15Jun 2017

Friendship versus Career? Don’t Neglect Your Friendships!

June 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Too many Americans are chasing career success, making sacrifices for some professional or financial goal. Too often those sacrifices include less time with their families and less time with their friends. That is a massive mistake – a mistake that lowers their happiness and reduces their health. Surprise. Our survival depends more on our friendships than our work.   That importance of friendship has been demonstrated in numerous studies throughout the animal kingdom. Monkeys, chimpanzees, baboons, horses, hyenas, elephants, and dolphins create lifelong friendships; and that is only the beginning of the lengthy list. For almost all species, the greater the quality of the friendships, the better the health and the longer the longevity for the animal.   Rhesus monkeys with close friendships show reduced levels of stress hormones and improved health. Horses, when they are grooming each other, show slower heart rates. Baboons with close friendships are four times more likely to live to an older age. And those positive effects are noticed in most species - even dogs and cats with their owners.   With humans, friendship appears to lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormones, and improve the immune system. How strong is the effect of a close [...]

19May 2017

Netflix “13 Reasons Why”: A Hidden Lesson

May 19th, 2017|2 Comments

Netflix is currently offering a series, titled “13 Reasons Why”, a story of a high school girl who commits suicide, leaving 13 recorded tapes for the 13 people who helped cause her suicide. The series has received critical acclaim and commercial success, as it addresses several important topics: mistreatment by others (including bullying), teenage depression, and suicide.   If you were born in the 1990s, you have a higher risk of developing a depression than if you were born in the 1980s. If you were born in the decade of the 2000s, you have a high risk of depression than if you were born in the 1990s. The prevalence of depression is rising with each decade. By 2030, it will be the number one diagnosis in the world. Worse, suicides are also rising.   What is causing this rising tide of depression and suicide? There are researchers who blame the chemicals, contaminants, and toxins in the world – from air / food / water – as possible culprits, claiming that those elements are disrupting the normal functioning of the chemistry in the brain. After all, over the past 50 years, we have created 77,000 new chemicals – and they are [...]

11Apr 2017

Millennials’ Changing Gender Identity and Sexuality: Why Now?

April 11th, 2017|2 Comments

When I was growing up, a person’s gender and sexuality were so much simpler. A persona was either male or female, gay or straight. Today, people’s gender and sexuality can be almost anything – lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, genderqueer, aromantic, two-spirit, etc.   Recent research shows that nearly a third of young people view their sexuality as somewhere between 100% heterosexual and 100% homosexual. Facebook, with its one billion users, now offers 60 options for users’ gender. In California, there is a bill that would add a third gender option on all identification documents – like birth certificates and driver’s licenses - listing male, female, and nonbinary.   Celebrities, like Miley Cyrus and Kristen Stewart, have been tabloid examples. Each of them have dated men and women; and each of them have described their sexual preferences as “fluid.” Some surveys have claimed that there are 100-200 shades of sexuality. What a contrast from 25-50 years ago when a male actor would hide his homosexuality, even getting married to a woman, just to save his career.   Today, fortunately, we have become more and more tolerant, especially the younger generations. Young people are finding an increasing sense of empowerment [...]

1Mar 2017

Rising Rates of Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer

March 1st, 2017|0 Comments

A recent study just revealed a rise in the rate of colon and rectal cancer in those people under the age of 55. That includes Generation X and Millennials. Anyone born in the 1990s has twice the risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer as someone born in 1950s. Since screening for colon cancer is not typically recommended until someone turns 50, many of these cancers are being detected in advanced states, making them much harder to treat. At this point, the researchers claim that they cannot determine the cause of the rising rate of these colon and rectal cancers in this younger population. Doctors worry that too many of these people are ignoring the early signs of colon cancer, including consistent bloating, cramps, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stools, or weight loss. They are also concerned that too many people are ignorant of the medical conditions that are associated with a higher risk for these cancers. People with GI disorders are individuals with increased risk of these cancers. If you have inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, your risk of colon cancer and rectal cancer is significantly higher. If you have [...]

7Feb 2017

Sick and Tired of Our Post-Election Stress?

February 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Since the election, there has been a constant, almost daily, stream of unexpected decisions, enormous conflict, multiple marches protests/ demonstrations, and subsequent chaos. For many people, it has reached a point of overload. They go to bed with their heads still spinning from the daily events, the evening news, or the cable talking heads. They yearn for a bit of relief, a few moments of peace, and a reduction in their own emotional turmoil.   I’ve always viewed life as shaped like an ice cream cone. You stand at the very bottom of the cone. Right above you, there is your family and closest friends. Above them, there are your classmates or your work cohorts. Above that larger group, there is your neighborhood and your community, all expanding outward. At the top of the cone, as you progress upward, there is our national and global world. Today, the top of the cone tasty like ice cream; it looks more and more like the ocean – with us caught in the perfect storm.   Each one of us can choose where we want to spend our time and effort in that cone. We can move up and down inside that cone, [...]