Love and Meaning, a Key to Health?

Knowing your life purpose and embracing love are key to a long and healthy life.   ©Cynthia Clague

A concentration camp might be an unusual place to realize your life purpose. Survival would probably be your primary concern. Yet, Viktor Franklsurvived his ordeal in the 1940s by finding a sense of purpose where he was. Simply to be able to choose his own attitude and to love became his reason for living. Interestingly, Frankl survived when many of his fellow prisoners did not. He found that those in the camp who lost a sense of meaning and purpose simply gave up, and soon succumbed to Continue Reading

Taking Responsibility For Our Health – Will It Make Us Healthier?

Patient responsibility for making health decisions is important for healthy outcomes.

Taking care of my grandchildren reminds me of all those parenting years, from birth to striking out on their own. Once my kids left the nest I sort of forgot just how dependent they were on my wife and me for most of their needs. As they got older their dependency shifted to learning to make wise choices on their own. Depending on others to occasionally help us is not unwise. But why does depending on others to manage our health seem to be the norm? To some extent the well meaning Continue Reading

What do relationships have to do with my health?

Relationships are an important ingredient in drug and placebo efficacy.
(models used for illustration purposes only)@Glow Image

"It's all about relationships." That’s the “elevator” training I often gave to my staff when I was a manager. It’s a foundational principle they needed to understand because relationships bring results. If they didn’t understand and apply this principle they weren’t going to be successful. Building relationships isn’t horse trading or politics. It’s establishing a rapport that engenders understanding, trust, compassion, and a conviction that you care for the other person. It’s being Continue Reading

An Attitude of Fun in our Senior Years Brings Health

A fun attitude can keep us healthy.  
©GlowImages - models used for illustration purposes only.

“You're invited!” That's what the card said. To the “14th annual Older American's Day Celebration.” But who are “Older Americans?” Whoever they are, the number is apparently growing. The Census Bureau estimates that the percentage of US citizens 65 and older will swell from 13 to 20 percent of the total U.S. population in the next 40 years and could cause significant challenges to the health care delivery system – one that already seems to be maxed out. Older people as a group Continue Reading

Getting Health Through Expressions of Gratitude

Giving thanks by helping others, and getting health.

models used for illustration purposes only. @GlowImages

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, probably because it’s a time to especially acknowledge the gratitude I feel for all the good in my life. We might find a definition for thanksgiving as “an act of giving thanks”, but I think it means more than that. It goes beyond uttering words of thanks to expressing it in concrete ways. It isn’t focused inward or on me. Rather, my gratitude should impel action outward for the benefit of others. There are many examples of people selflessly helping Continue Reading

You Do Not Have To Be A Slave To Prescription Drug Addiction!

@Glowimages

A woman from Evanston, Illinois writes: “One day, about four weeks after our first appointment, my supply of tranquilizers was very low, and I felt desperate. The psychiatrist had already refused to give me more than my allotted amount. So I decided to visit some new doctors to see if I could get additional prescriptions. I planned to pretend that I had no other doctor, and that I'd never taken tranquilizers before.” How does one find him or herself in such desperation? No one expects to Continue Reading

Are the labels put on us really who we are? And what about our health?

The labels we assign to others, and ourselves, can affect health.

It would be a rare person who could navigate through life completely unaware of expectations placed upon him by others or by himself. One way expectations are powerfully conveyed is in the words we choose and how we use them, as my wife and I found in raising our children. Words choices, as well as our thoughts about them, affected their behavior. Research has also shown that expections by teachers is a powerful influence on student performance. For instance, Harvard professor Robert Continue Reading

Information – Do We Really Need It All?

Too much information on health perhaps leads us in the wrong direction.

@Glowimages Models used for illustration purposes only.

What if our obsession for information isn't always good for us? Everywhere we go, information is at our fingertips through the ubiquitous Internet. We seem to have an insatiable desire to access data at any instant in any location. Everywhere people are staring at their laptops, tablets, and smartphones, searching for important tidbits. Interestingly, a 2007 story from BBC warned that prolonged exposure to cell phone transmissions and wifi radio waves could cause negative health Continue Reading

Can Laughter and Contemplation Overcome Stress?

Stress reduction through contemplation and laughter

models used for illustration purposes only @Glowimages

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m stressed out and it’s awesome”? Probably not. We don’t usually connect awesomeness with stress. Some seem to live in a perpetual state of feeling out of control and enduring more pressure than they should. When they talk about stress it’s usually negative. How often do you describe your state of mind that way? Some say stress isn’t always bad. Researchers have identified something they call Eustress, a good stress coming from being excited about Continue Reading

What the Brain Isn’t – Mind or Love

The brain is not mind or love 
@Glowimages, Models used for illustration purposes only

Dr. Dan Siegel, as a brain researcher, is astounded that neither scientists, including psychiatrists, nor philosophers or academicians have come up with a good working definition of mind, nor can they describe what thinking is. Neurobiologist Dan Siegel recently visited Portland to speak at a conference on integrative medicine. He opened his talk with the question: “What is mind?” He asks this question of all his audiences. Over his years of speaking to perhaps 100,000 science professionals Continue Reading