Occupational Stress

April 28, 2006 by  
Filed under STRESS

By Carole Fawcett

Statistics tell us that more people have migraine headaches on Sunday night and that the rate of heart attacks and heart attack-like symptoms are very high in the early hours of Mondays.. What does this tell us? Perhaps that people are dreading going to their job on Monday? Maybe. But there are other reasons for this as well. Two decades ago we saw changes happen in the workplace that we didn’t anticipate. The trendy term used was downsizing. Less people to do the same amount of work. Executives lost their jobs daily. New types of employment finding agencies sprung up that specialized in higher level management job finding. There was confusion in the workplace and people began to feel uncertain about their jobs. Articles started to appear that indicated we will all have more than one job in our lifetime – there would be no more job security – even for those who were University educated.

Stress in the workplace has increased over the past couple of decades. Occupational Stress can be one of the most debilitating types of stress there is. Overworked Managers no longer have the time to acknowledge their employees in positive ways. Disrespect and rudeness are two of the big attitudinal problems in some businesses. There is a loss of connectedness with the workers. People feel isolated and unsupported in their work. Add to this the addition of the part time marginalized worker. Must be on call at the whim of the employer, only allowed to turn down so many shifts, no benefits and frequently lower wages. This means that these people do not know how much money they will have coming in each month – they try to take on another part time job – but the same thing holds true. Must be on call, only allowed to turn down so many shifts, etc.. You see the problem. It’s an insecure way to live at best. This creates the stress of never being able to plan for anything. An acquaintance tells me she keeps her cell phone at arms reach when she is in the shower.

According to the Tenth Annual Attitudes in the American Workplace Poll done by Harris Interactive, workplace stress is definitely up. Some of their results would support this. 63% say that the job pressures interfere with their family or personal life and 60% say that the job is negatively affecting their physical and emotional well-being. Stress Management is a big problem: 52% say that they think that people in their workplaces need help in managing anger and stress, yet 55% say their company offers no training on how to manage anger or stress. 35% say they feel their co-workers are harder to get along with due to stress.

Granted this poll was done in the United States, but the same results could be obtained here. So, what can we do to help combat the stress in our own office. We can acknowledge one another and leave anonymous notes that are positive in content. “Thank you for being you – you brighten my day”, “You were really helpful – thanks!” Or we could introduce some silliness and put some fun items on our desk. I have an Eeyore stuffy that talks and he never fails to elicit smiles and laughter. When I’ve had a frustrating day, Eeyore and I have a talk. Join a laughter club ande release those endorphins, serotonins and boost your immune system at the same time. If a laughter club isn’t your thing, rent funny videos for home OR work. Create a joke book, or a humour box. Buy balloons and leave them anonymously on someone’s desk. Put up funny or positive motivational quotes.

Many companies use fun as a motivator and mood stabilizer for their employees. Westjet Airlines is known for this and I am told that their employees just love going to work. The company holds parties for their employees and show their appreciation in many ways. Companies who make it fun to go to work get more out of their employees than those who don’t.

If we could learn to treat each other with respect and appreciation at work, mix in a little fun, smile and thank each other, it just might help to ease the stress of our workdays. It would be the beginning of something good.


Carole Fawcett lives in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in B.C. She is a Stress Management consultant and Laughter Therapist. She can be found at www.afunnybusiness.ca

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Carole_Fawcett

Body in bag killer jailed

April 27, 2006 by  

.. A man who murdered his ex-girlfriend, stuffed her in a cricket bag and hid her in the basement of a Queens Park apartment block was today sentenced to 27 years jail.

.. “The story behind this trial is a quite extraordinary one, involving great tragedy to a number of people.”

Matheson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but opinion on his mental state at the time varied and was ruled by Acting Justice Mathews as a caustive factor in the killing.

He maintains his innocence and does not remember any details of that night.

[MORE: Body in bag killer jailed – National – smh.com.au]

Report cites problems at nursing home of slain man

April 27, 2006 by  

.. The nursing home failed to make sure resident rooms and common areas were free of accident hazards, such as broken towel bars, loose or broken furniture, sharp edges of door plates, and that there was a centrally located water fountain.

State surveyors found other problems, such as ceiling vents with grime and black mold buildup, heating units with heavy dust accumulations, curtains falling off bent rods that were pulling away from the walls, torn chairs, and a “lingering, offensive, stale urine odor” in areas.

.. The report comes a month after the towel bar attack on Mr. Konwin, a 77-year-old Alzheimer’s patient. Mr. Hawkins, 62, who has schizophrenia and dementia, is charged with murder in Mr. Konwin’s death March 24.

[MORE: – toledoblade.com – Report cites problems at nursing home of slain man]

Dealing with schizophrenia

April 25, 2006 by  

Collins — a daughter, a sister and a social worker — wants you to know a few things about mental illness:

— You can get better.
— You can be successful.
— You can make up for the years you lost.

Collins, 47, lost about 20 of them.

As a senior in high school, she went from being an honor student to flunking out. She had trouble concentrating and organizing her thoughts.

[MORE: Lake Sun Leader – Dealing with schizophrenia]

Pain riddles two survivors 5 years after deadly rampage

April 25, 2006 by  

Five years ago, Serrano, who is now 38, was admitted to Savannas Hospital, which was one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in St. Lucie County before it closed because of hurricane damage in 2004.

In less than 30 minutes, the 6-foot-2, 250-pound bodybuilder tore through part of the hospital.

He later told psychologists that he heard the voice of God and he “saw ancient people with bear faces that wanted to eat me and kill me…. I fought with those people and I twisted their necks. I saw the people in the beds… monsters that wanted to kill and eat me.”

Doctors have testified that Serrano has schizophrenia and has been mentally ill since he was 13.

