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Youth Mental Health Activists Raise Awareness and Take Action As Part of Comprehensive Approach to Wellness
Improving care and access for youth mental health globally begins with understanding the problem. UNICEF’s On My Mind 2021 Report and separately, Drs. Howard Gardner’s and Wendy Fischman’s The Real World of College, underscored the mental health challenges young people are facing, amplified by the COVID19 pandemic. In Planet Classroom’s new podcast, Mental Health Is On Our Minds, youth leaders from Global Youth Mobilization in Australia, Poland, and Kenya respond to the mental health research and discuss the strategies they are using to address well-being issues in their respective communities. “Roughly 10 % of Polish youth under 18 are in need of complex psychological care and there are not enough specialists available to provide it,” says psychologist and scout leader Iga Miłosławska. “One of the most important things about engaging young people in scouting is the strong feeling of belonging. It's a brotherhood, a sisterhood, and a reassuring presence that's committed to supporting others.” “The importance of human interaction has become even more apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic where the limitations on human interaction, and more specifically, increased isolation, has become a key challenge each and every one of us has faced,” notes Jayden Parsons, a young project manager leading the World of Wellbeing project in Australia. “One of the benefits of this experience has been the opportunity to innovate our practices and find new ways to support each other.”
People awaiting NHS talking therapy to get AI chatbot while they wait
An AI therapy chatbot called Wysa is about to revolutionise the way people access NHS mental health services. The £1m NHS trial aims to provide clinical evidence that digital health app, Wysa, can maintain, and even improve, mental health symptoms during the waiting period for traditional talking therapies. Wysa is an AI-enabled chatbot for common mental health problems like stress, anxiety and depression. It uses natural language understanding (NLU) to provide support through interactive conversation to give advice based on clinically-reviewed cognitive-behavioural techniques. Each Wysa response is tailored to the user’s needs at that moment. The trial aims to provide clinical evidence that prescribing AI CBT at the point of referral reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also aims to provide clinical evidence that Wysa can accurately detect when people are experiencing more severe mental health difficulties and automatically identifies those in need of higher intensity or more urgent treatment. The trial will help pave the way for Wysa’s integration into wider NHS mental health service adoption, where it can provide immediate help as well as ongoing mental health support beyond treatment. Participants will be randomly selected from mental health waiting lists at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL.nhs.uk), which provides all-age mental health and community services across north London and Milton Keynes, as an IAPT service initiative (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies). Participants will be given access to Wysa and will monitor their levels of anxiety and depression using questionnaires provided through the app. The questionnaire results will be compared with a control group of people who are on the waiting list with no access to Wysa. Dr Lucy Wilson-Shaw, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at CNWL, said: “We in Kensington and Westminster services can’t wait to see the impact that a CBT chatbot might have on patients while they wait for therapy. We’ve partnered with Wysa to test out if we can help more people faster and more effectively. We are always looking to find ways for people to be able to access the help they need as quickly as possible and to reduce any barriers and anxiety people feel about coming to a Talking Therapy service. Some people may find the anonymity of a chatbot reduces anxiety about starting therapy and we hope it will help people to start the work sooner and better prepare them for meeting with the Therapist and making the best use of their therapy sessions.” Wysa provides a model that emphasises prevention and symptom management in addition to treatment. From cognitive-behavioural techniques (CBT) and meditation to breathing exercises, yoga and motivational interviewing, Wysa has an extensive library of on-demand resources that help patients manage their mental health. Emma Selby, UK Clinical Lead at Wysa said: “This trial shows how the NHS is embracing innovative new technologies to take pressure off staff and give instant access to support as soon as patients need it to prevent their condition from deteriorating.” “Our goal is to help people feel better. For some that involves streamlining the system so they can access the professional support they need, fast. But for others it’s about giving them the tools and techniques to build their own mental resilience at home, freeing up higher level support services for those who really need it.” Selby added. - Senior hire to integrate Wysa into the NHS Wysa has appointed Ross O’Brien as Managing Director for the UK and Europe. O’Brien brings more than 15 years of experience in the healthcare industry, mainly focusing on mental health and digital innovation within the NHS. “I truly believe that Wysa has the potential to revolutionise the way patients access mental health support via the NHS,” said O’Brien. “By utilising emotionally-intelligent AI we can not only ease the burden on the NHS but give every patient in the country access to instant personal support that allows them to explore their own wellbeing.”
