Health

The change in healthcare system

Posted on April 25, 2018 by

The healthcare system was designed to prevent the infectious disease in response to rapid industrialization, urbanization, and crowding in the late 1800s. Infectious diseases became the major issue in healthcare system at that time, so the goal of the its system is to protect people from threats of infectious diseases to their lives.

 

 

However, infectious disease is not a major issue in a developed country such as Canada anymore.  Canada has solved the problems from housing conditions, inadequate sanitation, poor working conditions associated with disease outbreaks. With the improvement of health technologies and the increase of life expectancy, therefore, chronic health conditions have emerged as major issues other than acute conditions in the current society. Chronic diseases is the health conditions that usually persist a long time and result from the accumulation of unhealthy lifestyle. Beside, another issue we are facing are more likely to be the access to the health service and its coverage inadequacy.

 

Smoking talk in adolescences

Posted on January 25, 2018 by

Adolescents’ attitude towards smoking is found to an important determinant of smoking intentions. Evidence supporting this point has largely been based on a research by Grogan et al. that explores how young people recognize smoking behavior and consider social role of smoking. There are 12 group interviews, with 47 high school children and 50 university undergraduates in Yorkshire, UK. The study examined how the participants ascribe their smoking behaviour. (Fry, Grogan, Gough, & Conner, 2008).
Some participants in the study demonstrated that smoking allows them to present the desirable appearance to others. For instance, some male participants claimed that smoking would show ‘cool’ and ‘macho’ appearance. Besides, some participants claimed that the brands of cigarette revealed their social identities. For example, ‘Marlborough Light’ may refer to the identity of ‘young’ (Fry, Grogan, Gough, & Conner, 2008).

Many smokers also used cigarettes as a ‘social tool.’ Some participants claimed that they smoked cigarettes for engaging themselves with others, meeting for the first time for example. Many participants claimed that young people manage to smoke together when they get alone in a fixed space. Smoking helps to avoid the ‘awkward’ quiet and ease the dull feeling during in a conversation (Fry, Grogan, Gough, & Conner, 2008).

Also, some participants described that smoking allows them to integrate into a specific social group. When the smoking become normative in the group, they are more likely to conform to the group and become the leaders of the groups later. Later, they will suggest others in the peer group to adapt to the collective behavior such as smoking. Similarly, adolescents would gain indicators of power and status by the smoking behavior in school. For instance, many participants described hands gesture as being ‘demonstrative,’ smoking seemed to be crucial to control others when in company with papers (Fry, Grogan, Gough, & Conner, 2008).

 

 

The findings fit in existing psychological approaches as the TPB (Theory of Planned Behavior) and SNT (Social Network Theory). The TPB explores the relationship between behavior and beliefs, attitudes, and intentions, and it assumes behavioral intention is the most important determinant of behavior. According to the research, the purpose of smoking is to capture others’ attentions and present their desirable appearance; the smoking serves as a visible indication of a desirable identity such ‘cool’ and ‘young’ identities. Those young people are more likely to agree with the benefit values of smoking. The social network theory exploring the influence of social relationships on health decision making and behavior. SNT suggests that the individuals’ bahaviours are reciprocity of relationships derived from social environments. When people want to centralize them in the environments, they smoke and engage others in smoking as default behaviour. The study shows cigarettes can function not only as a marker of collective identity, but also as a device employed to render social interactions more manageable as a communication pattern in the environment. Namely, they maintain the relationship by smoking together, both the in the group and meeting young people. The expectation among young people to smoke makes it difficult to avoid either becoming a smoker or being encouraged to be one. Also, the study argued that adolescents are more likely to mimic parental smoking behavior if they perceive parents as being more engaged, especially they are congruent with parent gender This also fits with the SNT. The theory suggests that they learn not only from their own experiences, but by observing the actions of others and the benefits of those actions.

 
References
Fry, G., Grogan, S., Gough, B., & Conner, M. (2008). Smoking in the lived world: how young people make sense of the social role cigarettes play in their lives. British Journal of Social Psychology, 763-780.

Feeling anxious?

Feeling anxious? It isn’t always a wonderful sensation to be feeling. Although anxiety is condition that affects mental health, it should still be cautiously looked over because it could lead to depression, creating a higher chance for committing suicide. These steps can be avoided if we take more interest in others who may seem to be showing these qualities.

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One way to ease stress is to write down your worries as it may relieve some “thoughts” from your mind, reducing the amount of worrying that occurs in your brain. This does not benefit from everyone who have anxiety as this is only found from studies that writing thoughts down can help. There has also been other studies regarding probiotics to help with depression and anxiety, however the conclusions are still unknown but there is no harm in taking them as they are beneficial for your gastrointestinal system.

Trying to help someone with their anxiety or depression requires more effort and time than you would expect, as there is something referred as “postpartum depression“. There could always be moments where the person can go back to their anxious lifestyle even if they had been treated for their anxiety. If you knew someone who has anxiety or depression, please show care for them as it is a long process for them to handle and knowing others in their life show that they care, can really help someone overcome depression and anxiety.

Drink Responsibly as Christmas is Approaching!

Christmas is approaching faster than expected! With final exams ending and people going on vacation and enjoying the holidays, it can be quite easy to consume more alcohol than you may have wanted to.

How should you be careful about your alcohol consumption this holiday? Here are some tips that may be helpful.

As alcohol is considered as a diuretic, meaning it causes the body to lose more water than usual, it is important to stay hydrated to prevent your body from poor performance. You can always try to have a mocktail once in a while.

