring and loving man and his parents take advantage of him. They are not appreciative and always expect him to provide them with whatever they want—his dad in particular. At first when I moved in things were okay but recently it has been very hard. His parents both smoke in the house and no matter how many times we talk to them about it, it continues. They are constantly in our business and wanting us to run and get them things. Recently his dad c…

Family Retreat Can Help Vets Manage PTSD — And Relationships

Military veterans returning from combat situations face a substantial risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Previous studies have also shown a significant association between PTSD and intimate relationship problems.To address these issues, family studies researchers at the University of Illinois developed an intensive retreat model for veterans and their romantic partners. The retreat includes therapeutic group and couple counseling, as well as relaxation activities. A pilot of the model was successful in helping to reduce symptoms and distress for the participants.Kale Monk, a graduate research assistant in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Illinois and lead author of the study, said many veterans with PTSD may not seek help because of the stigma associated with mental illness.“After veterans complete their service, they may be reluctant to report some of these symptoms because they feel a sense of shame or that others woul…

Aggressive Driving is Increasing Worldwide

A new study finds that angry, competitive, and aggressive driving is becoming a worldwide phenomenon of almost epidemic proportions and appears to be a reflection of the surrounding culture, both on the road and in society.The findings offer us a greater understanding of the underlying human psychological behaviors that come as a response to the increasingly crowded and congested road networks around the world.Aggressive driving is viewed as competitive behavior that manifests as speeding, crowding, or lane-hopping on the road. “Road rage” is aggressive driving at its very worst, often leading to serious or fatal accidents.In all its variations, aggressive driving is a problem that appears to be increasing. The American Automobile Association estimates that 56 percent of accidents involve aggressive driving.The study, conducted by researchers at Oregon State University (OSU), the Beijing University of Technology and the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China, took pla…

VIDEO: 10 minute morning workout

WH&F Head Trainer Sheena-Lauren shares her 10 minute workout to kickstart your mornings.

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Jake Mace: Humanity's Global Future is Local

Jake Mace will talk about why humanity's global future is local and 3 ways to ensure your fruit trees thrive. Jake is The Vegan Athlete, runs Longevity Gardens in Phoenix, AZ with his wife Pam, and is one of the most passionate food advocates that we know. This is his third visit to The Urban Farm Podcast. We love having him on the show because he is always working on some new project in his yard and has a lot of valuable expertise to share!

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Prices For Common Medical Services Vary Substantially Among The Commercially Insured [Web First]

Using a national multipayer commercial claims database containing allowed amounts, we examined variations in the prices for 242 common medical services in forty-one states and the District of Columbia. Ratios of average state prices to national prices ranged from a low of 0.79 in Florida to a high of 2.64 in Alaska. Two- to threefold variations in prices were identified within some states and Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

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My Daughter Blames Me for Her Suicide in Her Farewell Letter. How Can I Survive?

From Netherlands: Our beloved daughter committed suicide at age 20 on 9 September 2014. She was a brilliant student but had difficulties with her studies and holding friends. She was depressed and liked to be home with us her parents and sister. She was diagnosed with autism or schizoid. She decided not to be treated. She could never express her feelings, she said she could not feel. She took pills and left us on 9 September 2014.We found an extensive farewell letter in English called ‘Lost cause’ of 16 pages. She describes the trauma coming early but not saying what is was. She said love was supposed to be something special. She was always feeling guilty about her parents potentially breaking up and not understanding why others did not see it her way. She called herself empty and got directions about feelings from her ‘inside thing’ taking over since age 5. She left us also a copy of an article about priming trying to make clear why she was so upset about breaking love and used primi…

Terrible Fear that I Am Going to Kill Myself or Someone Else

From a teen in the U.S.: For months, I have been having thoughts that I am going to kill myself or my family. I am afraid that I am a killer and not a good person, and this has made me want to kill myself to avoid hurting someone else. I have been diagnosed with OCD, specifically harm OCD, but I’m just having trouble believing that I’m not just an awful person. I never actually want to hurt anyone, but there are times when I feel like I have to, like my brain is telling me that it has to and is going to happen. I feel out of control.I’ve also been having some issues with suicidal thoughts. Most of the time, it’s not that I hate life, it’s just that something inside me is telling me that I should kill myself. It’s not like a voice that I hear or anything; I don’t think I’m schizophrenic.Do I really have OCD, or are my thoughts indicators that I have some sort of murderous or psychopathic personality? And how should I deal with these suicidal impulses?A: The first thing to do is to see …

Butt sculpting and core strengthening workout

Want a killer butt and core? Forget separate core workouts. Adding this ingredient to your current moves will amplify results and sculpt your middle in one efficient session.Why the bosu ball? "By adding an unstable surface, a BOSU ball increases activation of the rectus abdominus and facilitates extra activity per exercise than a stable surface would," says Meaghan.Words/workout: Meaghan Terzis
Photography: James Patrick 1. Sit-up3 sets / 12-15 reps1. Begin by lying on the Bosu ball with your hips just off the edge of the ball. Place your hands behind your head to gently support your neck.2. Exhale and curl your upper body over the Bosu ball. Hold for a brief second at the top before slowly returning to the starting position.Words/workout: Meaghan Terzis
Photography: James Patrick 2. Push-up3 sets / 12-15 reps1. Place a Bosu ball on the floor so the half-ball is facing down. Assume a push-up position with your hands on the sides of the ball's platform. Brace your core an…