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Nutritional cleansing isn't only for weight loss. Pro athlete Aaron uses our…

Nutritional cleansing isn't only for weight loss. Pro athlete Aaron uses our system to lose fat, build lean muscle and feed his body with the best nutrition and protein on the planet. His results tell it all!! Source by ericastone148

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The Best Stress Buster You're Currently Not Using

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If you've ever spent some time doodling with crayons or sculpting a lump of Play-Doh and emerged feeling refreshed and relaxed, science may have an explanation. Researchers found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol (which normally spikes during the fight-or-flight response) went down in a group of 39 volunteers who drew with markers, made collages, or played with clay for 45 minutes.

Although this study, published in Art Therapy, was done in healthy adults, it confirms what Lindsay Aaron sees all the time in cancer patients: "This is a very science-focused study but it's something you see on the outside of the individual, in body language, the emotional state, behavior," says Aaron, a healing arts therapist at Montefiore Health System in New York City. "We're being able to understand what goes on in the neurology."  

Much of the research thus far has been done in people suffering from different health conditions, and usually with much more defined tasks, such as painting a single tile. This study is the first to look at more freewheeling creative expression in healthy people.

RELATED: Pamper Yourself! 8 Natural Stress Relievers

Researchers took saliva samples from 33 women and six men aged 18 to 59 before and after 45-minute sessions with an art therapist, who was present to provide any assistance needed.​ Levels of cortisol in the saliva tend to mirror those in the blood, so are a good measure of how stressed you are.  

The participants were given no specific instructions other than to make anything they wanted with paper, markers, modeling clay, and collage materials. Some made collages out of magazine pages, some made small clay sculptures, and some combined clay, scribbles, and words cut out of newspapers. About half of the participants had little experience making art.

Cortisol levels went down in 75% of participants over the course of a session. Surprisingly, the remaining 25% had higher levels of cortisol than when they started, something the researchers are still trying to understand. It could be that the art led to new learning or self awareness, which raised stress levels. When asked to write about the experience, participants who said they had learned about themselves during the exercise were slightly more likely to have elevated cortisol levels. 

The study included no control group, which means the researchers don't know if the changes in cortisol levels were due to making art or to some other factor, like hanging out with other people, says study lead author Girija Kaimal, assistant professor of creative arts therapies at Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions in Philadelphia. 

RELATED: 25 Surprising Ways Stress Affects Your Health

It's possible that cortisol levels would decrease after an hour of watching TV as well, points out James W. Pennebaker, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Pennebaker has done numerous studies linking expressive writing with better heath and lower stress levels.

That said, "The findings are certainly consistent with the idea that self-expression can reduce stress and improve health," Pennebaker added.

Art serves two purposes at least, according to Kaimal. "It helps us express things that we don't often have words for but are deeply felt and experienced," she says. "Second, it helps us communicate to others this inner state, and when you communicate, you can build relationships. You are really communicating 'This is who I am and where I am.'"

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How Your Cube Mate Can Improve Your Concentration

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The place to come for fitness, weight loss, supplement, and just awesome health info.

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It may not be an epidemic yet, but concentration appears to be contagious, according to new research.

This could help explain why some of us (think coffee shop worker bees, and fans of the open-office floor plan) are more productive around other people—at least other people who aren't slacking off.

"Our findings might also suggest that we will copy low effort too, so it's not as simple as 'studying together is better,'" lead author Kobe Desender, a doctoral researcher in the cognitive psychology group of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, told Health in an e-mail. "But working in the vicinity of highly motivated people might be wise."

Research had already shown that having another person nearby can affect how well you perform. But does what the other person is doing have any influence? To find out, Desender and his co-authors conducted two experiments.

RELATED: 4 Simple Tricks to Improve Your Concentration

In the first, 38 volunteers sat side by side in pairs, each duo sharing a computer and a keyboard. They were asked to respond to certain colors appearing on the screen by hitting pre-specified buttons on the keyboard. The task became more difficult for participant A but stayed the same for participant B. Regardless, participant B tended to match his or her effort to participant A even though B's task remained the same.

The second experiment was the same as the first, except this time a cardboard wall divided the computer screen in half. That way participants could not see what their matched pair was doing, and the researchers could determine that Participant B's improved performance was due to mental effort, and not just seeing the partner's tasks.

