Shocking “Medication” 85% Of Subjects Feel Less Pain In New Study..And...What If Happiness Was Predetermined ?

Arc4life's May 2008 Newsletter- Pain Meds and Happiness
Today Blog comes directly from Arc4life's May 2008 eNewsLetter : The Healthy Back and Neck
What if you could take a "pain medication" that made 85% of subjects in a recent study feel less pain?
And, what if this "pain medication" was 100% natural and had no side effects whatsoever?

But that's not all... What if this "pain medication" was absolutely 100% FREE! That's right - there is an unlimited supply and you can take as much as you want... whenever you want.

Would You Want To Give This "Pain Medication" A Try?

I bet you would. Who in their right mind wouldn't? And in just a minute, you are going to find out all the details. But first, let's talk about...


There are books, CDs, DVDs, live seminars and more that claim to teach people how to be "happier. "
Many spend their entire life pursuing this elusive... and very subjective.. goal.

A growing body of evidence is beginning to suggest that much of our "happiness" may be out of our control.

In one recent study, researchers at the University of Edinburgh propose genes account for about 50% of a person's level of happiness. Study co-author, Timothy Bates believes the underlying factor is genetically determined personality traits like "being sociable, active, stable, hardworking and conscientious. " Interestingly, these happiness traits generally come as a package, so that if you have one you're likely to have them all.

After reviewing survey date from 973 pairs of adult twins, Bates and his Edinburgh colleagues discovered, on average, a pair of identical twins shared more personality traits than a pair of non-identical twins.

When asked how happy they were, identical twins' answers were more alike than non-identical twins, suggesting that both happiness and personality have a strong genetic component. The study, published in Psychological Science, went one step further: it suggests that personality and happiness do not merely coexist, but that, in fact, innate personality traits cause happiness.

Why You Don't Want To Be 44

Another larger study, released in January ahead of its publication in Social Science & Medicine in March, shows that whatever people's individual happiness levels are, everyone seems to fall into a pattern of happiness governed by their age. According to survey data representing 2 million people in more than 70 countries, happiness typically follows a U-shaped curve: among people in their mid-40s and younger, happiness trends downward with age, then climbs back up among older people. (That shift doesn't necessarily hold for the very old with severe health problems.) Throughout the world – people tend to be less happy in their 40s than when they are younger or older; 44 seems to be the "black hole" of unhappiness. But, at least things don't just continue getting worse.

Here's an interesting item: neither very good events, nor very bad events seem to change people's happiness much in the long term. Most people, it seems, revert back to some kind of baseline happiness level within a couple years of even the most devastating events, like the death of a spouse or loss of limbs.

Optimism Is A Good Thing

The research also found most people consider themselves happy most of the time and consider themselves happier than most other people. Optimism is definitely a good thing!

Ok... want to hear about that pain medication now? Here it goes...

In a study published March 5th in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers discovered people given identical pills got greater pain relief from the pills they were told cost $2.50 than from pills supposedly costing 10 cents.

So what? Well it just so happens that in this study, which was funded by MIT, 82 volunteers were asked to rate the intensity of electric shocks administered to their wrists before and after they received a dummy pain pill.

Test subjects did not know they received a placebo. Rather, they were told the pill was a new opioid pain killer similar to codeine but faster-acting. Each participant received a colorful brochure touting the drug as –an exciting new medication– that could provide –up to 8 hours– of pain relief.

In the past, placebos have been shown to alleviate mild to modest pain. Scientists believe the anticipation of pain relief triggers the release of endorphins opiate–like substances produced by the body.

The researchers, in the MIT funded study, wanted to see if price – a signal of quality – could amplify or reduce the placebo effect.

Half of the study participants were told the drug had a regular price of $2.50 a pill. The remaining subjects were told that the new medication had been discounted to 10 cents a pill. No explanation was given for the price cut.

In the findings, 85% of subjects who received regular-priced pills reported feeling less pain after taking the dummy medication, compared with 61% of those who received the supposedly discounted pills, researchers said.
Are you getting this? 85% of people who received and perceived expensive “ dummy medication” experienced relief. And 61% got relief from the cheap “ dummy medication. ” No matter how you look at it – 85% and 61% of people felt less pain simply because they believed they were going to get relief.
The perception of the pain medication being expensive makes it more believable – and, therefore, more effective.

And let's be clear on this: BOTH GROUPS RECEIVED “ DUMMY MEDICATIONS. ” No one actually received pain medication!
For example: Previous studies have shown that price has a powerful impact on the psychology of consumers.

Researchers at CalTech reported in January that expensive wine was experienced as being more pleasant-tasting than identical wine that supposedly cost less.

In another experiment, researchers found that people given inexpensive energy drinks felt more tired and worked out less than those who received identical energy drinks that cost more.

It seems to be clear that the mind plays a HUGE factor in controlling pain and in many other health issues, as well.
The only question left is: How do you control your mind to relieve pain and possibly cure disease?

