Day dreamers relax. It seems that we can let our minds run free – it’s actually a useful part of the mental process. ‘Mind wandering’ in various contexts is the subject of several new papers this autumn including […]
Welcome to my website Under the Scope where you can focus on health matters, find facts or listen to the heartbeat of life-in-general. Join the blog debates, browse the archives, engage, enjoy.
Marathon runners often support the big-name charities but super cool hairdresser Charlie Mann, Director of Electric London, will be chalking up his 26 miles in April at the Virgin Money London Marathon for a cause that is worth a little extra publicity. The Sir Simon Milton Foundation follows its eponymous founder’s ‘One City’ policy – a landmark initiative which provides young people with jobs and training, and ensures older residents are looked after and involved in a community that values their contribution.
It’s this latter group which Charlie is keen to support . ‘Sir Simon’s vision is clear,’ he explains. ‘More personal choice and control, personal dignity and the chance to make a positive contribution.’Read more
Walkactive is the health and fitness programme established by sports scientist and trainer Joanna Hall. I’ve written about it in The Telegraph twice - once describing how it feels to a novice, and secondly, two weeks ago, about how I felt attending a Walkactive Bootcamp at La Manga, Spain in October, and its cumulative effects on my health.
The secret of its success seems to lie in the way you can leverage Walkactive to fit into your daily routine to offer benefits both in pure health terms (improving stamina and overall fitness) as well as to one’s appearance – the programme helps you lengthen the torso and walk tall. I tend to think of it as a sort of ambulatory pilates.
Currently, Joanna and her team are recruiting (with the Telegraph) for a scientific trial which she believes will show that her theories are based in science – that if you move your body using Walkactive techniques, you will see real benefits to fat percentages, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol readings. But the applications close TONIGHT – JANUARY 6! so if you want to join the trial, get busy. I honestly do recommend it.Read more
Trust Me- I’m Google – can we rely on medical evidence on the internet? Online pharmacies and medical databases are enabling individuals to bypass doctors. Is the democratisation of medical practice progress? Can patients be trusted to self-prescribe, or is medical authority necessary for our health? Last year at the How the Light Gets In festival at Hay on Wye, off-Hay Festival, I took part in a panel discussion with hosted by Ben Hammersley with Mark Salter, a consultant psychiatrist based in London’s East End, specialising in risk, untowardness and media portrayals of mental distress, and Matt Jameson Evans, founder of HealthUnlocked.com and Remedy UK, which lobbies Parliament on medical issues. I interviewed Matt about his work with Remedy UK not long after – read it hereRead more
Mindfulness is the new zeitgeist way of looking at mental health, I learned from Ruby Wax last week – she told me about it in an interview for the Daily Telegraph last week. The comedian has just been awarded an MA in mindfulness and cognitive therapy from Oxford University. She uses it as a tool in her own life, to keep depression at bay, and led a workshop at the NOW festival, part of the larger Wilderness Festival in Oxfordshire.
It’s not often you get to take something away from an interview, but Ruby very generously gave me personal advice and tips on using simple focusing and breathing to reduce the stress of modern life – to bring down levels of the flight-or-flight hormone cortisol – not to mention the heart rate. ‘Everyone’s brain is being torn in so many places. Find a place, put your feet on the floor. Learn to cool yourself down.’
As a concept, mindfulness is already endorsed by the Mental Health Foundation as a way of reducing stress – you can take their test and find out if you need help. Its roots are in Buddhism;Read more
The luxury skincare range is only available in Thailand or now online but anyone heading to London can get a taster here first.Created by young fashion designer Pattree Bhakdibutr in 2000, the Erb range includes body serums, creams, tonics and scrubs scented with jasmine, bergamot and ylang ylang – evocative of Thailand and warm tropical nights. The products are certified organic and not tested on animals; a comparable European brand might be L’Occitane.Read more
As the Olympic Games get underway tonight, a fascinating look into the mind and life of one of our greatest