NHS organisation named as best not-for-profit in UK
NHS Business Services Authority has been named as the Best Not-for-Profit organisation to work for in the UK at the Best Companies Q1 awards, presented by TV’s Dan Walker. The listings are based on feedback from employees themselves about their experiences at work. Best Companies’ annual survey gives employees an opportunity to have their say about the organisation and help employers understand what the organisation is doing well and what it might be able to do to be better. On top of this, NHSBSA also placed 4th on the UK’s Best Big Companies to Work For. Michael Brodie, Chief Executive at NHS Business Services Authority said: “I am so proud that the NHSBSA has been recognised as the best not-for-profit organisation to work for in the United Kingdom. It is a fantastic honour. “It is our dedicated and talented people who make this a great place to work. Our colleagues create great teams and provide genuine support to each other and together we have created a culture where people can give and be their best, delivering for customers, the wider NHS and for the taxpayer." NHSBSA’s achievement goes even further as it is also listed for excelling in four regional categories. The placings have significantly improved since last year: Regional list for the North East - Placed 11 Regional list for Yorkshire and the Humber - Placed 23 Regional list for the South East - Placed 13 Regional list for the North West - Placed 30 To find out more about the accolades and the event go to https://www.b.co.uk/lists
Paper Examines Top 10 Myths About Fitting Soft Contact Lenses
A new peer-review paper from the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) seeks to shift persistent views about contact lenses that are no longer accurate based on current evidence. Addressing common myths and misconceptions in soft contact lens practice (Walsh K, Jones L, Moody K) has been published by Clinical and Experimental Optometry, the official journal of Optometry Australia, the New Zealand Association of Optometrists, and the Hong Kong Society of Professional Optometrists. The work offers contemporary evidence that challenges ten legacy perspectives held by eye care practitioners, which can prevent optimal patient care and business success. Members of the eye care community can download the complete publication at no cost via Open Access. “In 1992, Nathan Efron explored a variety of common myths and mistruths around the fitting and wearing of contact lenses. Remarkably, three decades later, more than half of the current misconceptions we’ve identified were also acknowledged in those original papers. While there has been extraordinary technological and clinical progress over that same time, it has proven more difficult to shake off some long-held incorrect views and established clinical practices,” said Lyndon Jones, CORE’s director. The authors grouped the top ten present-day myths into three broad categories—contact lenses and care systems, patient-related concerns, and business focused barriers—then reviewed each with clear evidence-based data and practical guidance. The misconceptions include: 1. Increasing oxygen transmissibility improves lens comfort, 2. Hydrogels should no longer be fitted, 3. Patients will be more successful wearing contact lens materials that demonstrate low levels of deposition, 4. When a patient reports discomfort, the first—and most appropriate—option is to change the lens, 5. Young children are less successful with contact lenses, 6. Multifocal fitting is not successful, 7. Wearer non-compliance can make contact lens wear just too risky, 8. Patients with low astigmatism do fine with spherical lenses, 9. Focusing on growing my contact lens business is too time-consuming, 10. And my contact lens business will not grow because as many patients as I fit end up dropping out. Evidence was available to debunk nine of the ten beliefs. This opens the door for eye care practitioners to recommend and successfully fit contact lenses to a wide range of patients, from children through to seniors, using all soft lens material types and replacement frequency options. The literature review also demonstrates the business benefits of contact lens practice through proactive recommendation and paying attention to factors that drive successful wear and reduce drop out. And while the remaining belief that non-compliance leads to an increased risk of complications holds true, the evidence-base highlights many factors that are modifiable and within the scope of the eye care practitioner to help mitigate such risk. These include appropriate lens recommendations (e.g., daily disposables) and educating wearers to encourage good wear and care practice adherence. In closing, the authors write that “practitioners have an ever-increasing range of contact lens designs and materials across different replacement frequencies to offer patients interested in becoming contact lens wearers and to then maintain them successfully in contact lenses over many years. Ensuring clinical practice follows the evidence base, which will change over time, is the most appropriate way to help many more patients access the benefits of contact lenses.” The paper was supported through an educational grant from Johnson & Johnson Vision.
Envision2bWell Kicks Off New Year with EnvisionWell 2.0 Health and Wellness App Release Featuring Face-Scan Tech
Envision2bWell®, a digital health and wellness company whose mission is to empower people to live sustainably healthier, more joyful lives, has released an updated second version of its health and wellness app, EnvisionWell®. Now available for both iOS and Android, EnvisionWell 2.0 sports a new user interface that improves the user’s overall experience. It also rolls out a revamp of one of its key features, “My Personal Body Blueprint,” (MPBB) with contactless face scanning technology. MPBB 2.0 provides users with important health biomarkers such as blood pressure, stress index, BMI and more, with just a smartphone — never needing to don a wearable device. The company also makes improvements to the “My Energy” module to better help users track their food, physical activity and water consumption. EnvisionWell syncs with more than 400 devices, bridging the gap created by the myriad separate apps that help users keep track of their fitness, their nutrition, their health, and more, but are unable to communicate with one another. It brings people’s data to life in one centralized location, eliminating the need for multiple apps. EnvisionWell empowers and enables sustainably healthy behaviors in all areas of wellness. “This is not your average health or fitness app,” says Envision2bWell CEO, Tammy Williams. “EnvisionWell provides information that communicates the true health of your body, mind and spirit, based on more than just your height, weight and BMI. It is data that allows you to decide for yourself how to best meet your personal health and wellness goals — whether it is reducing stress, improving or maintaining your physical fitness, practicing mindfulness, eating healthier or other aspirations.” In addition to being available for individual consumer use, the EnvisionWell platform serves up workplace wellness solutions for businesses. Because it is both digital and mobile, EnvisionWell can be utilized by virtually any company worldwide. “Our enterprise platform provides employers with a full portal of analytics that inform them of the overall health of their company, as well as engagement in the platform,” explains Williams. “EnvisionWell fully empowers people on their journey to 360 Well-Being® and Social Health Empowerment®.” Envision2bWell leverages the lens of social determinants of health and their proprietary engagement model based on the four foundational elements of the Social Health Empowerment Framework, “Knowledge, Support, Access and Autonomy” (KSAA®). “We are reimagining wellness, so everybody has an equal shot at being healthy and well.” Envision2bWell already has its next set of EnvisionWell updates in the works, including “B360 Score,” as well as new modules, “My TeleWellness” and “My Journal,” anticipated in mid-2022.
