Should medical, and mental health, professionals “prescribe” spending time in nature?

Should medical, and mental health, professionals “prescribe” spending time in nature?

Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood was broadcasted and posted online by NPR on 7-17-17.  The article begins by clarifying what the term “Forest Bathing,” which comes from Japanese culture, means; basically,  getting out into nature, slowing down, and immersing oneself in the experience by tuning in to the sounds, smells, sights and more.  There actually is an Association of Forest and Nature Therapy Guides and Programs.

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Excellent Website with Meditation Resources for Novices

Excellent Website with Meditation Resources for Novices

QuietKit.com provides “guided meditations for beginners,” ranging from 2 minutes to 10 minutes long.  mhconcierge.com has listened to many guided meditations, both online and using smartphone apps, and has found most of them to be, frankly, not that great – the voice may sound unprofessional and self-conscious, the timing may not be smooth, there may be a hiss in the background, and so on.  The QuiteKit meditations are much better – the voice sounds professional and relaxed, the pacing is good, and the quality of the recording is excellent, with no distractions.

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Study: cognitive benefits of exercise over age 50

Study: cognitive benefits of exercise over age 50

Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis reviews theories about potential benefits of exercise as a potential intervention for preventing, or delaying, cognitive decline, but also noted that there has been limited supporting research evidence.

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BMI  May be a Factor in How Depressed People Respond to Medication

BMI May be a Factor in How Depressed People Respond to Medication

BMI, Other Patient Factors Help Pinpoint Best Antidepressant, posted by Medscape Psychiatry one 5-5-17, reviews research that finds that depressed patients with high BMIs respond better to venlafaxine-XR (Effexor) and escitalopram (Lexipro) in comparison to other antidepressants.

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Virtual Reality treatment for pain – “better than medication?”

Virtual Reality treatment for pain – “better than medication?”

Virtual-reality worlds filled with penguins and otters are a promising alternative to pain killers, posted on the business news site Quartz.com on 5-2-17, provides a thorough review of the opioid abuse crisis and alternative, evidence-based treatments for chronic pain, including virtual reality (VR) treatments.

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Health and wellness news: good news for coffee lovers and runners

Health and wellness news: good news for coffee lovers and runners

Health and wellness news:  good news for coffee lovers, continued, A Weapon Against Dementia in Your Coffee Pot (PsychiatricTimes.com, 4-6-17)  reports on recent research that finds caffeine to have significant protective properties for dementia.  It boosts the production of a protective enzyme that – at least in rats – is protective for Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases. The optimal dose has not yet been determined.  And, An Hour of Running May Add 7 Hours to Your Life (New York Times, 4-12-17) builds on previous research that found that running, or jogging, no matter what the pace, reduced risk of premature death by 40%.  The current study concluded that, “hour for hour, running statistically returns more time to people’s lives than it consumes” and “an hour of running statistically legthens life expectancy by 7 hours.”