Tag Archives: health

FOR COUPLES: Could Your Problem Be Your DNA?

couplesProblemDNAIt’s no secret that some married couples struggle with sexual incompatibility and fertility problems. And now there’s a science that can tell you with a quick cheek swap test, if you are a good genetic match. InstantChemistry.com is the invention of a brainy young group of neuroscientists and geneticists in Toronto who are set to change the game of love. Their simple DNA test can help predict is a dating couple with have mad hot sex, a long relationship, better fertility and even healthier children.

The magic genes identified by the Instant Chemistry test are the same ones that power our immune systems, and under normal dating conditions, women’s bodies are uniquely designed to pick up the scent and taste of a man who may be a good genetic match. They do this through close contact and kissing. It’s no wonder that women like to kiss more than men and couples who kiss a lot — presumingly because it is pleasurable — are linked to longer, more secure relationships.

But today’s dating world is far from a “normal condition.” First of all, most women are on the birth control pill, creating hormonal changes that gum up the ability to detect compatible immune systems in men. Secondly, since we modern humans practice such amazing hygiene and mask our smells with products, important pheromones are hidden. Finally, since we are exposed to a wide range of potential partners in crowded groups, it makes it harder to distinguish fit mates from not-so-great mates.

Would you like a DNA test with your partner? Go to InstantChemistry.com to find out more.

New Years Resolutions – The Secret to Making Them Stick

photo (6)Why is it that most New Years resolutions have been forgotten by February 1st and others become permanent? You might think that some people are just better at making change. But there is a secret to making a New Years resolution stick. To begin, here’s what you need to know: Humans thrive on two very important things, repetition and change. And both behaviors can be used strategically to maintain a New Years resolution.

First let’s talk about repetition. We are all born with a desire to repeat, to habitually bask in the familiar, driving the same routes, keeping the same sleep schedule, staying in the same job or relationship, working out (or not!) to the same degree. There is great comfort in going on automatic pilot and letting our brains relax a bit by repeating tried-and-true behaviors. Indeed habits can be healthy.

Somewhat paradoxically, we also get stimulated by novelty. We sometimes seek change to add a charge to our lives. That’s one of the reasons why entering a romantic relationship with a new partner is so exciting. It’s a whole new behavioral pathway. When we get into a repetitive life, seeking comfort and pleasure above novelty, we eventually become desensitized to the old pleasure, attempting more of the same thing as a way to bring back the novelty of our first time.

But still change is hard. For instance, asking our biology to give up the chemicals that stimulate our brains, whether they be found in chocolate, tobacco, wine or bread, will always prompt a big push back from our bodies. Likewise, adding something, like a job career turn, a new exercise routine, or a new spiritual path can involve work. So here’s the trick: Use your desire for repetition and your novelty seeking behavior to create new, positive behaviors.

Start with novelty. Whatever you want to change, do it big and do it now. If it’s exercise, find a new gym, new work out clothes and a new work-out buddy. Research shows that social support is paramount to change. Then, make it a habit through consistency. Whatever the change, whether it is to add or delete a behavior, do it for thirty days straight. If you can stick things out for a full cycle of the moon and then begin again, you are creating a repetition compulsion.

Add rewards and forgiveness. Getting through the first thirty days will be more successful if you have pre-planned rewards for small victories — say desert after seven days of a lower sugar diet, or a new pair of shoes for getting through a full week of exercise classes. And when you have set backs, when you “fall off the wagon” you’ll be much more prepared to get up again if you can go a little easy on yourself. If negative voices in your head tell you that you are a failure, then I promise, this will be a self-fulfilling philosophy. Instead, stay positive. Remind yourself that making change is sometimes about taking a few steps ahead only to slide back a bit. Forgive yourself and give yourself a big push. You can do this.

 

FOR PARENTS: Hug Your Kids For Their Longterm Health

black-girl-hugging-father If you didn’t have affectionate, loving parents, I’m sure you are aware of the consequences in your longterm relationships. But now research out of UCLA has made a link between abuse, neglect, lack of love and physical health.

