In the movie A Beautiful Mind, there is a scene in which the brilliant mathematician John Nash reveals how he manages to function, despite the schizophrenia that has tormented him for years. “I still see things that are not there,” said Nash, “I just choose not to acknowledge them. Like a diet of the mind, I just choose not to indulge certain appetites.”
I have an acutely vivid memory which triggered this article. It was a wet day in London in the winter of 2002. My 145kg frame was squished in the front seat of a tiny blue Fiat Punto with two colleagues in the parking lot of a Burger King.
Grandpa’s eyes, mother’s wide hips, aunt’s serene gaze, father’s ambition, great-grandmother’s rheumatism—all the little traits that define us seem to come from ancestral parents who, together, should have all the genes that anyone can have today, all the possible ingredients for the recipe from which we were made.
There seems to be an obsession with the word "natural." We look for it everywhere and, if necessary, are willing to pay more for products deemed natural. If this were not the case, there would probably not be so much emphasis on advertisements and product labels that show the products' natural qualities.
We’ve all been guilty of memory lapses at times—forgetting a birthday or anniversary, that needed ingredient we were supposed to pick up at the grocery store, where we put our car keys, even where we parked the car. And mostly we just joke about these memory lapses and tease each other about them. However, for some 50 million people around the world who currently live with dementia, issues with remembering things are no laughing matter.
When it comes to cases where "doctors don't know what to do," the first thought that comes to mind is usually cancer. Conventional treatment, which can prolong life for a few years and sometimes just a few months, comes at a high price in the quality of life, and patients come to prefer the "natural" way: alternative medicine.
Lying on my back, naked except for a sheet draped over my lower body, arms tucked behind my head, I’m feeling vulnerable and exposed. The radiotherapist leaves the room. I’m all alone. I begin to panic as I anticipate the beams of radiation about to penetrate my skin.
How important is wearing a mask for preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection? We must say, at the outset, that wearing a mask remains important in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infection, especially because the "delta plus" variant has a high potential for contagion.
Sunday afternoons were a sacrosanct time when I was growing up in Argentina. Everything seemed to quiet and slow down between 2:00 and 5:00 pm, during siesta. Even shops would shut. All you could hear was the sound of the cicadas as the whole neighbourhood took a nap. Young and old, rich and poor were unified by this wonderful tradition. At least, I now think it is wonderful; as a child, I felt sleeping was a complete waste of time!
It happens to all of us. We misplace the keys, forget a phone number or where we put our reading glasses. With age, such things happen more often, whether we like it or not. The good news is, our brain continues to produce new cells regardless of our age. Therefore, it is possible to have a good memory despite the aging process.
How should addictions be understood? Addiction is usually regarded as a failure of the will, or as a sickness. Lately, the tendency is for the younger, educated generation to embrace the second answer. The idea that addiction is a failure of the will, a sin, from a Christian perspective, is seen as outdated.
This article deals with principles that we know on a theoretical level, but don't really apply in our daily lives. If certain things are true, why are we so reluctant to change?
The phenomenon of technoference (that is, the daily disturbance people experience due to the use of mobile phones) is becoming more and more prevalent, and researchers at the University of Technology in Queensland warn that as we become more dependent on these devices, we become more tired, more unproductive and unwell.
Our bodies reap the first benefits of giving up smoking almost immediately after we have ceased the habit. The scientifically proven changes that are visible within the next hours, days, months and even years after we quit smoking reinforce the fact that putting out that last cigarette is one of the best decisions you will ever make for the benefit of personal health.
Dr Zeno L. Charles-Marcel is an associate director in the Department of Health for the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
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