In This Week's Issue:
Meditation for Multitasking
Practicing meditation might make your workday less stressful and improve your memory and concentration. A new study from the University of Washington explored the effects of meditation on three groups of human resource managers. To assess how well the participants dealt with stress before and after meditation training they all took a test of their ability to multitask that required using email, calendars, instant-messaging, the telephone and word processing tools. The researchers measured the speed and accuracy of the participants’ performances and recorded their self-reported stress levels. Then, group one underwent eight weeks of mindfulness-based meditation training; group two received eight weeks of relaxation training and group three continued to work without any special training at all for eight weeks and then participated in the same meditation training as group one. After training, group one reported lower levels of stress during the multitasking test, but group two did not. After group three completed mediation training, its members also reported lower levels of stress when tested. All told, meditation training enabled the participants to concentrate longer, spend more time on tasks and switch tasks less often, but they didn’t take any longer to complete the test.
My take? I’m not surprised by these findings. People who meditate regularly experience many subtle benefits. Over time, meditation may result in a restructuring of the mind that allows you to detach from thoughts that cause emotional swings. It can even have the effect of leveling out mood cycles, and help you learn to do things more effectively - whether it is cooking, writing or martial arts. Overall, you may find that you become mindful - more aware of everyday aspects of your life - and able to bring more awareness to everything you do. And of course meditation has proven to provide beneficial effects on physical health. These include enhancement of immune function, lowering of blood pressure, and even relief from chronic pain due to arthritis and other disorders.
Omega-3s for Memory
Dr. Weil’s Condition Specific Memory Support Vitamin Pack is available exclusively in the DrWeil.com Marketplace. This formula provides ginkgo and DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that may help support and maintain healthy brain function. Purchase it now, or visit Dr. Weil’s Vitamin Advisor for your free, personalized supplement recommendation.
Sleep Shortage and Strokes
Losing out on sleep may increase the risk of having a stroke. This news comes from a study at the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Medicine where researchers found a fourfold risk of stroke among normal-weight people who sleep fewer than six hours a night. None of the study participants suffered from sleep apnea, a disorder that is known to increase the risk of stroke among overweight people. Researchers gathered data on more than 5,600 people who were part of a larger study of racial and geographical differences in stroke. The lead researcher noted that lack of sleep can increase inflammation and cause increases in blood pressure and the release of certain hormones, and speculated that these factors may combine to boost the risk for stroke. The study was presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. Curiously, the study didn’t find any additional increased risk of stroke in overweight and obese people who slept six hours or less. Until further studies can examine this analysis of data, the increased risk seen in normal weight people can only be viewed as an association, not cause and effect.
It's the Journey Not the Destination
Make each day count, with an outlook that is both serene and inspired. Dr. Weil's new website, SpontaneousHappiness.com, has everything you need to get on the path to emotional well-being. From articles and checklists to exclusive videos featuring Dr. Weil, we can help you make each day a little brighter. Learn more - take the tour today!
Poor Oral Hygiene Raises Health Risks
Poor dental hygiene may lead to cancer and early death. A Swedish study initiated back in 1985 included 1,390 randomly selected adults ages 30 to 40 who had no signs of gum disease when they enrolled. The participants were followed by periodic checks of their oral health and smoking habits until 2009. Over the 24 years of the study, 58 participants died, 35 of them from cancer. After the data were analyzed, the researchers found that age, being male and the amount of dental plaque documented at the dental checkups were principal predictors of death. The researchers suggested that the cancer link may have been due to toxins and enzymes associated with increased plaque that could have entered the bloodstream, possibly raising the risk of malignancies. They reported that the participants who died had exhibited significantly worse dental health at their check ups than the survivors. The study was published online in BMJ Open on June 11, 2012. The researchers noted that more studies will be needed to determine whether poor dental health is a significant contributor to the cancers that caused the deaths seen in this study.
Healthful Foods for a Healthy Life
Whether you are at risk for cancer, diabetes, arthritis or heart disease, certain foods can have positive effects on your physical health. Join the Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide for recipes that can benefit your lifestyle. Start your two-week free trial today.
Recipe: Best-Ever Tofu Burgers
Slices of frozen tofu provide the "chewiness" associated with a truly good burger. The dark marinade lends a "meaty" flavor and moist juices. Serve on sprouted rolls with tofu mayonnaise.
Try this recipe today: Best-Ever Tofu Burgers
What's In Your Supplements?
Many vitamins and supplements contain fillers, casings and binders that may hinder absorption. The vitamins and supplements in Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor use only the highest quality, readily absorbable ingredients, with instructions on how to get the most out of each selection. Visit today for your free supplement recommendation. Learn more - click here!
See a complete list of Dr. Weil's speaking engagements on the Events page.
Public Lecture on Spontaneous Happiness at UNC Asheville
Oct. 19th, 2012, Asheville, North Carolina
Dr. Weil will be speaking about Spontaneous Happiness at the Wilma M. Sherrill Center on the University of North Carolina, Ashville campus. More details available soon.
The First Annual Forever Young Health and Wellness Event
Oct. 21st, 2012, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This all-day event will include over 30 live demonstrations, tastings, interactive seminars and educational sessions. Featuring Dr. Andrew Weil the Forever Young experience is truly unique to the Philadelphia market. Find more information on the event here. Can one day change your life?
Dr. Weil to Speak at the Tulsa Town Hall Series, 78th Season
Nov. 16th, 2012, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Physician and author Dr. Andrew Weil is one of the world's foremost authorities on health, wellness and integrative medicine. He will speak on the topic of "Optimum Health: Maximizing the Body's Own Healing Systems." For registration information, visit the website of the Tulsa Town Hall.
Dr. Weil Launches New Website: SpontaneousHappiness.com
Based on Dr. Weil's latest book, SpontaneousHappiness.com is designed to help you achieve emotional well-being in just eight weeks! This easy-to-follow plan has interactive tools and features focusing on natural ways to improve your emotional well-being in the areas of Body, Mind and Spirit. Begin your free 10-day trial today.
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