Category Archives: The Positive Pear’s Did You Know?
Avocado known by many interesting names, including the alligator pear, butter pear and vegetable butter. Avocados have amazing anti-inflammatory properties that fall into five basic categories. Which are omega-3 fatty acids, phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, non-carotenoid antioxidants and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, also known as PSAs. The anti-inflammatory properties of the avocado make it beneficial in helping to prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Having such amazing anti-inflammatory benefits also make it a great anti-aging food, as well as a nutrient dense, natural anti-inflammatory for conditions which contribute to chronic inflammation such as Ankylosing Spondylitis.
Avocados are also packed full of dietary fats to provide maximum absorption of necessary fat-soluable phytonutrients. These phytonutrients, which are also known as carotenoids, include lutein, alpha-carotene, beta carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. By adding 150 grams of fresh avocado to your salad or eating avocado with similar foods increases absorption between 200-400%. Remember to peal NOT slice to get more of the green dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin.
Here’s another fun TPP recipe using super yum avocados. Serve as an appetizer, side dish, or if you LOVE avocados as I do, then enjoy as a meal.
2 tablespoons Red Onions, finely chopped
1/4 tablespoons seedless Cucumber, peeled & diced
1/4 cup Grape Tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons Green Bell Pepper, diced
3 tablespoons Kalamata Olives
1 Garlic Clove, finely minced
1 teaspoon Anaheim Pepper, seeded & finely chopped (optional)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed Lime Juice (to prevent browning & for topping)
2 Avocados, peeled, halved, pitted and rubbed with lime juice
1/4 cup of fresh Cilantro, or Parsley finely chopped (for topping)
1 Head Romaine Lettuce leaves, washed
Combine chopped red onion, cucumber, diced grape tomatoes, bell pepper, kalamata olives, garlic, Anaheim pepper and lime juice. Rub avocado with the remaining lime juice. Top avocado halves with the mixed ingredients, squeeze an ample amount of lime juice on each, then sprinkle with fresh cilantro (or) parsley and for nice added flavor add freshly ground lemon pepper. Place filled avocado halves on your romaine lettuce lined bowl or plate and serve.
An autoimmune disease & chronic inflammatory condition such as Ankylosing Spondylitis has its fair share of symptoms, so it’s incredibly discouraging to discover that AS sufferers are also susceptible to a multitude of other conditions. When you add incredibly strong medications to this equation, the potential for developing other chronic conditions increases considerably. These are some of the other chronic conditions that Ankylosing Spondylitis patients who are taking Remicade, Humira, Enbrel, Fenofibrate, Polaramine, Oxycontin, Novorapid, Percocet, Levemir and Naprosyn most often developed while on the above meds:
Acute Pancreatitis (Inflammation of Pancreas)
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (NIDDM/Adult Onset Diabetes)
Diabetes mellitus (DM Covers many forms of Diabetes)
Peripheral vascular disorder (PVD)
Gastrooesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Autoimmune thyroiditis (Inflammation of the Thyroid)
Gastritis prophylaxis (Disease of the Stomach/Inflammation of Mucus Membrane)
When you open the informational packet which is usually enclosed with your meds, you read of the many potential side effects and most often discount the risks for experiencing them (or) side effects such as these aren’t included because many who develop these additional conditions feel that they are unique and independent of their meds, disease or condition, so connections aren’t made and often not reported. These connections are also not made frequently by doctors. However, many AS patients who are on these medications have these conditions. This should be enough to point your doctor in the right direction, if you are experiencing related symptoms.
