3 Things You Must Know About Water

Dr. Thornburg Wellness Original Content Written By Dr. Cade Copeland

Few things are more refreshing than a cold glass of ice water on a hot day in Florida.

 

But, reaching for the tap water isn’t really an option.  And is that bottle of water you’re buying any better?

 

Home water filtration systems are exploding in popularity, but many of them are only attempting to correct one of the points we make below.  Make sure you get a well rounded view of everything water related.

 

1. Filtration – bacteria, cysts, industrial chemicals like chlorine and fluoride are just a small part of the battle against poor water quality.    But, i t isn’t just about getting the bad stuff out, it’s also about keeping the good stuff in.    Some systems like reverse osmosis do a great job of getting rid of all the bad, but it leaves water in a “dead” state without a proper electrolyte balance.  If finding another filter isn’t in the works, just “remineralize” your water to bring the good back in with either a pinch of pink salt and a squeeze of lemon or specific remineralization drops from your local health food store.

 

2. pH – have you ever tried to take care of a fish tank or a swimming pool…it’s tough work!  There needs to be delicate attention to detail in terms of pH, a scale that measures acidity (like lemon juice) or alkalinity (like baking soda).  Going to far one way or the other with water (or food, supplements or medications) drives inflammation and disorganization into our tissue and requires much more energy from our body to maintain homeostasis.  For example, products that recommend water too far away from balance in the alkaline state can change stomach acidity, creating digestive issues over long term use.  Again, our body’s ecosystem and pH levels require attention and the focus needs to be on balance.  You can have a fun experiment with you kiddos using these cheap test strips.

 

3. Structure – every snowflake has a different and unique shape.  How can that be if water is only hydrogen and oxygen?  Well, there is a little more to it actually and with the “shape” of our water too.  Energy in the form of vibration, cell phone signals, WiFi, sound and more can influence the structure of our drinking water.  A simple recommendation: say a blessing over your water.  Studies have shown the energy and vibration of your words and intent create a change in the structure (and the water’s ability to permeate the cellular membrane of our tissues).  Considering adults are 60% water and kiddos are up to 75%, this means that your words can go a long way.  Look into Masaro Emoto’s water crystal pictures for some extra credit, it’s seriously amazing!

 

While the focus above is on drinking water, it is worth noting that some research has shown a hot shower causes the pores to open and the skin to absorb more unwanted chemicals than drinking an entire week’s worth of tap water.

 

What about our kiddos in the bathtub?  What about the hot water encouraging the plastic fish, foam alphabet and rubber ducky to leach off into the water?  What happens as the chemicals lurking in the water, the toys and the personal care products mix into a “toxic soup”…is there anybody testing that?  You can read more about the plasticizers, chemical foaming agents, shelf stable preservatives and toxin fragrances in our everyday life in the book Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie.

 

Opening our eyes to the impact of our daily habits as parents is tough.  We’ll never be perfect.  But with each decision (whether we are aware or not) moves the needle of health closer to wellness or closer to sickness.  Knowledge is power, but knowledge without action is useless.  Join our Facebook page and Dr. Thornburg Wellness Newsletter to learn how other families are making a difference in their health.

 

Dr. Thornburg Wellness is honored to give you confidence for your family’s health and we appreciate you being a part of our mission of Bringing Healthcare Home. We invite you to check back in with us in the weeks ahead as we launch a new store dedicated to providing families with products that support generational health and wellness.

More About the Author:

Dr. Cade Copeland is a husband of 12 years, father of 3 little ones (with another on the way) and a practicing physician for 8 years. He believes that no matter what symptom, diagnosis or label a person carries, the focus should be to build upon what is right and not on what is wrong. He is a welcomed, articulate and well-educated guest blogger at Dr. Thornburg Wellness.

Backseat Mishaps

 

Have you ever seen the sharp line between fresh and salt water when a river and the ocean meet? You can see the clear blue of the sea and the muddy brown of the river pressed up against each other, both inherently refusing to commingle with the other. Each has their differing chemistries and clear differences. The same is true for the front seat of a car and the backseat when you have a toddler.

The front seat is understandable and logical; the rules are certain. You feel peace and clarity sitting in the front. The toddler’s backseat is quite different with its illogical and impulsive murky rules of decorum. You can poop in your pants, vomit, smash food into the seat fabric, scribble on everything, feed your rear-facing 2-month-old sibling M&Ms, punch your sister several times and act innocent when mom turns around at the crying, and make deals with each other with the same ethics as a Chicago gangster. Anything goes.

