Archive for December, 2008

100 Natural Ways to Overcome Anxiety

By Tara Miller

The fast-paced lifestyle that so many lead today has resulted in a generation of individuals with high anxiety. Whether you suffer from occasional panic attacks or spend most of your day worrying, anxiety doesn’t have to be a part of your life. Skip the potentially addictive anti-anxiety medications and give these natural methods a try. With tips ranging from reducing stress to aromatherapy to changes in nutrition, you will find plenty of great natural ideas to try to reduce your anxiety.

Stress Reduction

A major source of anxiety is the stress that creeps up through daily living. Take these suggestions to reduce stress and help eliminate anxiety.

  1. Let go of control. Learn to accept that some things are beyond your ability to control. Once this expectation is gone, you will likely discover a reduction of your stress.
  2. Do one thing at a time. Slow down and stop multitasking. Doing one thing at a time will reduce stress and allow you to perform each task more efficiently.
  3. Learn to say "no". Turning away what you don’t have time to do will free you from obligations that will end up hanging over your head.
  4. Emotions. Keep in touch with your emotions. Pretending you don’t have feelings of anger, sadness, or loneliness will just push these feeling down until they come back out in negative ways.
  5. Let go of anger. Don’t hold on to anger or grudges. Instead, learn how to let go so you can focus on more positive things.
  6. Identify stressors. Realize what makes you feel stressed and do something to change them. If watching the news makes you stressed, turn it off. If driving in traffic raises your blood pressure, then find ways to change or delay driving so you aren’t in traffic.
  7. Learn time management techniques. Organizing your time and energy will help you complete tasks more efficiently and clear the way for less stress in your life.
  8. Make time for yourself. Making sure you carve out some time for yourself every day will not only give you time to do something you enjoy, but will help you relax as well.
  9. Journal. Identify stressors or just get out those negative feelings you may not want to tell other people with a private journal.
  10. Find your sense of humor. Learning to laugh at life and finding the joy every day will go a long way to reducing stress.

Herbs

Herbal medicine has been around for centuries. Take the advice of generations past and try these natural cures for your anxiety.

  1. Passionflower. Passionflower has been used for hundreds of years as a natural anxiety reliever and for insomnia. In 2001 a study showed that it was as effective as a popular anti-anxiety medication.
  2. Valerian root. Used for centuries as both a sleeping aid and as an aid for anxiety, many people rely on valerian root for relief.
  3. Chamomile. A popular tea, drinking chamomile will help reduce anxiety.
  4. Kava Kava. This plant from the South Pacific is frequently used to treat anxiety. However, those with liver problems should avoid using this herb.
  5. St. John’s Wort. Used for centuries, this herb helps combat anxiety and depression, as well as relieve muscle aches and reduce inflammation.
  6. Verbena. Also known as wild hyssop or vervain, this herb is often used to help those suffering from anxiety and depression.
  7. Skullcap. Help your nervous tension subside by trying skullcap as a tea or in one of its many other forms.
  8. Cowslip. Anxiety is just one of the many disorders this herb helps to heal.
  9. Lemon balm. Lemon balm helps reduce anxiety, especially when used with other calming herbs such as chamomile.
  10. Hops. Used to help cure anxiety and restlessness, hops is generally combined with passionflower, chamomile, or valerian root.

Therapies

From acupuncture to hydrotherapy, find a natural way to help your body heal the effects of anxiety.

  1. Acupuncture. Acupuncture generally leaves people feeling relaxed and calm and is an excellent way to control anxiety.
  2. Biofeedback. Becoming aware of your physical responses to anxiety and learning how to control them is an excellent therapy for those suffering from anxiety.
  3. Hypnotherapy. Anxiety can be successfully managed through a variety of hypnosis techniques.
  4. Craniosacral therapy. Reducing anxiety is among one of the many benefits of focusing attention to the skull and base of the spine through craniosacral therapy.
  5. Polarity therapy. This integrated approach to healing is often helpful for relieving anxiety and includes soft touch and assessment of energy balance.
  6. Color therapy. Using color and light to balance energy, this therapy is helpful in restoring balance and calm.
  7. Crystal therapy. Many people believe in the healing properties of specific stones or crystals. Try rose quartz if you suffer from anxiety.
  8. Bioelectromagnetic therapy. The manipulation of magnetic and electromagnetic fields as a source of natural healing has also been used to successfully reduce anxiety by reducing muscle tension.
  9. Hydrotherapy. Relaxing in a hot bath is an excellent way to sooth anxiety. Add herbs or essential oils to enhance the hydrotherapy experience.
  10. Reiki. Reiki is a treatment that transfers energy from the practitioner to the client and works to aid in healing and restoring the mind and spirit.

Body Work

Just about everyone can appreciate the relaxing qualities of massage, but that isn’t the only type of body work that can help reduce anxiety. Find out what else you can try from this list.

