Created Designs for Good Health

first_imgScience keeps finding that good health is built into the Master Plan.The Outdoors Is Our EnvironmentSpending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing (Nature Scientific Reports). Civilization has been a long process of insulating us from the outdoors. Much of it is for good reason, understandably (during blizzards and heat waves, for instance), but on good days, why bury your face in a computer screen or smartphone? Researchers monitored the well-being of almost 20,000 participants in the UK and found a peak value of about 2-3 hours per week of outdoor exposure was a significant contributing factor:Creation Safaris and other outdoor ministries help people escape to reality.Weekly contact was categorised using 60 min blocks. Analyses controlled for residential greenspace and other neighbourhood and individual factors. Compared to no nature contact last week, the likelihood of reporting good health or high well-being became significantly greater with contact ≥120 mins…. Positive associations peaked between 200–300 mins per week with no further gain. The pattern was consistent across key groups including older adults and those with long-term health issues. It did not matter how 120 mins of contact a week was achieved (e.g. one long vs. several shorter visits/week). Prospective longitudinal and intervention studies are a critical next step in developing possible weekly nature exposure guidelines comparable to those for physical activity.Our bodies are well designed for interaction with the environment. It’s a shame to deprive them of what they were made for. At The Conversation, lead author Matthew White stresses that the benefits are free to all. “Access to most parks and green spaces is free, so even the poorest, and often the least healthy, members of communities have equal access for their health and well-being, he says. “We hope that evidence such as ours will help keep them that way.”Sleep Is Vital to Our Mental HealthSleep increases chromosome dynamics to enable reduction of accumulating DNA damage in single neurons (Zada et al, Nature Communications). This technical paper answers a simple question: Why do we need to sleep? Everyone has probably wondered about that. It’s not just because of the dark at night, because many work late shifts. No, the answer is much more interesting and important: brain activity in waking hours puts a lot of strain on our neurons, and the sleep shift gives the repair crews time to work. Mourrain and Wang explain in a commentary on this paper in Current Biology:While most of our body cells are renewed during the course of our lives, we die with much of the neuronal cells we are born with. Thus, in contrast to a skin, blood or liver cells, which live from days to months, a neuron may need to preserve its integrity while maintaining its capacity to connect to other neurons in an ever-changing environment across decades. While it is unclear how neuronal tissues achieve such a feat, a recurring period of our lives may be critical for the survival and maintenance of our brain cells, including their genome — sleep. A recent study from Zada et al. shows at the single cell level that sleep increases chromosome dynamics in neuronal nuclei to repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) accumulated in the genome during wake.Double-stranded breaks are among the most dangerous of DNA injuries. They can lead to cell death or cancer. Complex molecular machines have to grab both loose ends and stitch them back together. The scientists found that genes for DSB repair proteins are up-regulated during sleep. As you lie down in sleep, think about those teams going to work to save your brain!Lack of sleep takes a severe toll on the body and mind. Another study reported by Medical Xpress showed that sleep-deprived firefighters risk exhaustion and mental health problems. About half of firefighters are affected, the study says; most fire stations require 24-hour shifts, sometimes for days in a row, and alarms can go off at any time. Researchers in Australia “suggest that reducing sleep and mental health disturbances should be a focus of fire departments’ occupational health screening programs, along with trialling interventions designed to maximise sleep.”Without enough sleep, the brain can also accumulate damaging molecules. Science Daily reported on another paper in the Journal of Neuroscience that found an association between lack of sleep and accumulation of beta-amyloid and tau proteins, the molecules that are diagnostic of Alzheimer’s Disease. For your protection in your old age, be sure you get enough sleep. Sleeping on your side is best, says Medical Xpress. That posture not only helps your repair machinery eliminate “brain waste” most efficiently, it also helps prevent neck and back strain.Your life will be richer if you live in harmony with the way your body and brain were designed. The Creator thought of everything. Even though the world is fallen from its original perfection, we have ample testimony of God’s design for our joy, peace and health, if we will learn from God’s word and obey it. Learn to love what is good for you, and be grateful. Gratitude increases as we learn about God’s designs, such as DNA repair during sleep and the benefits of natural environments for our eyes and minds. Our greatest need, however, is not bodily health. We need to be “born again” to have spiritual health and a proper relationship with our Maker. Even the most disabled person can have that greatest need fulfilled in his or her spirit. See our Site Map for trail markers on how to get on the straight and narrow path to the joy of the Lord.(Visited 245 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Smile Week to transform children’s lives

