"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Weekly Health Update: October 22nd, 2012

Mental Attitude
Don't Choke! For many skilled athletes, the movements they execute in an athletic event have been practiced so much, they occur with little conscious thought. However, when athletes don't perform well under pressure, they may focus too much on their movements which causes their performance to decrease even more. Right handed athletes who squeezed a ball in their left hand before an athletic event were more able to perform under pressure. It's thought that clenching with the left hand helps activate the right side of the brain that is associated with automated behaviors, such as those used by athletes to dribble, kick, shoot, swing, etc. 
American Psychological Association, September 2012 

Health Alert
Improper Rinsing? The improper use of neti pots, as well as other devices for rinsing out the sinuses, has been linked to a higher risk of infection. The FDA warns that if they are not used properly, the user runs a risk of developing serious infections, even potentially fatal ones. The devices are safe and useful overall, as long as they are properly used and cleaned. 
FDA, September 2012

Why Some Fats May Be Bad. Some fats (like animal fats) are linked to ailments like heart disease and diabetes while others (like those from fish, plants, and nuts) have health benefits. Why the difference? The results of one study suggest that some fats encourage the growth of harmful bacteria in the digestive system. Our bodies recognize those fats and launch an immune response. The result is low-level inflammation that, over the long term, causes chronic disease.  
Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2012

Get Fit Dad! According to a team of experts at the University of Melbourne's Department of Zoology, a father's obesity negatively impacts sperm, which results in smaller fetuses, poor pregnancy success, and decreased placental development. 
Society for Reproductive Biology, August 2012 

What Causes Pain? One possibility is ligaments or tendons being slightly torn or under physical stress or tension. These tissues can easily become damaged due to injury or long periods (weeks, months, or years) of overwork. 
Physical Exam Spine and Extremities, Hoppenfeld

Healthy Lifestyle. According to the World Health Organization, hypertension is the leading cause of mortality in the world, responsible for 7 million deaths a year (15% of all deaths). Healthy behaviors regarding alcohol, physical activity, vegetable intake, and body weight reduce the risk of hypertension by two thirds. Having two healthy lifestyle factors reduced the risk of hypertension by 50% in men and 30% in women. 
National Institute for Health and Welfare, September 2012

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