  1. Massage. Getting a massage produces deep relaxation and calms the body. Massage also eliminates toxins in the body, leaving you feeling better physically as well as mentally.
  2. Shiatsu. Working along the same premise as acupuncture, shiatsu involves using hands and fingers on acupressure points to bring about positive healing effects and relaxation.
  3. Reflexology. Typically reflexology focuses on feet and hands, but this technique with the ears can help eliminate anxiety, too.
  4. Thai Yoga Bodywork. Those who have experience Thai Yoga Bodywork love the relaxing and restorative feelings that result.
  5. Healing Touch. The gentle work of a Healing Touch therapy session is reportedly an excellent treatment for anxiety and depression.
  6. Therapeutic Touch. This form of therapy, frequently used by nurses, shows promise of reducing anxiety in certain patient groups such as burn victims and those with cancer.
  7. Myofascial trigger therapy. Working similarly to acupuncture, this type of body work that involves deep tissue pressure on specific points, can result in many of the same relaxing feelings gained from acupuncture.
  8. Alexander therapy. Learn how to perform daily tasks without the resulting muscle tension and pain that is so common with the Alexander Technique. For those with anxiety, loosening tight muscles can bring a noticeable difference.
  9. Watsu. This easy manipulation of the body in warm water brings about relaxation and a general sense of well-being.
  10. Trager work. This body work is based on the work of Dr. Milton Trager and works on the premise that through physical and emotional stress, people will teach their bodies to become stiffened. By loosening the body and unlearning the habits, the patients feel better physically and emotionally.

Mind/Body Techniques

From Tai Chi to meditation to exercise, follow these suggestions for ways to strengthen the connection between your mind and body to reduce anxiety.

  1. Yoga. An excellent way to get exercise, center your mind, and find calm, yoga is a great choice for beating anxiety.
  2. Tai Chi. This popular body movement exercise is excellent for anxiety and depression and is gentle enough for people of any age to enjoy.
  3. Self-hypnosis. Try this simple technique to see if it reduces the anxiety in your life.
  4. Sleep. Getting enough good quality sleep each night is important to help manage anxiety. Be sure you follow a routine with consistent bedtime and waking times and don’t drink caffeine or alcohol before bed.
  5. Meditation. Set aside a few minutes every day for quiet meditation. The negative thoughts that accompany anxiety are quieted through meditation.
  6. Breathing. The deep, relaxing form of breathing used during yoga practice can bring benefits to your mental health.
  7. Exercise. Getting regular exercise is not only good for your body, but it also helps keep your brain in good shape. Many professionals recommend getting regular exercise each day to combat anxiety and stress.
  8. Qi Gong. This ancient Chinese practice can help you reduce anxiety. Read these tips to find out how.
  9. Isolation tank. Those who have undergone the remarkable experience of floating in an isolation tank report a huge reduction in stress and anxiety.
  10. Guided imagery. Learn how to engage your senses to bring about a feeling of calm and promote healing with this powerful technique.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy involves using the essential oils from plants and adding them to massage oil, bath water, in a room diffuser, or even inhaling from a tissue. Try these essential oils to find a scents to help you relax.

  1. Bergamot. Bergamot is good for raising self confidence as well as soothing frustration.
  2. Lavender. A popular scent for relaxation and soothing anxious nerves, lavender is an excellent essential oil to reduce anxiety.
  3. Jasmine. To reduce fear and help eliminate pessimism, jasmine is an excellent choice.
  4. Frankincense. This scent slows down breathing, produces a sense of calm, and sooths anxious or obsessive feelings.
  5. Lime. Lime is refreshing and uplifting and works to combat anxiety and depression.
  6. Patchouli. Frequently used against anxiety and depression, patchouli helps put you in touch with your physical self.
  7. Sandalwood. Sandalwood is great for reducing depression, tension, fear, and stress and also helps open the spirit.
  8. Ylang ylang. This scent helps calm nervous tension and eases frustration and anger.
  9. Rose. Soothing fear and anxiety, this famous scent also often brings brings happiness to those who smell it.
  10. Cypress. Cypress soothes the nervous system and restores calm when you are feeling anxious.

Nutrition

Everyone has heard about the benefits of nutrition for your physical health, but good nutrition is also important for mental health. Follow these nutrition suggestions for ways to reduce anxiety.

  1. Green tea. Not only is this powerhouse of a drink full of healthy antioxidants, it has also been shown to reduce anxiety. Drink a cup a day for great results.
  2. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine replicates the symptoms of anxiety and when paired with a genuinely stressful day, will only make anxiety worse. Skip the coffee and sodas.
  3. Multivitamin. Taking a good-quality multivitamin will help ensure that you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body in balance, which helps reduce anxiety.
  4. Fish oil. Fish oil has many benefits for the brain and body alike and often helps eliminate depression and anxiety. Some studies have even documented the beneficial effects of fish oil on anxiety.
  5. Mushrooms. The pantothenic acid found in mushrooms is often used in the treatment of anxiety. Give this food a try and see if it reduces your anxiety.
  6. Alcohol only in moderation. While one glass of wine may calm your nerves, too much alcohol actually increases anxiety, so avoid too much alcohol.
  7. Protein. When blood sugar levels fluctuate, you can experience anxiety and jitteriness. Eating protein helps keep your blood sugar levels stable.
  8. Avocado. High in B vitamins and magnesium, this delicious fruit is a great way to combat anxiety through nutrition.
  9. No refined sugar. Refined sugar wrecks havoc on your blood sugar levels, often leading to jittery, anxious feelings. If you are already suffering from anxiety, try natural sweeteners instead.
  10. Turkey. High in tryptophan, which boosts serotonin in the brain, turkey is an excellent way to help elevate mood and reduce anxiety.

Bach Flowers

Dr. Edward Bach developed an alternative healing system based on the essences of specific flowers that are thought to provide physical and mental relief. Give these flower essences a try to ease your anxiety.

