The Alternative Medicine Rabbi

Video: The Alternative Medicine Rabbi

by IsraelNN TV Staff

( Rabbi Yuval HaCohen Asherov speaks with IsraelNN TV’s Yoni Kempinski about the Jewish approach to natural medicine. The Jewish approach is based on the idea that one law governs the world, he explains, and that health issues must be addressed on all levels – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.

Rabbi Asherov describes his method of disease treatment, which involves stopping the root causes of illness. The method is based on teachings of the Rambam, a “true natural doctor” who understood both body and soul, he says.

see link for video interview.


TV Causes Learning Lag in Infants

TV Causes Learning Lag in Infants
Jeanna Bryner
Senior Writer jeanna Bryner
senior Writer Mon Jun 1, 4:05 pm ET

Even infants zone out in front of the television, and it turns out this translates into less time interacting with parents and possible lags in language development, a new study finds.

“We’ve known that television exposure during infancy is associated with language delays and attentional problems, but so far it has remained unclear why,” said lead researcher Dimitri Christakis, director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages television watching before the age of 2, a time when critical development, such as language acquisition, occurs. (Christakis said a baby’s brain triples in size during the first two years of life, so there’s a lot going on in that little noggin.)

To figure out the TV-language link, Christakis and his colleagues rounded up 329 2-month to 4-year-old children and their parents. The kids wore digital devices on random days each…

Full article here:

Toxic Effects of Plastic Bottles via BPA – infertility, cancer, metabolic syndrome…

Toxic Effects of Plastic Bottles via BPA – infertility, cancer, metabolic syndrome…

Lonely Hearts Find Comfort in TV Characters

Yahoo! News
Lonely Hearts Find Comfort in TV Characters
Jeremy Hsu – Staff Writer

Don’t feel delusional for turning to favorite television characters on “Lost” or “Brothers and Sisters” for comfort – new research suggests that such illusory relationships can buffer people against loneliness or sadness.

Subjects in one study who felt down from remembering unhappy moments of social rejection soon perked up upon writing about their favorite TV shows and characters. This supports the “social surrogacy hypothesis,” where technology provides a sense of social belonging when real social connections are lacking.

“Normally rejection has a horrible effect on us, because we’re a very social species,” said Shira Gabriel, a psychologist at the University of Buffalo in New York who conducted four studies on the issue. “But with our favorite TV shows, we’re no longer sad.”

Several studies

Much of the early research in this realm was based on the self-reports of college students. But taken together, four new studies indicate that even relationships with nonexistent fictional characters can affect people in very real ways.

The results may illustrate how certain television shows can hold the fascination of viewers, which has caused some psychologists and parents to worry about the social consequences. Even science fiction author Ray Bradbury said that his classic story about book burning, “Fahrenheit 451,” was more about the unhealthy attachment to mindless television than about censorship.

Indeed, “Fahrenheit” character Mildred prefers spending time with her television “family” rather than with her husband. “Poor family, poor family, oh everything gone,” Mildred mourns as she flees their burning home at one point in the story.

Plenty of anecdotal evidence exists in the real world for a powerful human attachment to fictional characters on TV, in books and in video games. The rabid fandom for certain stories, ranging from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” to the comics and movies of “Batman,” may also speak for itself.

“If you’re having a lonely time or feeling down one evening, you can pick up Harry Potter and feel like you’re connecting to Harry or Hermione or Ron,” Gabriel told LiveScience. She compared it to using a diet pill to stop from feeling hungry, or in this case filling that sense of social emptiness.

Students in one study by Gabriel reported tuning in to favorite TV programs to stave off feelings of loneliness. And students who wrote 10-minute essays about favorite television programs verbally expressed fewer feelings of loneliness, compared to those who wrote essays about non-favorite programs or academic achievement.

Researchers also manipulated the social feelings of students in three of the four studies, and used common self-report assessment scales to gauge the emotional states. Students who spent time thinking about favorite TV programs seemed protected against drops in self-esteem and increases in negative mood.

