Posts tagged with "pain"

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Depressed Nation: The Generation of the Uneducated

There’s no doubt that depression is increasing throughout the world, particularly in the United States. There are a number of reasons behind this – however, focusing on the problem itself doesn’t really help us find a solution.

What’s important is to address the underlying causes behind the issue so that we can learn how we can work to help fix the problem. In this article, we’re going to be discussing some of the causes of the increased level of depression – particularly the lack of education that we receive regarding mental health – and help point out some potential solutions that we can use to help fix the issue.

Why Are We So Depressed?


Depression has been increasing in the United States for some time. Suicides are increasing at an alarming rate – particularly for men between the ages of 45 and 64. In the US alone, depression has increased in the overall population by almost 1% in the years between 2005 and 2015.

The increase in depression is undoubtedly linked to a society which does not provide its citizens with the proper knowledge, education, or lifestyle opportunities to live happily. Even those who live the “American Dream,” driving rich cars and living with financial wealth, are often depressed. Many of these people commit suicide, as well.

There are lots of reasons that the world is becoming a more depressing place. The most important thing to recognize, however, is that wherever there is a problem, there is a solution. On that note, we’re going to discuss some of the most common reasons that people are experiencing more depression these days.

• Lack of education regarding mental health. Unless you choose to major in psychology or attend a high school that offers psychology as an elective, you probably won’t receive much education regarding depression or mental health in general. It’s not hard to see how this could lead to problems later in life.

Mental health problems are extremely common. In fact, pretty much everyone will deal with a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, most of us have to figure out what these mental health issues are about by talking to friends or family members, or by doing our own research.

Because we’re not educated about these things, one of the most important things that we can do to improve the state of mental health is to educate ourselves and the people that we know. This way, we will at least be able to approach these problems properly when they arise.


• Extreme work hours. Many people are forced to work very long hours – in fact, the standard 40-hour work week is known to cause stress, depression, and anxiety in the majority of people. This often leads to the need to take pharmaceutical medication, which can compound the issue.

Many people find it difficult to avoid the 40-hour grind. One way to avoid this is to begin learning how to make money by practicing your creative talents and finding people interested in them. If you haven’t figured them out yet, don’t give up!


• Lack of purpose / motive. One of the more frightening and existential aspects of our existence is that we don’t really know why we’re here or what our grand purpose is. These spiritual and existential questions are not only dealt with during schooling, they are usually actively banned from the curriculum.

This results in children growing into adults with no idea about what we’re meant to do as human beings, aside from work until we can retire before dying – which is a rather dark perspective that can lead to stark depression. People with a sense of purpose, on the other hand, tend to fare a lot better in life.

One way to develop purpose is to take up some sort of spiritual or meditative practice to approach these questions.

In Conclusion


There are many reasons that people are experiencing more depression in the United States. Fortunately, there are just as many solutions as there are causes.

Six Ways to Cut Down on Alcohol

by Tara Yombor, LMHC and clinical director at Pathway to Hope, a Delphi Behavioral Health Group facility.

Social (moderate) drinking, binge drinking, alcoholism, tolerance, and dependence. This is the typical pattern of progression for drinking that leads someone to think of him or herself as needing to cut down on alcohol. Some might think they are prone to alcoholism. Within that progression, the time for someone to cut down on drinking is based on the individual’s idea of what is causing dysfunction and unmanageability in their life.

Why is it so easy for someone to become addicted to alcohol, and what does it mean to have
an alcohol use disorder?

First of all, alcohol does not have an adverse social stigma, which makes the dependence for it more likely, and the consumption of it more acceptable. Alcohol is typically used to celebrate happy events and sooth the sad events in life. Think about a celebration. What do most people imagine? Alcohol, champagne, and a “toast to the New Year!”

During times of mourning or stress, alcohol can be used to ease the emotional pain of a loss or as a stress reliever. Social (or moderate) drinking is seen as a normal and perfectly harmless way of socializing, relaxing, or a form of celebration.

A binge drinker is defined as a man who drinks more than four to six drinks in a two-hour period, and a woman who drinks more than four to five drinks in a two-hour period. Someone with alcohol use disorder is typically a person with a long-term addiction to alcohol. This person is typically unable to control how much they consume or when to stop drinking and spends a lot of time thinking about the next drink.

It can be easy for someone to transition from a social drinker to a binge drinker to having an
alcohol use disorder. A binge drinker is someone who has more than the above allotted
acceptable drinks in a short amount of time.

Someone who is a binge drinker or struggling with heavy alcohol use may find that people close to them begin to notice negative patterns of behavior during times of drinking. Friends and family may start to become worried about the person’s drinking patterns and negative outcomes that have begun to arise from their drinking. A person who begins to engage in
binge drinking may find themselves calling out of work the day after drinking due to a hangover; they may miss important deadlines, get into arguments with their loved ones, or lose track of daily responsibilities.