[MORE: Pain riddles two survivors 5 years after deadly rampage]

Family sues police in killing of man with schizophrenia

April 25, 2006 by  

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol’s investigative report, Heberlie’s confrontation with officers started because he was bothering an 18-year-old woman who was working as an attendant at a Ste. Genevieve gas station. Heberlie visited the station frequently. On the night of the shooting, Heberlie dropped by nine times, gave her flowers and offered to take her to Las Vegas. Heberlie, a paranoid schizophrenic, told the attendant that he had a stick that he could use to control clouds and that he worked with the FBI.

The attendant’s boyfriend called police …

[MORE: STLtoday – News – St. Louis City / County – Family sues police in killing of man with schizophrenia]

Wicked But Not Schizophrenic

April 25, 2006 by  

Two recent events have pushed schizophrenia into the headlines. One is a medical advance. Doctors may have found a biological underpinning of this horrible mental disease. The second is the questionable diagnosis of Zacarias Moussaoui, the unapologetic 9/11 terrorist, as a paranoid schizophrenic.

[MORE: LiveScience.com – Zacarias Moussaoui: Wicked But Not Schizophrenic]

MS Express

April 25, 2006 by  

It began as a joke between Carlo and his wife Angela. When bed-confined during his early years of Multiple Sclerosis, Carlo faithfully watched Katie Couric on the Today Show every morning. He joked to Angela that he was going to visit Katie when he was stronger.

Then, after an antique, electric wheelchair named Blu came into Carlo’s life, Angela playfully argued that Carlo was spending too much time with his new toy. “I’m going to pack my bags to go see Katie Couric,” Carlo joked. That’s when the dream began ~ the dream to travel across the country in an antique, electric wheelchair to share his spirit of hope with others.

As he thought through the idea, it grew until it became The MS Express, a six-month, 4,300 mile antique, electric wheelchair trek from Seattle to New York City with three-legged assistance dog Katie along for the ride. For a chronically ill man, this may seem like a daunting endeavor. For Carlo, though, it’s a more than just a trip – it’s a mission. A mission that Carlo hopes will improve the lives of others. For the last five years, Carlo has been planning this incredible journey. Having to cancel it twice due to health issues, Carlo is determined to make it happen in 2006. With much hoopla and fanfare, his departure will be held at the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field.

Following a magnificent kick-off, Carlo will begin his six-month journey along the northern United States. In addition to faithful companion Katie, Carlo will be accompanied by a support team in a handicapped accessible chase van, donated by Foley RV and Crossroads RV, two of Carlo’s many generous sponsors. As he travels across the country, Carlo will make keynote stops as the Ambassador for the City of Anacortes (Washington). With the goal of sharing handicapped accessibility information and raising awareness, Carlo will make official visits with city dignitaries, store owners, civic groups, community organizations, and others afflicted with chronic diseases.

In addition, Carlo will share his Able Neighbor message with hundreds of school children and communities nationwide. “There’s a phrase that goes like this, ‘Count the day lost upon the setting sun that sees not a worthy deed done,’” Carlo said. “I’m just trying to do a good deed. That’s all.” After dozens of stops and raising an estimated $1 million for MS research, Carlo will conclude his trip in New York City where he has promised to treat Angela to dinner at the finest Italian restaurant he can find. “It’s the journey, not the destination,” Carlo said of his cross-country trek.

“My goal is to bring awareness to people, to help those with MS, and to share my spirit of hope.” Meet The MS Express Team Carlo Magno Born in Los Angeles, California in 1951, Carlo was the middle child of a loving Italian family. Growing up in the family car business, Carlo developed salesmanship and promotional skills at an early age.

This experience became the foundation for a 26-year career in sales, marketing and promotions. Following high school, Carlo attended a number of colleges and universities in the west to further his education. He has been married to wife Angela, the love of his life, for 9 years. They live in Anacortes, Washington near the Pacific coast.

Carlo has two children, Anna, 33, and Guy, 18, from previous marriages. In July of 1995, Carlo was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. After recovering from an initial flair-up with the disease, he suffered a life-threatening fall at KBRC Radio where he worked at the time. For the next five years, Carlo was either hospitalized or housebound with injuries and illnesses, including pleurisy, blood clots, and trigeminal neuralgia. By the winter of 1999, Carlo had virtually given up and considered euthanasia to end his suffering.

He questioned whether or not he would live to see the new millennium. Then Carlo met Blu, an antique, electric wheelchair. Blu gave Carlo a reason to get out of bed in the morning. As Carlo gradually gained strength, he worked on Blu, restoring her to her original glory. Now, at 54, Carlo feels that he is in the best health of his life – mind, body and spirit. He wants to share his experiences with others to raise awareness for Multiple Sclerosis and to increase accessibility for the disabled in towns across the country.

“I want to define my disease,” Carlo said. “I don’t want my disease to define me.” Carlo’s next grand adventure is The MS Express, a 4,300 mile trip from Seattle to New York City, June 1st 2006. Carlo and his three-legged dog Katie will journey across the country in Blu. Katie Carlo had dogs as a child but never as an adult. In recent years, however, he wanted to adopt a three-legged dog. His prayers were answered two years ago when Katie, a four-year-old Australian Red Heeler came into his life. With little but skin and bones left of her, she had been found near the Skagit River, missing a leg and having just birthed a litter of pups. Carlo adopted her as his assistance dog.

She has been his faithful companion ever since, never leaving his side. “It was like two crippled ships meeting in the night,” Carlo joked. “She’s my assistance dog, but I like to think that I’m Katie’s assistant person.” Carlo’s beloved dog was named for Today Show co-anchor Katie Couric who Carlo vowed to visit when his confinement ended. Blu Blu is a 1955 Autoette Cruise About, a 24-volt, battery-powered, electric wheelchair conveyance, which can be operated by a 96 percent quadriplegic.

