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Calcium Supplements Raise Risk of Brain Lesions

A Duke University study published in the British Journal of Nutrition this summer found that calcium supplements taken by elderly persons may increase the risk of brain lesions that are identified as hyperintensities on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain scans. The researchers studied 227 adults over the age of 60. The patients were assessed for supplemental calcium intake and received ... Read More »

Looking at Beautiful Art Bumps Up Brain Activity

Researchers from Japan’s Oita University have found that aesthetic appreciation of paintings may be linked to altering activities in specific areas of the brain. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 39 people were taken as they looked at slides of still life and landscape paintings of late 19th-century French painters and slides of photographs that closely replicated the paintings. While ... Read More »

Dr. Andrew Weil

On America’s Evolution toward Integrative Medicine by Andrea Schensky Williams Natural Awakenings had the opportunity to pose progressive healthcare-related questions to Dr. Andrew Weil, world-renowned author, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of internal medicine at the University of Arizona on the eve of the sixth biennial Symposium of Integrative Medicine Professionals, held in ... Read More »

Practitioner Spotlight: Lani Lee

Healing through Acupuncture and Medical Qigong by Susan Post From allergies to ailments, Lani Lee is practicing alternative medicine disciplines that help patients of all ages address the root of their health problems. She administers her healing touch through acupuncture, medical qigong and NAET. Lee’s family is steeped in the practice of acupuncture. Her father was president of the Oriental ... Read More »

Sparking Creativity in Elders with Dementia

Re-Engaging Through Art, Music and Dance by Deborah Shouse Is there a way to upend the limits of Alzheimer’s disease? Expressive therapies focus on what people can do and their successes. Cultural programs offer creative opportunities for those with dementia and their care partners. Artful Imagination Prompts Participation “Looking at art and making observations gives people living with dementia a ... Read More »

Mindfulness Meditation Can Hinder Onset of Alzheimer’s

A pilot study from the Harvard Medical School indicates yet another benefit of meditation. The researchers tested 14 people with mild cognitive impairment, which often leads to Alzheimer’s disease, and provided them with either Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction training or standard care. Brain imaging tests indicated that those engaged in meditative training had increased activity and connections among three areas ... Read More »

Mindfulness Meditation Reduces the Urge to Light Up

Mindfulness meditation training may help people overcome addiction by activating the brain centers involved in self-control and addictive tendencies, suggests research from the psychology departments of Texas Tech University and the University of Oregon. Scientists studied 61 volunteers, including 27 smokers, randomly divided into groups that either received mindfulness meditative training or relaxation training. Two weeks later, after five hours ... Read More »

Brief Bouts of Yoga Bolster the Brain

Just 20 minutes of yoga postures, breathing and meditation are valuable tools for bolstering mental functioning. A study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reports that a single, 20-minute hatha yoga session significantly improved the participants’ speed and accuracy on tests of working memory, focus, retention and ability to absorb and use new information. Study participants didn’t get the ... Read More »

Sweets Sour Brain Power

Binging on sweets and soda in an effort to bone up for exams or presentations probably has the opposite effect, according to a new animal study from the University of California, Los Angeles. Researchers found that eating or quaffing too much fructose, like that found in cane sugar and the high-fructose corn syrups permeating many processed foods, can cause unclear ... Read More »

The Brain-Health Connection

by Deena Kloss The brain—the “command center” of the body’s nervous system and its most complex organ—plays a vital role in good health and well-being. “When the brain is off-balance following an injury, illness or bouts of high stress, certain functionality can be compromised,” says Lisa Witherow, owner of Peak Brain Performance, in Worthington. “The symptoms can include depression, anxiety, ... Read More »

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