Health and Wellness

Holistic concepts of health and fitness view achieving and maintaining good health as requiring more than just taking care of the various singular components that make up the physical body, additionally incorporating aspects such as emotional and spiritual well-being. The goal is a wellness that encompasses the entire person, rather than just the lack of physical pain or disease.

In 1948 WHO defined health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Today wellness is defined as an integrated and dynamic level of functioning oriented toward maximizing potential, dependent on self-responsibility. Wellness involves not only preventive health behaviors but a shift in thinking and attitude.

The Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness is a mind-set of life long growth and achievement in the emotional, spiritual, physical, occupational, intellectual, environmental, and social dimensions.

Source:  A Wellness Way fo Life, Sixth Edition, MGH Publishing

Technologies to Measure Emotion

Wouldn’t it be nice, if we were to gain a heightened awareness of our emotions by tracking our emotional and cognative states?

Affectiva, a company with roots at MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing group has recently announced a National Science Foundation grant “to develop an online version of its technology that enables computers to recognize human expressions and deduce emotional and cognitive states.”

Affdex not only allows more accurate understanding of an important aspect of human communication — emotion — it helps democratize emotion research by making it accessible, user-friendly and affordable for large and small corporations. The goal is a technology service that truly transforms the way customers and businesses communicate aabout product experiences.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

Source: Institute For The Future; Feb 01, 2011; by Rachel Hatch in The Future Now Blog

Managing with the Brain in Mind

According to Naomi Eisenberger a leading social neuroscience researcher at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), feeling of being excluded provokes the same sort of reaction in the brain that physical pain might cause.

This study and many others now emerging have made one thing clear: The human brain is a social organ. Most processes operating in the background when your brain is at rest are involved in thinking about other people and yourself.

One critical thread of research on the social brain starts with the “threat and reward” response, a neurological mechanism that governs a great deal of human behavior. Recently, researchers have documented that the threat response is often triggered in social situations, and it tends to be more intense and longer-lasting than the reward response.

The threat response is both mentally taxing and deadly to the productivity of a person — or of an organization. Because this response uses up oxygen and glucose from the blood, they are diverted from other parts of the brain, including the working memory function, which processes new information and ideas. This impairs analytic thinking, creative insight, and problem solving; in other words, just when people most need their sophisticated mental capabilities, the brain’s internal resources are taken away from them.

Research into the social nature of the brain suggests another piece of this puzzle. Five particular qualities enable employees and executives alike to minimize the threat response and instead enable the reward response. These five social qualities are status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness, and fairness: Because they can be expressed with the acronym scarf, I sometimes think of them as a kind of headgear that an organization can wear to prevent exposure to dysfunction. To understand how the scarf model works, let’s look at each characteristic in turn. For more information CLICK HERE.

Source: Startegy + Business; Author: David Rock; Published: August 27, 2009 / Autumn 2009 / Issue 56

10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep

Experts say eating the right snacks in the hours before you hit the bed may help you fall asleep faster and even improve the quality of your sleep. It’s best to stop eating 2 hours before bedtime for your body to properly digest the food. Here is the list:

Almonds contain magnesium which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation.
Decaf Green Tea contains theanine, which helps promote sleep.
Misa Soup contains amino acids that may boost the production of melatonin.
Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax overstressed muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin, the brain’s key calming hormones.
Dairy contain tryptophan but also have a surprising sleep-inducing nutrient.
Oatmeal is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium–all of the nutrients known to support sleep.
Hard Cooked Egg and other protein-rich snacks so that you can not only fall asleep, but stay asleep.
Edamame have the natural estrogen-like compounds that can be very beneficial in controlling those nighttime hot flashes that can disturb your sleep.
Cherries particularly tart cherries, naturally boost the body’s supply of melatonin, which helps people with insomnia.
Cereal increases the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream, increasing the sleep-inducing effects.

For more details, CLICK HERE.


Electronic Personal Health Records as Self-Management Tool

A growing trend in many countries is to offer patients access to their health information through the use of electronic personal health records (PHRs). PHRs are seen both as a strategy to make healthcare more patient centered and as a tool for self-management. These electronic health records can assist patients in managing their health condition through individualized care plans, graphing of symptoms, passive biofeedback, tailored instructive or motivational feedback, decisional aids, and reminders.

