Chuckles of the Day

A man went to the doctor’s.

The doctor came in and said, “Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is you have an inoperable brain tumor. The good news is our hospital has just been certified to do brain transplants and there has been an accident right out front and a young couple was killed and you can have whichever brain you’d like. The man’s brain costs $100,000.00 and the woman’s brain costs $30,000.00.”

The patient could not help but ask, “Why such a large difference between the male and the female brain?”

The doctor replied, “The female brain is used.”

* * * * * * *

Terry met Jim at their 40th class reunion.

Terry said, “I remember that you were always chasing the girls”.

Jim answered, “I still do. Just don’t remember why”.

* * * * * * *

Bob went to the doctor complaining of always being tired.

The doctor examined Bob and couldn’t find anything really wrong.

So he half jokingly said, “Bob you’re going to have to cut out half of your sex life”.

Bob answered, “Which half. The talking or the thinking?”

Can Isometric Resistance Training Safely Reduce High Blood Pressure?

Emi Berry wrote . . . . . . . . .

This very accessible and easy to perform intervention could have a strong effect on reducing blood pressure, say UNSW Sydney researchers.

When was the last time you had your blood pressure checked? High blood pressure affects 1.13 billion people around the globe and in 2019, it accounted for 10.8 million deaths. Worldwide, it’s the leading risk factor for mortality. More than a third of the Australian population over the age of 18 has high blood pressure, yet it’s estimated 50 per cent of Australians don’t realise they’re living with it.

As high blood pressure puts you at high risk of having a heart attack or stroke (cardiovascular disease), it’s important to keep track of your blood pressure. People over the age of 18 are advised to have a blood pressure check at least every two years.

Given the impact of this global health challenge, there is a clear need for strategies to reduce the prevalence and severity of high blood pressure, and exercise is one such strategy. While aerobic and dynamic resistance exercise appears effective at reducing blood pressure, a new study led by UNSW Medicine & Health researchers has revealed isometric resistance training (IRT) as an emerging mode of exercise demonstrating effectiveness in reducing office blood pressure. Office blood pressure refers to your pressure when taken during a GP visit, for example. It is taken at one time period, usually when you’re sitting down.

What is isometric resistance training?

IRT is a type of strength training. During IRT, the muscles produce force but do not change length. For example, pushing against a wall or holding a ‘plank’. This is different to more traditional strength training like a squat or a push-up or where muscles shorten and lengthen during the movement.

Currently, IRT is not recommended by several international guidelines for the management of high blood pressure. This was mostly due to concerns over its safety because the static nature of IRT causes blood pressure to increase markedly during exercise, particularly when performed using large muscle groups or at high intensity, compared to traditional strength exercise such as lifting weights or aerobic exercise such as walking or cycling.

However, lead authors of the study Mr Harrison Hansford and Dr Matthew Jones, both accredited exercise physiologists at the School of Health Sciences said their research showed IRT to be safe.

“We were interested in how IRT reduced blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. We also wanted to know whether IRT was safe. We found that IRT was very safe and caused meaningful changes in blood pressure – almost as much as what you’d expect to see with blood pressure-lowering medications,” explained Dr Jones.

He said exercise is important for the management of high blood pressure, but the researchers acknowledged many Australians were physically inactive, with ‘lack of time’ commonly cited as a reason.

“IRT is a time-efficient means of reducing blood pressure, needing only 12 minutes a day, two to three days per week to produce the effects we found in our review.”

“While the studies included in our review normally used a specialised handgrip device, it’s possible we would see the same effects simply by asking participants to make a fist and squeeze it at a certain intensity for the prescribed amount of time. This means IRT could easily be performed while participants are sitting down watching TV,” said Dr Jones.

“We also found IRT caused improvements in other measures of blood pressure including central blood pressure (the pressure in the heart’s largest artery – the aorta, and an important predictor of cardiovascular disease) and to a lesser extent ambulatory blood pressure (average blood pressure across a 24-hour period), neither of which had previously been reviewed.”

Although previous studies had shown IRT as being effective for lowering office blood pressure, the studies had not comprehensively examined the safety of IRT.

IRT is accessible and easy to perform

Dr Jones said IRT is a very accessible and easy to perform intervention. He highlighted how exciting it was to know such a simple intervention could have such a strong effect on reducing blood pressure – the leading risk factor for mortality, globally.

“It’s particularly exciting for people who may have difficulty performing more ‘traditional’ exercise such as walking, cycling or strength training knowing they have another exercise type in their toolkit to help manage their high blood pressure.”

Dr Jones noted the research team were surprised there were not increased risks of adverse events in older adults.

“In fact, there were actually lower rates of adverse events in older adults, making it a very appealing mode of exercise, especially in those with mobility restrictions who may not be able to do other exercises like aerobic or dynamic resistance training.”

Dr Jones acknowledged research limitations in terms of the studies included in the scientific literature review, which were not always of ‘high quality’. This means the research team cannot be entirely confident in their results. Dr Jones also acknowledged relatively few studies examined lower body IRT, or IRT using different doses and intensities. Therefore, it is still unclear how different types and doses of IRT may affect results, and whether these would also be safe.

“There is a clear need for large, high-quality randomised controlled trials to better assess the effect of IRT on blood pressure. To conduct such a study would be a clear goal for the future. It would also be useful to study how different types and doses of IRT affect results, and whether this differs between males and females, so this would also be a goal of future research.”