New Options to Treat Alcohol Use Disorder
Nearly 15 million Americans have alcohol use disorder and 75 million engaged in binge drinking or heavy alcohol use in the month before a survey conducted by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This problem has not been solved…yet. Hope for a solution is one of the big stories coming out of the Wonderland Conference, the largest psychedelic business event, ever. YourUpdateTV spoke with Awakn Life Sciences CEO, Anthony Tennyson who discussed the problem. “Alcohol addiction is a chronic disease effecting many millions of Americans each year. The success rates for treatments are typically quite low though. Three out of four people are back drinking alcohol within 12 months of seeking treatment. There is, however, a new hope. Psychedelic assisted therapy has been proven to be more effective at treating alcohol addiction than any other currently available treatment.” Awakn Life Sciences Corp. (NEO: AWKN) (OTCQB: AWKNF) (FSE: 954) (‘Awakn’), a biotechnology company developing and delivering psychedelic therapeutics (medicines and therapies) to treat addiction, recently announced that the ‘Ketamine in the Reduction of Alcoholic Relapse’ (KARE) psychotherapy intervention study, which was the first controlled study in the world to investigate ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, will be published in the American Journal of Psychiatry later this year. Professor David Nutt, former Clinical Director of the US National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and currently Clinical Director at Awakn commented. The approach we’re taking is to use new medicines to disrupt the brains processes of addiction to allow people to escape from the repetitive cravings and which tie them to the alcohol and and also with therapy to help them plot a new path in their lives.
International school in Mexico installs Swedish antiviral technology
As part of actively reducing the spread of infection, the Himalaya International School in Monterrey, Mexico, has had LightAir's antiviral technology IonFlow installed in 120 classrooms. The school is in the well-situated city of Monterrey in northeastern Mexico and is part of the Semper Altius network, with about 90 established schools in sixteen countries. "Of course, we want to minimize the spread of infection, reduce sick days and make it easier for our students and staff to achieve their best in our classrooms," says Kevin Egan, principal of Himalaya International School. “LightAir's scientifically proven technology, which minimizes airborne viruses and harmful particles, was very appealing when we explored our possibilities. The pandemic has affected us all and evidence of how the technology neutralizes a variety of viruses, including sars-cov-2, has been important to us when we chose to invest in this solution.” A seven-year study at the Karolinska Institute has shown how IonFlow technology prevents contact and airborne transmission of the viruses that cause influenza and winter vomiting, for example. Earlier this year, another study by the IrsiCaixa research institute in Barcelona showed that the technology also neutralizes pseudoviruses of sars-cov-1 and sars-cov-2. "Our patented technologies form the basis of our tailored offering to schools and offices," says Lars Liljeholm, CEO of LightAir. “Our choice to focus on these target groups in the commercial segment is based precisely on the great competitive advantages we have in these types of organizations. In short, our technology cleans better, longer and more quietly than more conventional competing solutions.” IonFlow is an important component in LightAir's commercial offering aimed at offices and schools, which in the Nordic region are primarily offered on a subscription basis with clean air as a service. The importance of clean air cannot be exaggerated, and a well-known Spanish study has shown how pollution and ultra-fine particle levels affect schoolchildren's development. The results clearly show how children who spend their school day in areas with clean air have a 50 percent better cognitive development over a school year, compared with children in areas with unclean air and a lot of traffic. “The commercial segment accounts for approximately fifty percent of the entire world market in air purification. Our strategic development, where we continuously and increasingly address this part of the market, continues with a strong focus on the Nordic domestic market, followed by selected European key markets,” says Roger Sogge, COO at LightAir. “Of course, we will also seize every opportunity to cultivate progressive offices and schools in other markets, where the recent delivery to this Mexican school is a good example.”
NHS Business Services Authority named top diversity and inclusion employer in UK healthcare
NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) has been named number one out of 136 organisations that took part in the enei (employers network for equality and inclusion) TIDE benchmarking. It is also one of 12 organisations to achieve the gold award. The TIDE (Talent, Inclusion and Diversity Evaluation) benchmarking process looked at diversity and inclusion work across the whole organisation including policy, procedure and practice, recruitment, colleague training and development, communication and engagement, and more. Michael Brodie, Chief Executive of NHSBSA said: "We’re delighted to be recognised as one of the most inclusive organisations in the UK. This is a great reflection of how far we have come and to the efforts of all our people. NHS Business Services Authority is a great place to work, we’re passionate about creating a truly diverse and inclusive organisation where our people are supported to bring their whole selves to work to enable them to be at their best." The Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) is the leading employer network promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace. Their role is to influence government, business and trade unions, campaigning for real practical change. The Gold Standard is only awarded to the very top performing organisations in TIDE. The TIDE mark allows organisations to measure progress in equality, diversity and inclusion practice both year-on-year and in comparison with their peers.