However, the value of any self-management intervention is influenced by its acceptability and usability. For PHRs to be effective in promoting self-management, patients need an adequate level of health literacy and a software health record program that is a good match with their health literacy level.

To learn more about PHRs, CLICK HERE.

Source: Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, Sept 2010

Continuous Chest Compression CPR: Mayo Clinic Presentation

Doctors at Mayo Clinic recommend a modified CPR method which is not mouth to mouth and it saves more lives. According to Dr. Bobrow the goal is to generate blood flow to the heart and to the brain. When a person collapses there is still enough oxygen in the heart to keep them alive for 10 minutes; but only if that blood gets into the brain. Continous chest compression can circulate the oxygen and it keeps the blood flowing to the brain. Click Here to watch how.

Mobile Technology for Health Behavior Change

Weight loss and healthier eating habits are nearly universal New Year’s resolutions and keeping a daily journal is an excellent way to manage our weight. Nowadays mobile apps make it easy to keep a diet journal and manage our weight. For example:

PhotoCalorie is both a visual food journal and nutrition search engine that simplifies the tedious task of nutrient enumeration and calorie counting. PhotoCalorie provides a new “right brain” visual approach to diet management in addition to the traditional “left brain” calorie-counting approach of other diet diaries. Also, its’ search engine technology allows users to search for their entire meal in one step,

Lose it! is an impressive iPhone weight loss journals and offers a number of features to track your diet, exercise and weight changes over time. Lose it! also provides a way for users to join discussion forums of people with similar goals. The app’s motivators section lets you set reminders to enter your foods right before your meal, and receive daily or weekly emails summarizing your progress.

LIVESTRONG Foundation provides a calorie-tracker and workout log. LIVESTRONG is similar to Lose it!; in addition, the platform offers access to health tools for managing diabetes, quitting smoking or learning new exercises, and more. It also offers online educational material about nutrition, fitness and health.

For more information about these platforms, CLICK HERE.

Source: Medpage Today by Michele R. Berman, MD; December 27, 2010

Mind Over Matter: Controlling Individual Neurons By Your Thoughts

Neuro-scientists in UCLA and Caltech were able to show that people can use their thoughts to control what they see on the computer monitor.

The patients could control their thoughts in a conscious manner where their imagination could overwrite the visuals displayed for them. They could deliberately “regulate the activity of their neurons to intentionally alter the outcome of stimulation.”

By tracking such neuron activities, scientists may be able to develop a direct brain-machine interface based on human thought, intention and imagery such as memories and even dreams.

To listen to Christof Koch, Itzhak Fried and Moran Cerf, Click Here.

Source: Singularity Weblog, November 4, 2010

Brene Brown@TEDx: The Power of Vulnerability

Brene Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Brené’s current research focuses on authentic leadership and wholeheartedness in families, schools, and organizations. Her work draws on empirically based strategies to engage your clients on a cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal level to improve their ability to empathize, belong, and love.

In THIS funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research. It’s quite awesome!

Source: TEDxHouston, Filmed June 2010, POsted Dec. 2010

Anima, Animus & The Future of Business

The anima and animus in Carl Jung’s school of analytical psychology, are the two primary archetypes of the unconscious mind. The anima and animus are described by Jung as elements of his theory of the collective unconscious, a domain of the unconscious that transcends the personal psyche. In the unconscious of the male, it finds expression as a feminine inner personality: anima or female archetype; equivalently, in the unconscious of the female it is expressed as a masculine inner personality: animus or male archetype.

At his talk for a gathering of TEDxWomen in the Bay area, John Hagel the Co-Chairman of the Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation framed a perspective that has been been evolving regarding the gender implications of the Big Shift. According to Hagel one of the requirements for success in the future of business is getting access to a broader and more diverse range of knowledge flows. Therefore, we must find ways to scale the number of trust based relationships that we can build and maintain. To make this happen the masculine culture within the organizations must find a way to adapt to the psychic power of the feminine archetype.

Hagel predicts that the future belongs to those of us, female or male, who can adopt and embrace the anima. This archetype can turn mounting pressure into expanding opportunity where we can move from a diminishing returns world to an increasing returns world.

To learn more about this perspective, Click Here:

Source: Edge Perspectives with John Hagel