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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.
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Back Pain Costs.
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©David Passmore 2019
Sometimes evolution is stupid, and the human body is proof. Here are the most problematic physical and behavioral "scars of evolution" we humans have to deal with.
The human body is, in many respects, a resounding tribute to the adaptive powers of natural selection. We've evolved gloriously large, complex brains capable of abstract thought and foresight. We're bipedal, dextrous, and enjoy relatively long lives (lives that include a fairly generous fertility window), to list a few of the qualities that have allowed us to propagate and thrive across the planet.
But that doesn't mean we're perfect. Far from it, in fact. Not only did evolution create a species that's "good enough," it also produced some distinctly negative traits. Back in 1951, the biologist Wilton Krogman referred to these as the "scars of human evolution."
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............
You’ll be on edge if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, a new paper reports.
Cutting a few hours of sleep out of your schedule isn’t as good an idea as it may appear. Researchers at the Iowa State University report that missing sleep will make you angrier, leaving you ill-equipped to deal with frustrating situations. This is one of the first studies to provide evidence that sleep loss causes anger.
“Despite typical tendencies to get somewhat used to irritating conditions — an uncomfortable shirt or a barking dog — sleep-restricted individuals actually showed a trend toward increased anger and distress, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time.
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.
With all the talk of type 2 diabetesdoiong the rounds in the media again, I thought I would share this with you.
A few years ago, a large and extremely overweight getleman, with high blood pressure began a weight loss programme with me. His not quite
equally overweight wife was so impressed by the weekly weight loss routine that I had created for my client, that she adopted it too.
The only problem was that she was far more disciplined than he was.
There are many things that drive cancer. Poor diet, chemical and radiation exposures, and certain infections, figure prominently in the process. Stress, however, is a major contributing factor that is often completely overlooked.
New research, however, sheds light on just how critically important the physiological consequences of stress are on cancer cell progression.
Adrenaline Increases Cancer Malignancy
Published this month in the journal Cancer Genetics and Cytogenetics and entitled "Adrenaline induces chemoresistance in HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells," researchers found that the stress hormone adrenaline induces multidrug resistance in colon 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.
Medicine is even more dangerous than we all thought. Around one-third of serious side effects to drugs and surgery are not being recorded in medical trials, a major review has discovered.
Around 35 per cent of research studies that investigate the safety and effectiveness of drugs and surgery are not properly reporting on side effects and adverse reactions.
Eight per cent of those studies aren't even set up to capture side effects in the first place, and a further 27 per cent do so only partially, a review of 187 research papers has discovered.
In other words, just 65 per cent of trials recognise the possibility of side effects and include them in their reviews, researchers from the University of York discovered.
They say they can't understand why this important element of healthcare is not being properly reported but suggest that far stricter guidelines need to be drawn up before a research project even gets started.
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. Vershinin89/Shutterstock
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.
Over the past few decades, billions have been spent on screening asymptomatic populations to "prevent cancer," with the result that millions have been assigned with questionable diagnoses (e.g.,"early stage-" or "stage zero-cancers") and then shepherded into chemo, radiation and surgery treatments as if watchful waiting, or better yet, making significant nutritional and lifestyle modifications, would be a suicidal approach vis-à-vis the inexorability and presumed lethality of genetically-determined cancer.
We needn't detail the misery this approach has produced, but suffice it to say that despite the industry's claims of thousands of "lives saved" from the detection of "early cancers," breast and prostate cancer specific mortality has at best stayed the same, and may have actually increased in some cases. In light of the fact that the financial costs of misapplied treatment in some cases is so high that the uninsured, their families, and society as a whole, face bankruptcy, the situation is dire indeed.
.....We need to completely rethink medicine's role in healing. What happens when we return to the fundamentals of an entity – the human, soul and body together -- whose self-healing capabilities are so powerful that even the suggestion through sugar pill or kind word of a health practitioner that a disease can attenuate or disappear actually causes significant improvement?
What if given the right conditions – clean air, water, food and a healthy environment, physically and emotionally – the conditions for disease were suddenly removed, and replaced with an opposite environs promoting health?
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.