The study, available online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that adults who have had toxic childhood stress have physical arousal systems that are not only hyper-sensitive to threats, but simply don’t turn off easily. In other words, negative early life experiences amp up a regulatory system and high levels of stress are linked sickness. For the study, more than 700 adults completed a survey about their early family life called “The Risky Families Questionnaire” and then were given a battery of physical tests that included measuring blood pressure, cholesterol levels, waist circumference, heart rate, blood sugar, etc. And, surprise, surprise, those who had unloving, non-affectionate parents — those with attachment injuries — tended to have much higher risk factors for serious disease.

Of course, linking two factors together, in theis case, bad parents and bad health, doesn’t always mean causality, but it would certainly be fair to infer that those with unloving parents may grow up to self medicate their emotional injuries with unhealthy lifestyle choices — like over eating, alcohol, smoking, or drugs.

The big take away, besides reminding good parents to keep up the good work, is for governments to not underestimate the importance of parenting. Both parenting classes and early childhood programs as part of the national healthcare debate. Breaking the cycle of abuse by giving support to parents who could use some tools, can ultimately reduce longterm national healthcare costs.

FOR PARENTS: Nutrition Deficit Blamed for Teen Violence

Mixed fruitYou might think that with obesity so prevalent in America, few people are starving. But there’s an invisible kind of starvation that is affecting millions of people in the worst way — brain function. Many people are being stuffed with empty calories that are loaded with sugar, salt and bad fats, and while bodies balloon, brains are actually starving. The end result: depression, anxiety, and even an increase in aggression.

A new article in Wise Traditions, the journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, makes a startling case between vitamin deficiencies and increasing violent behavior in teens. Specifically, the researchers say that vitamins A, D, K, B1, B3, B6, B12, folate and minerals iodine, potassium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and chromium, all play a role in an increase in aggression and violent behavior.

Of course, nutrition is but one piece in a complex puzzle of teen violent behavior. Other research has pointed to violent video games, absentee fathers, reduction in physical education programs and increasing housebound children, but Sylvia Onusic, Ph.D,, the study’s lead researcher says malnutrition is an overlooked component.

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FOR COUPLES: HOW MARRIAGE HELPS THE BODY HEAL

imelfYou can’t deny it, heart surgery is a daunting procedure, but a recent study has discovered a drug that can help you power through the surgery and ace recovery. It’s a little something old, something new and something blue: marriage. Married adults who undergo heart surgery are a whopping three times as likely as single folks who have the same surgery to survive the next three months. Ellen Idler, a sociologist at Emory University, the lead author on the study published in Journal of Health and Social Behavior, explained the difference between single and married people that leads to these miraculous recoveries. “The married patients had a more positive outlook going into the surgery, compared with the single patients,” Idler says. “When asked whether they would be able to manage the pain and discomfort, or their worries about the surgery, those who had spouses were more likely to say, yes.” The comfort and optimism that comes from having a stable relationship has healing powers for the human body, particularly when it comes to major open-heart surgery.

When you have a loving partner to take care of you, it really takes the stress out of the situation. Marriage can help relieve this big killer, and literally make the human body heal itself. Dr. Harry Lodge, author of Younger Next Year, explained the decrease of stress allows blood to flow more freely to the brain, the organ that regulates your body effectively. It also relaxes blood vessels in the entire body delivering blood where it is needed, to provide chemicals and nutrients that would otherwise be used up from stress. For those of us who hate getting sick and going to the doctor, this means a stronger immune system. In addition, to getting sick less, married people get over their symptoms faster than single people. Marriage, another way to beat cold and flu season, that’s fewer runny noses and less Nyquil!

If marriage is so powerful why is it in such short supply? According to the Pew Research Center, barely half of all U.S. adults are married, the lowest percent of married people ever. And most affected by this research are baby boomers who are currently the years plagued by heart disease and general health problems. That’s probably why the fastest growing online dating community, on sites like, OurTime.com, are people over the age of 50. Loving committed relationships can build stronger, healthier people.