Read More of May 2008: Arc4life's Healthy Back and Neck eNewsletter
-In this Issue-
  1. Article - Shocking “Medication” 85% Of Subjects Feel Less Pain In New Study...
    And...What If Happiness Was Predetermined ?

  2. Inspirational quote-
  3. Health Tip of the month- 16 Interesting, Amusing And Even A Little Scary Health Facts
  4. Testimonial of the month - Neck Stretcher: Pronex Pneumatic Traction Unit for the cervical Spine
  5. Featured product -T.e.n.s Units and how they help muscle spasms

    May Sale: $5 off on T.E.N.S Unit + FREE BIOFREEZE 4 oz tube
    *** Use Discount Code Arc4Life5 Expires 05/31/2008

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Help with Headaches: Moist Heat

Today I want to share another tip about tension headaches - how simply using moist heat can give you pain relief

You can use a damp towel heated in a microwave, or a microwavable heat pack, to get your moist heat pack going. It can do wonders to get rid of a tension headache. Moist heat works by increasing blood flow to the back of the head.

If you've got chronic tension headaches, it supplies blood to the back of the head by way of auxiliary blood vessels, as the primary blood vessels are most likely partially pinched off due to muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders and/or upper back.

It also aids in loosening up tight muscles, thereby relieving the pinching of primary the blood vessels somewhat.

I also recommend using moist heat before and after our soft-tissue treatment, which is the cornerstone of our "How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches"program. The reason is that moist heat will loosen up the muscles to be treated, making for a more effective session.

And using it afterward helps aid recovery of the muscles.

The great thing about moist heat is you can use it as often as you like. The only negative with using moist heat as an aid for tension headaches, is that it only addresses the symptoms
- it does nothing to get rid of scarred down muscle spasms
- but it does address symptoms holistically.

To get more information about Tension Headaches read: How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches. It will give you several easy-to-follow stretches to do that gradually retrain your muscles to adapt to a proper posture.


Why is Slouching so bad?

How often have you been told that you are slouching? That you should straighten up?

Well, When it comes to preventing tension headaches, perhaps they were giving you excellent advise.

Why is slouching so bad?slouching and how it can contribute to your tension headache

A Slouching position puts pressure on your bones, thereby causing discs to become compressed and making you vulnerable to back pain. Also, it causes your pelvic muscles to go slack, which makes it progressively harder to support a well-aligned stance.

Nerves in your neck get pinched as well, causing tight muscles...and tension headaches.

In addition, this posture can cause other problems:

  1. it can lead to incorrect head positioning that can cause improper spine function

  2. your head in this forward posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on your cervical spine

  3. forward-head posture causes a loss of vital lung capacity, by as much as 30 percent, which can lead to heart and vascular problems

  4. your entire gastrointestinal system can be adversely affected (evacuation problems are common with people who have a forward-head posture)

  5. forward-head posture leads to unsightly hunchingforward head posture and it contribution to tension headaches

How to check to make sure your posture is normal:

  • Stand in front of a full-length mirror and assume your usual stance.
  • Are your shoulders somewhat rounded?
  • Is your pelvis rotated back? Is your head jutted out?
    If so, pull your shoulders back, tuck your pelvis forward and make sure your head's not jutted out (I'll bet you look taller now!).
  • Now turn sideways. What you want is to be able to draw an imaginary vertical line that goes straight through your ear, shoulder, hip, back of your knee and ankle.
  • To be more precise, you can use string and weight. What you do is attach a pair of scissors to a six-foot length of twine (longer if you're really tall). Have someone hold the free end of the string just above your ear and let the scissors rest on the floor.

If this exercise shows that you're out of alignment, correct your stance using the string as a guide. Now, simply remember the feeling and adjust your stance whenever you sense that you're posture's out of whack.

You should also check for a proper sitting posture, especially if you spend most of your days at a computer terminal or other job that forces you to sit a lot.

If you're like many people, you probably often cross your legs while you lean forward. You may well find that your head is often jutted out toward your computer screen, which results in your shoulders being rounded and your back being stretched out.

To break these habits, follow these simple tips to have proper posture while sitting:

  • Sit up straight - in other words, assume the military
    position: shoulders back, head up, chest out, stomach tight
  • Get a good chair with back support
  • Bring your work surface closer to you
  • Take several breaks during the day to perform a series of stretching and isometric exercises (these can be done sitting or standing)

a. With your hands behind your back, gently pull your shoulders back and maintain this position for one to three minutes

b. Turn your head halfway to the right (or left), then drop your head forward until you feel slight tension. Let the weight of your head gently stretch the neck muscles. Go slowly - no pain! Hold this position for up to two minutes, then turn to the opposite side and repeat.

Remember, an ounce of prevention - in this case, good sitting and standing posture - is worth a pound of cure...especially when we're talking about tension headaches.

To get more information about Tension Headaches read: How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches. It will give you several easy-to-follow stretches to do that gradually retrain your muscles to adapt to a proper posture.


