Wednesday, July 1, 2020

NCCIH Mind and Body Approaches for Stress and Anxiety

Several mind and body approaches, including relaxation techniques, yoga, tai chi, and meditation may be useful for managing symptoms of stress in your patients. For some stress-related conditions, mind and body approaches are used as an adjunct to other forms of treatment. This issue of the digest provides a summary of current research on some of these approaches for stress and stress-related conditions.

Read more at National Centre for Complementary and Integrative Health

Monday, June 22, 2020

10 ideas for a self-care day at home

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 
The benefits of taking time to look after yourself have long been studied; researchers say that investing in self-care can help us to reduce stress, improve our emotional health and have an overall better quality of life.
Self-care is essentially any activity that we do purposefully in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health – it could range from something small, like catching up on missed sleep with a lie-in, to a larger activity, like going for an invigorating swim in the ocean.
With many of us taking ‘lockdown leave’ during the current pandemic, there’s never been a better time to nourish your mind and body, by booking in a self-care day.
Instead of telling yourself that you have to make a dent in writing your novel, run a half marathon or record a podcast episode, spend your next free day indulging in one or many of these self-soothing ideas.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

WHO hails 'great news' from Covid-19 steroid treatment

The World Health Organization (WHO) hailed as "great news" initial clinical trial results that showed a cheap and widely used steroid called dexamethasone can help save the lives of critically ill Covid-19 patients. Researchers in Britain said Tuesday that dexamethasone, used to fight inflammation in other diseases, reduced death rates of the most severely ill Covid-19 patients by around a third. 
"This is the first treatment to be shown to reduce mortality in patients with Covid-19 requiring oxygen or ventilator support," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement late on Tuesday.
"This is great news and I congratulate the government of the UK, the University of Oxford, and the many hospitals and patients in the UK who have contributed to this lifesaving scientific breakthrough.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Coronavirus: Adults should take vitamin D, researchers say

Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay 
The Government should immediately change recommendations for vitamin D supplements as a matter of urgency by urging all adults to take them during the coronavirus pandemic, according to scientists at Trinity College Dublin.
This follows evidence highlighting the association between vitamin D levels and mortality from Covid-19 produced by Dr Eamon Laird and Prof Rose Anne Kenny, who lead the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.
They analysed European adult population studies completed since 1999 which measured vitamin D, and compared vitamin D and death rates from Covid-19.

Monday, May 11, 2020

How Meditation Changes the Brain

We’ve all heard that meditation leads to greater mental clarity, lower levels of stress and reduced anxiety. But how does meditation benefit the brain? Studies have shown that mindfulness practice brings about positive physiological changes that make the connection between meditation and the brain even more profound.
In recent decades, meditation has become more conventional. People are spending time working with their minds, following their breath and learning to appreciate the power of the present moment. Meditation groups are popping up everywhere – in schools, communities, senior centers and beyond. It’s become so mainstream that even the business community has joined the movement – as described in a recent article from Business Insider entitled “Silicon Valley is obsessed with meditation, and there’s new evidence it changes the brain for the better.”

Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Challenge of Tracking COVID-19’s Stealthy Spread

Image by Abhilash Jacob from Pixabay
As our nation looks with hope toward controlling the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic, researchers are forging ahead with efforts to develop and implement strategies to prevent future outbreaks. It sounds straightforward. However, several new studies indicate that containing SARS-CoV-2—the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19—will involve many complex challenges, not the least of which is figuring out ways to use testing technologies to our best advantage in the battle against this stealthy foe.
The first thing that testing may help us do is to identify those SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals who have no symptoms, but who are still capable of transmitting the virus. These individuals, along with their close contacts, will need to be quarantined rapidly to protect others. These kinds of tests detect viral material and generally analyze cells collected via nasal or throat swabs.
The second way we can use testing is to identify individuals who’ve already been infected with SARS-CoV-2, but who didn’t get seriously ill and can no longer transmit the virus to others. These individuals may now be protected against future infections, and, consequently, may be in a good position to care for people with COVID-19 or who are vulnerable to the infection. Such tests use blood samples to detect antibodies, which are blood proteins that our immune systems produce to attack viruses and other foreign invaders.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Coronavirus diaries are helping people cope. They’re also a research gold mine