This fits with previous research that has found some association between unhappiness and more television-watching, although whether that’s a good or bad thing remains to be decided.

Next steps

Gabriel and her colleagues have already begun conducting further research on how this social fulfillment from stories affects real-world emotions. Their work will hopefully provide more clues to researchers already trying to make the connection between real-world social networks and the more illusory connections with fictional worlds.

Sometimes even enthusiastic TV viewers can’t believe how attached they are to their favorite stories, Gabriel said.

“They think it’s almost illogical – you watch a show or get a book and you think, ‘Stupid, these people don’t even exist,'” Gabriel said. “But that’s the beautiful thing about human empathy.”

The full research is detailed in the May issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

* Top 10 Mysteries of the Mind
* 10 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp
* Books Still Rival Movies for Stirring Emotions

* Original Story: Lonely Hearts Find Comfort in TV Characters chronicles the daily advances and innovations made in science and technology. We take on the misconceptions that often pop up around scientific discoveries and deliver short, provocative explanations with a certain wit and style. Check out our science videos, Trivia & Quizzes and Top 10s. Join our community to debate hot-button issues like stem cells, climate change and evolution. You can also sign up for free newsletters, register for RSS feeds and get cool gadgets at the LiveScience Store.

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Evolution or Yin Yang Imbalance?

In Chinese Medicine, a person with a weak Yin but strong Yang constitution will be thin in body form but jumpy, alert, and high energy. I will explain why this is below.

Lacking this perspective, scientists use the theory of evolution to explain their new observation:

“Scrawny people tend to think approaching sounds are closer than do strong people,” a new study found. See the original article from In essence, the study finds that skinny people respond faster to approaching sounds.

The scientists postulate that the fraction of a second quicker response time on the part of scrawny people must be a result of evolution.

That fraction of a second must have allowed the scrawny, weaker people to escape dangers they could not hope to fight off – unlike stronger people who could afford to react a fraction of a second slower, to say, a saber tooth tiger attack.

A more physiological answer is found in Chinese Medicine.

Chinese Medicine describes all physiological phenomena and substances as either “yin” or “yang.” The different yin and yang substances and phenomena in the body are polar opposites that balance one another.

Yin and Yang are opposites that balance one another.

Generally speaking, yin
grounds a person,
keeps them calm,
allows them to fall asleep at night,
cools them when they get hot,
and more.

Yang, on the other hand,
allows a person to expand their thoughts,
feeds excited emotions,
provides the mental and physical energy to work all day,
heats up the body when it is cold,
and more.

When a person has a thin body such as the one described in this study, they are usually yin deficient with vigorous yang.

As one Chinese Medicine text says, “Thin people have more fire; obese people have more phlegm.” (‘phlegm’ represents slowness, sluggish physiology, etc.)

Chinese Medicine explains this phenomena not on evolution, but on physiological harmonies of the various body systems in a given person.

Mothers’ talk is key to kids’ social skills, study says

Mothers’ talk is key to kids’ social skills, study says

* Story Highlights
* Study followed 57 families as children grew from 3 to 12 years
* The effect of social skills was strong until age 9, weaker from ages 10 to 12
* Researchers are now interested in what effect training would have
* Expert: Labeling child’s feelings, as well as others’, is important

By Elizabeth Landau

(CNN) — Mothers often get blamed for the way their children turn out, and a new study gives additional weight to that accusation.

Research from the United Kingdom shows that the way mothers talk to their children at a young age influences their social skills later in childhood.

The study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, found that children whose mothers often talked to them about people’s feelings, beliefs, wants and intentions developed better social understanding than children whose mothers did not.

In the first part of the study, mothers were asked to talk to their 3-year-old children about a series of pictures depicting scenes such as a child coming out of school looking happy and people waiting in line. Children whose mothers talked about the mental state of characters in the picture tended to perform better on social understanding tasks, the researchers found.