Designed and built out of WWII surplus materials by the Autoette Electric Car Company in Long Beach, California, Blu is the predecessor of today’s golf carts and motorized scooters used by the disabled today. She and others like her were introduced to the Washington State Legislature by Anacortes resident Bill Mitchell. Blu and her fellow Autoettes were granted legal access to all Public Access Routes in the State of Washington.

Blu came into Carlo’s life when he was homebound, spending most of his days in bed. Intrigued by the well-loved but worn antique, Carlo made Blu his reason to get out of bed every day, thanks to Bob Jeffcott who sold the wheelchair to him. “I think he needed Blu more than I did,” Bob said of the wheelchair.

“She has a soul and couldn’t be allowed to die.” With a lot of hard work and unmatched devotion, Carlo has transformed Blu into the beauty she once was – “a magnificent obsession.” With her Bombay Taxi Bell onboard, Blu looks shiny and new and is ready for her cross-country adventure! www.thespiritofhope.org Printed with permission.

Hormones And MS

April 25, 2006 by  

It is interesting that pregnancy can be the healthiest time for many women. I am convinced that the hormones are very protective of our bodies.

I was 52 when diagnosed in 2000 and suffered quite a bit until I finally went to a wellness doctor instead of a sickness doctor 🙂 I was put on hormone replacement, but NOT Prempro or Premarin any longer. We use bio-identical hormones. The difference is remarkable. Read more

A Child’s Final Journey

April 25, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

A Child’s Final Journey

By Tom Hanks. The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at SickKids Honorary Patron Tom Hanks.

In March of 2001 the The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at SickKids was created.

The objective of the fund is to help researchers develop pilot data from feasibility studies to be subsequently used in new research grant proposals leading to new therapies for the treatment of patients with neuroblastoma. To date ten neuroblastoma research grants have been awarded. Read More

How Can I Help When A Child Dies

April 25, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

How Can I Help … When a Child Dies?

I am already at a loss for words when an adult dies. I would be speechless what to say when a child dies…Ruth

Here is some help

“A child has died. Regardless of the child’s age or the circumstances of death, as a person wishing to give support, you feel empty and helpless. What can you say that will ease the pain and help to mend the hurts?

What Can You Do to Help?

There are no easy answers, no standard approaches that are universally helpful. There are no magic formulas that will make the pain go away. It is natural to feel helpless when the child of a friend or relative dies. Remember that showing your loving concern can be very comforting to a grieving family. Please don’t avoid them because you feel inadequate. Families are more likely to reach a healthy, positive resolution of their grief if they receive continuing support and understanding. The following suggestions may help you provide that support

The Secret Connection Between Stress, Energy and Happiness

April 21, 2006 by  
Filed under STRESS

By Stuart Nelson

Let me make it plain right from the start that although I recognise that some stress in our lives is actually good for us, the use of that term in this article is intended to cover the harmful, negative kind.

Hardly anyone is entirely free from stress, but not everyone is unhappy. Yet we know instinctively that stress brings unhappiness. So what is happening here?

The fact is that some people seem able to ride the waves of life’s rocky sea much better than others. They face the same causes of stress as others who succumb to them, but fail to allow them to depress them in any way. They may occasionally feel mildly agitated, but they are able to shrug off troubles, even big ones, so that their sleep is never disturbed and they never display any of the typical signs of stress. They not only understand mentally the fact that stress is a reaction that can be controlled, but they have inwardly accepted it, and now they control their reactions automatically.

This ability to bounce back as if nothing bad had happened is called resilience. It is a quality that I teach others to develop, both in my Stress Management and Resilience Course and in the course of life coaching.

Potentially, if people develop resilience to stress, there is no direct barrier to happiness, and they should be able achieve it.

Paradoxically, I now want to consider an alternative route to happiness.

An alternative route to happiness Last year, I studied a course on developing mental toughness. It occurred to me at the time that the implications of having mental toughness and being resilient to stress are identical. In other words, mental toughness seemed to be a synonym of resilience. Nevertheless, I might easily not have come to that conclusion, for the course focused on things other than the defeat of stress. Indeed, resistance to stress featured in only one of twelve parts to the course.

Seeing stress in this perspective provides a clue to the truth. Either mental toughness is a wider concept than resilience, or else resilience covers much more than stress. Which is right probably doesn’t matter at all. What matters is the underlying truth that there is more to happiness than elimination of stress.

The course on mental toughness concentrated on achieving peak performance. This is where it differs from my own approach in combating stress. But, as with my own approach, it did so by means of an holistic route, taking in physiology, psychology and emotions.

In fact, the road to peak performance was identified as one that involved high positive energy levels, described as energy without tension.

Could there be another way? It is not difficult to imagine how much easier it is to be happy and fulfilled if you achieve resilience. But could there be another way besides focusing on mental toughness? I believe there could be and that there is.

Think for a moment what it felt like when you last experienced being inspired. Have you any idea what caused your inspiration? All sorts of things can inspire people, but it is true that some people are inspired more easily than others.

If you have ever been inspired, you will know that it feels amazing; that you experience being pulled forward with little effort; that you are in the flow and nothing can disturb the positive feelings that you have.

Inspiration is a source of energy that exists in your very core. Recent studies into the connection between the heart and the brain might suggest that inspiration is a product of the heart. But this is of no real consequence to us. What matters is that we experience it. Like electricity, we cannot see it, but we know it when we have it.

It is quite impossible to be unhappy or depressed when we are inspired. Hence, inspiration rules out all forms of stress. However, the advantage of inspiration over all other forms of energy is that it can last for days, weeks, months, years or even for a lifetime.

So we have discovered an alternative route to resilience to stress: focus on finding inspiration.

How do I find it? Inspiration is a recognised outcome of coaching. Many coaching clients experience inspiration during or after a coaching session. Moreover, coaches know how to ensure that inspiration is sustained.