A-Team of experts take on U.S. School Reopenings and Reducing Airborne Transmission in the wake of Delta
On Saturday, Aug 14th, UC San Diego Distinguished Professor and aerosol scientist Dr. Kimberly Prather tweeted, “My question: Who is interested in a call to discuss concerns over US school reopenings and what we can do? I can help assemble an A-team to address questions.“ Her tweet set off a 4-day sprint to launch an event with leading scientists, physicians, and advocates emphasizing the message that airborne transmission is the primary way people get Covid-19. The event, for which 1500 people registered in 48 hours, will focus on ways to reduce Covid transmission in schools and communities, and effective strategies for concerned parents, teachers and community members to follow. ‘Delta Concerns of U.S. School Reopenings and Reducing Airborne Transmission” aims to answer the crucial question: is it safe for children to go back to school and how can concerned communities work to make it safer? The two hour discussion features talks by over 20 different experts including leading indoor air quality expert Dr. Richard Corsi and maternal and pediatric epidemiologist Dr. Theresa Chapple, as well as data engineer and advocate Dr. Jorge Caballero, whose analysis on Covid disparities has received international attention. The event will cover everything to do with airborne transmission, masks, ventilation, air filtration, parents’ rights, and organizing to influence school districts and states to create safer environments in schools and communities. Joaquin Beltran, creator of Speak Up America, and co-organizer for the event says “Children deserve safe environments. Across the country, pediatric ICUs are overwhelmed and children are dying at higher rates than before, we need to act quickly and use every tool available like high-quality masks, ventilation, and air filtration, to keep schools and communities safe to prevent more children from getting sick, dying, or experiencing the debilitating persisting symptoms of long Covid.” Dr. Kimberly Prather has been focused on spreading the message that Covid is airborne and believes that government agencies have to do a better job at communicating this message. “The meeting is all about empowering parents/teachers/students to fight for safe air… let’s save lives. The situation is out of control. CDC Director, we are doing your job to protect public health for you.”
New Website Created by Quidel Corporation Provides Consumers With Information and Easy-to-Understand Answers Regarding Lyme Disease
Americans looking for information regarding Lyme disease, often referred to as the “epidemic within the pandemic,” now have a new and trusted resource in which to rely with the launch of LymeDiseaseAnswers.com Created by Quidel Corporation, the website provides consumers with the peace of mind that comes with increased knowledge of the prevalence, causes, warning signs, symptoms and advances in the testing of Lyme disease, which afflicts nearly 480,000 people across the country each year. “Lyme disease can strike anyone of any age, especially those who spend time in wooded or grassy areas or who play sports on grass fields in high-risk areas of the country,” said Cheryl Miller, vice president of new market development for Quidel. “People are rightfully concerned about contracting Lyme disease and want to know how to avoid it, especially now with Americans spending more and more time outdoors as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve created LymeDiseaseAnswers.com as a consumer-friendly and straight-talk place where people can easily find the information they are seeking.” The new website, created in tandem is Quidel’s strategic and creative partner breakwhitelight, contains answers to frequently asked questions, easy-to-understand infographics showing where Lyme disease is most prevalent and how it is contracted, the latest statistics and clinical research taking place regarding the disease, and links to additional resources on the subject. Also housed on the site is a series of recently produced “Quick Takes”—attention-grabbing educational videos that help consumers and health care professionals alike enhance their knowledge of Lyme disease by providing the information and up-to-the-minute data needed to confront this disease quickly and clearly. Quidel is the diagnostic health care manufacturer behind the industry’s most rapid and reliable in-office test for Lyme disease, the Sofia 2 Lyme FIA test. This test provides a patient as well as his or her physician with indicative results within minutes as opposed to days, which has historically been the norm. Performed in the privacy of a doctor’s office or local clinic, it is also the only test that can get results from a simple finger prick of blood. Given that the vast majority of patients tested are negative, not having to wait days for test results allows physicians and nurse practitioners to more rapidly treat those patients with positive results while more quickly pursuing other diagnosis and treatment for those who test negative. While just launching this month, LymeDiseaseAnswers.com has already been honored for excellence by the renowned MarCom Awards, an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communications professionals, both corporate and agency. LymeDiseaseAnswers.com received MarCom’s highest award—its Platinum Award—while competing against more than 6,500 entries from the United States and several foreign countries.