There really is no win/win when it comes to medications there are either numerous side effects or after becoming quite dependent upon them they simply cease to work, because as the body metabolizes these substances, it also builds up a tolerance. However, knowing of these additional risks prior to taking medications is incredibly helpful, because it arms patients with the knowledge they need to better care for themselves. For example knowing that you are at a higher risk for diabetes might motivate you to exercise daily and eat healthier foods. Such as eliminating simple carbs, sugars and starches. This knowledge might also motivate others who are in the position do so, to manage their disease without the use of the harsh medications, while also embracing the importance of a “whole body” approach. I was fortunate enough to have several years of experience with natural, more healthier options to manage my AS and my exposure to Naprosyn was limited, but that does not mean that I’ve come away completely unscathed, because often the side effects from these medications are irreversible. I discontinued Diclofenac (a form of Naprosyn) after experiencing Gastritis prophylaxis, as a result of H. Phylori, a stomach infection. Accompanied by my frustration with dropping 30 lbs, a year with severe stomach pain, no diagnoses and the fact that several specialists had no clue as to why I was so sick. Well, it was quite easy for me to connect my new, debilitating symptoms to the medication. I also have additional symptoms to manage now, that I did not have prior to taking this medicine for several years.
I respect the extensive knowledge and medical training of my Rheumatologist, and completely understand that his recommendations were “medically” based and as a result I was convinced like perhaps many AS sufferers, that it was impossible to manage this disease without meds. However, I’m living proof that this is in fact not true at all. If we’re willing to step outside the “medicine box” we can find many natural solutions. Of course needs & results will vary from person to person, but I’ve done quite well with a healthy eating regimen (low-carb, low-starch, no-dairy, no-gluten), regular exercise and by controlling both my pain and inflammation with natural Cox 2 Inhibitors. Patients need to know that they have options, prior to subjecting their bodies to these numerous side effects, and this is precisely what motivated me to launch The Positive Pear.
Happy October! Summer is my absolute favorite time of year, but nothing compares to New England Fall foliage. The colorful leaves are nothing short of amazing and “may be even more attractive than the many beautiful flowers of Spring.” I hope you’re also enjoying all of the beauty that Fall has to offer. Here on the East Coast the weather is changing, the mornings, days and evenings are cooler forcing us to break out the Fall gear, including cute scarves and fashionable boots. This is also the time of year that we tend to gravitate toward heavier foods. Since we’re in the midst of a change in season, I thought it was a good time dust off the keyboard to discuss how we can adapt our healthy eating regimen to include foods that are currently in season. All of this made me think of carbohydrates and the excessive consumption that traditionally takes place over the next few months. Carbs can become a real issue for many during this time of year because as the temps drop and the holidays draw closer, many tend to turn to high calorie, high carbohydrate, comfort foods, such as breads, pizzas, pastas, baked goods and additional sugars. These types of foods can not only lead to excessive weight gain, but also the potential for exasperating symptoms of many chronic conditions such as asthma, eczema, diabetes, chronic pain & inflammatory conditions such as Ankylosing Spondylitis, chronic pain conditions such as Fibromyalgia and the numerous symptoms relating to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, among other conditions.
I believe it’s fairly common knowledge even among the healthiest of people, that an overindulgence in carbohydrates and processed foods can lead to health problems, so naturally this becomes more of a concern among the many people who battle chronic illnesses. We are the group who should pay extra special attention to what we eat, how our bodies process these types of foods and how they affect our symptoms. Many people don’t want the burden of adjusting their diets. After all, food not only provides sustenance, it’s a way of celebrating life, entertaining with family and friends and its also a means for socializing, so it’s no secret that eating your favorite foods offers a fair amount of enjoyment and emotional satisfaction, which is where the idea of “comfort food” stems. However many who live with debilitating and painful conditions do not have this luxury. We must be careful to avoid buying into the brain washing that many of us have fallen victim to at some point in our lives, and that’s the idea that medication is a “magic bullet” and it is all that we’ll ever need to fight our symptoms and keep ourselves healthy. If you are on medication your body is already working hard enough to break down and distribute this foreign substance, so its best to eat healing foods that will help strengthen your body, rather than filling your stomach with foods which force the body to work harder. All while taking the place of vital nutrients, that you are quite possibly loosing due to malabsorption issues associated with your chronic invisible illness. ”Food is very powerful. Consuming the right foods can be incredibly healing to our bodies, but eating too much of the wrong types of food can easily lead to our premature, yet slow and even painful demise.” If you are a healthy person be grateful and don’t take it for granted, because it could all change in an instant. It’s been my job for so many years to educate people about food, healthy eating, the prevention of aging related diseases and most recently how to manage the symptoms of many chronic invisible illnesses naturally and holistically, so I direct this post to those who would like to take control of their health, by taking control of their diets, as apart of a “whole body” approach to living a healthy lifestyle.