  1. Rescue Remedy. With 5 of the 38 Bach Flower Essences in this remedy, it is specially designed to ease anxiety and stress.
  2. Red chestnut. If you spend too much time worrying about the health and safety of loved-ones, try red chestnut essence to help loosen some of that worry.
  3. Cherry plum. Help banish irrational thoughts that can easily feed anxiety with cherry plum essence.
  4. Mustard flower. If depression comes with no reason, try mustard flower essence to ease the sadness and hopelessness.
  5. Cerato. Trusting your own judgment and depending less on what others think are the benefits of this flower essence.
  6. Gorse. Find relief from hopelessness and despair with this flower essence.
  7. Rock water. Unrealistic expectations and giving too much of yourself can result in high levels of anxiety. Rock water essence will help you find a balance.
  8. Impatiens. This flower essence will help ease irritation, frustration, and impatience.
  9. Star of Bethlehem. Useful for easing the effects of shock, even from years past, this flower essence may provide relief.
  10. Mimulus. If you have specific fears you want to ease, try mimulus essence to help with this.

Naturopathic Remedies

Rather than finding the necessary herbs, oils, or other ingredients to make your own remedy, try some of these natural remedies available for purchase.

  1. Chill Pill. With Ashwagandha root extract, chamomile, valerian root, and lots of B vitamins, this vegetarian formula is sure to help you find your calm in a non-addictive way.
  2. Anxiety Relief. This homeopathic medication provides relief from anxiety and panic. The tablets dissolve without water, so you can take them anywhere.
  3. Kalm-Assure. Combining antothenic acid and GABA with herbs like passion flower and chamomile, this remedy seeks to provide relief both immediately and long-term.
  4. Kava Stress Relief Organic Tea. The kava root in this tea will help relax you and the cinnamon will taste delicious.
  5. Calming. Using multiple homeopathic formulas, this medication provides relief from anxiety as well as insomnia.
  6. Tranquilnite Plus. Sometimes anxiety can prevent a good night’s sleep. Try this formula which includes valerian root, chamomile, and lavender to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  7. Dr. Christopher’s Nerve Formula Extract. These herbal extracts work to help heal and strengthen the nervous system, which may help with anxiety.
  8. Calm. This formula is made specifically to ease anxiety and uses GABA, L-Tyrosine, and Motherwort to help you find your calm.
  9. Anxiety Relief. A combination of both tablets and spray, this remedy includes herbs like passionflower and valerian along with vitamins and minerals.
  10. Mood Balance. These tablets contain herbs and vitamins to help sooth your mood and help you find your balance.

Helpful Articles

Read these articles to find suggestions for natural ways to send your stress and anxiety packing.

  1. Anxiety Busting. This article offers great suggestions for nutrition, exercise, and other natural anxiety solutions.
  2. Stress Reducers. Get plenty of tips on ways to reduce stress and help eliminate anxiety in this article.
  3. Ten Ways to Reduce Stress. This article, written by Dr. Andrew Weil, outlines plenty of helpful suggestions for reducing anxiety and stress.
  4. The Connection Between Mind and Body. Find out how the mind can work as a powerful tool in healing. Reduce anxiety and improve your health with the suggestions here.
  5. Anti-Anxiety Diet. Learn how you can change your diet to help reduce anxiety from your life.
  6. Natural Supplements that Reduce Anxiety. Examining three products that can reduce anxiety naturally, this article provides an in-depth look at how they work.
  7. Natural Health Perspectives: Causes & Cures For Anxiety. Written by a naturopathic physician, this article outlines several ways to reduce your anxiety naturally.
  8. How to Make Natural Cures for Anxiety. This brief article offers some sensible suggestions for reducing anxiety.
  9. Thinking Happy Thoughts Helps Reduce Anxiety. Understand how being a positive thinker can change your anxiety levels with this blog post.
  10. Natural Treatments to Relieve Anxiety & OCD. From cognitive therapy to supplements to lifestyle changes, this article offers plenty of great ways to beat anxiety naturally.

Posted In:  Health Resources, Wellness Tips

  December 9th, 2008

Funding Is Out There for Nursing School

For many, financial concerns are paramount when students consider returning to school or pursuing an undergraduate degree. After all, school isn’t cheap and few have the money to pay tuition out of pocket or to deal with hefty student loans for years to come. While many are well aware that there are scholarships for general education students out there, few know just how many funding opportunities there can be for those who want to pursue a degree in nursing.

In many areas of the country, nurses are in short supply– something that seems like it’s only going to get worse in the coming years before it gets better. In these areas, nursing students may be able to sign deals with local, high-need hospitals. These arrangements will often stipulate that a nurse will spend a set amount of years working in this hospital or health care facility in exchange for funding for all or part of the nurse’s education. While it might sound like a sweet deal, nurses should be sure that they want to stay in that area or are willing to work for that facility for a length of time before committing.

More traditional kinds of scholarships are available as well. Nursing students can find grants and funding through a variety of public and private sources. Many national nursing organizations offer scholarships to nurses they feel stand out, and those who are single mothers or who want to pursue a particular specialty may find even more funding out there. The trick is knowing where to look for it. In that respect, the internet has become an invaluable tool for hunting down scholarships and students will find numerous links with a simple Google search. Of course, asking your school adviser can also be a big help and you may be able to get more personalized help.

