New Chocolate Sweets of Lawson Japan

Chocolate Parfait

Chocolate Danish Pastry

The prices are 298 yen and 180 yen (plus tax) respectively.

Chronic Pain Treatment Should Include Psychological Interventions

Pain is the body’s way of alerting the brain to injury and disease. Without a robust pain response, physical trauma could go unnoticed and untreated. Some people, however, experience chronic pain that lasts long after an injury has healed or has no easily identifiable cause.

Unfortunately, treating chronic pain with over-the-counter and prescription medication has its own health risks, including adverse side effects and addiction. In the latest issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI), a team of researchers explores how psychological interventions can be part of a comprehensive plan to manage chronic pain while reducing the need for surgeries and potentially dangerous medications.

“There are several effective nonmedical treatments for chronic pain, and psychological treatments emerge among the strongest of these,” said Mary Driscoll, a researcher at Yale University and first author on the issue’s main article. “People who engage in psychological treatments can expect to experience meaningful reductions in pain itself as well as improvements in physical functioning and emotional well-being.”

The current state of care

In many cases, the causes of chronic pain are unknown, and the use of traditional medical interventions, such as pain medication and surgery, may give little to no relief—or make the condition worse. People with chronic pain often report frustrations with health care systems and health insurance, which tend to be dismissive or unsuccessful in addressing their complaints.

Psychological treatment may reduce the need for medications, surgeries, and other invasive treatments that can be costly, ineffective, and even dangerous. And research suggests that the effects of psychological treatment can be maintained for a lifetime.

“People with pain should feel empowered to select the psychological treatment that is most appealing,” said Driscoll. “Once they do, finding a psychotherapist who can provide this care and with whom they can establish a meaningful connection will be a key factor in obtaining benefit.”

Psychological treatments

Research has shown that psychological factors can play a role in the onset, severity, and duration of chronic pain. For those reasons, several psychological interventions have been shown to be effective in treating chronic pain.

In the article, Driscoll and her colleagues describe the interventions that have been most widely studied by the pain community, including:

  • Supportive psychotherapy, which emphasizes unconditional acceptance and empathic understanding
  • Relaxation training, or the use of breathing, muscle relaxation, and visual imagery to counteract the body’s stress response
  • Biofeedback, which involves monitoring patients’ physiological responses to stress and pain (e.g., increased heart rate, muscle tension) and teaching them how to down-regulate these responses
  • Hypnosis by a trained clinician, which may induce changes in pain processing, expectations, or perception and incorporates relaxation training
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy, in which patients learn to reframe maladaptive thoughts about pain that cause distress; change unhelpful behaviors, such as isolation and inactivity; and develop helpful behavioral coping strategies (e.g., relaxation)
  • Mindfulness-based interventions, which help to disentangle physical pain from emotional pain via increased awareness of the body, the breath, and activity
  • Psychologically informed physical therapy, which integrates physical therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy

The PSPI report also addresses topics such as integrated pain care, or the blending of medical, psychological, and social aspects of health care; the future of pain treatment; and improving the availability and integration of pain-management strategies.

Source: Association for Psychological Science

Afternoon Tea Set of Afternoon Tea Tea Room in Japan

Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Tea Room

Statins: Good for the Heart, Maybe Not So Good for Diabetes

Steven Reinberg wrote . . . . . . . . .

Statins are proven to lower cholesterol, but they may also come with a downside for patients with diabetes: A new study finds they may make the blood sugar disease worse.

Researchers found that among those taking statins, 56% saw their diabetes progress, compared with 48% of those not taking statins. And the higher the dose of the statin, the faster the progression of the diabetes.

“This study should be a start to more research examining the balance of benefits and harms of statins in patients with diabetes,” said senior researcher Dr. Ishak Mansi. He is a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Data and Population Science at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.

“We know well about the benefits of statins, but the harms are much less investigated,” Mansi said. “Specifically, what is the population that may benefit less from the use of statins for primary prevention or be harmed? Answering these questions impact hundreds of millions of patients and cannot be postponed.”

He cautioned that based solely on this one finding, no patient should stop taking their statins and that association does not prove causation.

For the study, Mansi and his colleagues collected data on more than 83,000 diabetic patients who used statins and more than 83,000 who didn’t.

Those who were taking statins were more likely to see their diabetes progress and need to start using insulin and other types of drugs to lower high blood sugar levels sooner than those who weren’t taking statins.

“The study may alert clinicians that they may need to pay close attention and expect to adjust anti-diabetes medications when they initiate statins,” Mansi said.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, an emeritus professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, said that blood sugar is not the only key to managing type 2 diabetes.

“Management of type 2 diabetes is not centered on lowering blood sugars,” explained Zonszein, who wasn’t part of the study. “In addition to lifestyle changes, medications are often necessary to prevent or attenuate complications. Statins are highly effective in lowering cholesterol and protecting against heart attacks and strokes.”

Statins do not cause diabetes and the modestly increased rate in precipitating new-onset diabetes is well-known, though the exact mechanism remains unknown, he said.

“The benefits of statins in patients with type 2 diabetes are far greater than the potential side effects,” Zonszein added.

Millions of people have been treated with statins, and its widespread application has been a major public health advance, he noted.

Treatment of obesity, hypertension and high cholesterol is as important as improving glycemic control, Zonszein added, and statins are one of the best medications for these in patients with type 2 diabetes.

“When prescribing any medication, a careful balance between benefits and side effects is discussed between the health care provider and the patient,” Zonszein said. “In the case of statins, the benefits, particularly in patients with type 2 diabetes, are by far better than potential side effects.”

The report was published online in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Source: HealthDay

Fried Rice with Seafood in Po Kok Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups cooked rice
1 egg, beaten
6 shelled shrimp
200 g squid
6 mussels
1/2 onion, cut into strips
2 tbsp green peas, blanched

Cooked Rice Seasoning

2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt

Seafood Marinade

1/3 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sesame oil
dash ground white pepper

Po Kok Sauce

2 tbsp chopped shallot
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 tsp each of salt, sugar and chicken broth mix
1 tbsp cornstarch

Method

  1. Remove intestines from shrimp and rinse. Clean squid, cut criss-cross pattern, then cut into pieces. Rinse mussels, then mix seafood with marinade.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok, lightly fry beaten egg until semi-set. Add rice and toss to combine. Sprinkle in seasonings and stir-fry to mix together. Transfer to the serving plate.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil, stir-fry seafood. Add onion and green peas. Stir-fry together, remove and set aside.
  4. Heat another 2 tbsp oil, sauté first three sauce ingredients until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the sauce thickens. Return seafood and vegetables to the sauce and mix to combine. Pour over fried rice to serve.

Source: Rice and Noodles


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