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.
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
Cystic Fibrosis Kids of Portsmouth is holding its annual Mad Hatters Tea Party next month – July 27th – to raise awareness of the condition (and have some fun, obviously!). It’s a good chance for me to highlight what a worthwhile cause this is to support. CF is the most common inherited genetic condition – Gordon and Sarah Brown’s son is probably the most recently well-known child to be publicly diagnosed. But it affects many families across the country.
What’s exciting about supporting CF is how successful the on-going research is: witness the enthusiasm which greeted the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s new strategy published on April 29 2013. Work is always going on into gene therapy, microbiology, transplantation and preventing lung damage in young children.Read more
IN CONVERSATION WITH: Rachel Agutter Have you ever wondered what you really mean to your friends? Last summer, I was lucky enough to find out – in the most magical way possible. It was one of those […]Read more
As the Olympic Games get underway tonight, a fascinating look into the mind and life of one of our greatest