Texting lowers life expectancy

We are flooded by media that smoking, alcohol, and drugs are harmful. With greater market saturation of mobile devices and increased use of texting, a group of British health professionals lay claim that chronic texting may reduce your life expectancy. Can it?

May 12 to 16 marks Spinal Awareness Week in the United Kingdom and the United Chiropractic Association revealed a report that texting on smartphones may lower life expectancy. Their studies suggest a link between forward-leaning posture in older people and hyperkyphosis, which is associated with pulmonary disease and cardiovascular problems. How does this affect the average chronic texting enthusiast in the 20 to 50 age bracket? Does it or doesn’t it reduce life expectancy or spinal appearance? Can anything be done to prevent its influence on life reduction?

Texting has grown into a popular lifestyle since the development of smartphones. Once considered a nice feature on the Blackberry cell phones, new touchscreens have made texting a new form of communicating. Of course, anything new is bound with benefits and consequences.

One benefit reduces voice conversations in public places as texting is virtually silent. Consequences have shown that texting while driving may be fatal.

Even those unable to text due to challenging handicaps now have voice-assist apps, like Apple SIRI and Google Now, that aid texting by speaking into mobile devices. Texting is a great alternate form of communication if used responsibly.

Kyphosis is a spine curvature that can be genetically transmitted along family lines, or as results of certain conditions. It can occur at any age and may be due to certain endocrine diseases, certain connective tissue disorders, Muscular dystrophy, Neurofibromatosis, Polio, Spina bifida, Osteoporosis, and some vertebral problems. Caught early enough, kyphosis is treatable with surgery or the use of prosthetic back supports. This curvature of the spine, depending on angularity, may result in a rounding of the back as with a hunchback. It can result in certain complications that may include decreased lung capacity, disabling back pain, neurological symptoms (i.e. leg weakness or paralysis). Severe cases of thoracic kyphosis can also limit the amount of space in the chest and cause cardiac and pulmonary problems by reducing the size and capacity of the skeletal chest.

England’s United Chiropractic Association (UCA) is very popular throughout the United Kingdom. It is considered a less invasive approach to orthopedics. Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. As part of Spinal Awareness Week, it is obvious that the UCA would try to make a media splash by focusing on texting as a possible cause of kyphosis results. Texting is extremely prevalent around the world. Add interests in appearance, posture, and wellness sensitivities among avid texters, it may offer support (and money) to chiropractic practitioners.

According to the UCA media release, “Forward-leaning posture increases the risk of an early death in elderly people and there are fears that younger people might be knocking time off their lives by using this posture when they text, go online, send emails or play games on phones and other mobile devices.” Perhaps this makes sense but more studies illustrate that greater understanding of bones may contribute to help resolve certain spine curvature issues.

Can texting lead to unsightly (or unhealthy) spinal curvature? It is debatable. Can sitting in front of a PC and keying result in progressive nerve and muscular disorders? Anything is possible. For now, irresponsible texting while walking in public areas or while driving pose more imminent dangers. Resting and certain spinal stretch exercises may help keep healthy spines healthier in spite of chronic texting.

Take routine checkups and comprehensive blood tests. There are many other nasty culprits that can cause spinal curvatures and cardiovascular risks. It’s better to be aware than sorry.

On the kyphosis issue with texting, we need many more studies to associate whether texting and use of mobile devices may reduce life expectancies through the development of thoracic curvatures. The UCA has evoked an interesting, curious theory. Will this awareness change your texting frequency? Would you be more willing to visit a chiropractor for back pain?

Autism may be related to environment pollution

On March 14, Time Magazine reported that two major studies assert that environmental toxins may play a role with the onset of Autism. What makes this autism study newsworthy is its massive size and positive correlations on counties. The team found that every one percent increase in malformations in a county was associated with a 283 percent increase in autism and 94 percent increase in intellectual disabilities within a specific county.

Autism is a group of complex disorders of brain development associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention. There may also be physical health issues present such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Symptom onset may generally vary but usually exhibits at around age 3 when the base neural network completes basic development. Autism is marked by several core features. These may include impairments in social functioning, difficulty communicating, and a restriction of interests.