But coaching is by no means the only way. If you are the sort of person who finds inspiration in almost anything, you will know what to do now, but if you are not, there are still steps that you can take to improve your chances.

1. Reflect on when you were inspired in the past Look back at the experiences, people, literature, thoughts, dreams, ideas and other things that inspired you in the past. Be sure that you identify the source of the inspiration and think how you might replicate it now.

2. Clarify what works The source of your inspiration may not be at all sophisticated. Avoid confusing what really works to inspire you with what you think should inspire you.

3. Create environments that support you If free space inspires you, have a blitz on clutter. If liberal thinkers inspire you, surround yourself with them. If beauty inspires you, redesign your living space with photographs, paintings and plants. Be creative.

4. Focus on creation Focus on creating inspiration, not on what is preventing you.

Copyright: StressKill 2006

Stuart E. Nelson (www.LifeCoaching4You.com) specialises in helping stressed and disillusioned nurses to reconnect with their passion for nursing. He does this by concentrating on the elimination of stress, and the building of supportive environments. But Stuart is prepared to help anyone who is stressed. Let the author of “Potential for Harm” and the founder of “Success Story”, the FREE newsletter, help you to find better balance in your life, happiness and fulfilment and to grow the profitability of your business. Request your copy of “Success Story” today! Mail to success-story@aweber.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stuart_Nelson

‘Women Under the Influence’ addresses women’s addiction problems

April 17, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

According to a just-published book, “Women Under the Influence,” six million women in the United States abuse or are addicted to alcohol. That’s one woman in 20; 15 million use illicit drugs or abuse prescription drugs (that’s one woman in 10); and 32 million smoke cigarettes. (That’s one woman in five.)

[MORE: The Daily Times – www.delmarvanow.com – Salisbury, Md.]

Why is Stress Harmful?

April 14, 2006 by  
Filed under STRESS

By Stuart Nelson

The Mechanism When something happens to trigger feelings of stress in us, our body is programmed to make certain adjustments to our normal state. Indeed, our body chemistry changes quite fundamentally every time we react to stress. These adjustments probably have their origin in our distant ancestors, whose lifestyle was quite different from our own.

Imagine you are a caveman or cavewoman, going about your business of collecting wood for a fire. Suddenly you are confronted by a sabre-toothed tiger, or some other horror. What are you to do? You have three options:

1. Stay and fight.

2. Run away.

3. Give up and allow yourself to be eaten.

At this stage, because stress is quite literally “something in your head”, the first signs of danger have been detected by a part of your brain called the amygdale.

The next stage is that other brain areas will evaluate the threat’s importance, decide how to respond and remember when and where the danger occurred, thereby reducing the risk of meeting the same threat again.

You are most unlikely to choose the third option. Human beings, along with most living creatures, have a natural instinct for self-preservation. Hence you are much more likely to fight or flee.

Which you choose will depend on a number of factors, such as how fast you can run, how fast you believe the tiger can run, whether you are experienced in fighting foes of this kind, and your belief in yourself, or lack of it.

Fortunately for your body, fighting and fleeing have one thing in common: they both demand a great deal of energy. Hence the body can easily make specific adjustments to suit either choice, and that is precisely what it does. This phenomenon is known as the Fight or Flight Response (“FFR”).

Fight or Flight Response Much remains unknown about how the brain and the immune system interact, but what is clear so far is that once a trigger for stress has been recognised by the amygdale, a chain of events results in the production of cortisol by the adrenal glands.

The significance of cortisol is that at normal levels it enhances the immune system by increasing the production of cytokines to fight inflammation. However, when stress is detected, the levels of cortisol rise. This causes the immune system to stop operating (or, in some cases, to misfire). It appears also to trigger the release by the pancreas of the hormones, insulin and glucagon, and the release by the liver of glucose-tolerance factor, a substance that aids the insulin in carrying fuel in the form of glucose from the blood and into the body.

The glucagon is responsible for topping up the blood sugar if levels fall too low. Simultaneously, levels of adrenalin and noradrenalin, the so-called ‘fight or flight’ hormones, are raised and pumped round the body to provide extra resources of energy and speed in case of need in the Fight or Flight, and to divert resources from bodily functions, such as digestion, which are not essential for immediate self-preservation.

The effect of the fight or flight hormones is to:

raise blood pressure

increase heartbeat

restrict blood flow to the skin, to lessen the risk of bleeding profusely if injured (the blood thickens).

reduce stomach activity, causing a feeling of ‘butterflies’

increase perspiration, to keep the skin cool.

change the breathing.

dilate the pupils.

tense muscles.

These things occur within seconds.

Undoubtedly, all these adjustments will be useful if we face a threat from a sabre-toothed tiger, and they could still be useful in modern times if, for example, we are attacked by a mugger in the street, but their use is highly questionable if the trigger for our stress is less life-threatening, such as the frustration of standing in a queue, or dealing with rowdy children.

The fact is that the body is unable to distinguish between life-threatening and other triggers of stress. It matters not if you are stressed through pressure at work or by a falling tree that threatens to flatten you. In either case, you will be given increased levels of cortisol and fight or flight hormones.

The difference between the two situations that I have just mentioned is that in the case of the falling tree, the result will be appropriate preparation of our organs and muscles for the emergency, whilst in the case of the work pressure, we shall be left with unwanted chemicals in our body and an immune system that is turned off or damaged. You feel wound up but can find no release. Indeed, because energy was diverted away from the normal maintenance and repair functions of the body, such as digestion, cleansing and rejuvenating, the result is that the stressful thought has caused us to age a little. Every second that we spend in a stressful state speeds up the aging process.