Dangers of Overindulging in Simple Carbs, High Glycemic & High Starch Foods:
All carbohydrates are not bad. In fact, the quality of carbohydrates is actually what matters most. Carbohydrates are divided into two categories, simple carbs and complex carbs. Complex carbs are best and when eating simple carbs it must be done so in moderation, because overindulgence can wreak havoc on the body. Simple carbs consist of high glycemic foods which increase serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) a marker of systemic inflammation, which would naturally effect chronic inflammatory conditions such Ankylosing Spondylitis & other forms of autoimmune arthritis. These high glycemic foods also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and if you are obese or even simply overweight due to excessive simple carb consumption, you’re increasing these risk factors even more. Complex carbs or lower dietary glycemic foods provide more of a sustained blood glucose level and lower insulin demands on the pancreas. The pancreas aids in digestion and controls blood sugar. If the pancreas and adrenal glands are constantly overworked due to consistent high glucose levels, this can not only contribute to adrenal fatigue & chronic fatigue in a healthy person, but it will without question exacerbate the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction Syndrome (CFS/CFIDS/ME) along with other conditions which cause fatigue, such as the many forms of autoimmune arthritis. This can also lead to digestive disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, while worsening symptoms of irritable Bowel Disease. Poor diet combined with regular medication usage significantly increase these risks. Good carbs or low-glycemic index foods delay the return of hunger, decrease subsequent food intake, and increases the sense of feeling full and as a result helps one to control their weight. Focusing on healing, whole foods and a diet which contains lower dietary glycemic foods and minimal amounts of sugar/starches will help to minimize symptoms of many chronic invisible illnesses, as well as preventable diseases such as Hypoglycemia, adult-onset Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Obesity, Gallbladder disease to mention a few.
Steps Toward Success:
• Decreaes your consumption of starchy high-glycemic index foods like potatoes, white rice, and white bread
• Decrease your consumption of sugary foods like cookies, cakes, candy, and soft-drinks
•Increase your consumption of whole foods, real food in lieu of fast foods and eat balanced amouts of lean protein if you eat meat
Some Good Traditional Complex Carbs/Low-Gylcemic Index Foods for Healthy People:
whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables (no rice, corn, potatoes etc.)
• Try Sprouted Ezekiel Bread in place of white bread
• Try zucchini strands in place of pasta
• Add lots of low-starch, nutrient dense, organic vegetables in place of large amounts of starchy high-glycemic index foods, such as: Romaine Lettuce, Radishes, Avocado, Sprouts, Napa Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, Chard, Bok Choy, Snow Pea Pods, Green Beans, Leeks, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Asparagus, Summer squash, Red, Green & Yellow Bell Peppers, Artichokes, etc.
• Make good use of fresh herbs, flavorful ingredients & seasonings such as: Lemon, Lime, Garlic, Ginger, Onions, Cilantro, Parsley, Basil, Thyme, Scallions, Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Brown Mustard, Fresh Salsa. etc.
• Drink water, coconut water, fresh fruit smoothies, freshly squeezed juices and herbal teas in place of soft drinks and other high calorie drinks
• Eat fresh & dehydrated fruit such as; oranges, plums, berries, pears, apples, grapes etc., in place of cakes, cookies, ice cream and candy. You must still be mindful of eating sweets in moderation, just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it’s ok to in excess. Remember balance is key.
• Eat healthy snacks dried or roasted seaweed snacks, almonds, seeds, chia, raw caco, dried mulberries, etc.
• Cook at home, prepare meals in advance and get creative! By eating at home you are automatically reducing your daily sodium consumption and daily calorie intake.