But sometimes the backseat is dangerous. In the past month, two children in my practice found drugs in their mother’s purse and consumed them. A 4-year old injected his mother’s EpiPen into his thigh and had to go to the hospital for monitoring for several hours. A 15-year old found her mother’s homemade brownies, ate some and learned they weren’t just brownies. And earlier this year a 5-year old opened the door of a moving car and fell out. Fortunately, all three (and the parents) are fine and wiser for the time.

Here is some genuine Wise Guy advice to help forego the firsthand experiential OMG abyss.

1) Fundamentals. Rear-facing car seats until age 2 or outgrow seat, forward-facing car seat from age 2 to 5, booster seat from age 5 up until seat belts fit properly, and seat belts when lap belts lay across the upper thighs (not stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck). Parents and caregivers lead by example.

2) Simple living. All manner of things make their way into our purses and man bags over time. The bigger the bag the more we stuff into them. It’s time for an honest and fearless bag inventory.

3) Frisking. Your inquisitive little one has the swift hands of a magician. Give your kids a maximum-security prison level pat down before putting them in the car. My mom used to sneak in a breath check and pat down with her hugs before my friends and I would leave the house on weekends during high school.

4) Shakedowns. A child can choke on something inside a vehicle and children put everything in their mouth. Check the nooks and crannies of your backseat for

potentially dangerous objects, old goldfish crackers, and old french-fries that can be repurposed as a shank.

5) Diversions. Car safety also means being able to drive free of distractions from the back seat. You can repurpose a shoe organizer stocked with activities and safe toys to put distractions at your child’s fingertips.

6) Lockdowns. There is a stage when children are too young to open a door then one day out of the blue they do it. Engage the child locks early, like at conception, because the first few days months years are a blur.

7) Heat stroke. A child can begin to suffer life-threatening symptoms of heatstroke within minutes. A child’s body temperature rises 3-5 times faster than an adult.

8) Car Theft. Vehicles are stolen with children alone inside quite frequently, even in safe neighborhoods. Most of the time the thief doesn’t realize there is a child in the back seat until they are already gone in the vehicle.

9) Power Windows. Power windows have killed or injured thousands of children. It takes 22 pounds of force to suffocate or injure an infant while power windows can exert an upward force of 30-80 pounds of force.

10) Into Gear. Every year hundreds of children are hospitalized or even killed after accidentally setting a car into motion. It can be done without the car on and without a foot on the break.

 

Sources:

http://www.kidsandcars.org/files/2013/07/Other-Dangers-fact-sheet.pdf http://lifehacker.com/9-tricks-to-protect-your-car-from-your-kids-while-kee-1685400638 https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/child_passenger_safety/cps-factsheet.html

The Most Popular Course in Harvard History

 

Tal Ben-Shahar, a Ph.D. from Harvard University, taught the most popular course in Harvard history.  Some refer to his course as Happiness 101, but it is actually Psychology 1504, “Positive Psychology.”   

Ben-Shahar says, “People are looking for ideas that will help them to lead better lives.” Depression and anxiety are reaching epidemic proportions across all industrialized countries. Suicide rates surged to a 30 year high last year.  We are checking our emails every moment of the day.  We are constantly tied to our professional and social media networks.  Our work days grow longer, our tasks more complicated, the pace of work is accelerating.  Competition is on the rise for professionals and students alike.  Students especially are having to contend with higher expectations and fewer prospects.  

This is not your father’s psychology class.  Positive Psychology hones in on themes like flow, optimism, resilience, courage, virtues, energy, flourishing, strengths, happiness, curiosity, meaning, subjective well-being, forgiveness, and joy.

Harvard Professor of Psychology George Vaillant explains, that the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, the clinical “bible” of psychiatry and clinical psychology, “has 500,000 lines of text. There are thousands of lines on anxiety and depression, and hundreds of lines on terror, shame, guilt, anger, and fear. But there are only five lines on hope, one line on joy, and not a single line on compassion, forgiveness, or love.”

The mind healers of the past were singularly focused on where humans went wrong, how we responded to pain and pleasure, on flaws and weaknesses, and depraved behavior.  We were in Freud’s view struggling to keep it together under the torment of deep, dark drives.  It was the job of the psychologist to work with pain because it was thought our minds could not face these issues alone.