If you have been concentrating on the matter in hand, you may have detected in the last paragraph an unexpected assertion that the immune system might be damaged. This is a reference to something already mentioned, namely the possibility of a misfire of the immune system caused by high levels of cortisol. For reasons that are not yet understood, high levels of cortisol may sometimes reduce but not close down the immune system completely. When this occurs, the production of cytokines continues, but it changes in function so that it begins to promote inflammation instead of fight it. The cytokines involved in this distorted process have been linked by scientists to heart disease, depression, strokes and other diseases.

The results of chronic stress Some of the results of continuous stress can be predicted from what we know already about FFR. The turning off of the immune system will allow us to catch colds and other viruses more easily. We shall more readily catch infections if we are injured and our wounds will take longer to heal. Increases in blood pressure will cause headaches. Back injuries will become more common and we shall succumb to stomach problems.

Imagine too, the effects of having your pituitary, your pancreas, your adrenals and your liver continuously pumping out chemicals to control blood sugar that you do not need. Over time, your body begins to wear out and to become unbalanced. Levels of the anti-aging hormone, adrenal and of cortisol begin to fall and your resilience to stress is destroyed.

Moreover, the results will fuel the feelings of stress in themselves. Headaches and infections make us feel worse than ever and if the original causes of stress are still operating on us, we are taken to a new and higher level of stress.

Our energy levels fall and we lose concentration, and become confused and irritable. We may even freak out. Sleeping patterns are disturbed. It is hard to get to sleep, and hard to wake up. We begin to sweat much more than usual.

The Heart Under chronic stress, fat is deposited at our waist, rather than on our hips and buttocks. This raises the risk of heart disease, strokes and cancer.

Such problems are serious health-care issues. In the UK, 235,000 people die each year from cardiovascular disease (heart problems and stroke). In addition, over a million people suffer from angina.

Research in 1999 showed that women in high demand or low control jobs were more than 70% more likely to suffer coronary heart disease than women who had jobs involving high levels of control. Moreover, men in low control jobs were 50% more likely to develop heart problems than men with high levels of control.

It must not be thought that stress is the only cause of heart disease, but it appears increasingly to be an important contributory factor.

The British Heart Foundation cites research that shows that people who work while suffering depression or who work with volatile colleagues are more likely than not to develop heart problems. Moreover, they add that stress can cause angina in people who already have heart disease. Their view is supported by the American Heart Association, which suggests that there is a “relationship between the risk of cardiovascular disease and environmental and psychosocial factors”.

In some extreme cases, stress has been found to cause fatal heart attacks. For instance, it was reported in the British Medical Journal in 2000 that more men died of heart attacks on the day when the Dutch soccer team was knocked out of the European Football Championship than on a normal day.

The same publication, in 1998, described how men working long hours in Japan were more at risk of heart attacks than those working modest hours.

The Link with Mental Health People have associated depression with heart problems since time immemorial. Even Shakespeare, and Chaucer before him, talked of a broken heart when describing depression. But what evidence is there of a real connection between depression and heart disease?

In 1998, a study of the lives of 1,190 medical students tracked over 37 years revealed that being depressed had the effect of doubling the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

On the face of things, therefore, the link between depression and heart disease seems to be proven. But what of anxiety, the other mental symptom of stress? This too has been linked with heart problems.

In 1997, a study of 1,457 men was published in the British Medical Journal. It reported that those who suffered phobic anxiety were nearly four times more at risk of a fatal heart attack than those without anxiety.

Even more concerning is a study published in the journal, Circulation, in 1997, which disclosed that mild worrying almost doubled the risk of heart problems, and that high levels of worrying increased the risk to two and half times.

Some American research has even found a link between stress and the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Link with Personality An increased risk of heart disease was identified some years ago in people of ‘Type A’ personality. Such people are competitive and prone to stress. A trait of the personality is shortness of temper. In 1996, the Psychological Bulletin disclosed that hostility and anger increases the risk of heart disease. Indeed, knowing as we do of the way the immune system is turned of during FFR, it should not surprise us to learn that the article went on to mention a link also with physical illness, such as back injury.

Certainly, angry outbursts can trigger a heart attack. In 1995, an study reported in Circulation revealed that intense anger doubled the risk of an attack. Moreover, hostility was linked with increased blood pressure, which can, of course, lead in its turn to heart problems and strokes.

Incidentally, whilst it is not true that high blood pressure is permanently produced by stress, unless the stress is chronic, it is true that blood pressure is raised for much longer periods than the duration of the stress, thereby increasing the risk of heart failure and strokes.

Cancer The link between stress and cancer has been believed by non-medical people for many years. But what is the truth about it?

At the time of writing, the website of Cancer Research UK contains no fewer than 34 articles containing reference to the immune system. The references appear to occur in two different aspects. First is the boosting of the immune system to overcome cancer. Secondly, there is mention of failure of the immune system as a cause of cancer.

For instance, in an article on lymphoma, one risk factor is reduced immunity. Typically this could result from the taking of immune system suppressing drugs after an organ transplant, or from bacterial or viral infections. On the other hand, it could as well result from chronic stress.

Indeed, Artritis.net, a Spanish website published in Spanish and English, claims to be a comprehensive directory of links to websites on the subject of the human immune system. Of 378 distinct links, no less than 176 relate to cancer or one sort or another.

We can surely conclude from this that the link between stress, as the cause of dysfunction of the immune system, and cancer can be established.

Conclusion Some doctors take the view that almost all disease can be attributed to stress, at least in part.

In 2000, a survey on stress was commissioned by Channel 4. a British, independent television channel. More than 500 adults and young people (over 16) in employment were interviewed.

Among other questions, the subjects of the survey were asked to list symptoms of physical illness that they had suffered in the previous year as a result of stress. These were the results:

• irritability (29%)

• changes in sleep patterns (29%)

• inability to relax (28%)

• changes in eating patterns (18%)

• inability to concentrate (17%)

• anxiety or depression (16%)

• physical illness (8%)

• memory loss (8%)

• substance misuse i.e. drugs/drinking or smoking too much (5%).