“Eating this way will not fill me up” When taking on this lifestyle change, take baby steps. Start by reducing, then replacing NOT immediately eliminating. For example reduce the number of meals each day that contain simple carbs, if you have a high carb breakfast do no repeat this for lunch & dinner. When you get to the “replacement” stage, you could replace your white bread with Ezekiel bread (made from sprouted grains), replace butter with Organic Cold Pressed Olive Oil, replace pasta with zucchini strands and make your own salad dressings from scratch. Start your day with fruit and eat several small meals each day. Eat several small meals and be sure that you do not reduce your calorie intake below 1200 calories a day, 1500 if you’re very active. Yes, you’ll count calories for a few days, but you’ll eventually have the feel for how much food you’ll need to consume to stay full and remain healthy. At dinner make sure your plate has far more veggies than meat and when eating meat, make sure its lean and antibiotic free. If you have Ankylosing Spondylitis or FIbro & CFS which can react adversely carbohydrates, you might need to also reduce intake of even certain types of complex carbs such as grains, thus gravitating toward more of a low-starch eating regimen. Give it time, both your mind and body will adjust. Also exercise and drink lots of water. Get plenty of rest and supplement when needed. In addition, when you’re eating whole foods, you’ll find that you’ll have less cravings, because you’re body’s nutrient requirements are actually being met.
“Eating this way will not cure my disease so why bother?” Diets, foods and drinks don’t cure disease, especially autoimmune diseases, but when eating the right foods you can prevent the onset of certain types of disease especially those that are age related. In addition, eating healthier can also help to reduce certain symptoms of many chronic conditions.
“In order to eat low-carb or low-starch, I have to eat excessive amounts of meat.” No, not at all and in fact most Americans eat far more protein than their bodies truly need. Protein consumption will vary from person to person based upon their weight and level of daily activity. A 130 lb woman who engages in moderate daily exercise would require only 88 grams of protein daily and that’s divided over several meals. A 160 lb man who exercises regularly, including strength training would require only 108 grams of protein daily. Someone who does not engage in regular exercise would have less protein demands.
low-carb and low-starch are the basis of many fad “diets” however, that does not invalidate the effectiveness of this way of eating. That’s because there are many conditions that benefit from a reduction of simple carbs and even some complex carbs. I do not endorse or promote fad “diets” or a book written by some guru. I do however recommend a lifestyle change to my clients based on their specific needs. Diets fail, but lifestyle changes that include a healthy eating regimen, exercise and whole body wellness are incredibly effective with the ability to last indefinitely. Feel free to use this post a guide and whatever dietary changes you decide to make, be sure that its healthy and that you’re taking in the proper amounts of daily calories, also that you’re getting all of your required vitamins and minerals. Balance out your healthy eating regimen with exercise and most importantly maintain a positive mental attitude!
Here’s to living Chronically, happy, healthy fit & fab!!
“The Human Spirit Needs Places Where Nature Has not Been Rearranged By the Hand of Man” ~Unknown~
Yay, warm weather is here, as we’re quickly approach the official first day of Summer. Like many of you, I long for this time of year when I can spend time outdoors and I also look forward to taking advantage of the many opportunities to reconnect with nature. This longing for fun in the sun and fresh air is not only rejuvenating both physically and mentally, the great outdoors also offers us incredible healing benefits. Scientists have discovered that by spending time outside we increase our exposure to phytoncides which naturally reduce stress. People who take walks in the park where they encounter many plants and trees, versus walks in the city where they are surrounded by buildings and cement sidewalks, had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as a lower pulse rate, and lower blood pressure readings. In several other studies, specifically one that took place in April 2007, showed an increase in white blood cells within a group of 12 healthy men ranging in ages 37-55 , who took two-hour walks in a forest over a two-day period. In January 2008, a group of women who also participated in a very similar experiment entitled ”forest bathing” had an increase in white blood cells and a reduction in anti-cancer proteins, which lasted up to one week due to their exposure of phytoncides which are found in forest air.