Tolerance for alcohol means that a person needs more and more alcohol to feel the desired effect than they previously would not have needed. Someone who has a pattern of binge drinking may find themselves drinking even more alcohol in a short time to feel drunk.

Once tolerance increases, the possibility of dependence increases. Dependence can be defined as relying on alcohol to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Essentially, a person is controlled by their need to ingest alcohol to feel “normal.”

During any of these stages of alcohol use, someone may feel the need to seek treatment. The need for treatment varies for each person based on how dysfunctional or unmanageable their life has become due to their drinking.

Here are six things you (or anyone) can do to cut down on alcohol. Most of these mean a change in behavior.

1. Acknowledge the problem – in order to stop the behavior, you must first acknowledge what the negative behavior is and make a conscious effort to commit to changing that behavior. Also, put the goal in writing and make a list of reasons why you want to cut back on drinking. For example, if the behavior is drinking too much during celebrations, you have to determine what “too much” means to you and, next, set a goal to decrease the amount you are drinking during celebrations.

2. Set a realistic goal for drinking alcohol – if you struggle with binge drinking, set a realistic, and achievable goal. The next time you’re out during a social event, make it a goal to cut back to three to four drinks in two hours instead of five to six. Or perhaps instead of going to a happy hour on Friday or Saturday night, pick one night to go out and stay in the other night. Cutting back by making realistic and achievable goals will keep you on track and make you feel better about the fact that you are keeping your goals.

3. Write it down – make sure to keep a journal of the times you drink, how much you drink, and any negative outcomes related to the times you drink (for example, drinking and falling down or making an inappropriate comment to a friend). By keeping a journal, you will hopefully be able to see patterns of behavior. You can also share this journal with someone you trust and ask them to look out for any patterns you may have missed.

4. Don’t keep alcohol in your house – it is easier to come home after a long day of work and pour a glass of wine rather than going out to the bar on a Wednesday when you may have other obligations at home such as taking care of a child. When you don’t have alcohol in the house, it eliminates the desire or temptation to drink.

5. Stay busy – by having non-alcohol related activities to engage in, you are more likely to say no to drinking, as you’ll want to be present for the activity. Do things that keep you active, such as riding a bike, hiking, going for a walk as the endorphins from engaging in exercise may eliminate the desire for alcohol.

6. Ask for support/Talk to someone – tell people you trust about your goals and ask them to help keep you accountable during times when you may be struggling or find yourself surrounded by temptation. Also, there are therapists who specialize in alcohol/substance use who you can talk to that can assist you with your goals and process through any underlying emotions that may be related to drinking.

Remember that the above tips may not work for everyone. Some people may be into the stage of alcohol tolerance and dependence. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol dependence, reach out for help from a professional or call a treatment center in your area. Alcoholism and dependence look different for everyone.

6 Therapies To Alleviate Pain Linked To Diabetes And Other Health Issues

The complications associated with diabetes are many, and chronic pain is common for many who suffer from the disease – especially back pain.

Most adults experience back pain at some point in their lives, and almost half suffer neck pain. Usually, an injury or other musculoskeletal issue is associated with either affliction, although on occasion a disease may be linked to the problem as well.

Just as an example of the latter, researchers at the University of Sydney recently found that diabetics are at significantly higher risk of lower back pain and neck pain. While the report couldn’t establish a causal relationship between type 2 diabetes and back or neck pain, the research team pointed to preventable problems, such as obesity and lack of exercise, as contributing factors.

But whatever the source of any neck or back problem, finding that underlying cause is key to developing a treatment program that can both alleviate the pain and act as a form of prevention, says Dr. Bradford Butler, a chiropractor and author of The Blueprint for Back Pain Relief: The Essential Guide to Nonsurgical Solutions (www.drbradfordbutler.com).

“Most patients have a combination of problems causing their pain,” Butler says. “It’s very rare that just one thing needs to be treated.

“It doesn’t make sense to treat just the symptoms and not fix what is causing them. Many people, however, aren’t getting the correct therapy, so to them it’s no longer fixable. But it is – as well as preventable in the future with the right therapy.”