Just weeks ago, Jason Kirin, a circus performer in Pittsburgh, was juggling flaming spheres for Facebook Live, trying to make the most of the coronavirus crisis after it had led to the cancellation of all his spring shows.
Days later, Kirin got sick. He turned to one of the few outlets that kept him sane: his online diary.
Day 1 Sat 3.21: I started to get aches and pains I wasn’t used to. Joints mostly. Things started to ache in weird ways…. These pains were not in any way normal.
Day 2 Sun 3.22: Same.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Stories, songs and iPads: how care home residents are staying connected in lockdown

Covid is a nightmare,” says Kristy Smith, manager at St Mary’s care home in Suffolk, “but it has brought humanity to such a beautiful point with kindness. I think it has brought out the absolute best in people.”

Care workers are on the coronavirus frontline and many have reported their concerns over severe shortages of personal protective equipment. But Smith has been keen to ensure that spirits are kept high among the 49 residents at the home near Ipswich.

Visits from families, activity providers and the local community are an integral part of daily life in a care home. But during lockdown, providers are using other ways of keeping residents connected.

“We know how important it is that people can stay in touch with their friends and relatives,” says Sara Livadeas, chief executive of the Fremantle Trust. “Knowing that someone cares about you is a basic human need. It also provides reassurance to relatives who have entrusted the care of their loved ones to others.”

Read More at the Guardian

Lockdown in Italy: personal stories of doing science during the COVID-19 quarantine

Italy is at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe. More than 100,000 people have been infected in the country (including at least 8,956 health-care workers) and more than 11,000 have died. Lombardy, the region of northern Italy around Milan, is the area most affected so far. Northern Italy went into emergency lockdown on 8 March, and the government expanded the quarantine to the entire nation three days later.
The lockdown will last until at least 3 April — and probably longer. Many scientists have had their professional lives upended because they are sequestered at home or, if they can still go into work, they cannot collaborate in person with colleagues. Here, four researchers in northern Italy describe how they are navigating the lockdown.

Read more at Nature

Positive stories raising a smile amid the coronavirus lockdown

Even though the coronavirus crisis is spreading around the world, there have been moments of positivity and light relief to get us through.
From a socially distant dancing street to personal messages left for waste collection crews and even picnic tables for squirrels.
Here are some of the stories raising a smile during these unprecedented times:
Socially distant dancing
Elsa Williams' street has the right idea on how to get through a lockdown – socially distant dancing in the street.
Every day at 11am, a local fitness instructor, Janet Woodcock, leads the boogie for 10 minutes and it seems most of the Cheshire neighbourhood gets involved.
From elderly residents and children, to families and couples, people get out, enjoy the fresh air, do some exercise and most importantly stay two metres apart as they boogie down during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Prepare for a 'new normal' as lockdown restrictions ease: Monday's COVID-19 WHO briefing

  • Lockdowns must be lifted strategically, and not all at once, said WHO officials at a briefing on 13 April 2020.
  • Countries with lower numbers of cases can begin easing restrictions.
  • Social distancing and handwashing need to continue longer term.
Half the world has been under some form of lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19. While many are eager to see restrictions lifted, especially as numbers stabilize in some countries, we must remain patient and vigilant, said officials at the World Health Organization (WHO) briefing on Monday 13 April.

Suddenly Feeling More Alone and More Single During CV-19 Lockdown?

1. Review quality of connection
As humans, we are wired to connect with others but the quality of this connection is important. During this difficult time, you will have to become much more creative regarding how you can substitute this very human need. .......
2. Top up on self-compassion
You may also need to top up on self-compassion. As a singles and couples coach, if I could offer you any personal tip it would be to swot up on your own ability to connect........
Read more at the Lust for Life website

Athlone IT Nursing & Health Science Building