Either way, the result was the same—and not too different from the findings of other "social contagion" studies which have suggested, for instance, that obesity may be contagious.

When one person in a group gains or loses weight, friends tend to follow suit. "How your partner, friend, or Weight Watchers [buddy] is engaging with the world, the task that they're doing is going to have some impact on you and your behavior," Aaron Heller, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, told Health. (Heller wasn't involved in the current study.)

RELATED: 21 Signs You've Found Your FItness Swole Mate

There's no good explanation for why mental effort may be contagious, at least not yet. It's possible that we pick up on scent cues emanating from our neighbors, or even their body posture. "Some postures are indicative of increased effort," says Desender. "But [this is] very speculative." 

Who knows—there may even be an evolutionary perk to matching the level of exertion of the person in the next cave, er, cube. "If my co-worker exerts quite some effort in a task, it makes sense to do the same, this might be a good cue with a high evolutionary advantage. If she or he has access to more information then you, mirroring her or his effort might be adaptive," says Desender.

"Future research should examine how we detect effort in other persons," says Desender. It would also be interesting to note how individual differences play into the dynamic, Heller notes, for example, in people who are depressed and withdrawn.

For now, though, all we know is that focused effort seemed to spread between volunteers in a university experiment. We don't know if this will be the same in a library, coffee shop, or office setting. But it does seem to matter who your friends are.   

Read More

How Your Cube Mate Can Improve Your Concentration

www.judgeweightloss.com

The place to come for fitness, weight loss, supplement, and just awesome health info.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy

It may not be an epidemic yet, but concentration appears to be contagious, according to new research.

This could help explain why some of us (think coffee shop worker bees, and fans of the open-office floor plan) are more productive around other people—at least other people who aren't slacking off.

"Our findings might also suggest that we will copy low effort too, so it's not as simple as 'studying together is better,'" lead author Kobe Desender, a doctoral researcher in the cognitive psychology group of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium, told Health in an e-mail. "But working in the vicinity of highly motivated people might be wise."

Research had already shown that having another person nearby can affect how well you perform. But does what the other person is doing have any influence? To find out, Desender and his co-authors conducted two experiments.

RELATED: 4 Simple Tricks to Improve Your Concentration

In the first, 38 volunteers sat side by side in pairs, each duo sharing a computer and a keyboard. They were asked to respond to certain colors appearing on the screen by hitting pre-specified buttons on the keyboard. The task became more difficult for participant A but stayed the same for participant B. Regardless, participant B tended to match his or her effort to participant A even though B's task remained the same.

The second experiment was the same as the first, except this time a cardboard wall divided the computer screen in half. That way participants could not see what their matched pair was doing, and the researchers could determine that Participant B's improved performance was due to mental effort, and not just seeing the partner's tasks.

Either way, the result was the same—and not too different from the findings of other "social contagion" studies which have suggested, for instance, that obesity may be contagious.

When one person in a group gains or loses weight, friends tend to follow suit. "How your partner, friend, or Weight Watchers [buddy] is engaging with the world, the task that they're doing is going to have some impact on you and your behavior," Aaron Heller, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, told Health. (Heller wasn't involved in the current study.)

RELATED: 21 Signs You've Found Your FItness Swole Mate

There's no good explanation for why mental effort may be contagious, at least not yet. It's possible that we pick up on scent cues emanating from our neighbors, or even their body posture. "Some postures are indicative of increased effort," says Desender. "But [this is] very speculative." 

Who knows—there may even be an evolutionary perk to matching the level of exertion of the person in the next cave, er, cube. "If my co-worker exerts quite some effort in a task, it makes sense to do the same, this might be a good cue with a high evolutionary advantage. If she or he has access to more information then you, mirroring her or his effort might be adaptive," says Desender.

"Future research should examine how we detect effort in other persons," says Desender. It would also be interesting to note how individual differences play into the dynamic, Heller notes, for example, in people who are depressed and withdrawn.

For now, though, all we know is that focused effort seemed to spread between volunteers in a university experiment. We don't know if this will be the same in a library, coffee shop, or office setting. But it does seem to matter who your friends are.   

Read More