Last month it was breast cancer, this month it's prostate cancer - the calls keep coming to screen our bodies. But might there be a potential for healing if we look away from our bodies into our thinking?
What thought-model is best to have? Are we paying attention to it?
Advertising and marketing companies are trying to figure out how to deal with me, or should I say with my demographic. I’m one of the 76-million baby boomers populating the U.S. which, for some, translates to the “older” generation. Retailers politely ask if I qualify for their senior discount. Now I’ve had another label fastened on me for the sake of marketing conformity -- I’m part of the “silver economy.”(I guess that beats a gray economy). Anyway, that’s their impression of me.
Aging, and all that goes with it, is frequently on people’s minds. There are many components to aging that people are concerned about: mental decline, physical decline, and insufficient funds to live during retirement are just a few. One news report even indicated that some individuals would rather die than live with insufficient funds. Despite the many perceived negatives with living longer, research continues on longevity. But there is a new focus – extending quality of life by reducing or eliminating many of the present physical limitations connected with aging.
“None of us in science and medicine have the answers we tell you we have,” said Betsy Nabel, president of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School at last month’s TEDMED conference, “because the universe of what we don’t know dwarfs that of what we do know.”
Congratulations to Nik Wallenda on his high wire feat in Chicago. I can't imagine being in his shoes, but it got me thinking about the nagging fear that consistent, reliable health is on shaky footing.
Could you ever imagine walking a tightrope high off the ground blindfolded with no net to catch you? One false step and...
I’m not an authority on dealing physically with contagious diseases but I do know about handling fear. I’ve learned that stopping fear of disease can go a long way toward stopping disease itself.
The Christian Science Monitor quoted Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group: “There are two kinds of contagion, one is related to the virus itself and the other is related to the spread of fear about the virus. Both contagions must be defeated.”
Hundreds of silver haired concertgoers walked briskly - laughing and jostling like teenagers. Why? Because we had all just come from a concert where we clapped, sang and danced along - transported back to the rock and roll of our youth. No signs of aches or pains or any physical inhibition in the exuberance of our rejoicing.
Thinking of our health solely from a physical standpoint, is like a bird trying to fly with only one wing.
Every day the media reports new claims of breakthroughs for cures of everything from some cancers to the common cold. As I read all of these announcements, I wonder whether focusing so exclusively on tests and remedies for illness, actually produces breakthroughs in our understanding of what health really is, and how we care for it.
My dad dabbled in paint, mostly wall and house paint, but occasionally he tried his hand at a paint-by-numbers kit. Remember those? Craft Master kits were the rage. Just follow the numbers and a beautiful picture appeared after some trial and error.
Ebola, ISIS, midterm elections, climate change, drought, unemployment. The headlines of the day provide plenty of fodder for fearful reactions.
"We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself" was the topic of Tom Ashbrook's recent On Point NPR program, echoing FDR's famous words, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Given the news of the day, I was intrigued by the topic and listened to the replay online.
Diversi sondaggi sulla felicità effettuati sui popoli del mondo danno spesso La Danimarca ai primi posti. Negli studi effettuati, i danesi hanno superato del 20% il livello di soddisfazione delle popolazioni limitrofe, dove comunque la qualità di vita non è molto diversa dalla loro. Alcuni economisti dell'università inglese di Warwick che hanno approfondito la ricerca, imputano il fenomeno alla rarità della variante corta del gene SLC6A4 in grado di determinare tristezza e felicità nelle persone.
Harsh words, perhaps, especially when you consider that the one who said them is a longtime hospital chaplain, and the woman she was speaking to had just learned that a year after going through chemotherapy, she was still cancer free.
The concept of mind we’re all familiar with is fast becoming the mind of the past. The decision-maker, the seat of knowledge, the repository of hunches, innovation, emotions, judgment, memory, opinions, stubborn will, and so on is actually a rather narrow concept we’re finding out. Human mind 1.0.
You see them all the time in the news - statistics on the number of people who were in the hospital last year, the rate at which people will catch the flu this winter and numerous other statistics about some aspect of our health.
Researchers use these biological health statistics to figure out risk factors and develop ways to prevent, control and treat or manage disease.
Have you ever heard the statement, “There are no atheists in a foxhole”? I recently came across this statement, and it really brought to mind the idea that although most of us aren’t actually hunkered down in a war zone foxhole, figuratively many of us feel that we are as we fight for health. It can actually feel like a combat zone for anyone who has a serious health condition, addiction, emotional stress, or other crises. And in these situations, people are more inclined to seek a higher power for help.
It seems to govern so much of our lives. It starts as a child with birthdays, balloons and excitement, before increasing in pace as teenagerhood, careers and the pressure of family life add their demands. Finally there's the senior years which seem to bring to a crescendo the "tick tock" of the body clock.
Have you been hired in a job that the simple requirement is to be joyful?
When I came to the United States and landed a job with an American family, the first question they asked me was, “Can you give joy?”
Well, I got the job, and the joy that is within me was doubled because as I worked with this family, I found out that when we give more, we receive more – not materially but a priceless peace of mind and steady healthy consciousness.
¿Qué es lo que buscas en tu vida? Y ¿cómo encontrarlo?
Muchos en la sociedad no logran encontrar su propósito, sufren de depresión y, en desespero, se vuelven al alcohol. La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) informa que “cada año mueren en el mundo 3.3 millones de personas a consecuencia del consumo nocivo de alcohol, lo que representa un 5.9 por ciento de todas las defunciones”.
The folks at Stanford School of Medicine are putting doctors in touch with their patients. Literally.
To this end, faculty member Abraham Verghese and his team provide training for 25 hands-on physical exams that, according to Verghese, are given little if any attention beyond the typical med student’s first or second year of training – “old-fashioned” stuff like tapping the knee to check for reflexes, shining a light to test for pupil dilation and how to use the tried and true tongue depressor.
Gratitude allows us to move through life with more grace, affording greater rest and peace.
There’s an old saying that if you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness. Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and inter-faith scholar, would likely agree with this old proverb. In a 2013 TedTalk on gratitude in Edinburgh, Scotland, he suggested that happiness is an outcome of gratitude in our lives. He points out that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but rather gratitude that makes us happy.
“You all know this, but it’s worth stating the obvious,” declared Amy McGuire, a genomic bioethicist from Baylor College of Medicine at the start of this year’s TEDMED conference in San Francisco. “Genomic sequencing is not an infallible prophecy of our future.”
A bold statement to say the least, especially considering her audience – an eclectic collection of doctors, nurses, medical researchers and others intent on improving the world’s health and health care using the most advanced and innovative means possible.
Yes, I do believe that religion can be scientific.
In a recent article on this website, Swami Kriyananda asks the question, "Can We Make Religion Scientific?"
To me, religion is a set of beliefs about God. It could also include certain practices relating to those beliefs. No matter what our religion, I think each of us in his/her own way, is seeking to learn more about God, to build up our understanding of this higher power.
Two items in the news last week never seemed more unrelated. One was a commentary on personal finances and the need to resist instant gratification. The other was one of many stories on Ebola. Not the outbreak of the disease, but the spread of fear surrounding it.
Both pieces – one on passion, the other on panic – had a common thread. They each urged greater self-control.
The years between 15-25 are frequently a time of questioning and great discovery, but like many others I found them difficult. I had to deal with chronic disease, failure in my chosen career, a persistent lack of self-worth along with indecision about an alternative career path, and loneliness. Although never diagnosed, a psychologist would probably have called me depressed.