The Harvard School of Public Health in Boston has found that a positive outlook on life can actually protect your heart from cardiovascular disease.
In this comprehensive review of over 200 studies of various forms of well-being and cardiovascular health outcomes, Harvard researchers Julia Boehm and Laura Kubzansky discovered that certain psychological traits—optimism, positive emotions and a sense of meaning—offer measurable protection against heart attacks and strokes. These characteristics have been found to slow the progression of cardiovascular disease as well.
Telling Fewer Lies Linked to Better Health
Telling the truth when tempted to lie can significantly improve a person’s mental and physical health, according to a “Science of Honesty” study presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention.
“Recent evidence indicates that Americans average about 11 lies per week. We wanted to find out if living more honestly can actually cause better health,” said lead author Anita E. Kelly, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame. “We found that the participants could purposefully and dramatically reduce their everyday lies, and that in turn was associated with significantly improved health.”
Man who supposedly needed a heart transplant miraculously cures his own heart
A young man in dire need of a heart transplant shocked doctors and loved ones alike when his failing heart mended itself, the Omaha World-Herald reports.
To overcome our neural bias for negativity, we must repetitiously and consciously generate as many positive thoughts as we can.
Positive words and thoughts propel the motivational centers of the brain into action and they help us build resilience when we are faced with life’s problems. According to Sonja Lyubomirsky, one of the world’s leading researchers on happiness, if you want to develop lifelong satisfaction, you should regularly engage in positive thinking about yourself, share your happiest events with others, and savor every positive experience in your life.
Cancer rates dropped in the U.S. for the fourth straight year. Even bigger news: Two-third of cancers may be preventable.
The real news in the report was that two-third of cancers may be preventable. That number divides about equally between cancers due to smoking (the overwhelming cause of lung cancer) and cancers linked to obesity and lack of exercise (linked to cancer of the uterus, colon, kidney, pancreas, and breast cancer in post-menopausal women). Only the remaining one-third are linked to genetic mutations from all other causes, including toxins, radiation, environmental influences, etc.
Recent Discoveries That Could Revolutionize Medicine
In recent years, a handful of recent discoveries have provided glimmers of hope for both effective and affordable health care. Here, a list of seven recent discoveries that could revolutionize medicine.
New drug could cure nearly any virus
The drug works by targeting a type of RNA produced only in cells that have been infected by viruses. “In theory, it should work against all viruses,” says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology.
Because the technology is so broad-spectrum, it could potentially also be used to combat outbreaks of new viruses, such as the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak, Rider says.
Greatest Person of the Day: Redefining student aid in Africa
…23-year-old [Michelle Milee Chang] is the co-founder and CEO of Ambassadors for Sustained Health (ASH), a public health organization that is bent on treating public health and aid to developing nations in a more mature and sustainable way. ASH has a handful of flourishing projects in Wamuini, Kenya, and aims to create a public health model that can be used around the world.
“Our take on health is that it’s not just about passing out pills and walking away — but also housing, education and clean water,” Chang said. “These are all players in the fight to stay healthy. Lack of education and poverty are all barriers to increased public health.”
Greatest Person Of The Day: Dr. Alwyn Cohall, Harlem Health Advocate
I grew up in Harlem, a community steeped in a rich heritage of cultural and political achievement. However, it is also a community beset disproportionately by health problems. Even as a child, I knew I had to do something to help better conditions for my family, friends and neighbors. Becoming a doctor was my way to help.
Duh! Happiness Improves Health and Lengthens Life
“We reviewed eight different types of studies,” Diener said. “And the general conclusion from each type of study is that your subjective well-being — that is, feeling positive about your life, not stressed out, not depressed — contributes to both longevity and better health among healthy populations.”
There may be a lot more for you to learn about the healthful art of laughing and smiling.
It is known that laughing produces rapid rhythmical contractions of the diaphragm. These rhythmical contractions have a healthful effect on the abdominal organs, stimulating their functions and activating the digestive secretions, especially those of the liver. They also modify the rhythm of breathing, stimulate the pulmonary function and the activity of the heart and thereby produce a better oxidization. The popular proverb which says that “laughing makes good blood” is therefore scientifically accurate.
The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things: Fourteen Natural Steps to Health and Happiness by Larry Dossey
It may seem odd that a book promising to reveal the keys to happiness as well as health lists unhappiness as one of those keys, but Dossey contends that unhappiness is as necessary for the preservation of good health as, say, periodic tetanus shots. Add healthy doses of such other common but oft-overlooked good things as optimism, novelty, music, plants, and miracles, and one can expect a longer, happier life, Dossey says. Going further than promoting the obvious, Dossey also believes that including a bit of dirt, some bugs, a few tears, and a certain amount of forgetfulness can also significantly add to life’s length and breadth.
— Donna Chavez
Rob says: Writing in Whole Earth, Dr. Andrew Weil says, “Any level of biological organization that we examine, from DNA up to the most complex body systems, shows the capacity for self-diagnosis, for removal of damaged structure, and for regeneration of new structure.” I urge you to keep that idea close to the front of your mind, dear readers. Contrary to what authorities in many fields would lead you to believe, you have a lot of innate power to figure out exactly how to fix your own problems, both the health-related kind and any others.
Health Is Simple, Disease Is Complicated: A Systems Approach to Vibrant Health by James Forleo
Dr. James Forleo proposes a return to the body as the site of self-healing. The problem, he says, is that we don’t understand the language of signs and symptoms it uses to communicate its healing messages. Health Is Simple helps readers decipher that language and access the great realms of health and vitality the body contains.