LightAir’s new strategy yield results
LightAir's strategic focus on sales of air purification to offices and schools in Sweden is continuing to yield results. The LightAir Health+ offer provides clean, virus-free air and is offered in Sweden primarily as a subscription service. The number of subscriptions is growing continuously, rising from about sixty last summer and soon exceeding three hundred. The positive market reception in Sweden is exemplified by how Enskilda Gymnasiet – an independent secondary school in operation for over 100 years – is now powerfully expanding its two subscriptions to thirty. The school carried out a six-month evaluation, which documented how individuals with asthma and allergies experienced relief from problems, and that other students and teachers experienced improved air quality. Evaluation comments mentioned reduced fatigue, improved concentration, and less drowsiness. "We are located in central Stockholm and are aware that we operate in an environment that is particularly exposed to traffic pollution," says Jonas Persson, Project Manager at Enskilda Gymnasiet. “It’s important that students can stay healthy, cope with the school day and don’t get fatigued by bad air. It’s especially important that they are alert when final exams roll around. Students with pollen allergies are prone to tire easily and perform poorly.” Enskilda Gymnasiet is now installing a total air purification capacity of over 20,000 cubic meters per hour, along with a corresponding virus inhibitor capacity. The sale was carried out via LightAir's partner Office Management, and the service will be delivered in the form of a three-year subscription. The LightAir Health+ subscription offer is the most comprehensive service offer available and was established in the Swedish domestic market in 2020. The offer has since been awarded the International Facility Management Association's Nordic Innovation Prize, not least since it has the distinction of being able to destroy viruses while they’re still airborne. "More and more businesses and organizations are opening their eyes to the challenges of indoor air," says Joakim Hansson, Business Area Manager at LightAir. "This is also shown concretely by how we expanded our subscription base from 5 to 60 last summer, and from 60 to 160 by year end. This summer we have high hopes of reaching our goal of 300 Swedish subscriptions." Based on such positive market signals, LightAir recently carried out two new recruitments and thus doubled its sales resources for direct sales to Swedish offices and schools. "We see that our strategic plan is promising and starting to bear fruit, while we have a long way to go with stimulating challenges ahead of us," comments Lars Liljeholm, CEO of LightAir. “We will become increasingly better at utilizing the competitive advantages we have in the nascent corporate market, not least in terms of purification efficiency and noise levels, as well as with an attractive and trouble-free subscription offer. Professional Solutions will be the engine of our future growth. Through an increasingly successful domestic market, we are laying the foundation for establishment in selected international markets.” “We are in the middle of the demanding – but enjoyable – work of building a leading position in the commercial segment,” concludes Liljeholm. “Initially, the new strategy will affect sales when we change our revenue model, but in the long run this will be crucial for the company and value creation for our owners. With that said, the consumer market will still be an important part of the future LightAir we are now building, which is why we have also recruited cutting-edge expertise and are continuously developing our international ventures and e-commerce.”
11 Tips for Promoting Healthy Sleep Habits During COVID-19
Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, parents were grappling with the effects of screen time on their children’s sleep habits. Now, with so much of the world moving online, kids’ screen time has increased drastically, and many old routines are out the window. Experts agree that proper rest is essential for children of all ages, and unhealthy digital habits that develop now will only be harder to break in the future. With that in mind, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development has brought together the leading researchers, clinicians, and experts to provide parents with these useful tips for helping kids get the sleep they need. For more guidance and resources, be sure to tune in to our next “Ask The Experts” seminar on Wednesday, August 12, at 12pm ET via Zoom. Renowned sleep researcher and physician Dr. Charles Czeisler of Harvard Medical School will moderate the session, and he’ll be joined by a group of distinguished experts who will answer your questions and bring you the latest research on sleep and screens with practical, science-based advice designed to foster the health, development, and well-being of your whole family. RSVP here. “Ask the Experts” is a popular weekly series hosted by Children and Screens with viewership from all 50 states and over 30 countries. NO PHONE ZONE Parents who bring their phones into the bedroom are more likely to have children who bring their phones into the bedroom. In order to wake up feeling more fully rested and recharged, I recommend that families have a central place to put all phones away about an hour before bedtime. To get started, it may be helpful to set an alarm on your device to indicate when it’s time to disconnect, and some may even want to keep that central charging place under lock and key. — Dr. Wendy Troxel, Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist, RAND Corporation LOG OFF TO NOD OFF Avoiding screens in the hour before bedtime will help facilitate sleep onset and provide better quality sleep at night. Other important sleep hygiene tips include setting a regular bedtime, following consistent routines (e.g., bathing, brushing teeth, reading). - Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput, Research Scientist, CHEO Research Institute, Ottawa, Canada LET THERE BE LIGHT Be strategic about when your child is exposed to screens and other light sources throughout the day. Morning light can increase, advance, or entrain your child’s circadian sleep rhythm (internal sleep clock), making him or her feel more alert in the morning and more tired at bedtime. Evening light, on the other hand, can inhibit the release of melatonin, a hormone that prepares us for sleep. When possible, concentrate screen use for e-learning earlier in the day, keep the blinds open, and get outside early and often! - Sarah Morsbach Honaker, PhD, DBSM, Indiana University School of Medicine LOOK TO THE BOOKS We don’t need to remind you how much better kids do on some kind of schedule - the payoff in their behavior and your sanity is priceless. But, have you ever considered establishing some sort of reading routine with your child? Not only can reading replace screen-time, it’s a great and calm way to connect with children. Even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes a night, a reading routine can benefit