lifestyle

Popular Alternative Medical Therapies #3: Yoga

Though yoga has been around for thousands of years, it is still an extremely common practice today, becoming more and more popular.   I feel as though everywhere I look nowadays I see rolled-up yoga mats sticking out of backpacks and studios popping up on every street. Of course, I can’t forget the beloved yoga pants that have become so trendy. Still, trendy or not, this ancient practice has some serious benefits that can serve as therapy for both physical and mental health.     Most people know about medicine as viewed through the lens of biomedicine, drug therapies, evidence-based treatments, and the like. However, there is a whole another area of study that addresses ailments with a quite different approach. We have all likely heard of it as alternative medicine.   3. Yoga When I think of yoga, I imagine people doing headstands, crazy pretzel-like poses, and somehow pulling off insane balancing acts—all of which seems overwhelming for a beginner like myself. I constantly see more advanced practitioners posting incredible poses on social media, which, though awe-inspiring, is extremely intimidating.   However, just like any other hobby or practice, you have to start somewhere, right? There are basic exercises and practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine, such as breathing techniques and stretching. You could even try a beginner’s program to start learning poses and other methods.  ...

Popular Alternative Medical Therapies #2: Meditation

Calm. Peace. Patience. Meditation is a long-founded practice since as far back as we can remember. However, the benefits of the technique go well beyond the short time spent with oneself, allowing patients to reduce their risk of some of the most common disorders in human society and emerge more composed for the challenges ahead.     There is no doubt that the mind and body are connected. Just think of times when you were in a good mood. Most likely you were smiling, your posture was upright, and you had some bounce in your step. Contrastingly, when you were in a bad mood you probably had a melancholy expression, your shoulders were slightly slumped, moving at a slower pace.   Those with a long-term, negative attitude is not only damaging to their mental health, but can also manifest as physical ailments. Without even realizing it, our minds have such a strong influence on our bodies and our behavior. Just the slightest change in attitude can greatly affect the way we present ourselves.   So, can harnessing the mind through thought and reflection really be a source of therapy? Absolutely! The mind is a powerful tool, though sometimes difficult to understand. The ability to harness the mind can change the way you perceive yourself and the world around you.   2. Meditation   Those who regularly meditate derive incredible benefits such...

6 Things That Might Kill You in Rio

With just 4 days until the XXXI Olympic Games, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there are many pressing issues that have yet to be resolved. If you are planning on traveling to Rio, you should definitely proceed with caution, as there are numerous health and safety risks that could kill you.   Mosquitoes   Yes, we have been dealing with these pests for centuries. Although mosquitoes may not be a new threat, they are a still a major threat to humans, as well as dogs and horses. Zika is the latest mosquito-borne disease that has been especially prominent in Central and South America. Pregnant women are at the highest risk, as Zika can cause severe birth defects in children, however anyone can become infected with the virus.   Furthermore, let’s not forget the cornucopia of other diseases that mosquitoes carry, such as malaria, yellow fever, dengue, West Nile Virus, and more. And, due to Brazil’s hot and humid climate, the mosquito population is much larger than other countries, increasing your risk of infection. All things considered, I’d stay away from Brazil for a while, pregnant or not!   Source   Water   Some of the most beloved sports in the Olympics— such as swimming, rowing, sailing, windsurfing—all have one major element in common: water. Alarming reports have confirmed that the water in Rio is much more contaminated than previously thought. According to the NY...

Basic Emergency Interventions Every Medical Student Should Know – #9

  If you were to ask any medical student today why they wanted to become a doctor, a majority would undoubtedly say to “help people” and “save lives.” However, as we all know, medicine is a vast field. There is so much to learn before you can be considered even competent enough to be trusted alone in a room with an unstable patient.   Nevertheless, the journey from a medical student to an astute clinician is all about taking initiatives and actively engaging. From my experiences of interacting with other medical students, I feel that we all could start off by becoming more familiar with emergent management. In other words, would we really know what to do if a patient were to drop dead right in front of us at this moment? If you are confidently nodding “yes,” I am happy for you (truly). But if you are a little on the fence like me, I invite you to revisit some of the things you have already learned and conceptualize their utility when you encounter a critical patient.   Over the course of 10 articles, I will be going over some of the emergent interventions, procedures, and practices that can be used to help you better practice acute management and shine in your medical rotations.   So, without further ado, let’s get started.   9. Bag Valve Mask (BVM)...

Just Let Me Have One More Bite…

Ah, the holidays…it is that time of the year again when we all get to forget about our most dire priorities and embrace the primal side of human nature, following a course of excess consumption coupled with supreme relaxation.   However, this time of festivity and enjoyment gives us a unique opportunity to reflect on our tendencies towards food and nutrition. However, rather than spending time on what to eat and what not to eat (which is being captured quite extensively by our most experienced nutritionists), let’s talk about some behavioral and very human factors that promote and prevent us from managing a balanced diet, which is the essence of proper health.   Indulgence When the whole family sits at the big table for a huge and satisfying meal, your eyes glaze over all the delicacies in sight. From the mouth-watering honey-glazed ham to the scrumptious chicken breast, it is as though the food is calling to you from its innermost depths. However, no food attracts you more than the sweet desserts waiting on the kitchen counter, reserved for the end of the meal. The fatty chocolate mousse, smooth Italian gelato, silky orange jello, and much more.   It has been a long time since you had a chance to take advantage of such a great assortment of sugary snacks. Surely you deserve this rare treat (let’s say “just...

6 Unique Idiosyncrasies of Medical School

Medical school is an experience that is hard to explain. But that’s not going to stop me from trying. 1. You’re still in high school. Congratulations, you made it into medical school. Prepare to enjoy spending time with the best and brightest from across the land, as you work together in a perfectly intelligent utopia. Just kidding, medical school is almost exactly like high school. There is gossip, jealousy, random and eventually non-random hook ups, clicks – the whole shebang. Medical students as a whole are an intelligent and successful social group, yet suffer from the same petty drama, frivolous competition and unrestrained biological urges that everyone else does. In fact, it can sometimes be worse as many applicants are chosen specifically for being statistical outliers; this includes the ridiculously smart, the surprisingly devout, the hopelessly idealistic, the needlessly assertive, and of course the socially inept. Enjoy as you navigate this weird social milieu while sleep deprived and stressed out, with the least patience you’ve ever had. 2. You have a job, but it’s not really a job. Your job for the most part at this stage is simply paying attention for a really long time. Clerkships, lectures, the cavalcade of material you are expected to memorize, this all requires you to simply be present a lot of the time. Your friends will be like, I worked sixty hours, and...

There is Another Place Like Home, Sorry Dorothy

I can imagine that starting the first week of medical school is overwhelming. New place, new school, new people, new information, new everything. Many have already experienced similar feelings watching as their parents’ car pulled out of the college dorm parking lot; the only difference is you’re not an 18-year-old anymore so it might be slightly less acceptable to cry hysterically (I swear I didn’t do that). And, while it’s extremely important to get down to your studying, it’s also extremely important to get to know your new surroundings and meet new people. School will be stressful and you want to make sure you feel familiar and comfortable in your new home and with your new peers and mentors. Embrace your new place by…. Exploring the city. Take advantage of the last few weeks of summer and walk, run or bike outside. You’ll get good exercise and learn how to navigate around your new place. I recently moved into NYC, and spending hours walking my dog Charlie has really helped me learn my way around the BIG apple. Learning the history. A simple Google search of your new city and new school make you more connected to it. In your investigation, you might uncover some interesting facts to share with some of the other newbies. Getting involved. This can be done through groups at school or in your community....