Butler has tips on treatments that can heal neck and back pain:

  • Acupuncture. Like chiropractic, acupuncture is a mystery to many people. “Its roots are deep in health and healing, and not in back pain alone,” Butler says. “More and more medical research is showing how incredibly effective it can be. Some studies show that it’s more effective than pain medications, and acupuncture produces actual results – it doesn’t just mask the symptoms.”
  • Chiropractic care. This a popular way to solve joint problems associated with almost all back and neck problems. “A spinal adjustment is the safest and most effective way to mobilize the joints,” Butler says. “Flexibility and range of motion of the affected segments is increased, disc circulation is improved and nerves function better.”
  • Massage therapy. “Massage is a powerful healing tool,” Butler says. “It helps to treat pain, inflammation, and spasm associated with back pain of all levels.” A highly trained massage therapist aids in breaking down scar tissue and increasing blood flow to the affected area, which accelerates healing while aiding the body in lymphatic drainage.
  • Neuromuscular reeducation. There are two different types of muscles that control the spine: voluntary and involuntary. “Voluntary muscles control global movements of your entire spine or region, movements such as bending and turning,” Butler says. “Involuntary muscles are controlled directly by the brain and central nervous system. Neuromuscular reeducation uses specific exercises and movements to stimulate your brain to retrain these involuntary muscles and make a better connection.”
  • Physical therapy. “Physical therapy helps increase range of motion, strengthens the spine against injury, and improves posture and gait,” Butler says. “Some people think about physical therapy only as it pertains to post-injury, post-surgical recovery, but it’s also critical to longevity.”
  • Spinal decompression. “This therapy has been a game-changer in the treatment of patients with back pain who have degenerated, bulging, or herniated discs,” Butler says. “It’s the most advanced nonsurgical treatment for discs. It can be used for discs in the neck or lower back.”

“Singular treatments rarely work,” Butler says. “A properly designed plan should include multiple therapies for most people if the goal is to fix the problem.”

Niki demartino, 360 MAGAZINE

Niki DeMartino

Singer/Songwriter Niki DeMartino, who’s new single “Anthem of the Judged” is a rallying cry for the disenfranchised and misunderstood. Niki, who has personally experienced online bullying, wanted to create an anthem of support and encouragement for those that often feel voiceless. Her powerful music video, out today, features a handful of popular content creators including Teala Dunn, Jessie Paege, and Eugenia Cooney.

About Niki

Niki DeMartino is an online content creator, actress and recording artist. Boasting 2.6 million followers on her Instagram and 1.6 million on her personal YouTube channel, Niki and her twin sister Gabi also have an extremely successful YouTube channel with over 7 million subscribers and over 700 million views. Each week the sister duo shares a video in the realm of fashion, beauty, comedy, and singing.

Niki has recently been focusing on her music career, releasing a new EP titled “individual” with Gabi. The twins’ song “Sleep it Off” garnered 2.1 million views in only one month. On top of several joint songs, Niki also has solo tracks on the album. The video for her song “Let it Roar” shows off Niki’s performance capabilities and amassed a viewership of 2.5 million.

In addition to her massive success in the world of social media, acting and music, Niki is a powerhouse in the beauty industry. She recently won a Stream yfor Best Fashion at the 2018 Streamy awards. In 2016, she was named one of the top 10 Beauty Influencers by Women’s Wear Daily. Niki also made a splash at the 2018 NY Fashion week, sitting front row for shows like Yajun, Hogan McLaughlin, and Michael Costello.

New AI app reduces back pain by 40%

Boston based digital therapy startup Kaia Health launches a new app that uses AI and patent pending motion tracking technologyto personalize treatment programs tomanage and treat chronic low back pain(LBP) which has been shown in clinical studies to reduce chronic back pain by 40% and could save the US economy billions each year.

Created by Kaia Health the motion tracking technology requires no additional hardware.The app has been registered as a Class 1 medical device with the FDA which allowsusers to self-manage their back pain through physical exercise, behavioural exercise (e.g. relaxation and meditation) and education.

Earlier this year the digital therapy startup launched the Perfect Squat Challenge App, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence-powered motion tracking fitness app that turns a smartphone into a personal trainer. In Q4 2018 the company intends to roll out20 more motion tracking exercises for the app.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) LBP is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. In fact, according to the American Chiropractic Association(ACA) 31 million Americans experience LBP,and one half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.

The epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has also led many health groupsincluding the ACA, the American College of Physicians (ACP) and the American Association of Pain Management (AAPM) to reconsider the value of a non-pharmalogicalapproach to common conditions such asLBP.

The ACP, the largest medical specialty society in the world, updated its LBPtreatment guidelines in 2017 to support a conservative approach to care. Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and based on a review of randomized controlled trials and observational studies, the ACPguidelines cite heat therapy, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation (a centerpiece of chiropractic care) as possible options for non-invasive, non-drug therapies for LBP. The guidelines state that only when such treatments provide little or no relief should patients move on to medicines such as ibuprofen or muscle relaxants, which research indicates have limited pain relief effects. According to the ACP, prescription opioids should be a last resort for those suffering from LBP, as the risk of addiction and overdose may outweigh the benefits.

The Kaia app has been developed by aleading digital therapy company Kaia Health in conjunction with physiotherapists, pain management physicians and clinical psychologists.