The beach is another place to go for wonderful healing benefits. Salt water is high in minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and bromide which not only accelerates the healing of cuts, it also helps to fight infections, reduces inflammation of joints and relieves muscle pain and soreness. Salt water also stimulates blood circulation, increases moisture retention, detoxifies and promotes cellular regeneration. As a result it offers beautifying and anti-aging benefits, for both the inner and outer body. Regular beach time & salt water swimming also offers healing benefits for skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. In summary, spending quality time in nature, offers us incredible physical and psychological benefits, such as recovery from stress, increased relaxation, decreased mental fatigue, better performance, restored mental clarity, increased immune function for improved heath, healing and an increased overall sense of well-being.
Best Places to Enjoy Nature
3) Local Parks
4) National Parks
6) Camp Sites
A Few Outdoor Nature Activities for Summer:
6) Paddle Boarding
9) Outdoor Meditation & Relaxation
10) Outdoor Yoga & Fitness Classes
Want to feel better mentally, physically and emotionally? Increase the amount of time that you spend outdoors surrounded by nature!
Got a chocolate addiction? Well that’s a good thing. According to a recent study led by Associate Professor of Medicine Beatrice Golomb at the University of California San Diego, chocolate has proven to have favorable metabolic effects on healthy adults who combined reasonable consumption with exercise. In this study those ranging in ages from 20 to 85, reported eating chocolate twice per week while also exercising an average of 3.6 times per week, had lower Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI is a fairly reliable indicator of body fat and is a calculated by using a person’s weight and height. A normal BMI is typically 18.5 – 24.9, while anyone considered overweight would have a BMI of 25.0 – 29.9 and 30+ for those falling into the obese category. Adults who consumed chocolate more frequently had a lower BMI than those who consumed chocolate less often. Galomb further stated “Our findings– that more frequent chocolate intake is linked to lower BMI — are intriguing,” while calling for more detailed research and perhaps a randomized clinical trial of chocolate’s metabolic benefits. In conclusion she added ”We have seen in multiple studies the benefits of chocolate, and yet again, we see as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, chocolate does not add to weight gain, but in fact, might help control it,”
Chocolate a treat ordinarily associated with a guilty pleasure, is high in antioxidant polyphenols and flavonols, which can improve mood by releasing the neurotransmitter serotonin and in the process can also enhance sleep and reduce stress and the sensation of pain. This amazing superfood can also lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar and the plasma concentrations of proinflammatory cysteinyl leukotrienes. Thus lowering risks of heart disease, by reducing inflammation. Also beneficial to those with live with chronic inflammatory conditions. According to a study led by Elizabeth Triche of Yale University, pregnant women who consume dark chocolate during pregnancy are less likely to develop pre-eclampsia and according to a study led by Katri Raikkonen at the University of Helsinki in Finland, using 300 pregnant participants, it was further established that pregnant women who consume one small square of chocolate each day have happier, livelier babies thanks to phenylethylamine an ingredient in chocolate. Having a chocolate bar a day does not necessarily keep the doctor away, so before you begin stocking up on chocolate bars remember that moderation is key. In addition, the types of chocolate and how it’s processed is incredibly important, because those less processed will have a higher flavonoid content and those with less sugar are healthier options. Consider a few Positive Pear recommendations: RAW unprocessed chocolate in the form of cacao nibs and Navitas Naturals is a great brand. ZICO chocolate flavored coconut water and your favorite whole food, high quality, chocolate flavored protein powder, such as Monitoba, Alive, Vega or Amazing Grass. If you’re dying for a chocolate bar make sure it consists of at least 70% cocoa, that it’s also Organic and/or “Fair Trade” chocolate. Your local health food store, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Amazon.com are all great sources.
Keep Calm, Eat Chocolate & Exercise More!
