Dr. Eben Alexander Says It’s Time For Brain Science To Graduate From Kindergarten

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Anyone who openly declares that consciousness is not brain is going to get some attention.  Especially when it's from an established neurosurgeon whose knowledge of brain science includes 25 years of clinical practice, including 15 years at the Brigham & Women's and the Children's Hospitals and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Dr. Eben Alexander has collected his fair share of skeptics over the claims he's made in his New York Times bestseller, Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey Continue Reading

A Prescription For Health Without Side-Effects

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You can also read this post at Metrowest Daily News on my syndicated blog, "Health Conscious." Smiling people dance in a field of summer flowers under a blue sky without a care in the world. Then a fast, cheerful voice-over begins listing some pretty awful symptoms that could occur if you take the drug being advertised. Only the United States and New Zealand are permitted to directly advertise pharmaceutical drugs to consumers. These advertisements list side-effects that often sound far Continue Reading

Can we heal ourselves? A doctor’s answer

Today's News and Culture update: Watch Dr. Lissa Rankin's latest Ted talk: "Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?" Dr. Rankin begins her talk with this question: "Can the mind really heal the body? And, if so, is there any scientific evidence to convince skeptical physicians like me?" http://youtu.be/LWQfe__fNbs She says the medical establishment has been proving for over 50 years that the mind can heal the body: "We call it the placebo effect--and it's a thorn in the side of the Continue Reading

Put a “Be” before Healthy

So often the emphasis is on the "doing" not the "being" when it comes to caring for one's health. People do all sorts of things, from taking daily medications to undergoing treatments and procedures to find out if they are healthy or not. Yet despite all these efforts, health can still be illusive. All this emphasis on the doing is adding up to a high-cost health care system in the U.S. According to a recent New York Times article, "When it comes to medical care, many patients and doctors Continue Reading

Is it Possible to Manage Pain Beyond a Quick Fix?

An estimated 86 million Americans struggle with chronic pain. The treatment options are many, ranging from commonly prescribed medications and steroid injections to physical therapy, massage and meditation. Recently the media has been all over the New-England manufactured contaminated steroid drug that has sickened nearly 200 people nationwide and left 15 fatalities in its wake. The Boston Globe reported that many patients eligible for injections to deal with pain have declined treatment based Continue Reading

Health Without Side Effects

Today's News & Culture update: I read a recent Boston Globe article, Warning Patients of Drug Side-Effects May Trigger Symptoms, that puts a twist on drug side-effects related to the nocebo effect, sometimes referred to as the "evil twin" of the placebo effect. Globe health reporter Deborah Kotz writes, "Recent research has demonstrated that when doctors and nurses inform patients about a laundry list of symptoms that a drug can cause -- such as headaches, anxiety, dizziness, and nausea -- Continue Reading

Positive Results via Placebo

If you follow my blog regularly, you know I'm interested in the placebo effect. I came across an article and a video that I thought might further stir thoughtful discussion on the topic. As always, share your thoughts! Read: Don't Underestimate the Placebo Effect Watch: "In this episode of Good Life Project TV, author/entrepreneur, Jonathan Fields, interviews famed psychologist, behavioral-economist and bestselling author of Predictably Irrational and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty, Dan Continue Reading

Let’s be real

 I'm calling today's News & Culture update "Let's be real" to reflect changes taking place in the health and medicine arena--from doctors using social media to show that they are real people, to the admission that the placebo effect needs further study, and the idea that the good habits we form help us to stay in touch with our authentic self. Continue Reading