first_imgRay Maota The Smile Foundation aims to restore the dignity of children born with facial disfigurements like a cleft lip and palate. (Image: Flickr) Dr Jonathan Louw, CEO of Adcock Ingram Healthcare, said they were humbled to be part of this philanthropic initiative. (Image: Adcock Ingram) MEDIA CONTACTS • Sanri van Wyk  Taryn Fritz Public Relations  +27 11 888 8548 or +27 72 333 1011 RELATED ARTICLES • New ward opened for Smile Week • R13.8m surgical skills centre for South Africa • Drug giant lists on JSE • Brazil health plan adapted for South AfricaTwenty children with facial disfigurement caused by a cleft lip, cleft palate or paralysis will finally get the chance to smile after receiving reconstructive surgery during the Smile Foundation’s Smile Week.The event, being held at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town from 25 to 29 July 2011, is a partnership between the foundation and pharmaceutical company, Adcock Ingram. The children receiving surgery are of varying ages and include Amber, who was born with a cleft palate and is only six months old.“These children’s parents, families and communities will soon celebrate the fact that they have a beautiful smile and can go off to school when they’re older without fear of being teased or isolated,” Moira Gerszt, chief operating officer of the Foundation, said in a statement.“Our partnership with Adcock Ingram began last year. With their support, we will have made a difference in the lives of almost 40 children by the end of this Smile Week.” Before the start of Smile Week, 20 children had already received reconstructive surgery.Once identified, patients are assessed to determine the severity of their condition. Depending on the extent of their disfigurement, they are then either put on the list of the nearest participating hospital, or put on the surgery list of the Smile Week in their area.According to Dr Jonathan Louw, CEO of Adcock Ingram Healthcare, the surgery provides more than just smiles. “The funding that Adcock Ingram contributes towards these life-changing operations not only lessens the deformity of these children, but ensures that every child is able to swallow both solids and liquids with ease,” he said.“Our partnership with the Smile Foundation reiterates our commitment to adding value to life and changing one child at a time.”The Smile Foundation and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital have entered a three-year partnership to implement Smile Week, with the NGO funding the surgery and associated resources required, and the hospital providing infrastructure, staff, care, treatment and expertise.The paediatric hospital recently opened the first paediatric endoscopic surgical training centre in sub-Saharan Africa. A R13.8-million (US$2-million) facility, the centre aims to develop and improve the endoscopic surgery skills of surgeons in South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent.Ten years of smilesOver the past 10 years, the Smile Foundation and its six academic hospital partners have given the gift of a smile to more than 700 disfigured children across South Africa.In the Western Cape alone, 80 children have received surgery since the first Smile Week was launched in the province.“We are proud to have some of the best surgeons in the world to take part in this project,” said Theuns Botha, Western Cape health minister. These doctors include Dr Saleigh Adams, Dr Dirk Lazarus, Dr Greg Hein and Dr Suvier Singh.“These operations will enable children to smile. No money can buy that. This project is a joint investment in our youth and the future wellness of our people.”The Smile Foundation sources patients through hospital referrals, word of mouth, donor referrals, media awareness campaigns and the foundation’s toll-free number of +27 87 808 8682. Its six partner hospitals are Tygerberg Academic Hospital and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in the Western Cape, Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital in Gauteng, Universitas Hospital in the Free State, and George Mukhari Hospital in North West.last_img read more

Army back in Darjeeling after 2 deaths

first_imgViolence erupted again in the Darjeeling hills on Saturday after two persons were killed, allegedly in firing by police and security forces. The Army was redeployed to control the situation, which turned volatile as pro-Gorkhaland supporters clashed with the police in Darjeeling town and adjoining areas. Tension gripped the hills after the death of Tashi Bhutia, a Gorkha National Liberation Front supporter, at Sonada. GNLF spokespers- on Neeraj Zimba said Bhutia was shot dead by security forces on Friday night. The police, however, said they did not have any report of firing. “We don’t have any report of police firing as of now. We are looking into the incident. We can give you details later,” a police officer said. Clashes erupted as the procession carrying Bhutia’s body turned violent and protesters attacked a police outpost at Sonada. A pitched battle ensued between the protesters and police. The protesters also set ablaze the Sonada station of the heritage Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. The violence soon spread to Darjeeling town with clashes at Chowk Bazar. Police resorted to tear gas shelling to disperse the mob, which allegedly tried to attack the office of Deputy Superintendent of Police. A second youth later succumbed to bullet injuries sustained during the violence. He is yet to be identified but is thought to be a resident of Singhamari. Clashes were also reported from Kalimpong where protesters set on fire property of the State Forest Department.Two columns of the Army, one at Sonada and the other in Darjeeling town, were deployed to control the situation. “One accident has happened at Sonada. This is because they attacked the police.. We will have to look into who is responsible,” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at the State Secretariat. Urging pro-Gorkhaland supporters to shun violence, Ms. Banerjee said she was ready to hold meetings with political parties in the hills in the next 10-15 days. “I am asking the administration and the people to exercise restraint,” she said.She asked protesters to allow the government to send food and other supplies to the hills.last_img read more