Finally, some employers may be willing to pay for the cost of additional education for their employees. See if the medical facility where you work as such a program. It make it a lot easier to keep working while you’re getting your education, helping you on two financial fronts at once.

Finding funding for any kind of schooling isn’t always easy, but with a little hard work and determination, those hoping to head to nursing school can get access to many great scholarships, grants and financial aid programs that can help them live out their career goals, help others and keep their bank accounts in the black at the same time.

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 8th, 2008

Fewer Calories Could Mean a Longer Life

We all know that eating right and staying fit are part of what helps us live long and healthy lives. What many people might not be aware of, however, is that eating a diet that is low in calories, say the 1,200-1,500 range, could extend your life by several years. It might sound counterintutive that actaully having less to eat can help extend your life, but the research that backs this up has been going on for years.

Scientists have long known that restricting the diets of fruit flies and rats can have some seriously big implications. By cutting their intake by 40%, fruit flies lived up to 85% longer while rats an equally impressive 40% longer. Those weren’t the only benefits, however, as scientists discovered that the low-calorie diet rats had better memories, more energy and stronger immune systems.

While scientists know that these things occur, they aren’t yet sure about the exact mechanisms that make them work the way they do, especially in humans. In facts, it has only been in the last decade or so that calorie restricted diets have become a hot topics, finding their way into everything from scientific studies to popular media. Some scientists believe that eating less may expose the body to fewer free radicals and thereby slow the aging process. Others believe that factors like hormones and insulin sensitivity– or a combination of the two– are at play.

Whatever the reason, recent studies have confirmed that those who cut their calories exhibited similar physiological effects as the animals in previous testing, including lower body temp, lower levels of insulin and decreased DNA damage. More tests are needed to see the long term results of these low cal diets, but initial studies are promising.

If you’re thinking of cutting out some calories in your diet to live longer, don’t jump on the bandwagon just yet. Those in the test group had to reduce their calorie intake by a sizable 25% to see results. Any kind of drastic diet change like that should be preceded by a visit to a doctor to determine your health and whether or not eating less could be helpful or harmful to your overall health. You’ll also need to be careful to ensure you still get the necessary levels of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy as eating less means eating things that are healthier as well.

There is no magic fountain of youth, but eating fewer calories could be one natural way to help us maximize the potential of our bodies, live longer and feel better while we’re doing it.

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 8th, 2008

Doctors, Nurses and Depression

Medical professionals often spend so much time worrying about the illnesses, injuries and problems of others that they don’t have time to focus on how their own health, both mental and physical, is holding up. The sad reality is that depression among health care professionals isn’t uncommon and can cause serious issues not only in their lives, careers and relationships but also in the care that they can provide for their patients.

Health care professionals like doctors and nurses work in an environment that can sometimes exaerbate or contribute to the causes of depression. Health care can be a high stress environment where there is little time to rest, long hours, and no room for error. Stress can be a major contributing factor to depression, and as hospitals become increasingly overcrowded and understaffed it’s not likely that it’s a problem that will be going away anytime soon. Additionally, reduced amounts of sleep and feelings of on-the-job frustration have also been shown to be contributing factors to depression.

It can also be easier to fall prey to depression for many working in health care because they are so often involved in life or death situations. Handling the emotions that come with not only caring for the patients but the family members who care for them as well can be difficult, stressful and heartbreaking for even the most jaded of professionals.

As health care professionals, you will be more than familiar with the signs and symptoms of depression yet sometimes recognizing them in yourself can be hard. You have to be honest with yourself and admit when your frustration, stress and unhappiness is truly taking a toll on your quality of life and your ability to enjoy things outside of work. Seeking out treatment doesn’t mean that you aren’t good at your job or that it’s necessarily the wrong career for you. It only means that you need help, a break and guidance through some of the hardest parts of your job.

Mental illness has long held a stigma around the world, but in this day and age with a greater understanding of the condition and more and more people willing to speak out about it, there is no reason not to seek out help if you’re experiencing depression. Doctors, nurses and all medical professionals have easy access to help and should make good use of it. After all, the sooner you seek out help, the sooner you can start fighting back against your depression.

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 8th, 2008

Tracking Your Eating Habits Can Help You Shed Pounds

Do you know just how many calories or grams of fat you consumed today? If you’re like many Americans, it’s much more than you think. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just want to get an idea of your overall eating habits, tracking how much and what you eat can be a big help in making you a happier and healthier person.

The benefits of tracking what you eat when you’re trying to lose weight are fairly self-explanatory as you’re trying to take in fewer calories than you burn off through exercise and daily activities. Knowing how much you’re actually taking in and the difference between that and your calories burned is the first step in getting your weight under control. Yet even if you don’t have weight loss as a goal, tracking what you eat can help you to eat a wider variety and more balanced array of foods. You may not realize how much processed foods you’re eating and how little produce and veggies you actually consume during a week. By writing these things down, you can get an idea of ways to improve your diet. This is great for everyone, not just people who want to cut down on calories.

Getting started tracking your eating habits is fairly simple. You could go the old fashioned way and use a pen and a small notebook or you could embrace one of the numerous websites and apps out there created just for this purpose. With these programs, you can enter in the exact foods and amounts you’ve consumed and get instant tracking on the levels of everything from fat to vitamins that you’re consuming. Better yet, many of these programs allow you to take them with you on your phone or wireless device so that you can input what you eat no matter where you are when you’re eating it.

