Tag Archives: health

Golden Rule linked to better health in new study

Better health could be as close as next door.  A new study published in the journal, Social Science & Medicine, found a connection between trusting your neighbor and better health.

The study examines data collected in the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey.  Eileen Bjornstrom, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Missouri, conducted the research.  She received her doctorate in sociology from The Ohio State University.

“While most people aren’t aware of how trust impacts them, results indicated that trust was a factor in a person’s overall health,” according to Bjornstrom.  The study looked at trust of neighbors and self-rated health relative to income distribution.

“Because human beings engage in interpersonal comparisons in order to gauge individual characteristics, it has been suggested that a low relative position, or feeling that you are below another person financially, leads to stress and negative emotions such as shame, hostility and distrust, and that health suffers as a consequence,” she says.  

Surprisingly, the findings point to a different group when it comes to distrust.  Those participating in the survey with higher incomes relative to their community were likely to be distrustful of their neighbors.  So much for assumptions.

Over all, respondents to the survey who trusted their neighbors reported better health on average. Continue reading Golden Rule linked to better health in new study

The side effects of our health care decisions

Consumers of prescription drugs and certain medical tests are increasingly alerted by health professionals to the unintended side effects these means produce.

by Alex Clark

A recent article in the AARP Bulletin centers on the growing concern over drug cascading.  In The Side Effects of Side Effects, Patricia Barry writes about the problem of medications creating conditions in the body not connected to their intended purpose.

Gordon Schiff, M.D., Harvard Medical School faculty member is quoted in the article.  “There are a lot of people taking drugs to treat the side effect of drugs.  And sometimes that makes sense, and maybe the initial drug is essential.  But when you’re taking a drug to treat the side effect of a drug which is treating the side effect of another drug, it gets to be rather a house of cards.”

Later in the article Schiff suggests to his colleagues to “think beyond drugs.”

And many are.  Herbert Benson M.D., a cardiologist also from Harvard, has devoted his career to bring spirituality and healing into medicine.  Larry Dossey M.D., a distinguished physician and author, sees prayer and consciousness as having a big impact in medicine now and in the future.  And there is a long list of others researching similar topics.

The shift to a more “mindful” approach to health is slow, partly due to the faith physicians and patients have in well-established protocols.

“In truth, facts and evidence are in a constant battle with faith and perception.  Humans tend to be rational beings until what they’re told or see runs headlong into what they believe,” writes Earle Holland, assistant vice president for research communications in the Office of University Relations at The Ohio State University. Continue reading The side effects of our health care decisions

What did you expect?

Since this week’s theme has been centered on expectation, I thought you might enjoy this repost from February of this year.

Ever been caught off guard by someone you have met?  They act or respond in a manner unexpected.  The surprise might even register on your face.  Wow…I didn’t see that coming!

Jackie Evancho

Susan Boyle, Jackie Evancho, and Ted Williams are well known examples of people who have astonished us.  They are out of the norm in some regards. And that is part of the appeal. At first, you question what you are hearing and seeing.  Eventually, acceptance settles in.  What you are experiencing is authentic.

There is a great line in the Bible about being delivered from the expectation of the people.  Expectation can be a good thing, but sometimes it is a straightjacket.  Many would argue that their lives are impacted in some way by the expectations of others.

There are many illustrations.  For example, I am concerned with health issues that confront the people of our nation.   There is almost universal acceptance that when you catch a cold of flu, the affects have to last for a predetermined length of time.  That’s not law, just the expectation.  There is the anticipation that with age comes a variety of health problems.  It is a given…or is it?… Continue reading What did you expect?