Like many conditions, autism symptoms may vary from one case to another. Some may be very mild, almost imperceptible until later in life. Others may be very obvious. Disseminating autism from Downs Syndrome or other early-development disorders requires early detection and thorough professional observation. While there is no known cure, conditional treatments are available to help reduce some obvious symptoms. The confounder is that autism is not one specific disease but part of a cluster that makes finding a cure extremely difficult.

There may be some indicators early on that autism may be present as your baby develops. Some of these may be:

1) No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
2) No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions by nine months
3) No babbling by 12 months
4) No back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving by 12 months
5) No words by 16 months
6) No meaningful, two-word phrases (not including imitating or repeating) by 24 months
7) Any loss of speech, babbling or social skills at any age

Each of those may not indicate a presence of autism as there are many psycholinguistic disorders that may confuse and frustrate parents. Some parents go crazy if a child doesn’t begin uttering words by 24 months. That, alone, is not an autism indicator. Either way, a competent neuro-pediatrician should be consulted.

The article in Time Magazine quoted a computational biology article that indicated, in areas where there was some form of toxic pollution, indicated a possible increase of births that led to autism. Yet, over the years, many factors point to different sources (i.e. vaccines, early immunological drugs). These generally were not supported since other babies (following similar routines) developed normally.

Neuroscience shows evidence that autism is a structural problem that may have occurred in neural network development. Researchers have identified that connectivity between the thalamus, a deep brain structure crucial for sensory and motor functions, and the cerebral cortex, the brain’s outer layer, is impaired in children with autism disorders. About 4 years earlier, in 2009, the Kennedy Krieger Institute, an autism care center, conducted the one of the first neuroimaging studies that cite similar evidence.

More recent studies from United Kingdom observe that different parts of the brain in females with autism than males with autism require special attention on gender related variations. This, like most studies, is at an early stage and opens channels for further studies.

For example, girls with anorexia but not clinical-autism have elevated autistic traits. It is believed to be associated with elevated self-directed obsessions. These traits are products of behavior over anatomy. Yet, is peer pressure within environment inducing anorexia? Are anorexics prone to be mildly autistic?

Screens in the bedroom may contribute in helping reduce sleep problems in boys with autism. Yet, parents and counselors may need to intervene to assure that media use does not become into a pseudo-reality addiction to the autistic child.

Asserting that autism incidence might be associated with environmental toxins may be palliative to parents with autistic children, inferring actual causes from the environment may be abstract. Again, further studies are required to understand if there are specific pollutants or if certain genetics are involved. Is it possible that autism may be a genetic-sensitive allergy to something? Air and water pollution studies have shown that certain negative impacts can affect individuals within populations.

Some autism irritants may be even closer to home. A higher rate of seizures among children with autism has been detected in those who were fed infant formula containing soy protein rather than milk protein. The study was published in March 2014.

Neurobiology studies observe neural pathway distortions that appear to be associated with those that have autism. Are these the cause or an effect from external conditions? Thus far, there is no conclusive data that links environment to neural networking.

There is no cure. Autistic people, however, with training, may lead productive lives. Autism in children affects not only social abilities, but also a broad range of sensory and motor skills. Studies do show that autistic children have greater socialization abilities with higher levels of sensory motor skills. Raising autistic children in progressively stimulating environments may be central at aiding positive growth.

More studies bring attention that many autistic people do not suffer from attention deficits in a broad general scale. Use of media, from TV to games, may help autistics function better in a structured environment, with moderate attention from parents or counselors.

Conceptual independence training help autistic children grow to be working adults in independent jobs. Employment of autistic adults is being examined as a means of helping reduce symptoms.

Autism is a disability and it can be disabling within a family structure. The problem is autistic children can, in most instances, grow to be autistic adults. A key responsibility among parents is to seek and find ways and means to help reduce the disabling effects of autism at the earliest age possible. Many autistic adults, while still disabled, may exhibit some remarkable abilities.

Parenting can seem frustrating and nobody ever dreams of having a disabled child. Both parents and autistic child must encounter and overcome challenges. It must be part of a proactive lifestyle in order to possibly pay-off. It can!

There is a plasticity to the brain that occurs throughout life. Autism is not a curse. Autism is a developmental condition. With products of research and with responsible upbringing, an autistic child has the potential of being a very functional and happy adult. In spite of causes and effects, autism needn’t lead to further disabilities. Reaching out to autism organizations is a great starting point. Even in a distorted perceptual reality, autistic children and their families can find happiness.