Losing weight can be an uphill battle for many, but one way to get started on a healthy road to weight loss is through this kind of diet tracking. Once you know where you stand you’ll be able to find a variety of ways you can start improving what you eat to give your body the nutrients it needs to keep going and avoiding harmful fats and sugars. While it’s just the first step of many in losing weight, it can help you get started on that long road to a happier, healthier you.

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 8th, 2008

Are Pharmacy Schools in California Better than Others?

Pharmacy schools in California boast some of the most extensive degree and research programs in the country, but are they necessarily the best ones to attend?  After years of studies from students, it is clear that pharmacy schools in California may have higher rankings for specific programs, but they are comparable to programs throughout the country. 

Some of the earliest pharmacy programs are in fact in California, but this does not necessarily mean that they are the best in the nation.  Rather, they have become the most distinguished and the most sought after for many students, much like Harvard and MIT have the same respectable titles.  However, pharmacy programs have popped up in a number of locations around the nation, indicating that students do not have to travel exorbitant distances solely to earn a pharmacy degree.  Pharmacy programs at major state universities have emerged in recent years, rivaling those of California schools and indicating that state schools have the same amount of resources as the schools in California.

Lately, pharmacy programs around the country have been taking great leaps in research and have helped out the pharmaceutical industry more than ever before, as vaccines have become more heavily researched within pharmacy school.  Pharmacists no longer have to be confined in the small Walgreen’s box of a career, but instead are now more flexible to include many different paths in life.  The research path has stemmed from pharmacy schools which cater exclusively to research programs, many on the East Coast.  California no longer reigns supreme in this regard, but is in fact a heavy contender for the top research program title in the pharmacy program. 

As the years continue, online pharmacy programs seem set to overtake other traditional programs as more students enroll in online courses.  While some programs require on-site course hours, others simply require a set number of online courses and then a certain amount of residency in a pharmacy.  Online programs can additionally attract students from any state, and have overtaken numbers of enrolled students in pharmacy schools around the nation.  While pharmacy schools in California remain heavily sought after by incoming students and are continuously ranked high, they are no longer the only option for hopeful pharmacy students as more programs emerge every year, set to overtake the rival programs with their graduation rate and research programs. 
 

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 8th, 2008

100 Global Health Blogs That Will Open Your Eyes

People around the world are concerned with providing healthy living conditions, medications, preventive care and more for their citizens so they can live long, healthy lives. These global health care blogs reflect the concerns from people of all countries and walks of life and can help you learn about health care issues that affect people young and old. Check these out to learn about technology, drugs, food safety and much more.

Global Health News and Views

These blogs can help you keep up on the latest happenings in health care and medical treatment around the world.

  1. Global Health Report: Journalist Christine Gorman covers what’s up and coming in health care, what needs to change and what actually works in keeping people well.
  2. UNACCEPTABLE: This blog deals with health around the world, focusing on the discrepancies that exist in health care systems.
  3. Brown for Global Health: Published by Brown University, this blog addresses a multitude of issues related to world health.
  4. Effect Measure: Check out Effect Measure for discussions on public health issues from food safety to antibiotics.
  5. Global Health Beat: Discuss public health, politics, and more on this blog focused to health care issues around the world, especially in places where care is less than adequate or hard to obtain.
  6. The Health Media Watch: You can’t believe everything you read in the media and this blog tries to separate the fact from fiction when it comes to health care news.
  7. The Pump Handle: Check out this blog to chat with others about big public health issues.
  8. Angry Toxicologist: This blog covers a range of public health issues and aims to translate news into terms the normal person can understand.
  9. The Lancet Global Health Network: The Lancet is a leading global health journal, and on this site you can read the latest news, research and recommendations on public health.
  10. Vital Report on Global Health: Give this site a read to learn about important global health issues like sanitation, flu pandemics and AIDS research.
  11. Don Burke’s Global Health Blog: This blog is written by Donald S. Burke, MD, the dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, and follows him around the world as he reports on global health care.
  12. WorldHealthCareBlog: For a more business-oriented look at global health care, check out this blog created in partnership with the World Congress.
  13. World Health News: Maintained by the Harvard School of Public Health, this blog provides the latest health news at home and abroad.
  14. Global Health at MIT: Here you can find news and information about health relevant to MIT students and the larger community.
  15. Global Health Nexus: Learn about culture, news and health care issues from around the world in this informative and entertaining blog.

Development and Policy

For information on development projects and health care policy worldwide, check out these blogs.

  1. NextBillon.net: This blog is all about development through enterprise and aims to bring together businesspeople and academics from all kinds of backgrounds.
  2. BCC Blog: BCC stands for Behavior Change Communication and contains "materials that have been developed by PSI’s Country Offices, addressing a variety of health issues."
  3. Global Health and Foreign Policy Blog: Johns Hopkins University manages this blog which addresses issues of foreign policy that relate to health care.
  4. Global Health Policy: From HIV/AIDS to pharmaceutical development, this blog addresses health care policies the world over.
  5. Health Affairs: Written by a number of journalists, this blog covers a wide range of issues, but focuses mostly on US health care policy.
  6. FP Public Health: If you’re interested not only in domestic health care but foreign policy as well, check out this blog.

HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is a major health issues in many countries around the world and these blogs report the latest news and research on the disease.