This is not Tal Ben-Shahar’s message or approach.  Positive Psychology rests on looking at personal strengths, building competencies, seeking pleasure, pursuing happiness, growing your potential, and leveraging creative tension.  Positive Psychology aims to ground concepts from a generation of self-help humanistic psychology with research and reason.

Their lab experiments might seek to define not the conditions that induce depraved behavior, but those that foster generosity, courage, creativity, and laughter. Their departure point for achieving greater happiness is not in addressing humanity’s flaws, but to focus on people’s strengths and virtues.

He also works at bringing research from the ivory tower to a more accessible place where it can be applied by real people.  “Most people do not read the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.  In fact, one of my colleagues at Harvard did a study, and he estimated that the average journal article is read by seven people. And that includes the author’s mother.”  

With the hope of reaching more than seven readers here are Tal Ben-Shahar’s 5 Tips for Flourishing and Happiness:

1. Accept painful emotions as part and parcel of being alive.  When we open ourselves up to being human, that is to say invite the entire gamut of human emotion, then we open the door to all the positive emotions, too.

2. Stop texting while you are with your friends.  A very big predictor of well-being is time affluence.  The time we have to sit down and be with our friends.

3. Exercise!  3 times a week of 30-40 minutes of exercise is as powerful as some of the most powerful drugs in dealing with sadness, depression, or anxiety.  

4. Express your gratitude daily–in writing.  People who write down 3 to 5 things for which they feel grateful (big things or little things) are happier, more optimistic, more successful, more likely to achieve their goals, physically healthier (strengthens your immune system), and are more generous and benevolent to others.

5. Simplify.  Do less rather than more.  We try to cram more and more things into less and less time.  We pay a price in the quality of our work, and in the quality of our relationships.

Top Ten Things To Remember This Summer

10. Don’t leave your children in the car, ever.

Thirty-seven children die each year of heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. It can happen to anyone. TIPS: Have your daycare call you if your child doesn’t arrive. Leave one of your shoes in the back seat.

09. If a child is not old enough to communicate that he/she is hot, or thirsty, then they should not be outside.

Babies are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke. Their bodies still have difficulty regulating temperature. Signs of heat-stroke include; hot but not sweating, hot red dry skin, rapid pulse, restlessness, confusion, dizziness, vomiting, rapid shallow breathing, lethargy. TREATMENT: Move to a cool area immediately (shade or indoors). Remove clothing and wipe you baby with a damp cloth while fanning them. May consider cool bath to bring the temperature down. Go to doctor or emergency room if not improving.

08. Stroller + Blanket = Furnace.

Covering your stroller with a blanket can cause poor air circulation, increased temperatures, and difficulty seeing the status of your child. TIPS: Consider carrying a parasol or umbrella to block the sun. Look for strollers that have large canopies and incorporate netted material to allow air to flow.

07. Big ‘No!’ to jumping in muddy puddles. This is not an episode of Peppa Pig.

Stagnant, or standing water, is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, host to all manner of pathogens, bacteria, protozoa, and helminth (parasitic worms), and can often be contaminated with chemical and biological toxins. TIPS: Educate your children about microbial life with a microscope and water samples.

06. Mosquitos are the most dangerous animals in the world.

Mosquitoes carry West Nile, Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, parasites, and more. In other parts of the world Dengue and Malaria are common. Pregnant women and their sexual partners should avoid areas where Zika is spreading.

Insect repellent is the best way to avoid mosquito bites. DEET was developed by the U.S. Army in 1946 and is still effective. The CDC recommends 10%-30% DEET for children older than 2 months of age. The effectiveness is similar but higher DEET lasts longer (10% = 2 hours, 30% = 5 hours). Although, the EPA and CDC endorse DEET as safe scientists have recently suggested the DEET may be linked to seizures and neurological damage in a laboratory environment.

Oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol (PMD), is a natural alternative. Important to note that oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD) is a highly refined and intensified product that is far more concentrated than the natural oil from the same plant. Oil of lemon eucalyptus (PMD) carries a label that warns, “Do not use on children under the age of 3.”

Finally, Picaridin was created by Bayer in the 1980s as a synthetic compound from a plant extract related to the black pepper family. It was available in Europe since 1998 and in the US since 2005. Picaridin has been found to be as effective as DEET, but due to its relative newness,  we have yet to understand long term health effects on humans.

