Five Pain-Reducing Foods

The American Chronic Pain Association states that 35 percent of American adults suffer from chronic pain. 26 percent of Americans aged 20 and older also suffer from pain that lasts at least 24 hours, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Pain, especially chronic pain, is a result of inflammation- the body’s natural response to injury. David Maine, MD, of the Center for Interventional Pain Medicine at Mercy Medical Center explained:

“Inflammation is a normal process. Acute inflammatory responses can cause pain, but are beneficial. Without those immune responses, used to heal and prevent infections, we’d all be in trouble. But chronic inflammatory changes can disrupt all sorts of signals in muscle growth and health.”

Today, chronic pain sufferers can find relief in numerous medications and treatments. However, there are several foods that can help manage the pain as well:

  • Salmon

Rich in Omega 3, salmon is beneficial for the body in so many ways. It boosts hearts health thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. The fish oil fights inflammation in other areas of the body as well, which significantly reduces pain and swelling.

  • Ginger

The healing properties of fresh ginger are known to help a range of ailments, including the common cold and upset stomachs. Apparently, it is also able to reduce pain by 25 percent. In fact, studies have shown that ginger may be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and aspirin.

  • Cherries (and other red, purple and blue fruits)

These delicious snacks have anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in antioxidants, as are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and red grapes. Cherries are known to fight inflammation related to heart disease, cancer and arthritis.

  • Olive Oil

Highly anti-inflammatory and a great pain reliever, olive oil can easily be added to various cooked and uncooked dishes. Scientists believe the effects of long-term olive oil consumption may be as helpful as NSAIDs, but without the potentially harmful side effects.

  • Green Tea

Rich in a compound known as EGCG, green tea battles inflammation and also repressed the production of substances that harm cartilage and bone. The magic drink alleviates pain, banishes toxins from the body and strengthens immune response.

Inventors Creates Vineyard Robot

Inventor Christoff Miller has created a potential helper for wine makers: Wall Ye, a modified robot that can browse through vineyards checking soil quality and pruning vines.

“When I designed the robot, I took measurements myself; of the width of my shoulders and the length of my arms, to reproduce the same movements we make,” Miller explained. “The difference is that it’s on wheels, whereas a human being has to bend in order to prune vines, or sometimes move on a trolley.”

Wine maker Claire Gazeau Montrasi has expressed interest in the invention, stating that it has a lot of potential. She claimed she would welcome a robot employee, as would many others in the field.

“It will be able to remember each wine stock, count the number of missing stocks, and eventually help analyze the maturity of the vines before the harvest. It may help observe the strength of the vines depending on soil changes the previous year. It helps in a whole range of tasks that we winemakers don’t have time for,” she explained.

How Your Wallet Can Help Cut Spending

An organized wallet is a great money saver, and can help monitor and control spending and fees. Here’s why:

  1. Most people spend more money with credit than with cash. By limiting the amount of available credit cards, you can be sure to consider purchases in a more objective manner.
  2. Make sure you’re using the right cards. Regular inhabitants of your wallet should not have an annual fee. Interest should be low (around 11%), and reward cards should have a minimum of 1 point per spent dollar. Do your research and find the best fees and interest rates- and tell your current company you are switching. Many will match the deal you’ve found to keep you as a customer.
  3. Store cards have high interest rates, so make sure you frequent these stores before you commit. Once you do, pay attention to statements, pay bills on time, and carry the card on you in case of an impromptu shop.
  4. Withdraw more cash when you visit an ATM. Most people don’t realize how expensive it can be every time they take out money. Minimize these costs (which average $2.40 per withdrawal) by predicted your cash needs for the upcoming week and drawing money accordingly.
  5. Carry bigger bills. A study has shown that shoppers are less likely to spend if they need to break a $20 or $50 bill. In general, people spend less cash than credit because of the keen ‘pain of payment.’

