There are two new employees in today’s edition of Twitter Thursday. This week I recorded messages from Dr. Bell Ruth Naparstek, a psychotherapist and world-renowned expert on guided imagery and Fredrick Hahn is the author of the bestselling book, The Slow Burn Fitness Revolution and Strong Kids Healthy Kids. We also have a number of recurring characters from the Twitter health scene: Dr. Jonny Bowden, Rick McGuire and the LA Times.
In yesterday’s column, I described the role that guided imagery can play in reducing arthritis pain. A recent tweet by Dr Ruth Bell Neparstek illustrates another advantage of this mind-body technique. This time the focus is on Parkinson’s disease (PD) associated tremors. A comparison of soothing music, guided imagery or “self-relaxation ‘in 20 patients with PD that guided imagery leads to a significant reduction of vibrations per minute. Relief of symptoms was not obvious in which listening to soothing music. also been noted that the self-relaxation practitioners demonstrated no significant effect at all. (1,2,3)
Fredrick Hahn is an exercise pioneer who advocates a low carbohydrate approach to physical fitness and overall wellness. He recently drew my attention to a chain of restaurants under the name Ruby Tuesday who have brought a welcome break from their menus. They now have a list of the “Net Carb” count for certain “smart food” entrees. The term “net carbohydrate” refers to the amount of non-fiber carbohydrates in food. Example: If a meal contains 10 grams of the total carbohydrate, and 6 of them come from dietary fiber, then the “net carbohydrate” count would be 4 grams. In essence, this formula returns the number of carbohydrates that will affect your blood sugar and rapid release of insulin. This is a very useful tool for anyone trying to develop diabetes deter and to promote a healthier weight. (4,5,6)
Rick McGuire is the source of this next piece. A few days ago he posted this provocative tweet: “Brain fuzzier than you would like a short meditation as well as coffee in clearing mental cobwebs”. This proclamation is based on a new study published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition, the relative effects of the 4 sessions of meditation in comparison versus “listening to a recorded book” on measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding and working memory. The researchers found that a short course of meditation lead to a reduction in anxiety, fatigue and improved several measures of cognitive functioning (executive functions, visuospatial processing improved memory and increased mindfulness +). The authors of the study concluded that, “4 days of meditation training, the ability to focus benefits that have previously been reported in long-term support to enhance meditation.” (7,8,9)
Meditation improves cognitive function and reduces anxiety (STAI)Source: Biopsychosoc Med. 2.009 to 3: 8. (Link)
One of my favorite Twitter finds comes from Dr. Jonny Bowden – natural health of its “Renaissance man”. On April 20 he posted a message that offers up 7 tips for a healthier life and longer life. I am happy to report that I agree with all recommendations. Here’s an overview of what he suggests: 1) eating more wild salmon and grass-fed meat 2) consume antioxidant-rich berries on a regular basis- 3) to supplement with vitamin D every day 4) living life in a meaningful way with a strong sense of purpose- 5) Practice deep breathing or other forms of stress management daily- 6) Exercise weight twice per week of age-related loss of muscle and the prevention of 7) consider drink, eat or supplement with resveratrol – the “red wine molecule”. (10,11)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration put much pressure on the food to the sodium content of processed foods to decrease based on an actual tweet by LA Times reporters Andrew Zajac and Melissa Healy. In all probability this sodium will shift one day pass and can produce a number of group health benefits. But what is important to remember is that lower sodium content does not necessarily lead to a truly healthy diet. Too much salt is but one of many problematic ingredients in the majority of commercially processed foods. The problem is that the FDA never convince the food to a change that would dramatically improve the health of this country and abroad, because it would bankrupt the industry to make. Eating natural, Whole Foods or making recipes from the ingredients listed is the best way to adapt sodium consumption while improving intake of potassium. This is good news for small farmers and ranchers, but an unwelcome reality for conventional food producers. (12,13)
It’s funny the connections make your mind when looking at seemingly unrelated items. When I got the information from Twitter this week I can not help it scan, but notice how the trade and the human body both respond to specific stimuli. Based on the research presented, it is clear that conscious mind-body practices such as guided imagery and meditation can transform the way we work and think. Moreover, the daily lifestyle choices we make also improve the chances of living a longer, quality filled life. We see examples of this in the “blue zones” around the world, as in Okinawa, Japan. But beyond that, I believe the small victory, I reported on regarding Ruby Tuesday “menu and the effort by the FDA to limit salt intake directly related to a shift in consumer consciousness. Companies and governments begin to take notice of a widespread desire for healthier alternatives. The more we allow our voices heard, the more we can participate in the many changes that will certainly come and will affect us all in one way or another.