children’s brain development, and it will create memories your kids will cherish forever. - Kim West, LCSW-C, aka the Sleep Lady GET (IT) OUT OF BED Keep the bedroom, and especially your child’s bed, as a device-free zone. Don’t use devices in bed during the day, as we want the brain to associate that environment with sleep. With kids home most of the time now due to the pandemic, it can be easier to slip into habits of lying in bed and using devices during the daytime hours, but this can make it more challenging to fall asleep in that environment at night. Keeping devices out of the bedroom will help the brain follow more consistent routines and sleep habits. – Nicole Beurkens, PhD, Horizons Developmental Resource Center POWER DOWN EARLY The later we stay up using devices, the less time we have for sleep. In addition, using screens in the evening can make it harder to fall asleep due to psychological, emotional, or physical arousal. Time spent in front of screens—if long enough, bright enough, and late enough in the evening—can also push our daily timing system back, which makes falling asleep even more difficult. For a restful night, reduce the amount and intensity of evening screen time, and have a solid plan for your child’s sleep schedule. - Mary A Carskadon, PhD, Professor, Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert Medical School of Brown University, EP Bradley Hospital Sleep Research Lab BAD SCREENS LEAD TO BAD DREAMS Avoid anxiety-provoking media, especially later in the day. When children consume content that’s emotionally overstimulating, such as a scary video or news story, it can lead to difficulties with sleep at night. Kids can fixate on those scary images or stories when they lie down to sleep, and being alone in the dark can exacerbate their fears. Use parental controls to help limit your children’s exposure to distressing content, and remember to be aware of any content you’re consuming that your kids might be able to see or hear, as well. – Nicole Beurkens, PhD, Horizons Developmental Resource Center YOURS, MINE, AND HOURS Virtually all material delivered on screens is designed to keep us engaged and watching, but it’s important to make sure kids get a full night’s sleep for their physical, mental, and emotional development. Children ages 2-9 require 10.5-12 hours per night, while young teens should get 9-10 hours, and older teens need 8.5-9.5 hours. Effective techniques for making sure your kids get enough rest include establishing a regular bedtime routine, modeling healthy examples of screen use, making the bedroom a screen-free zone, and requiring them to shut down all electronics an hour before bedtime (30 minutes can work for children over 13). If your teen must be on a screen at night for homework, use a blue light blocker app. – Daniel Lewin, PhD, Associate Director of the Pediatric Sleep Medicine and Director of the Pulmonary Behavioral Medicine Program at Children’s National MODEL THE MESSAGE With the whole family at home, our kids are extra aware of our daily habits. Teens and tweens are wired to look for unfairness, and they definitely notice when adults are watching shows late at night, using email or social media from bed, or keeping an irregular sleep schedule now that there isn’t a morning commute. Make a commitment as a whole family to put media devices down 30 minutes before bedtime and to keep regular sleep and wake times. Come up with creative ways to hold each other accountable, like using a tracking log, screen time features and apps, or a Fitbit. - Michelle M. Garrison, PhD. Associate Professor, University of Washington School of Public Health, School of Medicine, and Seattle Children’s Research Institute. TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR CHARGE Charge your devices outside of the bedroom! You don't need access to them in the middle of the night or to wake up. In fact, you can buy a nice digital alarm clock for less than $20. - Lauren Hale, PhD, Founding Editor-in-Chief, Sleep Health, Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, Core Faculty in the Program in Public Health, Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University, NY LIGHTS OUT! It is important to make children’s bedrooms screen-free to ensure they get sufficient and quality sleep. However, for children with greater autonomy over their smartphone usage, it may be tricky for parents to maintain this screen-free zone. Ask your child to keep away from the smartphone or tablet once you put out the light. Where this is not possible, ask children to keep the bedside lamp on if they are using their phone in bed. Emerging evidence appears to show that children have insufficient and poor sleep when they use phones in darkness during bedtime. – Michael O. Mireku PhD, MPH, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology Proper rest is vital to the development of children’s brains and bodies, and it’s up to parents to both establish healthy habits and to demonstrate those habits themselves. Without a doubt, COVID-19 presents new challenges to maintaining routines and limiting screen use, but the good news is that following the tips included in this newsletter will benefit not just children, but parents, as well. And who couldn’t use a better night’s sleep?
SLEEP SABOTAGE: OT Experts Offer Checklist for Better Sleep During Stressful Times for Adults, Teens and Young Children
Work-from-home orders and social isolation habits are needed to slow the spread of COVID-19, but the resulting lack of traditional schedules and heightened worry about the outbreak has led to a rise of insomnia and stress-related sleep disorders. To help prevent these negative sleep habits, occupational therapy (OT) students from Chatham University have shared practical advice to improve sleep quality during quarantine and help avoid sleep-related health problems. “Rest and sleep are more valuable to our daily health than many people realize, and it's very easy for our sleep schedule to be thrown off by inconsistencies like the coronavirus shutdown,” says Chatham University occupational therapy student Evan Buchheit. “If you’re not following a normal sleep schedule that’s governed by work, school, commuting, and other established time-based routines, the hours and days can start to seem like they’re blending together, which makes it difficult for your body to follow its natural rhythm and perform at its best.” Buchheit and his fellow OT students have developed a checklist of positive sleep-related behaviors that can help improve sleep quality for people of all ages and are available to discuss their tips for family members of all ages. “Following these tips helps establish a new personal routine so your mind and body will perform better throughout the day, even if your traditional work and life routines are disrupted during the shutdown,” says Becky Moyer, Doctor of Occupational Therapy Student at Chatham University. Chatham University’s occupational health instructors and students are available to share more insights and self-care tips to establish healthy physical, mental, and emotional behaviors during quarantine and help avoid “shutdown burnout.”