Association Between More Frequent Chocolate Consumption and Lower Body Mass Index, Cocoa polyphenols and inflammatory mediators, Chocolate Consumption in Pregnancy and Reduced Likelihood of Preeclampsia, New Scientist magazine Journal reference: Early Human Development (vol 76, p 139)
When I talk about healthy gluten-free snacks I can’t help but rave about one of my all time favorites and that’s the Roasted Seaweed Snack by Trader Joes. These small paper-thin snacks are only 30 calories while offering only 2 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein and 50 mg of sodium. If you are now thinking, “why on earth would I ever want to eat seaweed” then consider its incredible healing benefits. Seaweed is packed full of Amino Acids, ionic and trace Minerals plus Vitamins, most specifically Vitamins A, B and C. It also contains Beta-Carotene and Iodine, essential for Myelin production which helps to combat symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by nourishing the mitochondria. Seaweed also contains high amounts of Iron, Calcium, and Fiber, along with the non-essential amino acid Taurine, which is great for alertness and mental clarity. Incredibly beneficial to those who suffer from *Fibro Fog, memory issues and depression. It also aids in bile production which helps with digestion. Seaweed is also instrumental in naturally lowering cholesterol levels which is essential to heart health. This wonderful super food also has antiviral and antibacterial properties, as well as an abundance of anti-inflammatory properties. Proving very beneficial to those with chronic inflammatory conditions such as Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).
Seaweed also contains Selenium, Collagen, Asparagine, Boron, Bioflavonoids and Antioxidants. When you eat this amazing little snack, you are strengthening your hair, bones, teeth, gums and connective tissue, while improving your thyroid, eyes and skin. You are also sharpening your brain, removing toxins from your body such as mercury, lead and heavy metals, while helping your body to fight infection, colds, flu, allergies, and other respiratory problems. In addition to lowering your risks of breast and prostate cancer. Trader Joe’s Roasted Seaweed Snack is vegan-friendly and a great substitution for chips and other high calorie, high sodium snacks. Plus, there is no need to swim to the bottom of the ocean to enjoy this tasty little snack. They are packaged nicely, sold at your local Trader Joe’s and are very reasonably priced at only $.99. They also travel well for eating on the go and they are quite addicting, so be sure to stock up!
Great packaging, opens easily and travels well. Roasted seaweed remains fresh and in tact.
Beautiful snacks which you can serve on a plate or in the included plastic container. They tend to absorb moisture rather quickly, so be careful of leaving them out for too long. Especially in humid climates, or you’ll risk losing the crunchiness which is their appeal.
Paper thin, filling and incredibly delicious!
If you like a little kick be sure to try their mouth blowing Wasabi Roasted Seaweed Snack. I like spicy, but one bite of this flavor was all that I could take. I will say it’s worth trying and if you can’t handle the heat revisit the idea of the original flavor.
I thought the youtube video below on the sweet potato experiment was a very cute and I truly appreciate Elise’s efforts in drawing awareness to our exposure of Bud Nip (Chlorpropham), also known as, Chloro IPC, CIPC, Furloe, Sprout Nip, Spud-Nic, Taterpex, Triherbide-CIPC and Unicrop CIPC. This is yet another reason to seek out locally grown, organic fruit and vegetables if at all possible. Even purchasing foods labeled “organic” from your local market can still expose you to chemical cross contamination, as conventional and organic vegetables are shipped together for many days. There was a time in our history when we had somewhat of a choice when purchasing conventional ~vs~ organic fruits and vegetables, but we are quickly finding out that our exposure to toxic chemicals is much higher than we ever imagined. Continued exposure over time will have adverse effects on our bodies. Those who are battling chronic health conditions want to be particularly mindful of long-term exposure to these types of harsh chemicals.
According to a 1993 Chlorpropham study performed by Cornnell University, it was determined that bud nip or Chlorpropham is moderately toxic by ingestion. It may cause irritation of the eyes or skin. Symptoms of poisoning in laboratory animals have included listlessness, incoordination, nose bleeds, protruding eyes, bloody tears, difficulty in breathing, prostration, inability to urinate, high fevers, and death. Autopsies of these animals have shown inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining, congestion of the brain, lungs and other organs, and degenerative changes in the kidneys and liver. Long term exposure may cause reproductive issues and malignant tumors.
Apparently the answer is yes, according to new research..Article re-blogged from “How to ease the sting with good intentions” by Laurie Tarkan @ foxnews.com/health
Is a root canal less painful when your dentist is kind rather than aloof? Does your dinner at a restaurant taste better when the waitress is genuinely nice versus smiling for the tip?
