SOTT FOCUS: The Health & Wellness Show: Chronic pain: Is it all in your head?

Do you have low back pain? Do your joints ache? Do you experience the persistent pins and needles feeling of neuropathy? Or maybe you have fibromyalgia and hurt all over? If you do, you're one of the 39 million Americans who suffer from persistent pain. Being on the pain train is bad enough without the added insult of being told that it's 'all in your head'. But what if it is -- at least partly? There are some types of pain that are obviously linked to an actual physical insult and other types that cannot be traced to an easily identifiable medical condition. Research is now showing us that some pain really is in the brain. Join us for this episode of The Health and Wellness Show where we'll discuss different types of pain and their co-factors, treatment modalities, the...

Read More

Ian Stevenson: Birthmarks and birth defects corresponding to wounds on deceased persons

Abstract Almost nothing is known about why pigmented birthmarks (moles or nevi) occur in particular locations of the skin. The causes of most birth defects are also unknown. About 35% of children who claim to remember previous lives have birthmarks and/or birth defects that they (or adult informants) attribute to wounds on a person whose life the child remembers. The cases of 210 such children have been investigated. The birthmarks were usually areas of hairless, puckered skin; some were areas of little or no pigmentation (hypopigmented macules); others were areas of increased pigmentation (hyperpigmented nevi). The birth defects were nearly always of rare types. In cases in which a deceased person was identified the details of whose life unmistakably matched the child's statements, a close correspondence was nearly always found between the birthmarks and/or birth defects on the child and...

Read More

How does our diet affect circadian rhythms?

Over the past hundreds-to-thousands of years, peoples around the world have thrived on a wide variety of diets. Food has changed a lot seasonally, geographically, etc. What hasn't changed? The 24-hour light/dark cycle to which our circadian rhythms are constantly entrained. Circadian "Phase" Shifts In general, your circadian phase is based on the 24 hour day, roughly 12 hours in the light, 12 hours in the dark (varies seasonally and geographically). Many hormonal and biochemical effects are influenced by this. Light, darkness, and food are what, in part, determines your circadian phase. ...

Read More

What’s in a name? The surprising ways your name affects your life

From dating to job prospects, a name has remarkable power over the path of its owner's life. I was at a party for Bastille Day in Paris a few years back, and we were leaning over the balcony to watch the fireworks. A cute French girl sat next to me, but after a few flirty glances the moment was entirely ruined with the most basic of interactions: "What's your name?" she asked in French. "Cody," I said. That was it. We were done. "Co-zee?" she said, sounding out the entirely foreign name, looking more disgruntled with each try. "Col-bee?" "Cot-ee?" ...

Read More

Immune system-boosting nutrients we’re in more need of during fall and winter

During the darker and colder months of fall and winter, it is tempting to hunker down in our warm homes with big blankets and comfort food. Who doesn't want to cozy up with a big cup of hot tea, comfy slippers, and a good book? Hibernating works for bears, bees, and bats, but unfortunately, is not ideal for humans. We require sunlight, year-round physical activity, and a steady supply of seasonal nutrients. Fall and winter bring with them many joys (no more mosquitoes! the holidays are coming!), but they also bring with them conditions that make staying healthy a bit trickier. For many of us, the shorter, colder days of fall and winter mean less sunlight exposure, less exercise, and less access to fresh produce. We tend to get sick more often during fall and winter, but there are things...

Read More

Not in front of the kids: Children can detect their parents’ emotional suppression

"Not in front of the kids." It's an age-old plea for parents to avoid showing conflict and strong negative emotions around their children. But new research from a Washington State University scientist disagrees, showing that it's better to express negative emotions in a healthy way than to tamp them down. After people suppress compassionate feelings, they lose a bit of their commitment to morality. Sara Waters, an assistant professor in the Department of Human Development on the WSU Vancouver campus, and co-authors from the University of California, Berkley and the University of California, San Francisco, write about their findings in the journal Emotion. "We wanted to look at how we suppress emotions and how that changes the way parents and kids interact," Waters said. "Kids pick up on suppression, but it's something a lot of parents think is a good...

Read More

Muscle tension caused by trapped emotions

Your body is a map and storage house of every experience you have ever had. So many of us carry repressed and trapped emotions within multiple areas of our bodies, without even knowing it. In fact, we can go for years, even decades, completely oblivious to the blocked energy our muscles are holding on to. This repressed energy is responsible for countless ailments and chronic health conditions that cause us great suffering. The fact is that your body doesn't forget. Your body is the most honest and obvious way to access trapped feelings and even traumatic memories. No matter how much you try to ignore, intellectualize or suppress how you feel, your body knows the truth. If you are struggling with chronic tension in your neck, shoulders, back, thighs, legs, or any other area of your body, this article may...

Read More

Cancer treatments linked to cognitive decline and significant DNA damage

Cancer treatments can lead to declines in cognitive function a few later, research suggests. A study published in the journal Cancer looked at a cohort of 94 women who had undergone radiation treatments and chemotherapy for breast cancer between three and six years earlier, and found significant damage to their DNA, including to the repetitive nucleotide sequences at each end of a chromosome, known as telomeres. In one sense, this finding was not surprising. Standard cancer treatments work by damaging the DNA of tumour cells, and collateral damage to normal cells is often unavoidable. Reduced telomere activity and loss of DNA vigour are also markers of biological ageing. ...

Read More

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology: Facebook can cause depression

A new report conducted by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania have determined that an excessive amount of time on "social media" sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are making millennials depressed."It was striking," said Melissa Hunt, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who led the study. "What we found over the course of three weeks was that rates of depression and loneliness went down significantly for people who limited their (social media) use." The study, "No More FOMO: Limiting Social Media Decreases Loneliness and Depression," is being published in December's Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. Researchers recruited 143 students for two different trials, one in the spring semester and one in the fall semester. Each subject was required to have a Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat account, plus an Apple iPhone. They collected data on the students...

Read More

All in your head? Fibromyalgia linked to extensive brain inflammation

Fibromyalgia, characterized by chronic, widespread pain is an often-debilitating condition that primarily affects women. While as many as 10 million Americans have fibromyalgia, its cause remains a mystery. Brain scans of fibromyalgia patients have offered hard evidence that the pain they experience is indeed real - mainly because their threshold for tolerating pain impulses is substantially lower than that of most individuals. But the mechanism causing this lowered pain threshold is still unknown. Some experts, such as Dr. Frederick Wolfe, the director of the National Databank for Rheumatic Diseases and the lead author of the 1990 paper that first defined fibromyalgia's diagnostic guidelines, believe fibromyalgia is mainly a physical response to mental and emotional stress. ...

Read More