It should not surprise us, therefore, to know that the survey also reported that 20% of those interviewed considered that stress at work was causing their families to suffer. This was even more of a problem for people with children (26%) and for people who were widowed, divorced or separated (27%).

Dr. Nisha Jackson, of Oregon, USA, a nurse practitioner specialising in hormonal balance, said in 2005 that in the past ten years of practice, she had noticed a pattern in thirty-five to fifty-year old women. She reported changes in their physical, emotional and mental health. Increasingly, this group were complaining of “fatigue, depression, PMS, weight gain, repeated flu-like symptoms, cravings, anger, and just not feeling well.” These changes she attributed to increases in stress.

Stress in the pregnant mother has even been found to affect the unborn child. Research has shown that if the mother is very anxious, the baby will tend to be smaller or to be born prematurely. One particular London hospital study revealed that cortisol passes from anxious mothers to their unborn babies and may lead to those babies being more prone to stress in later life.

Another, perhaps unforeseen effect of stress on family dynamics is child abuse. According to the University of Missouri Extension, a branch of the university that reaches out to Missouri residents beyond Columbia with distance learning programs and other outreach efforts, teenage mothers are especially prone to abusing their children. Stress is a major component in the high risk.

Indeed, the possibilities for stress disrupting personal and family life must be countless. Nor can we count the cost of stress in terms of leading to accidents at work or on the road; of leading to smoking or to substance abuse (drugs or alcohol) with consequent, often fatal, risks to health, quite apart from those to the heart, already discussed.

If your experience of stress is mild, you will have the ability to conquer it by using stress management techniques. However, for those with more serious problems, you require outside help. Doctors, themselves a highly stressed group, do not always have the answer.

Stuart E. Nelson LL.B., Diplomas in Business Excellence and Life Coaching, is the founder of StressKill Services, providers of innovative forms of stress control. They provide an ascending range of products and services to suit all levels of seriousness, from e-books and e-courses to live training and coaching. They also print “Success Story”, a FREE newsletter, containing lots of information and tips about stress and about life. It contains news of the latest developments too. SIGN UP NOW! Mail to success-story@aweber.com

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stuart_Nelson

Drug Use Among Teens

April 12, 2006 by  
Filed under ADDICTION


WASHINGTON (AP) – Drug use among teens has dipped nationally in the United States but underage drinking persists, with jumps in California and Wisconsin, according to a study released Thursday.The report by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, based on interviews of 135,500 people, is the first to document state-by-state drug and alcohol use from 2002 to 2004. Read more

James, Ya can’t let cancer ruin your day

April 10, 2006 by  
Filed under CANCER

Foreword By Tom Hanks. The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at SickKids Honorary Patron Tom Hanks In March of 2001 the The James Fund for Neuroblastoma Research at SickKids was created. The objective of the fund is to help researchers develop pilot data from feasibility studies to be subsequently used in new research grant proposals leading to new therapies for the treatment of patients with neuroblastoma. To date ten neuroblastoma research grants have been awarded. Read More

About Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma is one of the most common solid tumours of early childhood usually found in babies or young children. The disease originates in the adrenal medulla or other sites of sympathetic nervous tissue. The most common site is the abdomen (near the adrenal gland) but can also be found in the chest, neck, pelvis, or other sites. Most patients have widespread disease at diagnosis.

Fat Man Walking…Fight Obesity

April 10, 2006 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Fat Man Walking…Thin, Living, Gracious Man Emerging


A few days ago, one of my closest friends called me up and asked if I heard about “that obese guy walking across the country.” “No,” I said — and frankly, I was a bit shocked that I missed the story. I seem to catch every other story like this one.

“I don’t know the name of his site, but he’s lost over 100 pounds and…”

That was enough for me. I was already inspired…and I had a moment of intuition come upon me. “Fat man walking?”, I said, half joking and half knowing.

My friend did a search on Google, and sure enough, that is the name of Steve’s website. Just in case you thought I was being callous with my titles, I wasn’t — these are Steve’s words, not mine. My “intuition” was just that…and the fact that the title made sense given the movie, Dead Man Walking.

What I didn’t know was exactly how much sense it made until I read the story you’re about to read.

Steve wanted to reclaim his LIFE…so he chose a goal worthy of life — a massive, inspiring, tremendous goal. A “gigantic why”, as I point out in Fit Over 40. This was crucial to my success as well, although I did not choose to walk across the country.


More on that in a moment.

First, I want you to read the story of Steve. See if you can’t relate to his pain, even if you are not 400 pounds (Steve is now 100 pounds lighter after walking as far as he has.)

Fit Over 40 has our own “Steves” — like Jon Blackburn, who never left his garage for the first fifty pounds and never leaves his church for the rest! Jon shed 150 pounds of fat and has kept it off using sound nutrition and simply walking (and eventually running) stairs. Or Marty Webb, Ph.D., who began her journey in her late 50s to become a super-lean 61-year-old.

If Steve’s story inspires you, Fit Over 40 will inspire and thoroughly educate you using multiple role models and the strategies they used to regain their own lives. My own story is included, as I took my own trip from obesity to leanness.

Before you dive into Steve’s journey, let me tell you this: you do not have to walk across the country to become fit and healthy.

But, you do have to walk around the world.

What do I mean by that? The world is blocking your path. The world, with its schedules, its expectations, its preconceived notions of what you are “supposed” to do and be at a certain age — all of that needs to be walked around in order to get on the path to the greatest “you” possible.

No one achieves greatness through conformity to the masses. I’m challenging each of you to rise above the masses, walk around your own “world”, and join the path to become Fit Over 40 — starting today.

Read on, and then read my challenge below Steve’s story. We’re going to pitch in, make a difference, and even begin a trek of our own.


