New York, May 28, 2017: Practicing Tai Chi — a form of ancient Chinese martial art — for 12-weeks may significantly reduce symptoms of depression such as the persistent feeling of sadness or loss, a study showed.
Tai Chi, which has been used for more than 1,000 years, combines deep breathing and slow and gentle movements.
It is generally suitable for people of any level of physical fitness.
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“While some previous studies have suggested that tai chi may be useful in treating anxiety and depression, most have used it as a supplement to treatment for others medical conditions, rather than patients with depression,” said Albert Yeung from Massachusetts General Hospital.
Tai Chi can be particularly effective for patients who avoid conventional psychiatric treatment, the researchers said.
For the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, the team recruited 50 participants through advertisements offering tai chi for stress reduction.
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Of these 17 were in the tai chi group, 14 in the education group that included discussions on stress, mental health and depression and 19 in the a passive control, wait-list group.
The 12-week assessments showed that the tai chi group had significantly greater improvement in depression symptoms than did members of either control group.
Earlier this year, China nominated Tai Chi, for inclusion in the Unesco List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Previous studies have found that Tai Chi could better help patients suffering from five painful conditions — back pain, osteoarthritis, neck pain, fibromyalgia, and severe headaches and migraine. (IANS)
San Francisco, October 17, 2017 : Facebook has acquired ‘tbh’, an anonymous polling app for teenagers which has over 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the US.
The app lets teenagers anonymously answer kind-hearted, multiple-choice questions about friends, who then receive the poll results as compliments, TechCrunch reported on Tuesday.
“When we set out to build tbh, we wanted to create a community that made us feel happier and more confident about ourselves. We felt that people craved genuine and positive interactions in their online experiences,” ‘tbh’ said in a statement.
“Over the last few weeks, over 5 million people have downloaded tbh and sent over a billion messages. More importantly, we’ve been inspired by the countless stories where tbh helped people recover from depression and form better relationships with friends,” it read.
Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed but according to TechCrunch, it is likely to be somewhere around less than $100 million and will not require regulatory approval.
“As part of the deal, tbh’s four co-creators — Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon — will join Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters while continuing to grow their app,” the report added.
“When we met with Facebook, we realised that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realise tbh’s vision and bring it to more people,” ‘tbh’ said.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook said: “tbh and Facebook share a common goal — of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together”. (IANS)
New Delhi, October 11, 2017 : Being unhappy is not synonymous with depression.
What is Depression?
Depression is a constant state of low mood and an aversion to activity that can alter a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings and a sense of general well being. People suffering from depression may feel anxious, empty, helpless, worthless, hopeless, guilty, irritable, ashamed or restless – and sometimes all of this at the same time. These can largely be viewed as both outcome and signs of depression.
Feeling moody or low from time to time is normal; these are natural emotions which when experienced in regular intervals are healthy. However, some people experience these feelings deeply. And contrary to popular belief, they may not be able to ‘snap out of it’ for long periods that might last up to weeks, months or even years. What is further a cause of concern is that sometimes, these behaviors and mood swings are without any apparent reason. While signs of depression may be hard to point, they are not entirely invisible.
Depression is more than just ‘low mood’- it is a serious situation that can affect an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health.
But how can we know that an individual may be suffering from depression, are there any warning signs of depression?
Feeling sad is a part of depression, but the illness can present itself in a variety of other ways. If observed closely, one can figure out signs of depression in people.
The following can be broadly understood as signs of depression that can motivate an individual to seek professional help,
1. BODY : You have unexplained pain
According to the Mayo Clinic, unexplained pain, for example, back aches or migraines can be one of the first or only signs of depression. In fact, pain and depression often comprise a complimentary relationship. If your depression is causing you pain, this can influence you to feel additionally depressed which may further the pain. In addition, this ‘unexplained’ pain can give rise to a host of other problems like stress, low confidence, restlessness and you may even face difficulties falling asleep.
2. SLEEP : You sleep excessively – or too little
According to experts and numerous researches published in health-related journals, sleeping for extended hours is interpreted as escapism behavior.
You may wind up in bed and feel like staying there for hours, take naps whenever you can during the day. Depression can force you to feel immobile. Or it can cause you to remain awake till late in the night-tossing and turning and worrying.
Sleeping too much or too less comes with its own set of drawbacks. You may feel worn out and drowsy from a lot of rest which can make you feel even more terrible. Unrest due to long sleep hours will make you likely to sleep more and thereafter face even more trouble falling asleep at night.
Depression can alter your life in more ways than one. While some symptoms will be easier to notice, you might not be able to point out others until a while. Depression can influence major parts of your life, like your dietary patterns.
You may encounter a loss of appetite and a diminished enthusiasm for all activities that involve food. It can also have the inverse impact, making you more likely to attempt to mitigate yourself by greedily consuming food. Furthermore, if you suddenly find yourself binge eating or indulging in junk food, you might need to speak with your specialist about depression.
4. COGNITIVE : You may feel confused
If you are experiencing trouble concentrating, or settling on choices on a practically regular routine, it could be a sign of depression. You may experience unfocused thinking, or wavering attention. This can in turn take a toll on your memory and the ability to make sound judgment.
Have you been looking for excuses to delay work? A confused mind may influence you to overlook work deadlines and also motivate you to forego errands. Worst case scenario, it may even lead you to engage in unhealthy and risky behavior.
Although it is a common viewpoint to associate depression with sadness, it can also manifest into a host of other experiences. Depression may make you feel disturbed or angry over things you would have ordinarily ignored. Or you might experience sudden emotional outburst – incessantly crying for no particular reason. You may feel distant and not be able to relate to activities and people who were previously a part of your routine.
If you find yourself indulging in extreme emotional behavior, you might actually be depressed.
– Prepeared by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter : SohaKala
New York, October 9, 2017 : Is your child not getting ample sleep due to early school hours? Beware, your kid is more likely to develop depression and anxiety, warns a new study. The study reveals that children, who start schooling before 8:30 a.m., get insufficient sleep or barely meet the minimum amount of sleep, that is 8-10 hours, needed for healthy functioning of the body.
“Even when a student is doing everything else right to get a good night’s sleep, early school start times put more pressure on the sleep process and increase mental health symptoms, while later school start times appear to be a strong protective factor for teenager,” said Jack Peltz, Professor at the University of Rochester in the US.
School timings not only affect the sleeping habits but also the daily functioning of the body. It aggravates major health problems like obesity, heart disease and others in adulthood. The study, published in the journal Sleep Health, suggested that maintaining a consistent bedtime, getting between eight and 10 hours of sleep, limiting caffeine, turning off the television, cell phone and video games before bed may boost sleep quality as well as mental health.
The researchers used an online tool to collect data from 197 students across the country between the ages of 14 and 17. The results showed that good sleep hygiene was directly associated with lower average daily depressive or anxiety symptoms across all students.
The risk of depression was even lower in the students who started school after 8:30 a.m. in comparison to those who started early. “One possible explanation for the difference may be that earlier starting students have more pressure on them to get high quality sleep,” Peltz stressed. (IANS)