Pushing for Systemization and Standardization of Korea’s Chiropractic
The term ‘Chiropractic’ may yet be an unfamiliar word to most of the population. Over 30 years have passed since chiropractic was first introduced to Korea, however, it lingers in a shameful state where non-experts still practice indiscriminately while experts from other medical fields distort the terms, causing misinformation to spread to the public. On top of that, doctors and Korean oriental Medical Doctors who apply chiropractic knowledge still maintain a defensive position on institutionalizing chiropractic and are further building a confrontational stage. Amidst this confusion, Chairman An Jun Yong of the Korean Chiropractic Association, who previously practiced medicine as the director of the Center for Advancement of Immunity-Spinal Nerve Research Center, is taking on his fourth year as Chairman to continue his efforts in globalizing Korea’s chiropractic practices. Chairman An Jun Yong, Korean Chiropractic Association ■ Institutionalization of Chiropractic Based on Professionalism Remains Absolute Necessity The single biggest issue associated with the domestic chiropractic field would without doubt be institutionalization. Korea’s chiropractic history boasts over 30 years of practice and research; however, experts are yet restrained from active proactive practice due to the lack of legal evidence “Chiropractic doctors are constantly struggling with the pressure of criminal suits because they’re not protected by legal evidence. This harsh reality makes it very difficult to call together professionals into a single organization. With the environment being so unfavorable, it’s hard to ask these doctors to stand up for the larger cause when their own livelihoods are on the line.” While spending years actually curing many patients that modern and Korean medicine gave up on, Chairman An naturally began questioning the legal environment that was unusually harsh on chiropractic. “Our members and I have always wished for our patients to live with health and happiness. However, it’s truly regrettable how we are being treated as criminals just for the fact that there is no legal evidence for chiropractic as a medical practice.” On the other hand, doctors who use chiropractic knowledge and techniques are ironically under strong, legal protection. “The government’s explanation is that “The use of chiropractic by doctors who are experts in the human body is safe.” However, Chairman An’s response is that the explanation is nonsensical when domestic chiropractic doctors are required to study over 4,200 hours for their Chiropractic degree whereas the doctors that the government and law support only go through a 30-hour short-term course. This goes against the WHO’s report of guideline for chiropractic safety in 2006 which advises that chiropractic doctors should complete at least 2,200 hours of chiropractic education for their practice to be safe for the patients. Chairman An stating his hopes for chiropractic doctors’ expertise to be acknowledged and backed by official legal medicinal evidence ■ Illegal for Expert with 4,200 Hours of Education, but Legal for Doctor with Nothing? As its definition explains, chiropractors practice personalized physical examinations and diagnoses that fit each patient. On top of that, with rehabilitative and nutritional counsel included, chiropractic care is nothing short of a new field in general medicine. Furthermore, a comparative analysis between minimum required hours for a U.S.-based chiropractic degree or a MD (Medical Degree) shows that a chiropractic degree requires around 150 hours more than a MD with 4,822 hours and 4,667 hours, respectively. If these standards are applied when chiropractic is brought into Korea, there is no reason to refute the professionalism and expertise of chiropractors. Also, a study published on the February 15, 2015 issue of Spine, a medical journal, presented the odds of patients between ages 66 and 99, who visit their doctor for issues in their musculoskeletal system, suffering from injuries in either the head, neck, or torso within 7 days of visitation. According to the study, patients who were cared for by chiropractic doctors rather than general practitioners saw 76% lower odds of injuries. For an accurate picture of the safety of a doctor’s practice and treatment, one only needs to observe the medical malpractice insurance premiums in countries where lawsuits are common- for example, the U.S. In 2011, ordinary doctors spent on average $24,500 per doctor on malpractice premiums while gynecologists spent $46,400 on average per doctor. On the other hand, chiropractors were only subject to $1,500 on average per doctor. In other words, there is no real basis for the misguided claims of unprofessionalism and threat of malpractice regarding chiropractic treatment. “The KCA’s position is simple. Doctors and Korean Medical Doctors must be legally subject to 2,200 hours of education, as recommended by WHO, to use chiropractic treatment. Furthermore, the government must acknowledge the professionalism of chiropractors and thereby provide legal backing as official medical practitioners. The current laws and policies are ignoring experts and putting the safety and health of citizens at risk.” The core of Chairman An’s claims is that “A wide range of options must be guaranteed for people to protect their own happiness and health.” Not everybody wishes for drug and surgical treatment. There are many who wish to use chiropractic treatment that promotes peace and dignity. Chairman An strongly believes that, even just to protect these people’s rights, the government must establish a strong, legal standard for the professionalism of chiropractic. The KCA was first established in 1993 and joined the WFC (World Federation of Chiropractic) as a member in that same year. Since then, he has diligently contributed to the chiropractic community by participating in seminars, international competitions, academic exchanges, bills and petitions, community service, and more. “The WFC headquarters is located in Ontario, Canada. It holds official relations with the WHO. As a proud association officially acknowledged by the WFC, KCA strictly follows the guidelines provided by the WFC and WHO.” Chiropractic is a new field that is undergoing dynamic changes ■ Personalized Care for Each Patient. A New Cure to Lead Society into Centenarian-Age It has been noted that chiropractic care researches and applies optimal responsive care for patients regardless of age, gender, or disease, while also providing counsel regarding diets, posture, and walking posture for cases where physical therapy is not necessary. “Modern chiropractic has long evolved from the skeletal-correction level of care of the past. Now, chiropractic is establishing itself as a medical philosophy that promotes a healthy life through physical, physiological and emotional balance. In developed countries, such as Canada, spinal surgeries are required to be