Jon Benson
Creator/Co-Author of Fit Over 40: Role Models For Excellence At Any Age

Order Fit Over 40

My Name is Steve Vaught, (born Stephen James Liller in Youngstown, Ohio). I am a 39 year old, happily married father of two great kids and I have a pretty good life here in Southern California. You would think that I would be happy because of these things, but I am not.

I am not happy because I am fat and being fat makes every day unhappy.

I did not make this website to complain about it however, instead I am doing something about it and this site was made to chronicle my story.

I am going to walk across the United states from San Diego to NYC to lose weight and regain my life!

The rest of the story is that I have not always been fat. I have been many things in my life from a lanky teenager to a muscular Marine and now I am fat. This latest incarnation is without a doubt the worst.

Being fat is physically and emotionally painful. It diminishes the quality of the good things in life and it will ultimately bring about an early demise. So being overweight darkens every good thing that you achieve in your life and even prevents some things from happening at all.

For the last 15 years I have been slowly gaining weight and it seems that whatever I do, it just spirals ever upward.

Socially being fat is hard to deal with because I feel that am looked down upon by people even when they are not doing so maliciously. It may be human nature. You know, “survival of the fittest”. Also, I feel as though I am being taken advantage of by companies and people that want fat people to buy their latest “miracle pill” or prepackaged food that will help me lose the weight.

We, as a society, are growing larger and have become a big market for high dollar fast fixes. We are not getting the fix because it is an illusion. Don’t get me wrong, if I were given the option I would trade just about anything to be trim and fit again. I have the same excuses, desires and dreams as many others in my position. I know though, that there is no other option but physical exertion to truly get back into shape.

So, after consulting the family and getting their blessing I have made the decision to stop this merry go round and dedicate myself to losing the extra weight. I have an addiction and there needs to be dedication and sacrifice to cure addictions. If I had a drug or alcohol addiction I would go to rehab. Well, what I have in mind is rehab for the fat guy. I am going to take six months out of my life and walk across the United States from San Diego to NYC.

My main purpose in undertaking this journey is losing weight. More importantly though, I need to change the behaviors that have allowed me to be in this situation in the first place. I know that to permanently lose this weight I must learn to be more responsible to myself.

Nuts you say? Well, maybe.

But how nutty is spending a fortune on miracle weight loss drugs or fad diets that never seem to have lasting results or dangerous surgeries that cost about the same as a luxury car?

Living your life without health insurance because you are considered too high risk.

What about the fact that only 3% of weight loss attempts are permanently successful?

What about the anxiety, depression and pain involved in everyday activities when you are fat?

I don’t want to miss out on birthdays, graduation, marriages and grandkids because I chose not to take my life back. That, to me, is nuts.

I am going to sacrifice some time out of my regular life to gain 30- 40 years of a better, leaner, healthier and happier life.

So considering all of that, I would be nuts not to do this.

Losing the weight will be the easy part. I plan to keep the weight off in the future by maintaining a proper diet and level of activity needed, as well as remembering how easy it is to gain weight and difficult to lose it.

I hope my story and actions serve to encourage others to take their lives back — to get up and do something about it today.

We have become conditioned to believe that there is an answer in a pill or cream or drink or machine that will fix it for us. We lost sight of the fact that we are the most incredible machine ever built, capable of great heroism, ingenuity and strength.

The human race has achieved great feats solely on the efforts of the individual. Building pyramids, settling frontiers and walking on the moon are a few examples.

I hope to remind people like me, that we each have the strength and ability to do anything we want. Losing weight is a choice the same as continuing to exist in this terrible condition is a choice. I have decided to live! It really is a simple decision when you think about it.

If you want to keep up with the journey and my progress please come back often to check out the journal page. With details from the road both good and bad, I will talk about the walk, people I have met, my physical condition, and a weekly weigh in when possible.

This effort is not going to be without sacrifice, my family and I know and accept that. I will probably see my wife and kids only once or twice during this time. I am not in the best condition financially to go six months without income and have resigned myself to the fact that I will lose my car and property. Those things however, pale in significance when reckoned with the consequences of doing nothing.

I can get another car or another property but not another life. That which is most precious is the one thing that cannot be bought for any price…life.

Fit Over 40’s Challenge To You…And Our Gift To Steve
I have to tell you this — Steve does not know me from Adam. He has no idea I’m sharing his story, nor (to my knowledge) has he ever even read Fit Over 40. He is in no way affiliated with my book or my company.

That being said, I feel compelled to help this person along his journey.

I will be sending Steve a copy of this newsletter, a copy of Fit Over 40, and half of the proceeds from this week’s book sales to help support his cause.

This is not a marketing ploy — this is a flat-out bribe. If I can draw attention to people like Steve and help him financially, then by all means I’m going to do it. Yes, I’m “bribing” you to help — and I’m asking many of my fellow fitness pros to chip in as well.

You see, Steve inspired me with his story, but more than that, he isn’t trying to do anything but live. If you read his website, you’ll see what I mean. He’s not walking for some higher cause. He’s walking because he’s unhappy and determined to regain joy and health.

Because I’m such a fan of walking, and a fan of this country, I’ve chosen Steve as my “role model of the month” for Fit Over 40 members.

If you’ve been thinking about purchasing Fit Over 40, do it this week. I will post the amount raised for Steve’s cause in next week’s newsletter, with a special thanks to each of you. I will also post screen captures of the actual donation for legal purposes. This contribution will be done in the the name of “the readers of Fit Over 40.” Technically, it will come from Fit Over 40 LLC, but the credit will go to each one of you. If Steve is already well-supported, then I will ask him to donate those funds to UNICEF. Either way, this week will be an amazing week, and I thank you for your support in advance.

Fit Over 40 Announces Our Own Journey:
Walk and Train Across The Plains 2007

Just when you thought you’d seen it all from me.