The app uses a multidisciplinary digital approach which offers users online video-based learning programmes that covereducation, physiotherapy (includingexercises for the lower back and lateral muscles) and psychological strategies(including mindfulness and muscle relaxation).

The AI tailors treatment programs for each user from over 120 exercises, and motion tracking technology ensures that the exercises are performed correctly using a smartphone, tablet or iPad without the need for additional hardware.

Each session lasts for 15 minutes and can be accessed anywhere 24 hours a day. The app also features a chat function whichconnects users to a physiotherapist or sport scientist for motivation and exercise related questions.

Two clinical trials into the Kaia app show a significant reduction in LBP by 40%, well above the clinical threshold of pain improvement. The second study shows a40% long-term retention of users for aminimum of 6 months.

The Kaia app was developed in Germanywhere it has been downloaded over 100,000 times in its first year. The Kaia app is now being reimbursed for over 20 million patients globally.

Kaia Health is member of the Digital Therapeutics Alliance (DTA), an association of international manufacturers for digital therapeutic products that are evidence-based.

Konstantin Mehl, CEO of Kaia Health says:Opioid addiction and overdose is a huge issue in the US, and is, according to the ACP, a last resort for those suffering from LBP. Their 2017 LBP treatment guidelines support a non-pharmalogical approach to care using non-invasive, non-drug therapies. A holistic, multidisciplinary treatment of LBPhas always been a resource-intense, costlyundertaking which makes it hard forpatients to get access to the therapy.However, with the Kaia app we’re digitising therapy which offers as many patients as possible access to effective treatment ofLBP. This empowers and motivatesindividuals to take control, and self-manage their condition with evidenced-based, non-pharmacological, cost-effective alternatives and this could save the US economy billions each year. The Kaia app, and advances in technology, demonstrates why we need to rethink how we treat diseaseconditions such as LBP, and make digitalself-management a more realistic part of treatment.

The Kaia app is available on iOS and Android, and can be downloaded via GooglePlay and AppStore. The first 7 days of the program are free. To unlock the full functionality the costs are: 3 months: $23.99, 6 months: $64.99 and 12 months: $94.99.

About Kaia Health www.kaia-health.com
Founded in 2016, Kaia Health is a leading digital therapy company that creates evidence-based treatments for a range of disorders including back pain, Parkinson’s disease, osteoarthritis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Kaia Health uses innovative technology including artificial intelligence and apps, and works with experts in each medical field to create an interdisciplinary digital approach. This empowers and motivates individuals to take control and self-manage their condition with effective, non-pharmacological, digital alternatives at low costs.

Holiday Season × Teeth

The winter months bring around an exciting holiday time of year, but they also bring cold weather and health threats. Aside from your common cold, the flu, and other immune system worries – the holiday season also poses a serious, overlooked-by-many, threat to your teeth.

Dentists this time of year run down their lists, check them twice, and can easily tell if you’ve been naughty or nice to your teeth.

Dr. Mazen Natour, Top NYC DMD and Prosthodontist who says your teeth may be more sensitive during the winter months and prone to cavities, staining, and more.

Here are some reasons why:

• Hot beverages, like hot cocoa, tea, and coffee can irritate nerve endings due to the large temperature difference between the hot beverage and cold outdoor temperatures

• Sugary treats, like holiday cocktails, seasonal pies and other baked goods can increase your chance of tooth decay, sensitivity, and cavities

• Colds and sinus infections, common in the winter, swell the maxillary sinus area near your teeth which can contribute to tooth pain and overall sensitivity

• Did you know that red wine drinking can stain your teeth? Keep this in mind as you’re reaching for the extra glass at your next holiday party

These points are a snapshot of why your teeth may be more sensitive and prone to havoc this holiday season.

Dr. Mazen Natour DMD, Manhattan-based Prosthodontist

Website: www.natourdmd.com

Dr Natour has more than 20 years of experience in implantology, cosmetic and sports dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics. He is a Clinical Professor and Director of the Implant Honors Program at New York University College of Dentistry – the world’s first Undergraduate Implant Program at the top-ranked Dental School globally. He is a renowned clinical instructor and lecturer for several leading American and European Dental Implant Companies. He is a Diplomat at the International Congress of Oral Implantology (ICOI), a Member of the Academy of Osseo Integration, American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association, and NYU Implant Alumni Association. He received his Doctorate in Dental Science from Université Saint Joseph in Beirut, Lebanon, his Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Prosthodontics from Boston University Goldman Dental School, his Doctorate in Medical Dentistry & MSc in Biomaterials from Boston University, where he was also Assistant Clinical Professor in the General Dentistry Program, and he also completed a four-year fellowship in Implant Dentistry at New York University College of Dentistry.