Sometimes the worst pollution for an autistic child may not be from the external environment. It may rise from living at home in a stagnant environment. Autism may be addressed as disease but it’s a disabling condition and conditioning may alter symptom severity. With a 1 in 88 prevalence, there are many places for supportive outreach. Reach out!

China global warming and cold shifts

I often wonder whether our neighboring planet Venus and its thick methane toxic atmosphere was once teeming with industry. Could pollution have killed its inhabitants as a result of global warming? It’s a quixotic question with no clear or supportable answer. The very cold facts of Earth’s winter of 2013 to 2014 may actually result from industrial influences associated with global warming.

Japan’s Panasonic joins other manufacturers offering special compensation to workers willing to work in the smoggy, polluted areas in China’s manufacturing centers. Chemical by-products found in smog is reported to result in global warming trends. Yet more countries in the northern hemisphere have encountered harsher winters that make this trend seem less affirmative.

It was reported that, in 2013, the Arctic area warmed by 4-degrees centigrade. This Arctic warming seems to be small but the domino effect resulted in a broader Jetstream than normal. What was once reported as cool northern air is now seen as a Polar Vortex.

Parts of USA and even the Mediterranean areas of Europe and Asia encountered colder temperatures and record snow accumulations this year. While one can argue that cold winter trends seem cyclical and follow a 20 to 25 year repetitive trend over the past 150 years, global warming may still be at fault.

While there are other factors that control weather patterns, such as Nino and Nina shifts, there seems to be more observable changes than we’ve seen as records are broken in many areas around the globe. Perhaps one of the biggest influencers may stem from how industry impacts and has already impacted the Earth’s atmosphere and environment.

The Industrial Revolution began nearly 300 years ago using coal and hydroelectric power as fuel. It began in the United Kingdom and spread throughout Europe and the USA. It was central to help create infrastructures such as bridges, railroads, and cars. Trains, farming equipment, and cars also used fuels that weren’t as clean as they are today. All these benefits brought invisible consequences that lead to global warming trends.

It was only in the 1970’s that global warming and air pollution became connected. Filtering manufacturing emissions contributed in price escalations of consumer products. Attempts to clean the air quality in key global cities induced a need to curb manufacturing emissions.

With opening relationships with Communist China, more companies found that shifting the manufacturing process to China and neighboring countries was a way to keep end-good pricing affordable while cleaning air quality in North America and Europe. Greater use of China as a manufacturing center seemed very beneficial at first. Yet only two decades later, ripples began in economic and labor distributions.

In 2006, former USA Vice President Al Gore wrote and made a movie called The Inconvenient Truth about the effects of world global warming. This triggered vehement levels of scientific debate as to whether global warming trends and theories postulated by Gore were scientifically founded.

As the polar vortex of 2013 brought cities to a stop and its continuance into 2014 brought the malaise to previously unaffected areas, more scientists seem to believe that arctic warming may be related.

As we sit behind our “Made in China” computers, tablets, and smartphones on China produced chairs while wearing China produced clothing, it is a very hard conundrum to figure out how to press China to reduce emissions that might be creating chaos with the atmospheric conditions that may be associated with global warming trends.

Companies like Panasonic that offer higher pay to work in China’s polluted cities may find lower life expectancies from working in toxic environments. Unless the international community shifts focus from regional wars to industry-related global warming very soon, vast climactic changes may eventually make more parts of our planet unlivable.

Global revolutions shouldn’t be focused on whether Ukraine is forced to remain with Russia or the European Union. Of the 200 or so (UN average) wars going on each day and terrorism threats, the war on global warming must be in the forefront of our thoughts and actions. Far Asia’s manufacturing helps make living more wonderful but at the cost of climate change trends. It is intoxicating! Avoiding and enforcing toxic pollution is a vital goal for greater comfort.

Global warming consequences are in play and climate reversal and answers are questionable. We know that pollution factors in atmospheric changes. Earth’s future will more likely encounter the threats of making the beautiful products of industry than the possibilities of a nuclear war. And future visitors to this third planet from our sun may one day witness the effects of what once was a promising, resourceful planet. Earth will be nixed from the intergalactic tour guide, with no statues of the globe that was Made in China.