05. Repellent, showers, and tick checks can stop ticks.

A handful of viruses, parasites, and bacteria are carried by ticks and all of them are on the rise. There were 115 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Florida in 2015 up from 85 in 2014. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass. Walk in the center of trails. Wear hats, use insect repellent (DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus), apply permethrin on clothing. Shower after coming indoors and perform a body check including under arms, in and around ears, and especially the hair. Place outerwear directly into the dryer on high for 10-15 minutes to kill any ticks brought into the house on clothes.

04. Playgrounds: Stay Vigilant.

Beware of molten lava slides that have been baking in the summer sun all day. Give slides a hand check before allowing your littles to put their delicate skin down. Consider visiting a playground with more shade, or a splash area, for a special park day.

Each year in the U.S. emergency departments treat more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger for playground related injuries. More than 20,000 of these children are treated for traumatic brain injury including concussions. The majority of children are between 5-9 years old. Swings and slides are most dangerous to 0-4 year olds.

03. Lightning is hotter than the surface of the sun and it will hunt you down.

Lightning kills 47 people in the U.S. each year with hundreds more that are severely injured. There is no safe place outside when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder you are likely within striking distance and it is time to go indoors. Lightning can travel through the electrical and plumbing of your house, so avoid devices that are plugged into the wall and hold off on showers.

If you cannot get to safety, you can slightly lessen the threat of being struck, but don’t kid yourself– you are NOT safe outside. Avoid open fields, tops of hills and ridges. Stay away from tall isolated trees, or other tall objects. If you are in a group spread out to avoid the current traveling between members. Avoid water, wet items, and metal objects. Get to a vehicle if possible.

02. Drowning can happen in an instant.

On average 9 people die from drowning every day in the U.S. Drowning is most common for children 5 and under, but is the second leading cause of death for people age 5-24. Don’t go into the water unless you know how to swim. Never swim alone. Learn CPR. Make sure the body of water matches your skill level. Don’t fight currents, stay calm and float with it, or swim parallel to the shore until you can swim free. Swim in areas supervised by a lifeguard. Don’t dive in unfamiliar areas. Never drink alcohol when swimming. Talk to your teens about alcohol. Alcohol is involved in about half of all male teen drownings.

01. Avoid grizzly bears

“All the books tell you that if the grizzly comes for you, on no account should you run. This is the sort of advice you get from someone who is sitting at a keyboard when he gives it. Take it from me, if you are in an open space with no weapons and a grizzly comes from you, run. You may as well. If nothing else, it will give you something to do with the last seven seconds of your life.” — Bill Bryson

What can vulnerability teach us about the future of work? – Special Guest Writer: Monica Parker

(Article Published on Thornburg Pediatrics Blog with the generous permission of Monica Parker)

 

Alongside technological advances, our society is changing rapidly. What do those changes mean for the future of work? Hatch Analytics founder Monica Parker has some idea.

Fun fact: we’re only born afraid of two things – loud noises and falling. Sort of strange, when you think of it. But, in truth, our brains at birth are something of a tabula rasa. A blank slate. Some scientists posit that we aren’t even born knowing how to love, that circuitry only being triggered in our limbic system by our mother’s first caress. But, from those first crying breaths, we know our brains begin to learn. And much of what we learn is what to fear.

Fast forward to adulthood and we fear so much. Deepest set among those fears is the fear of change.

When futurists pull out their crystal ball and talk about the future of work, I find much of the discussion to be doom and gloom. ‘Our world is becoming increasingly chaotic’, they say. It’s more volatile. Uncertainty reigns supreme. In fact, we can never really ‘know’ anything, as increasing ambiguity gives life to everything from fake news to alternative facts. These elements have become known as the VUCA world – a world that is more volatile, uncertain, chaotic and ambiguous.

It was the US Army War College that coined the term, and management consultancies were fast to pick it up. Why the US Army may prefer a fear-based worldview is perhaps best left to a whiskey-fuelled debate, but I imagine it’s not a stretch to see why management consultancies are also all too happy to perpetuate it. (No doubt an excellent rationale for needing their services.)

With the development of this innocuous acronym, and folks all too willing to socialize it, we’re all meant to feel less safe and more overwhelmed by change spiraling out of our control.

Much of the artificial intelligence (AI) and automation debate seems to play into this VUCA mindset. Google headlines about AI and you’ll see the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates and Steven Hawking warning us of the impending AI apocalypse.  My response? Don’t believe the hype.