  1. The AIDS Awareness Blog: This blog is dedicated to raising AIDS awareness and dispelling many of the myths and falsehoods that surround it.
  2. AIDS Truth: Find out the facts about HIV historically and in the newest research from this blog.
  3. JID News: Focused on Asia, this blog addresses the health care issues that have arisen in places like Thailand, Hong Kong and elsewhere in the world due to AIDS.
  4. HIV News: Here you’ll find the latest updates on HIV/AIDS news from around the world.
  5. HIV and AIDS News: From AIDS in America to vaccines, this site provides the latest in news and research.
  6. Politics and Policy of HIV/AIDS: On this blog you can learn about the political issues surrounding this virus.
  7. AIDS.gov: This government site provides some helpful and accurate information about AIDS and HIV.

Pharmacology

Getting drugs to the people who need them is sometimes a complicated and politically charged issue. These blogs discuss pharmacology, drug research and worldwide distribution.

  1. Terra Sigillata: Written by a researcher and educator with a PhD in pharmacology, this blog discusses dietary supplements, natural drugs, and much more.
  2. Pharmalot: Learn all about drug development, marketing and the companies involved from this blog.
  3. Essential Medicines News: This blog deals with issues of access to essential medicines around the world.
  4. FasterCures: These bloggers hope to make a difference in world health care by speeding up the process of clinical development of drugs for deadly diseases.
  5. Pharmaceuticals Blog: Here you can learn all about the sometimes dangerous side effects and news related to popular medications.
  6. The International Medical Marketplace: Check out this blog to get insights into the business of health care and medicine.

Infectious Diseases

From avian flu to malaria, these blogs deal with how to prevent and treat infectious diseases the world over.

  1. Superbug: With so many people taking antibiotics, new, drug-resistant strains of infections have developed. This blog tracks the research and information on one such strain of Staph.
  2. H5N1: Here you’ll get all the news and information you need about avian flu.
  3. Flu News Blog: Find out where and how the flu virus is spreading around the world in this blog, which can be an especially valuable read during cold season.
  4. Aetiology: Tara Smith, professor of Epidemiology blogs about the spread, origins and evolutions of a variety of infectious diseases.
  5. ProMed Mail: Check out this site for the latest updates on outbreaks of infectious diseases around the world.
  6. CARE’s Avian Flu Blog: This blog is dedicated to providing the most recent information on the spread of avian flu.
  7. VaccineEthics: Whether you believe in getting vaccinated or not, this blog is full of interesting and informative posts on the subject.
  8. Malaria Matters: Malaria is a common disease in many warm parts of the world and this blog is dedicated to helping develop treatments and care so that malaria may one day be a thing of the past.
  9. CDC Chatter: Learn what’s going on at the Center for Disease Control from this blog.
  10. Epidemix: Give this blog a visit to learn about new research and technology in the field of contagious diseases.
  11. Malaria Journal: Here you can find numerous articles on malaria treatments and prevention.
  12. Infectious Diseases Blog: From milk microbes to tuberculosis, this blog covers all the bases when it comes to infectious diseases.
  13. Hepatitis C Outreach Project Blog: Hepatitis affects thousands of people around the world and this blog helps them come together and learn about new research and treatment.
  14. Disease Control Priorities Project: This project wants to help developing countries learn how to better manage their health care systems to prevent, treat and care for diseases of all kinds.
  15. Quinntelligence: This blogger is researching vaccinations in Africa and chronicles his experiences and thoughts in this blog.
  16. Global Health Report: Here you can find facts and information on diseases like malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis that cause millions of deaths each year.

Country and Continent Specific

Read about one country or continent at a time on these focused health blogs.

  1. Malawi Clinics: Learn what clinics in Malawi are doing to provide clean water, health care and hope for many who are living well below poverty level.
  2. OPS Blog: Here you can learn about health issues that are affecting South America.
  3. All Africa: Find the latest stories on health care in Africa from this blog.
  4. Body Politics: If you have an interest in community health in India, this blog is full of stories and news to keep you reading.
  5. Global Bioethics Blog: This blog focuses on bioethics issues that are affecting Sub-Saharan Africa.
  6. Design Research for Health: Mongolia: Learn how technology can affect places like Mongolia in this health and technology focused blog.
  7. AMMREN: The African Media and Malaria Research Network maintains this blog and you can read about the progress they’re making with health clinics around the continent.
  8. SAHRI: Read all about health issues from the South Asian Health Research Institute on this blog.
  9. HEAL Africa: This program is focused on providing great health care for people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  10. The Health Care Blog: Learn about health care in the US, what works and what doesn’t, from this broadly focused blog.
  11. Stayin’ Alive: This blog addresses world health but focuses mainly on health care issues in the US, like lack of universal access and unequal care.
  12. Global Bioethics: Focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, this blog by a professor and researcher looks at bioethics and health care issues.

Projects and Organizations

These groups are dedicated to helping health care worldwide and you can read about their efforts in these blogs.

