Anxiety, Cardio, Depression

benefits of meditationFive Amazing Benefits of Meditation and Mindfulness

While ultimately rooted in the religious practices of East Asia, meditation and mindfulness are essentially the cultivation of a positive and tranquil mental state via focused periods of practice. Just as your body needs nutrition and exercise to function properly, so too does your emotional center and state of mind require special tools for their maintenance. While their origins lie in theology and spiritual study, both meditation and mindfulness have been linked to measurable benefits for adults regardless of their metaphysical or philosophical inclinations.

Reduced Anxiety

One of the key concepts to meditation is its understanding of the relationship between the physical body and its more ephemeral moods and processes. As exemplified by the concept of chakras (see the chakra chart here for more information), emotional and spiritual states are linked to physical centers of the body and real biological processes, a fact supported by meditation and mindfulness’ impact on anxiety.

While it varies by individual, mindfulness reduces anxiety in patients in as little as eight weeks of practice. This not only includes the mental aspects of anxiety, but also physically measurable symptoms like blood pressure, quality of sleep, jaw clenching, and chronic headaches. This further shows the link between the emotional or spiritual states meditation attempts to treat and their physical manifestations.

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Cardio, Fitness, Health, Health, Nutrition

8 Ways to Stay Healthy While Travelling

Holidays are one of those times of the year when your health or fitness plans can take a real dent. It’s natural that you’ll want to relax, take part in activities that you enjoy the most—which might include sitting and eating a lot—and generally not doing a great deal. So while you might not make any fitness progress it’s important to make sure that you don’t get derailed entirely and face setbacks for months to come.

 

The first challenge you will face when traveling is the flight, flying is notoriously dehydrating, and the longer you’re in the air the worse it gets. Arriving dehydrated at your destination isn’t a great start as well as actually making you sick, it can make you feel pretty lousy and increase hunger. It’s not a great start to staying healthy so make sure you drink at every chance you get on the flight, and we’re not talking about alcohol here.

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Fatherhood, Parenting

never too soon to childproofIt’s Never too Soon to Start Childproofing

Dear Mr. Dad: I always seem to be hearing about children who are seriously injured (or worse) in their own houses. We just brought our new baby home from the hospital, but I want to start getting our house childproofed right now. How should we start and what should we do?

A: When it comes to your child’s safety, there’s no such thing as too soon, especially at home, where accidents are among the biggest (and most-preventable) causes of injury and death to young children. And because kittens grow up to be cats, there’s also no such thing is being done with childproofing. It’s a process that will last until he or she moves out of the house (although you’ll have to start all over again when your grandchildren arrive).

Your first order of business is to think like a baby. That means getting down on your hands and knees and exploring your home. Electrical outlets look like perfect places to stick forks, don’t they? Drapery cords and dangling corners of tablecloths are almost begging to get yanked on; the dried out carrot that fell under the dining room table a few months ago looks delicious; and what about all those buttons and knobs on the stove? Hopefully you get the point.

Let’s start with the basics. We’ll go into more detail in future columns.

 

Clich here to read the rest of this article.

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Others

parkinsons brain stimulationDeep Brain Stimulation Helps Parkinson’s Patients Regain Independence

Every year, approximately 60,000 people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. In addition, about 10 million people in the United States have essential tremor—a neurological condition that causes a person’s hands, head, or voice to shake. These conditions can seriously affect a person’s quality of life, preventing them from being able to dress or feed themselves or drive. At the same time, medications can have side effects and tend to lose effectiveness over time.

If this describes you or a loved one, new technology called deep brain stimulation (DBS) could offer an alternative. The procedure was discovered in 1987 by a French neurosurgeon named Alim Louis Benabid when he was preparing to remove a part of the brain. He used a common technique to send electrical pulses into the brain in order to activate the part of the brain he wanted to remove and confirm that it didn’t perform a crucial function. For reasons we don’t know anymore, Dr. Benabid used twice as much electricity as he should have, and in so doing made a groundbreaking discovery—the surge of electricity halted the tremor that had plagued the patient for years.

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Prostate

Deciding to Use HIFU for Prostate Cancer Treatment

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, after skin cancer and there will be 161,360 new diagnoses this year alone. With that in mind, I thought I’d share my story. At a routine check-up, my physician ran a battery of tests and noticed my PSA (prostate-specific antigen) count was elevated, and sent me to a urologist.

Finding out I Had Prostate Cancer

At the urology appointment, my PSA count was higher still. Looking at records of past check-ups, my PSA had been steadily rising and was cause for concern. The doctor ordered an MRI which unfortunately indicated a high probability of cancer. The urologist suggested I consider prostatectomy—removing the entire prostate. I was in a state of shock and uncertain about what to do.

My urologist recommended I see Dr. Arieh Shalhav at UChicago Medicine (UCM) because he is considered a leader in the field of minimally invasive urologic surgery. So I made an appointment.

Dr. Shalhav discussed the various conventional treatments. First, I needed to have a biopsy to better understand what was actually there. My MRI was used to guide the biopsy, which confirmed the cancer. Fortunately it was confined to one side of the prostate, meaning it had not spread beyond that. But it needed to be addressed.

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