New research seems to suggest that yes, the good intentions of others can alter your perception of pain, how foods taste, how much you enjoy a gift and how relaxing a massage feels.
“The way we read another person’s intentions changes our physical experience of the world,” said Dr. Kurt Gray, assistant professor at the University of Maryland and author of the new study published in the online version of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
In his study, Gray wanted to test whether a person’s good intentions can ease or improve your experience. The reverse has already been shown–that malicious intent can worsen pain and experiences.
The study consisted of three experiments. In the first, three groups received electric shocks by a partner. People in the first group thought they were being shocked accidentally, without their partner’s awareness. The second group thought they were being shocked on purpose, for no good reason. The third group also thought they were being shocked on purpose, but because another person was trying to help them win money. Participants in the third group—the “benevolent” group—experienced significantly less pain than people in the other groups.
In the second experiment, people who sat in an electric massage chair felt more comfort when the chair was operated by a caring partner rather than being controlled by a computer. And in the third experiment, subjects were given candy with a note attached. In one group, it read: “I picked this just for you. Hope it makes you happy.” In the other group, it read: “Whatever. I just don’t care. I just picked it randomly.” The candy not only tasted better to the benevolent group, but it also tasted significantly sweeter.
So what are the implications of this study?
• When relating to your partner or friends, make sure the person knows you care. ”Just doing nice things is not enough, you have to let them know that you really want them to benefit from your actions,” said Gray. Even small gestures will become more meaningful if you say or act like you really care.
• If you’re helping a sick family member, don’t just deliver tea to their bedside. Say something to let them know you care about them, you feel badly that they’re sick and you want them to get better soon. Likewise, if you have to give a yucky medicine to a child or they need a vaccine, reassure them you’re doing it for their best interest, and you are there for them.
• On the receiving end, try to give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they mean well. “To the extent that we view others as benevolent instead of malicious, the harms they inflict upon us should hurt less, and the good things they do for us should cause more pleasure,” Gray wrote in his study.
• If you’re a health care provider, a better bedside manner can actually make people feel less pain.
AUGUST OF 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his monumental speech “I Have a Dream” on the National Mall, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was introduced as “the moral leader of our nation.” On January 15th he would have been 83 years old, but today we honor him by remembering his incredible contributions. Based on another quote of MLK ” Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: “What are you doing for others?” We work hard to make a positive contribution daily to lives of others via “The Positive Bear blog. On this day of service in honor of Dr Martin Luther King Jr, be sure to find a way to give back to your community.
A few other MLK quotes that I enjoy:
” Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ”All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. ~Martin Luther King Jr.~
Have you ever considered how where you live geographically impacts your health? This is definitely food for thought as we consider geographic locations and its impact on specific conditions. Its long been my theory that living farthest away from the equator, thus depleting levels of Vitamin D, has an effect on symptoms of certain diseases such as Ankylosing Spondylitis. I plan to expand upon this idea in future articles, but I came to this conclusion after moving from the West Coast to East Coast and seeing my AS come out remission, in addition to seeing symptoms of my AS & Fibro advance.
I think it’s common knowledge that our environment has a direct impact on our overall health. Perhaps its not too far fetch to consider the idea, that the state I currently reside in, might have its own environmental triggers, or perhaps its simply the climate. Either way its something to consider and how this knowledge could effect our futures decisions. It’s very exciting when considering the idea of place history and how our doctors might use this information when treating us, or how we might use this information when deciding on which jobs to take, or where we might live permanently or choose to begin families. It would be great to see doctors inquiring about this information on future health questionnaires, as this would be a step toward gathering useful information, that could potentially help both us and our doctors. Jack Lord MD got the ball rolling on this line of thinking nearly 10 years ago via the “Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care” project. Now there is an answer to the question of ”how environment impact our personal health” through the collection of data via Geomedicine software.
Geomedicine produces a new type of medical intelligence that leverages national spatial data infrastructures to benefit personal human health and improve the quality of the care medical professionals deliver. View the talk below given by Bill Davenhall Global Marketing Manager, Health and Human Services Sow lutions of ESRI. This is certainly an interesting way of viewing our health, as well as many chronic health conditions.