For starters, I think it’s an inherently negative world view, but also, I just don’t think it’s accurate. Don’t get me wrong – there is no doubt the pace of change is greater, maybe even unprecedented, but the assumption that it will lead to the end of days seems unfounded.

Technology and automation have been drivers for change for centuries. The language being used today to describe the future of automation and AI is strikingly similar to that used 100 years ago. (Socrates even objected to the new-fangled invention of his time – writing – claiming it would damage memory and fail to impart information with sufficient depth.)

In fact, 85pc of the jobs held in 1900 no longer existed in 2000. And this trend will certainly continue. 65pc of kindergarten-aged kids will work in jobs that haven’t been invented yet, and a kid that age will have 16 jobs in nine industries over the course of their life. In the OECD, 70pc of young people will enter the labour market in jobs that will be lost to automation in the next 10 to 15 years.

When I hear stats like these, I can’t help but think ‘skills gap’. But if the jobs haven’t been invented yet, what skills do we train them for?

Some would say coding. But do they need to code? I don’t think so. I’ll date myself by saying I did not understand how to program my VCR 10 years ago, and now my TV does it for me. They say computers will be coding themselves in a decade. What I believe is that it’s not the technical skills we need to be preparing people for. Rather, it’s the very skills that make us more human.

The skill we most need? Change management. And I’m not talking about that burning platform, quick wins, top-down rubbish. I’m talking about change management that helps us withstand the sort of big, fat, hairy existential change that transforms people, planets, systems. Because, just in the same way ‘business as usual’ working models aren’t sufficient to face a world of rapid transformation, neither will the old models of change.

So, I have a different, more positive VUCA world I want us to live in. My VUCA is one where we cultivate the change management skills of vulnerability, unlearning, curiosity and awe.

Vulnerability

If kids are going to have 16 jobs in nine industries – some of those job changes coming involuntarily – they’re going to need to be resilient. Now, the word resiliency has a few different connotations, several of which mean tough or impenetrable. But, if you’ve seen Brené Brown’s TED talk, you know that the single biggest contributing factor towards resiliency is vulnerability. Regrettably, vulnerability is not a quality particularly honoured in the corporate world. And certainly not in the male world, where suicide is the biggest killer of young men under the age of 35. Cultivating a culture of vulnerability will help us manage intense change.

Unlearning

This one might sound odd, but even Yoda said ‘you must unlearn what you have learned’. So what did he mean by that? He means that some of the knowledge you ‘know’ to be true may not be true, and could be blocking your vision to new thinking. Galileo helped us unlearn that the world was flat. What other flat-earth ‘truths’ might be obstructing our ability to change our perspective?

Curiosity

Did you know that curiosity actually changes the chemistry of your brain? In a 2014 study from UC Davis, when participants were shown questions that interested them, parts of their brains associated with dopamine release became active. But what’s really interesting is that when people were shown the answers, their hippocampus was triggered, which allowed for the information to be embedded in long-term memory. This means that cultivating a sense of curiosity will help us process and embed greater amounts of information more quickly. Look no further than to Leonardo da Vinci, so convinced with the curiosity and dream of flight that he talked of tasting it. Curiosity unlocks not just adaptability and learning, but hope.

Awe

Scientists at UC Berkeley say that awe is the most profoundly beneficial emotion from a physical and psychological sense. People who regularly experience awe have greater humility, curiosity, innovation, happiness and desire to contribute to the world. And yet, from Hatch Analytics research, we know that 71pc of people don’t even take time out of their workday for fear of being seen as skiving. If people can’t take time from their workday to even think, how can they ever cultivate a goosebump-inducing sense of awe?

Look, I’m not as clever as Elon Musk, Bill Gates or Steven Hawking, so I’ll choose to selectively follow them. While Hawking did say he believed AI could be the end of humanity, he also said that AI is a magnifier. And that, as a tool created by humans to solve human problems, AI could act as a magnifier to all good human intention.

I love that image.

Rather than give in to the very old-fashioned notion of an apocalyptic technology scenario, let’s imagine a world where a quality such as vulnerability is revered and cultivated. A world where our sacred cows can be slayed in the name of adaptive thinking. A world where the altar to the cult of overwork crumbles under the weight of curiosity and awe. A world where we trade our fear of falling with our dream of flying.

That’s my future of work, and I’m sticking with it.