  1. The INFO Project Blog: The INFO project wants to spread information about reproduction in developing countries to help keep mothers and children healthier and happier. It’s sponsored by Johns Hopkins and you can read all about their successes on this blog.
  2. Global Forum for Health Research: Here you’ll find information on innovations and research that’s leading to better medical care in some of the poorest places on Earth.
  3. Public Health Without Borders: Learn about issues of public health in the US and all over the world from this blog documenting this annual meeting.
  4. The Breast Health Project: With breast cancer a major concern for many women the world over, this project aims to help women be aware of breast health issues and you can follow along with their mission in this blog.
  5. Global Impact: Hubli Water and Health Project: The USC Stevens Institute for Innovation started this project to help those in this community get access to clean, healthy water.
  6. Project HOPE: Short for Health Opportunities for People Everywhere, this organization records its recent projects and work saving lives around the world in their blog.
  7. Partners In Health: Here you can find information about this group that’s helping to provide health care to those who need it most.
  8. PATH Project: From family planning to infant nutrition, this group hopes to educate people in poverty stricken areas about health care issues.
  9. Global Health Initiative: This site covers news on everything from AIDS orphans to gene therapy and explains the Wilson Center’s plan for action to help global health issues.
  10. The ONE Blog: The ONE movement wants to help reduce global poverty and improve the living conditions of people around the world. Check out their blog for more information.
  11. UNICEF Blog: One of the best known international charities, UNICEF works to help people get health care, food and resources and you can read about their work in this informative blog.
  12. Sweet Resolution: Learn about diabetes on a global scale from this blog.
  13. Global Health Delivery: This is the blog of GHD, an organization where health care provides connect with colleagues and share ideas on how to work with limited resources.
  14. GlobeMed: This student-led non-profit helps students make a difference in places around the world in healthcare and development.

Technology

No discussion of health care is complete without touching upon technology, and these blogs bring the issue to the forefront.

  1. Tech ‘n’ Health: Learn about how the Internet is playing an integral role in health care in the 21st century from this blog.
  2. Little Devices That Could: This blog is an interesting read as it provides posts on gadgets that are helping countries develop around the world and build better health care.
  3. CIMIT Blog: The Center for Integration of Medicine & Innovative Technology maintains this blog and addresses the intersection of these two fields at Massachusetts General Hospital.
  4. Innocentive: While not strictly a blog, this site is a great place to learn about the technological and scientific innovations that health care providers around the world are looking to find. If you’re able to solve one of the problems you’ll not only get to help people but pick up a sweet paycheck as well.
  5. On Informatics: Check out this blog to learn how the management of information is changing due to new technologies from this journal-based blog.
  6. SciDevNet: Here you can read about science and technology and how it affects the developing world.
  7. Technology, Health and Development: Learn how technological innovations in health care can have a major impact on people at a global level.

Medical Professionals

These doctors tell about their experiences working in health care in places that are in dire need of help, while also sharing health care news and issues.

  1. No Child Must Wait: Here doctors can find out about trips to help children who are in need of a variety of surgical treatments that they simply can’t get at home. Many of the stories on the blog are inspiring and may even bring a tear to your eye.
  2. Doctors Without Borders Blogs: This program gives doctors the opportunity to work in some of the most impoverished and medically needy areas in the world.
  3. Dr. Buttery’s Public Health BLOG: Here you can find news and information about health care around the world from a Virginia Commonwealth University doctor.
  4. Life and Lim Blog: This plastic surgeon has moved to Africa with his pediatrician wife and his children to help those in need of surgery and medical care get the help they need and deserve.

Environmental Health, Water and Food Safety

Health isn’t just about treating illnesses but preventing them as well. These blogs focus on protecting food, water and living conditions to promote better health.

  1. Scientists and Engineers for Action: These science professionals want to use their expertise to improve health and environmental issues.
  2. Food Safety and Environmental Health Blog: Learn how you can avoid food borne illnesses and stay safe at home and abroad from this blog.
  3. Not In My Food: Consumer Reports maintains this blog that battles for better standards and safety in food.
  4. BarfBlog: The title of this blog says it all. It covers food safety issues in order to help prevent food borne illnesses that can lead to not feeling so good and potentially more deadly consequences.
  5. Exploring Food Safety: From safe bottled water to the effects of alcohol on arthritis, this blog explores a myriad of issues related to food safety.
  6. Clean Water for the World: This blog is written by a couple who are dedicated to helping people all over gain access to clean water and providing them with the systems needed to do so.
  7. Environmental Health News: Environmental Health Sciences maintains this blog that is a great place to find information about the chemicals and toxins that may be finding their way into your home.
  8. Impact Analysis: This blog is a great read to better understand issues of environmental health and how they are affecting people not only in the US but around the world as well.

Miscellaneous

Check out these health care blogs that cover a range of issues.

  1. Perspectives: Here you can learn about issues of media, culture and faith on a global scale.
  2. Poverty News Blog: Check out this blog to learn about the struggles of some of the poorest people in the world, including the challenge of getting adequate health care.
  3. WSJ Health Blog: Read about some general health issues that affect Americans as well as others around the globe in this Wall Street Journal blog.
  4. TIME Global Health: While this blog is no longer updated regularly, it provides an invaluable resource on global health.
  5. Global Voices: Read the opinions of numerous bloggers on this blog on issues like AIDS, hospitals and much more.

Posted In:  Health Resources

  December 8th, 2008

Pharmacy School in Developing Nations

We take education for granted, and as much as we try not to this remains a fact of our Western centered lives.  It is assumed that most of us will continue on toward college, and maybe even after will attend a further education endeavor such as medical school, pharmacy school, or law school.  Developing nations, however, have had to rely on Western graduates who come in and help build up their programs and their industries, rather than individuals from their own hometowns.  This is slowly changing with the advent of universal help from international organizations who deliver funds toward higher education programs in regions such as Africa and East Asia.  Pharmacy schools have begun to be implemented in these areas as well, indicating a welcome shift toward a more modernized region. 