The Benefits of Creative Writing

Creative writing can be beneficial for many different reasons.  First, it is a great form of therapy; expressing oneself freely can be very cathartic.  Second, for those learning English as a second language, creative writing can reduce the frustration that comes along with learning new things.  Third, it provides a healthy and positive form of escapism, simultaneously developing skills of communication and articulation.  There are many fiction writers throughout the world, such as Seth Fischer, Randy Ingermanson, Anita Roy and more.  Some of them lead courses on how to get the most out of one’s own creative writing style, developing it to the highest level.

Creative writing workshops are constantly being held everywhere.  For example, there is one led by a Senior Commissioning Editor at Delhi publishing house Young Zubaan, Anita Roy.  She taught a workshop for Dikshant International School students in Chandigarh.  She explained, “creative writing is not simply restricted to writing a story. It is the ability to express in words, the thoughts that would otherwise remain silent, invisible. Creative writing can express thoughts, feelings and emotions rather than to simply convey information.” Roy taught the concept of feature writing through an analysis of its various parts, such as opinion, tone, plot, character, etc.

Another creative writer and teacher is Seth Fischer.  He is a teacher of both fiction and nonfiction writing.  He runs various writing workshops in the Los Angeles area, and the Antioch University Los Angeles.  He is also a contributing editor of The Rumpus.  He describes himself as being “very good at being awkward.”  That is certainly one way of viewing creative writing – anything goes, awkward or not – and the mantra can make a great start for anyone wanting to start their own career or hobby in writing.

Smartphone App Reaches Out for the Chronically Ill

Chronic medical conditions such as pain, depression or diabetes, often leave people feeling helpless, eventually leading them to withdraw from society. Doctors or specialists may not see or treat them at all until they show up in an emergency room.

Technology has many uses these days; some of which may save lives. A new app that tracks activity and movement may help patients when they begin to draw inward by alerting the appropriate doctor or caregiver. According to the New York Times, the app tracks how often calls and texts are made, as well as movement and activities.

The United States military, insurance companies and several medical chains have begun backing these digital flares. Hospitals and medical centers throughout the country have already begun testing this technology.

Michael Seid, a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, explained:

“It’s a potential human early-warning system, the body’s check-engine light.

“When your pain increases, you’re less likely to be at the park or the mall. It could be early indicators of a flare-up or worsening of the disease,” he added, explaining that the technology “measures social behavior at a scale and depth you just didn’t have before.”

An Inside Look at DS2DIO- The Dance-Oriented YouTube Channel

Internet empire Google has long been working to bring quality content to its subsidiary YouTube. Their efforts appear to be working.

This past June, “Step Up 2: The Streets” director Jon M. Chu teamed up with Hulu’s “The Legend of Extraordinary Dancers” web series to launch DS2DIO- a YouTube channel focused on dance lifestyle programming.

DS2DIO just released a schedule for several dance-related reality shows, as well as ‘The Floor’, which is based in L.A.

The Wall Street Journal’s SpeakEasy recently interviewed partners Chu and Hieu Ho regarding their project:

SpeakEasy: I hear that Miley Cyrus was a sort of catalyst for your first web series LXD. How did she get involved?

Chu: After finishing “Step Up 2: The Streets,” we made a little video for YouTube in 2006 that challenged Miley Cyrus to a dance battle. One of the 14-year-old stars on Step Up has a crush on her so we got all of these dancers together and ended up getting 200,000 views in the first couple of days. Miley answered a few days after that with all of her dancers and we responded back. The video faceoffs got all of these followers who became interested in the dancers and that’s where it started. We needed funding to take our ideas further so ended up developing an idea that turned into LXD for Hulu.

SpeakEasy: Do you think there’s enough interest to support a dance only channel?

Hieu Ho: There definitely is. It’s crazy to see how popular dance has become with shows like “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “Dance with the Stars.” In the past ten years alone, there have been 26 dance shows. Sixteen of the most viewed videos of all time had dance in them, so we were excited to continue telling these dance stories, particularly in the online space.

Chu: There’s an interactive part that allows us to have conversations with our audience. One thing that I learned working with Justin Bieber is that online conversations can really engage. People are talking, learning, work shopping and we wanted to become the hub for that. If you live in Hawaii or Japan, we can connect you with the people we know here and you can interact with us as well.