Source: UNSW Sydney

What’s for Lunch?

Wagyu Ichibo Steak at Ikinari Steak Store in Kyushu in Japan

The price is 1,700 yen plus tax for 150 g.

Ichibo (イチボ) is the meat on the top of the cow’s butt

Study: Acupuncture May Help Ease Prostate-Linked Pain in Men

Amy Norton wrote . . . . . . . . .

Men with chronic pain from prostate inflammation may get lasting relief from acupuncture, a new clinical trial finds.

At issue is a condition known as chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome, in which the prostate gland becomes inflamed and nerves supplying the area are irritated. That can cause pain in the perineum, penis, scrotum and low belly, as well as urinary problems and sexual dysfunction.

An estimated 10% to 15% of U.S. men develop chronic prostatitis, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. And the mainstays of medical treatment — including antibiotics and anti-inflammatory painkillers — often fail to help.

In the new trial, Chinese researchers found that 20 sessions of acupuncture often did help. Over eight weeks, the treatments eased symptoms in more than 60% of study patients who received them, according to findings published Aug. 17 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

That compared with 37% of patients who were given a “sham” version of acupuncture for comparison, the study authors said. And the benefits were still apparent six months after the acupuncture sessions ended.

The findings came as no surprise to Dr. Geovanni Espinosa, a clinical assistant professor of urology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, in New York City.

Espinosa, a naturopathic doctor, uses acupuncture as part of a “holistic” approach to managing chronic prostatitis. To manage the condition, needles are inserted in areas like the low back and buttocks.

“This trial confirms what we’ve known,” he said. “In my opinion, it really takes an integrative approach to treat this condition.”

Prostatitis refers to any inflammation of the prostate. In some cases, a bacterial infection is to blame and antibiotics can help.

But chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain is by far the most common form, Espinosa said.

The initial causes are typically hard to determine, and Espinosa said that by the time patients go to see him, they may have been suffering symptoms for anywhere from six months to 16 years.

Besides the physical symptoms, he noted, many men are depressed, too. Chronic pain is always difficult to deal with, and in the case of longstanding prostatitis, Espinosa said, the pain affects a particularly sensitive area of the body.

So he approaches the condition from various angles, including diet changes to help address the inflammation, stress-reduction techniques like deep-breathing practices, and gentle exercises to help stretch muscles of the pelvic-floor.

Acupuncture, which is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, fits into that bigger picture, Espinosa said.

It’s not clear exactly why acupuncture can have lasting effects on chronic prostatitis symptoms, according to Dr. Zhishun Liu, senior researcher on the new trial.

“The underlying mechanisms are still unclear and require further research,” said Liu, of the department of acupuncture at Guang’anmen Hospital in Beijing.

Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into the skin at specific “acupoints.” According to tradition, that alters the flow of energy, or “qi” (pronounced “chee”), throughout the body.

Modern research suggests the needle stimulation can trigger the body to release its natural stores of pain-dulling and inflammation-fighting chemicals, according to Liu.

The current trial involved 440 men aged 18 to 50 who had chronic prostatitis and no evidence of an infection. Half were randomly assigned to 20 sessions of acupuncture over eight weeks; the other half received a “sham” version where needles were inserted very superficially, at non-acupuncture points on the skin.

After eight weeks, 61% of men in the acupuncture group had responded — meaning their scores on a measure of chronic prostatitis symptoms dropped by at least 6 points. Six months later, the same percentage were still responding.

“Acupuncture is effective and durable for [chronic prostatitis], with a good safety profile,” Liu said. “It is a promising choice for patients.”

If 20 sessions sounds like a big time (and financial) investment, Espinosa said it does not necessarily take that many.

He has adapted traditional acupuncture to meet the practical realities of patients’ lives, and starts with six sessions, done once per week — adding more if needed.

Cost can be a barrier if patients have to self-pay. But, Espinosa said, some insurers do cover the treatment.

For men who are interested in holistic approaches to chronic pelvic pain, he advised seeking out a licensed professional, whether a naturopathic doctor or acupuncturist.

Source: HealthDay

Shaking Beef


600 g rump steak
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
butter lettuce leaves, to serve
1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced, to serve
1 tomato, thinly sliced, to serve
lemon wedges, to serve
freshly ground salt and black pepper, to taste
cooked rice, to serve (optional)


  1. Cut the rump steak into 3 cm cubes and trim any fatty pieces (although I don’t mind keeping a bit of fat on for a more indulgent texture). Mix the beef with the oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside to marinate for 10 minutes.
  2. Heat the peanut oil in a large frypan (preferably non-stick) until very hot and smoking. Spread the beef out over the pan in a single layer with a bit of space between each cube. Fry without stirring for about 1 minute, or until the marinade caramelises on the outside of the beef and it is well browned on the surface touching the pan. Now shake the pan well to flip the beef and using tongs. turn any pieces of the beef if necessary so that the browned side is facing up.
  3. Scatter the garlic over the top of the beef and cook for a further minute.
  4. Shake the pan again and cook for a further 30 seconds then remove the beef from the pan. The beef should be well caramelised and browned. Grind over plenty of black pepper.
  5. To serve, arrange the lettuce, onion and tomato on a platter, squeeze over some lemon juice and season with salt and grind over some black pepper. Place the shaking beef on the vegetables and serve on its own or with rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Adam’s Big Pot

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