preceded by consultation and care from a chiropractor. The purpose is to prevent social loss through unnecessary procedures. That illustrates just how much chiropractors are being acknowledged.” Opening the Future of KCA Through Education Business Chairman An has a big dream. Of course petitions need to be consistently raised in the National Assembly in order for chiropractic to be admitted as a legal medical field in Korea, however, Chairman An believes that autonomous business activities for capacity enhancement are a bigger priority. For this, Chairman An plans to establish chiropractic curriculums in every domestic metropolitan city and build infrastructure that provides the entire population to acquire theoretical and practical chiropractic knowledge in a systematic and sophisticated way. He has already established an institution in Seoul to train personnel and experts to carry out his plan. “Our goal for the future is not only to discover potential chiropractors in Korea and across the globe, but also to straighten out the distorted knowledge and prejudices of chiropractic and establish a strict manual. While the current environment lacks physical conditions for the Korean chiropractic curriculums to be level with foreign chiropractic degree curriculums, if these curriculums and courses could help young candidates find their path and grow into experts practicing in chiropractic-developed countries such as the U.S. or Canada, that would be enough.” This curriculum is set on a 2-year, 2,500 hour long standard and curriculum inquiries are currently being made in large numbers. “The current issue is perhaps rooted on pains from the past. Now is the time for the Korean Chiropractic Association to look to the future and march. For the next generation of chiropractors and for the ideological, theoretical, and clinical advancement of Korea’s chiropractic, this type of curriculum is an absolute necessity.” ■ Korean Chiropractic Association Leads Way to Globalization Representing South Korea as well as KCA, Chairman An attends the WFC Congresses, the largest event and conference in the global chiropractic world, that are held all over the globe biennially. The 15th Congress of its kind was held this year in Berlin, Germany. Each country presents their national report and Chairman An received wide support after sharing the dynamic progress and current status of South Korea’s chiropractic field. Chairman An states, “KCA is the only domestic association that is consistently keeping up with global professional standards. Based on that, we are seeing a steady increase in our member count. We have been active in our ‘Proper Chiropractic Awareness’ campaign, which aids more and more patients in receiving safe chiropractic treatment, and we also plan to continue our volunteer work throughout 2019.” He further stated his claims to lead the way in uprooting short-term, illegal chiropractic technique seminars and to set the right example country-wide. By determining the authenticity and legality of currently active seminars both domestic and foreign, he plans to give out warnings to improper seminars, followed by member expulsions and license cancellation requests when no corrective actions are taken. He expects such efforts to promote a quicker globalization of chiropractic- not to mention being the quickest route in South Korea becoming a global leader in the field. Furthermore, he plans to raise the level of management and testing to maintain a strict qualification system that allows the temporary CSC (Chiropractic Standardization Course) to achieve success in South Korea. He anticipates the day when his work is answered by the government in the form of admittance of chiropractic as an official and legal alternative medicine. He hopes for his country to catch up to global medical systems that have already admitted chiropractic as an institution, providing their citizens with a wider range of benefits and treatments. KCA (Korean Chiropractic Association) announced their will to endure the realities of current domestic medical environment and grow into a global level chiropractic association ■ Meeting Chiropractic for First Time After Facing Severe Pain Chairman An recollects the time when he suffered from a severe spinal injury. He was a young worker and his life had just started going down in a vicious spiral. “I had graduated from Konkuk University, College of Livestock, and started working in a large-scale farm. I got into an accident and hurt my back and the pain was so severe that I couldn’t event sit down. The hospital kept saying that they couldn’t find a way to relieve the pain and went on repeating meaningless tests. Spending every day in pain and agony really depleted by self-esteem. My life was falling apart. When I was heading for my worst, I accidentally ran into chiropractic. It didn’t get rid of all the pain but slowly my symptoms were getting better. After that, I enrolled in a chiropractic college based in the U.S. with the purpose of ‘Fixing my body, living my life.’” “The college I studied at strictly forbade any practical training for students outside of the regulations. It was to prevent any immature procedures that could actually end up hurting the patient more. One of the most memorable things was the reasons to why my classmates enrolled. They told me reasons and goals that closely resembled that of a medical student back at home. It was proof that ‘chiropractor’ had already settled in the States as a respectable profession.” Ever since he returned home after his study abroad, Chairman An spent his days curing patients and relieving their pains. His only goal was to minimize a patient’s pain, costs, and time spent in agony when it could otherwise be spent on his talents and achievements. “South Korea’s chiropractic has changed dramatically in recent years. It is under rapid systemization and is undergoing refinement as an academic field. That is why I believe chiropractic offers the young generation a great opportunity in their future careers. There is a huge difference in not choosing due to lack of knowledge and choosing another path. One of my main goals in the coming years is to increase the awareness of chiropractic among students through education businesses and public activities to give them a fair chance in getting to know the field properly, which in turn will offer them a fantastic new path in their lives.” In the closing of the interview, Chairman An emphasized ‘professionalism.’ He shed light on the current status of Korean chiropractors’ clinical experience and level of theoretical knowledge surpassing those of other medical doctors. Then, he stressed again his plans to initiate education businesses and academic exchange businesses that pass on these know-hows academically. Around the country, there is an air of bright anticipation for very tangible and definite progress in return for Chairman An’s efforts in promoting far-sighted, wholesome policies that solve the long-overdue issues at hand.