Friday, January 16, 2009

Churchgoing Linked To Lower Suicide Risk

Going to church helps prevent suicides, according to research released Thursday.

Psychiatric researchers at the University of Manitoba have established a link, they say, "between a person´s attendance at a religious worship service" and the desire to commit suicide.

"The main finding of this study is that religious worship attendance is associated with a decreased risk of suicide attempts," said Daniel Rasic, who led the research.

The findings were based on health surveys of 37,000 Canadians which included information about their spirituality - and specifically - their church attendance.

It is the first study to use national data to look at the relationship between spirituality, worship and suicidal behavior in the general population, and in people with a history of a mental disorder. The data revealed that people who don't attend church or synagogue were twice as likely to have attempted suicide.

The study also distinguished between people who call themselves "spiritual" and those who were churchgoers.

"Among people with a history of mental illness - those at the highest risk of suicide - religious attendance appears associated with a decrease in suicide attempts," Mr. Rasic said. "But simply being 'spiritual' was not significant enough to reduce the effect."

About 33,000 Americans take their own life each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Could the typical churchgoer be more at risk for suicide? A recent study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that the overall increase in the U.S. suicide rate between 1999-2005 was due "primarily to an increase in suicides among whites aged 40-64 - with white middle-aged women experiencing the largest annual increase."

Meanwhile, Mr. Rasic cautioned that his study did not examine reasons why churchgoing decreased suicide attempts.

The research was published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

[Source: The Washington Times]

Monday, January 12, 2009

Do Relationships Contribute to Cold and Flu?

They could, if you shake hands or have other physical contact.

Cold season is here and people around us are coughing, sneezing and complaining of headaches and stuffy noses. Rather than discontinue the relationship, there are measures to take that will keep you healthy.

To make cold prevention very simple, let me repeat my favorite safeguard against becoming ill: Wash your hands. Keeping your hands clean is the single most important way to stop the spread of germs that causes colds.

When should you wash your hands? Cleanse your hands when they're dirty, after using the restroom, before and after you prepare food and prior to eating. However, the most significant time for washing your hands is after being around other people, sneezing, coughing, and blowing and wiping your nose.

When soap and water are not available, you can use the new waterless hand sanitizers. However, soap and water are the best to use on soiled hands. Wet your hands with warm running water and apply liquid or clean bar soap. Lather well and run your hands together for at least 15 seconds. Scrub under your wrists, the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails. Rinse well and dry with a clean or disposable towel.

Whatever you do, never touch your mouth, face or nose without washing your hands when you know you've come in contact with germs or dirt. The Journal of Applied Microbiology tells us you kill up to 97.7 percent of the viruses you come in contact with just by washing up.

Other cold preventative methods include certain vitamins and supplements. For starters, try zinc. A 2002 medical study found using a nasal spray containing zinc gluconate reduced the duration of a cold by seven days.

In whatever form you are taking zinc, be sure it is zinc gluconate, not zinc acetate or zinc sulfate. Zinc is most effective with viral infections by repelling them and hindering them from causing an infection.

You can take zinc in the form of liquid vitamins. Beware the citrus flavored zinc lozenges that can actually stop zinc's actions against getting rid of a cold. The bitter taste of zinc is a signal from your body that it needs more - when you stop tasting zinc, your body doesn't need it anymore.

What about vitamin C? What you need to know is that overdosing yourself on vitamin C won't do you much good in cold prevention. Fifty milligrams a day will help you get over a cold about two days faster than no vitamin C at all.

A balanced formulation of vitamins can help you avoid the need for buying various vitamin supplements during the cold and flu season. However, you may insist on using other natural cold preventive remedies like Echinacha. None of these alternative medications are guaranteed to work. Some experts argue that supplements are totally ineffective against fighting colds. Yet some people experience positive results in fighting colds and flus using these natural remedies.

To dispel myths about how we catch colds, there is no evidence that you get a cold from exposure to cold weather or from getting chilled or overheated. Research suggests that stress and allergic diseases affecting your nose or throat may have an impact on your chances of getting infected by cold viruses.

Experiencing stress? We can help. Call the Relationship Clinic today.

[From the John Tesh Blog]

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Conflict Resolution

One of the most important issues in any potential marriage, marriage, or relationship is conflict resolution. Without proper resolution of conflicts, resentments will develop and the physical and emotional closeness needed to maintain a good relationship will disintegrate.

In order for healthy conflict resolution to occur, both people must have the desire to resolve the conflict, and both must have the skills to resolve the conflict. There must be a mutual commitment to both the process of resolution and to the solution.

Sometimes, for example, people don’t feel emotionally "safe" resolving a conflict with their partner. The lack of safety may come from a number of different sources.

The process of conflict resolution demands that the couple exhibit certain communication skills. In order to resolve a conflict, each person must be both willing and able to carefully listen to the other person. Each person must strive to understand the position of the other. Also, each person -- after gaining an understanding of the other person's position -- must carefully consider that position. If this method is not used in communication, there may be manipulation, force, or other negative measures being used to attempt to resolve conflicts.