There has been studies that that alcohol may be associated with increasing chances of developing skin cancer. This is due to alcohol forming reactive oxygen species and the metabolic process to break down alcohol produces a by-product which may be harmful to the body. It’s okay to drink on occasional events but take caution of signs your body is telling you such as vomiting, headaches, upset stomach, etc. These can lead to more serious problems such as ulcers.

Alcohol could be a great beverage to have during soial events but it is always safer to listen to your body than having fun!

Shoveling and Low Back Pain

December is approaching and snowy weathers could be coming your way! With every snowfall, comes with shoveling and keeping your street free from snow turning into ice and avoiding others to fall on the street. If you are helping others preventing injuries, shouldn’t you be taking care of yourself as well?

Shoveling can put a lot of strain on your back muscles so you may need to take caution of how much stress you are actually applying to these muscles. Here are 4 tips you can follow to reduce your chances of injuring your lower back.

  1. Warm up your muscles first. Try to do some stretches  as warming up your muscles can be less susceptible to injury.
  2. The method you use to shovel. Bending at the knees and hips and using your leg muscles instead of your back, it can relieve stress off your back muscles and reduces risks of straining them.
  3. If you are already experiencing low back pain, avoid the job. Try and see if it’s possible to find another volunteer, who doesn’t have back pain, to shovel the snow.
  4. Use a different shovel. Try a shovel with a curved handle which provides you with an upright stance with adjustable length.

Try and experiment with these tips and your back muscles will definitely thank you!

Alcohol and Aging

It is very common to head to a restaurant and order an alcoholic drink from time to time or pour some red wine to pair with that home cooked steak meal however can this amount of moderate drinking be harmful for you?

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A published study involved researchers looking at the cognitive functions of the brain and see how alcohol affects it. Presently, it has shown that there is an increased atrophy in the brain’s hippocampus which functions as a memory storage in the brain. As you age, your bones’ and muscle’s ability to support you decreases and consuming alcohol can impair your balance and lead to falls and possibly bone fractures. Individuals who have diabetes should be careful when consuming alcohol as it can affect blood sugar levels and impair liver function.

If you do plan to drink on special occasions, it can be healthy to do so. If you do drink quite moderately or on a regularly basis, it is always safer to have regular check ups with your general physician to ensure your body is still healthy and working optimally.

Tips on Preventing Falls

As leaves are falling and rainy weathers are coming to Vancouver, these factors can become a hazard and lead to slipping and falling. Here are tips on how to prevent or reduce your chances of falling this autumn and winter!

First of all, if you wear reading glasses frequently, make sure they are off when you are walking down the stairs or along the slippery street. The shoes you are wearing are important since some footwear are more prone to falling. If heels are not required for your work attire, then try to avoid wearing them as much as possible especially during wet and rainy weathers. Physical activity in general is important as it keeps your muscle moving and maintaining strength which is important for reducing the chances of falling since your muscles can provide more support. If you are at home, try your best to avoid leaving items on the ground and making sure the floor is dry to prevent slipping and injuring yourself. When possible, watch out for assertive devices such as rails on the stairs, or carry a flashlight to help reduce the risks of slipping while travelling.

There are many other tips to follow other than the ones listed above but the main concept to remember is to stay safe and be careful.

Tips on Sleep and Low Back Pain

Do you wake up often feeling low back pain? The solution could be the way you sleep at night. What could you do to help prevent that? Continue reading for some tips to help reduce your chances of having low back pain when you wake up in the morning.

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The way you sleep can affect how stiff your muscles can be. If you are a side sleeper, you can try slipping a pillow between your legs to help align the spine a bit better. If you are a back sleeper, if possible, try to slip a pillow under your knee to maintain the neutral spine curvature. If you sleep on your stomach, you can put a pillow between the bed and your abdominal to help level out the stress places on your neck.

Picking a mattress could be a solution to your problem. Your mattress should provide some support for your back or else it might be time to switch for another one. Choosing the correct pillow can help reduce your likelihood of experiencing back pain. An ideal pillow should be able to support your head, neck, and shoulders to prevent so much pressure building up on them.

If you are still unsure, you can drop in and see a chiropractor to get treatment for your low back pain and get more tips on a better sleep lifestyle!

Yoga and Inflammation?

Yoga has been known to help with your stress, however did you know it is beneficial for slowing down inflammation?

By practicing yoga, it has been shown that it increases levels of leptin and adiponectin. These two can help alleviate inflammation occurring in your body.  A study has been done and researches discovered that 12 weeks of yoga could slow down cellular aging. They also found that the individuals had lower levels of inflammation and cortisol and higher levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor, which is a protein that helps with brain development.

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Many of us should try out yoga once in a while as there are benefits in doing so. It does not require a lot of time so it can be input into your day in the morning or before you head to bed. One example you can try at home is alternate nose breathing.

Overall, there is no harm in experiencing yoga and slowly incorporating this into your daily life as many of us tend to get stressed easily and this can become a go-to stress reliever!

Should You Be Getting The Flu Vaccination?

As cold weather is approaching, you notice more individuals are catching the flu. Should you be receiving the flu shot?

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Flu season typically begins in November and ends in April and flu vaccines are available as October arrives. It is safer to have your flu shot taken every year as new viruses arises per year and your body needs to stay updated with these new ones. Every individual should be recommended to take the flu vaccination but especially important for pregnant women, older adults, and young children.

For younger children, there is the option of receiving it as a needle form or as a nasal spray. There has been studies claiming nasal sprays is not as effective so they would suggest that option over the needle. However, some Canadian studies reveal that it can be as effective as the needle.

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Overall, you should take the flu vaccination if it is available for you. Most would suggest receiving it with a needle rather as a nasal spray for children but both of them can still help prevent catching the flu.