The effect persisted when the researchers revisited the families — 57 of them remained in the study until the end — on an almost yearly basis. The authors controlled for socioeconomic status and IQ of the mothers and found that these factors were not as relevant.

“You can predict even from when the children are 3 or 4 what their social understanding will be like when they’re 8 or 9,” said Nicola Yuill, lead author and senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Sussex in England.

This effect becomes weaker from ages 10 to 12, perhaps because as children get older, they spend less time at home, and their peers and teachers influence them more, she said.

The 12-year-olds, however, generally did as well as their mothers on…

Military tries ‘battlefield’ acupuncture to ease pain,0,7983851.story

Military tries ‘battlefield’ acupuncture to ease pain

By David Wood

December 11, 2008


Stephen M. Burns

Stephen M. Burns, a specialist in acupuncture, inserts a needle into the ear of Lt. Col. Catherine A. Reardon to treat her headaches and hand pain. (Baltimore Sun photo by Glenn Fawcett / December 9, 2008)

Using ancient Chinese medical techniques, a small team of military doctors here has begun treating wounded troops suffering from severe or chronic pain with acupuncture.

The technique is proving so successful that the Air Force will begin teaching “battlefield acupuncture” early next year to physicians deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, senior officials will announce tomorrow.

The initiative marks the first high-level endorsement of acupuncture by the traditionally conservative military medical community, officials said.

Using tiny needles that barely penetrate the skin of a patient’s ear, Air Force doctors here say they can interrupt pain signals going to the brain.

Their experience over several years indicates the technique developed by Col. Richard Niemtzow, an Air Force physician, can relieve even unbearable pain for days at a time.

That enables badly wounded patients who arrive here by medevac aircraft to begin to emerge from the daze of pain-killer drugs administered by surgeons in the field.

“This is one of the fastest pain attenuators in existence – the pain can be gone in five minutes,” said Niemtzow, a physician, acupuncturist and senior adviser to the Air Force surgeon general.

He and others stressed that tiny needles cannot replace morphine and other powerful drugs used in combat medicine. And they acknowledged that acupuncture doesn’t work for everyone.

But neither does acupuncture provoke the kind of adverse side effects, allergic reactions and potential addiction associated with powerful psychotropic drugs often used to dull the pain of the severely wounded.

“We use acupuncture as an adjunct” to traditional therapy, said Niemtzow. “The Chinese have used it for 5,000 years. It works, and it’s powerful.”

The procedure developed by Niemtzow is a variation of traditional Chinese acupuncture in which long, hair-thin needles are inserted into the body at any of hundreds of points to ease pain.

Niemtzow’s variation uses one or more needles inserted into any of five points on the ear. The needles, which penetrate about a millimeter (or 4/100ths of an inch) into the skin, fall out after several days. The procedure can be repeated.

The ear acts as a “monitor” of signals passing from body sensors to the brain, he said. Those signals can be intercepted and manipulated to stop pain or for other purposes.

Even 18th-century pirates were convinced of the value, piercing their lobes with earrings “to improve their night vision,” Niemtzow said with a grin.

He calls his procedure battlefield acupuncture because it’s easily learned and requires no cumbersome equipment. A pack of needles can easily be carried in a pocket.

The method can be taught in a few hours to doctors, medics and combat troops, most of whom already have learned traditional battlefield first aid.

Col. Anyce Tock, chief of medical services for the Air Force Surgeon General, said yesterday that the service has authorized 32 active-duty physicians to begin “battlefield acupuncture”‘ training.

Doctors at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany are using the practice to treat severely wounded troops in transit from the battlefield to Andrews and on to Walter Reed Army Medical Center or the Bethesda Naval Hospital for long-term care.

Battlefield acupuncture has been especially effective among patients suffering from a combination of combat wounds, typically a brain injury or severed limbs, burns and penetrating wounds along with severe disorientation and anxiety.

For these patients, the alleviation of pain is a critical step in their eventual healing and recovery.