Pharmacy school is not the most vital of higher education, but is increasingly necessary for countries where diseases run rampant and where viruses can no longer be quelled by herbal remedies.  It is easier for native citizens to gain access to vaccines when pharmacists exist in a more regular locations than previously within their nation.  While these countries still have to rely on the help of Western nations to lend a hand in containing their mass outbreaks, the new prominence of pharmacy schools has indicated that these countries now have the means to fight their own battles in the health industry and do not have to rely on other nations as much as before.

Pharmacy school helps citizens not only contain diseases, but also informs them about the dangers that many viruses and diseases can bring to their communities.  So many citizens of these countries still remain unaware of the risks and dangers that come with having unprotected sex or drinking out of tepid water.  Pharmacists help the health industry by bringing new knowledge to developing nations; it is even more helpful that these individuals are from their own home country, rather than visitors from the “Western” world.  While doctors and nurses fight similar battles within the same areas, pharmacists are in charge of combating disease and taking the necessary precautions to ensure that disease does not spread as rapidly as it once did.  The increase of knowledge in these nations comes with the increase of higher educational programs, indicating that pharmacy schools has made a niche for itself within the education field. 

 

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 8th, 2008

Keep Your Body Healthy When You’re On Your Feet All Day

If you’ve ever worked at a job where you’ve barely had a chance to sit down for more than a few minutes for your entire shift, then you know just what a toll standing, walking and constantly moving can take on your body. While physical activity is good, repetitive motions, stress, muscle strain and joint inflammations are very real consequences of working on your feet all day and could have you feeling miserable and spending time home injured from work.

Perhaps the best way to deal with working on your feet all day is to prepare your body for it and work to avoid some of the most common injuries associated with it. It might seem silly but a good stretch before and partway through work could do wonders to lessen muscle aches and keep you feeling loose and able to move throughout the day. Increasing your flexibility over the long haul is a good idea as well, and taking yoga classes or stretching on your own could do wonders.

Along with becoming more flexible, increasing your strength can also be a boon when it comes to working on your feet. As your muscles grow stronger, you’ll be able to work with fewer and fewer muscle aches. As an added bonus, you’ll get to generally feel and look better as well. Make sure you choose exercises that won’t have you pounding the pavement or adding additional stress to your body. For many who work on their feet, swimming and biking can be great ways to build muscle and give your feet a break.

One of the best investments you can make when you work in a profession that requires you to stand to work is in a good pair of shoes. These should be comfortable and provide support for your arches. When your feet are comfortable, the rest of you is much more likely to be so as well.

While breaks may be infrequent, when you have a chance to take one, don’t spend it standing up. Sit down, lay down, whatever it takes– just get off your feet for a bit. There’s no reason to keep standing all day and putting unnecessary pressure on your joints and muscles.

Finally, the best things you can do to stay healthy when you’re working on your feet all day are the same things you can do to stay healthy no matter what you do. Eat right, drink plenty of water and make sure you’re well rested. Your feet, and the rest of your body, will thank you.

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 7th, 2008

“July Effect” in Teaching Hospitals

Starting a new job always comes with a period of trial and error, uncertainty and learning as you go. But what if the new job is in a hospital treating patients? According to recent studies, medical residents are no different. More than 16,000 medical students receive their medical degrees (MD, OD) each year and many of them begin their residencies in the month of July. And this influx of green medical professionals in hospitals has some researchers believing in the "July Effect", an increase in mortality rates at teaching hospitals during the month of July.

A medical residency is a stage of graduate medical training that follows classroom education. It is an opportunity for physicians to learn practical skills and apply the knowledge they learned during medical school to actual patients. Residents have the choice to participate in residencies that specialize in plastic surgery, orthopedic, urology, radiology and other medical subsets. These residencies are generally conducted in a teaching hospital and all residents should be supervised by licensed physicians.

A research program conducted by the University of California, San Diego examined the "July Effect" by carefully studying the death certificates of over 240,000 former hospital patients that died in July between the years of 1979-2006. They found a surprising spike, around 10%, in the number of deaths related to medication errors in counties where teaching hospitals are located. This "July Effect" could be attributed to numerous factors. Medical residents are under considerable pressure to perform well and to prove themselves. Many are not willing to hurt their reputation by admitting they do not know something or have made a mistake. Many are acting on their new acquired semi independent roles. While this study has some people scared, hospital officials across the country are not convinced. They adamantly state that teaching hospitals have a strong system of checks and balances in place to prevent such terrible oversights or mishaps from occurring. They believe that the proper supervision they provide dramatically lessens the chance of errors.

Medical residencies have been the source of controversy for years. Often underpaid and over worked, residents have a history of working 100 plus hours a week, becoming sleep deprived and eventually making fatal or near fatal mistakes. Only recently have residents been restricted to 80 hour work weeks and only one overnight shift every three days. Still, the amount of work far exceeds that of normal professionals.

Until more research is conducted and more evidence can be produced, the best way to combat any possibility of succumbing to the "July Effect" is to simply be engaged and knowledgeable about the treatment one receives at any hospital or medical facility.

Posted In:  Uncategorized

  December 6th, 2008

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