Steve’s trek inspired me so much that I came up with this idea. I will be fleshing it out and giving you all more details as we go. For now, let this thought resonate with you: a walk across America, with anyone wanting to join doing so in any state, for any length, combined with daily resistance training, healthy nutrition, and motivation. Why just walk when you can “Walk and Train”?

People over 40 need resistance training more than any other form of exercise. Don’t wait until 2007 — start today by picking up Fit Over 40 and learning from our role models. Then, join me and our team as we cross our great land in true Fit Over 40 style.

Finally, I will be planning a motorcycle trip back across the country when we reach our destination. We’ll hit the gym 3-4 times per week and get our exercise in as well as we see the most beautiful parts of America and Canada.

to express your interest in this trip of a lifetime. There is no cost to join in on the road with us — just the desire to make a massive difference in your life and the lives of every person over 40.

Details TBD!

Jon Benson
Creator/Co-Author of Fit Over 40: Role Models For Excellence At Any Age

Order Fit Over 40

Need Some Answers Now?

If you don’t have a copy of Fit Over 40 yet, download yours today. In less than a few minutes you’ll have the number 2 fitness e-book of all time right on your desktop — 304 pages of inspiration, motivation and fitness strategy. Fit Over 40 isn’t just for people over 40 — it’s an invaluable training and motivational e-book that can save you years, even decades of frustration when it comes to learning what works for your body and seeing the results you want. One of the reasons I wrote the book was to save others the years of trial and error I went through as I went from obese to fit. With over 50 role models profiled, Fit Over 40 will stand the test of time for anyone interested in health, strength, fat loss, muscle, and motivation — at any age.

An Article on Stress Management

April 7, 2006 by  
Filed under STRESS

By Maureen Staiano

We are living in a world that is filled with stress and it does not appear that it’s going to stop anytime soon. There is no longer a 40 hour work week. Parents are busier than ever keeping up with the wild schedules of their children, ferrying them from sports to music lessons and then play dates etc. If you have more than one child the pace you keep is staggering. That is why an article on stress management can be a life saver.

Those of us who are either single or have children that are grown and gone don’t have it much easier. Let’s face it, keeping up with all the opportunities and information we are presented with can be overwhelming. We often don’t want to miss a minute of it.

With the amount of stress we deal with on a daily level, most everyone would readily agree that a program of stress management is necessary for survival. It has been demonstrated that both regular exercise and a daily practice of meditation are greatly beneficial in reducing stress and improving health. You certainly won’t get any argument from me regarding making an effort to include both of these strategies into your life.

What I would like to address here in this article on stress management is a technique for those moments when you really need to take the stress down a notch immediately. When you are stuck in traffic and running late or you have just had an argument with a spouse or a child. Then of course there are just the everyday mini-meltdowns at the office and you could use some immediate relief.

The next time you are faced with this type of situation I encourage you to breathe. That’s right, breathing is one of the best stress management techniques there is. I am not talking about the normal in and out shallow breath we are familiar with. I am talking about a specific breathing technique.

Here is the basic technique to manage stress:

1. Sit comfortably, on the floor or in a chair. (Or your car if needed). You will be breathing in one nostril and then out the other

2. Using your index finger (either one) to hold the right nostril closed, breathe in with your left nostril to a count of six. Hold the breath for three counts.

3. Now, closing off the left nostril with your finger, release the right nostril and breathe out to a count of six.

4. Still closing your left nostril, breathe in with your right nostril for six counts. Hold for three counts.

5. Then, closing off the right nostril, release the left nostril and breathe out to a count of six.

6. Repeat the entire sequence three to five times.

By alternating the flow of air through your nostrils you feel an incredible sense of relaxation. It can be done virtually anywhere and is a wonderful stress management technique that can bring relief in a matter of a few minutes.

An article on stress management, while seemingly too simple, can be just the handy tool that helps you keep your stress in check. That, in turn helps you to be a better husband, wife, employee,and parent. You will be able to cope with many of the small things that used to be great annoyances. All in all, life gets a little easier. Your child or significant other will also reap the benefit of this easy technique. Give it a try and see for yourself.

Maureen Staiano is a Life Coach specializing in working with women and many of the issues we face. My passion in life is helping women to improve their lives and achieve their individual and collective dreams. Please visit me at: www.achieveyourdreamcoaching.com/

Article Source: EzineArticles.com/?expert=Maureen_Staiano

Obesity and Cholesterol in kids

April 4, 2006 by  
Filed under OBESITY

It has been revealed in the survey that almost 65% of infant population is said to be suffering from obesity and its related diseases. According to the experts obesity is the base which leads to high cholesterol in the higher ages.

Lack of proper care and attention over children always leads them to many diseases for which parents cant even repent in the future. It has been noticed that obese or overweight children are more prone to cholesterol and its related diseases. They not only suffer from cholesterol related but also from many heart and cardiovascular diseases. Read the whole article here.

Kids and Easter without chocolate

April 3, 2006 by  
Filed under OBESITY

Easter Eggs

From Dr Barry Sears,

Children can enjoy Easter festivities without stuffing themselves with chocolate and jelly beans. Jelly beans, by the way, are made from sugar, starch and corn syrup, guaranteed to take you out of the Zone.

   Fill Easter baskets with items that usually make up birthday goodie bags, such as pocket-sized games, craft kits, stickers, and plastic jewelry. A paperback story book by a child’s favorite author will also be a hit as will felt markers and coloring books.

Dr Barry Sears official home

   Don’t totally deprive you child at Easter. You don’t want them to escape to a neighbor’s house and eat candy until they’re sick. Perhaps a chocolate bunny in the center of the basket will fill the bill. You can afford to spend more for a truly delicious treat because you’re not buying bags of jelly beans and other cheap eats found on drug store and grocery store shelves. Read more

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.