In her recent book, Reclaiming Conversation, Dr. Sherry Turkle, the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), argues convincingly that technology is replacing our natural ability to connect with one another through everyday face-to-face conversation. Rather than looking someone in the eyes and asking about his or her day, we turn to our phones, and in the process, we are losing out on conversation, which is, as Turkle calls it, “the most human—and humanizing—thing we do.” The arguments for putting away your smart phone and turning off your other screens to improve the quality of your interpersonal relationships are very strong.
As our journey into the new year begins full steam, amid resolutions, renewed energy, and determination, we are reminded that January is Cervical Health Month. We are bombarded with information about cervical cancer, screenings, tests, vaccines, and statistics—all important information. Yet, despite what we have learned from the media, the risk of cervical cancer goes beyond the human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. In fact, epidemiological (population observation) studies have revealed that nutrition is important, not only for maintaining the health of the cervix but also for having a suppressive effect on HPV infection.
The Social Patterning of Sleep is a Matter of Social Justice
As described in a prior post, insufficient and disordered sleep are very common across the population, with serious consequences for health and well-being. Approximately one-third of adults are not getting sufficient sleep at 7 hours per night and up to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder (1). Yet, not all people are equally likely to have trouble with their sleep. In this post, I highlight some of the dimensions in which sleep varies across various sociodemographic subpopulations.
We all love this holiday time of year — the decorations, the music, the social gatherings, the baking, the cooking, etc. The air is simply charged with a sense of contagious excitement. But, there is a flipside to all the fun… I’m talking about the wear and tear on our health. The assault of toxins, sweets, fats, calories, alcohol, stress, all add up to a veritable sin-city of challenges to our wellness! And by the time we reach New Year’s Day, and the reality of our folly sets in, with Winter upon us, we then often resolve to detox and commit to a pristine way of living to shed the excesses of the holiday season.
If you are one of the millions of people suffering from the dry skin dilemma, then you are not alone. Dry skin is a common, yet highly bothersome malady that can occur as a result of many different internal or external causes and often presents in a variety of forms where the common element is of course, dry skin. The commonest cause of dry skin is temperature extremes, more specifically harsh wintry climates with low humidity levels. Perhaps that is why it is popularly known as ‘winter’s itch’. As I’ve mentioned in my previous articles, as we age, our skin tends to become dry (an alteration or reduction of natural oils) and sensitive, add a blast of winter air to the equation and we are left with severely dry and cracked skin that is very difficult to manage- a term known as the 7th age itch. It might or might not be accompanied by a non-itchy or itchy rash that might progress into a painful dry fissuring eczema if not properly managed.
Cultures around the world have used the healing power of touch.
A popular method of hands-on healing that comes to us from Japan is Reiki (pronounced ray-key). It is a form of energy medicine whose purpose is to activate the body’s natural healing processes. A Reiki master becomes a conduit of energy, healing energy, which flows into the patient by means of touch. This universal life force energy is called Ki in Rei-ki, Chi (chee) in China and prana in India. If our “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress. If it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The holiday season can be a challenging time. Between awkward family gatherings, after-hours office parties, last-minute visits to the mall, and traffic-ridden road trips to your in-laws’, there are a lot of reasons to be anxious, keep weird hours, or eat the wrong thing over the holidays. To make matters worse, all of these holiday distractions might interfere with your sleep. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, you need high-quality restorative sleep to function well, feel good, and look beautiful. That’s why I’m asking you to prioritize your sleep, and kick off the New Year as your healthiest self! Here’s my guide to maintaining your sleep health over the winter festivities:
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and, once again, you’re hosting a table of family and friends. Last year, my blog focused on sensational sides. This time around, let’s be healthy, creative, and embrace the main course experience. While most people roast a turkey in the typical, tried-and-true ways, this year, let’s instead choose one of the following 5 healthy and alternative approaches to wowing your guests.
Celebrities swear by it. Scientists are in awe of it. Berber tribes of Morocco will bet their life on it.
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep often makes the difference between awaking renewed and refreshed or tired and hung over. Quality sleep sharpens the mind, boosts the immune system, and helps protect against stress and anxiety.