Women being always true to your fashion

Is society still about books and book covers? You couldn’t tell if you looked at June Squibb, the 84 year old star from the Nebraska movie, and noticed her fashionable, radiant appearance at the Oscar Awards red carpet. Though the octogenarian appears like a great-grandmother, she mentioned that she had played a stripper in the Broadway cast of Gypsy in 1960. Who would have guessed? It’s alarming how age helps change the human form. Accepting fashion to your form is normal but many get anxious and frustrated as they shift from vital, young fashions to somewhat matronly designs. Isn’t it hard being true to your fashion?

Fashion is image and fashion and form are related. Aging often changes a woman’s idea of being fashionable as skin softens and the nature of naturally gaining fat and losing lean muscle creeps up. Buddha once wrote, “Without health life is not life. It is only a state of languor and suffering – an image of death.” In a society where obesity is on the rise, remaining fashionably youthful as you age means maintaining health and activity. As you find yourself moving up from small to medium to large and extra large, your self-image declines. Is it because of age? Is it because of lifestyle? Are you true to your fashion?

Most fashion models display clothing in true, artistic form but most of these models retire before age 30, and only few retain their amazing figures. This puts normal people to shame. Does that mean that “normal” means losing a fashionable image?

Fashion is designed for normal people but people’s norms vary to the extent they want to remain fashionable. On Red-Carpet displays, fashion is demonstrated in all shapes and sizes. It’s a rational definition. Most women develop anxieties as they see their sizes rise and their forms distort what they had once believed to be attractive. As women leap through menopause, any irrational anxiety is amplified many times. Does age mean you need to be fat?

Preventing the eventual image of dying and death is a difficult one. Waiting to pursue an active lifestyle at age 60 is like taking on climbing the highest mountain. Is it possible? It is. Only 1 in 10,000 manage to follow through.

Fitness and diet as a lifestyle often runs contrary to your ethnic foods and media advertising. Fitness needs to be integrated at young ages and diet needs to be learned over a lifetime. Will life be healthy or not? Barring genetic and other chronic diseases, most people could maintain fashionability by doing low-impact exercise each day.

Walking is a perfect exercise and walking at a brisk pace for 30 minutes daily is an excellent routine to be true to your fashion. Many women tend to be goal oriented when walking. There must be a destination. Only a small portion of people enjoy walking for pleasure. A constant walk on a firm surface can burn upwards from 100 calories per hour, based on a 150-pound person. Carrying and walking with 15 pounds of groceries can burn about 40 calories in 15 minutes.

Walking has been shown to have cardiovascular benefits. According to an article in New England Journal of Medicine, constant walking aids in reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases. According to a Harvard study, among 72,488 female nurses, walking at least three hours a week was linked to a 35% lower risk of heart attack and cardiac death and a 34% lower risk of stroke. Chronic sitting will add to weight gain and cardiovascular risks.

Walking alone requires more effort for weight loss and being true to your fashion goals. Basically, walking to expend 500 calories per day (while following a low fat diet) each day may help you lose one pound per week. In essence, walking gets you moving and more movement brings increased weight loss.

The fashion industry isn’t blind and more stores, like Forever 21 for example provide affordable and stylish clothes for those who wear “plus sizes”. If this is true to your fashion decisions, this is fashionably satisfying.

If you are plagued by anxieties regarding weight, form, and image, targeting to get back to your optimal weight may seem a herculean task. Using a combination of hormone replacement therapy (that may indirectly help get you moving) and exercising/walking 300 to 500 calories per day may just help you meet your true to your fashion desires. Can you do it?

Sometimes body size is a product of genetics or may be associated with certain diseases, many yet to be discovered. Surgical procedures may help reshape your body but, often, for only short terms. These people may find fashionability as well. Not everyone can be a size 4 or 6. Being true to your fashion is understanding your reality and expression.

Fashion is associated with art, science, fantasy, self-esteem, and a sense of empowerment. Feeling fashionable may be your positive. It is frustrating when you look at your appearance change over decades. Where did your style go? Staying and being true to your fashion and style is an activity that may elevate your mood in many ways. To get back to size 6 takes lots of effort when you haven’t done any for over 10 years. Sometimes you may need to adjust to your new body or work double hard to get one you like better. Are you true to your fashion?