The Real Cost of Headaches- Lost time from work, family and fun

Did you know that headaches are nearly epidemic in the United States? Don't just take my word for it. Consider the following statistics:

  • The National Headache Foundation says up to 45 million Americans suffer from repeated tension headaches. (Forbes Magazine, June 8, 2004)

  • According to Dr. Ellen Drexler, director of the Headache Center at Maimonides Medical Center in New York City, chronic daily headaches afflict 4 to 5 percent of the American population. (July 14, 2004 interview in Healthscout)

  • About half of the people in the world who suffer from a headache don't get any treatment, according to the World Health Organization, which also says that more than 80 percent of adult women and two-thirds of adult men suffer from headache disorders. (July 14, 2004, Atlanta Journal Constitution)

  • Americans spend over $4 billion annually on over-the-counter drugs and therapies for chronic headaches. Muscle tension accounts for about 90 percent of all headaches. (Health and Fitness Magazine, July 8, 2004)

  • One in eight American workers is in pain and losing productive time at work, costing U.S. businesses an estimated $61.2 billion annually, with headaches being the most common type of pain, according to a November, 2003 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association. (Reuters, Nov. 11, 2003)

  • A Cleveland-based study in 2004 found that over 20 percent of 680 children and adolescents involved in that study overused such pain relievers as acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Overuse was described by Dr. A. David Rothner of the Children's Hospital at the Cleveland Clinic as taking these medications at least three times a week for six weeks. (Cleveland Plain Dealer on June 12, 2004).

  • According to Dr. Rothner, children under the age of 19 shouldn't use aspirin because it puts them at risk of Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disorder. Other risks of overusing over-the-counter pain relievers include kidney failure, liver problems, intestinal and stomach bleeding, and occasional headaches becoming chronic, Rothner said. (Reuters, June 10, 2004)

  • Women get more headaches than men, and people with advanced degrees suffer more often from tension headaches than the less educated, according to the a
    1998 study by the John Hopkins University School of Public Health

  • Americans make more visits to non-conventional healers (some 600 million visits a year) than they do to medical doctors and spend more money out-of-pocket o do so - about $30 billion annually. (Newsweek Dec. 2,2002)

To get more information about Tension Headaches read: How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches. It will give you several easy-to-follow stretches to do that gradually retrain your muscles to adapt to a proper posture.


An exercise stretch to keep tension headaches AWAY!!

Today I want to share a great stretch you can begin to prevent tension headaches. It is called the behind-the-back stretch. It can be completed in a sitting or standing position.

It's especially useful to do whenever you feel the back of your neck and upper back begin to tighten from having sat too long at your computer.

If you're going to sit, make sure you have a chair with backing that comes halfway up your back.

Hook your arms over the back of the chair and pull your shoulder blades together (if you're standing, assume the military position: head up, shoulders back, stomach tight).

As you do this, make sure to stick your chest out. As this is very important, you should exaggerate a bit - and make sure you keep your head up, too.

Pull your shoulder blades together until you feel a pull in your shoulder joints. Don't go overboard on this; you don't want to cause any pain.

Now hold this stretch for three full minutes (don't cheat and quit early; the length of this stretch is very important).

At the end of this stretch, you should feel your back muscles loosen; you may even feel a warm rush of blood up the back of your neck.

It is helpful to take many breaks throughout the day to perform this stretch - it will help in prevent tension headaches.

Read our series on Tension headaches:
What causes tension headaches
To get more information about Tension Headaches read: How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches. It will give you several easy-to-follow stretches to do that gradually retrain your muscles to adapt to a proper posture.


What Causes Tension Headaches?

In my next few blog entries I want to discuss a common type of headache: The Tension headache. Today I want to address the causes of Tension Headaches.

The Cause of tension headaches is usually tight and spasmed neck, shoulder and/or upper back muscles, which restrict blood flow to the back of the head - it's like stepping on a turned-on garden hose.

In addition, these tight and spasmed muscles irritate nerve endings in the back of the head.

The result: chronic tension headaches.

These neck, shoulder and/or upper back spasms and tightness associated with these spasms are usually a direct result of poor posture - especially poor posture in the workplace (although some kinds of trauma, like a car accident, can be responsible).

Let's say you work at a computer all day, or drive a truck, or work at a drill press in a factory. Chances are, you often find yourself working with your neck jutted out and shoulders rolled in.

When you stay in this posture all day, your neck, shoulders and/or upper back get stretched out. At the same time, your chest constricts, weakening its ability to hold your head upright.

This puts even more strain on your neck, shoulders and upper back, which eventually tighten. After awhile, this constant strain causes microscopic fibers in these muscles to tear. The body, in an effort to prevent this tearing, causes the affected muscles to knot up, or spasm.

Nevertheless, some tearing occurs within these spasms anyway. And when they heal, microscopic threads of scar tissue are left behind. When that happens, these scar tissues effectively lock the spasms in place.

At that point, the spasms can't release no matter how many painkillers or muscle relaxers you take. And since these spasms are continually restricting blood flow to the back of the head and irritating nerve endings there, chronic tension headaches develop.

The only way to get rid of the headaches is to get rid of the spasms, but you can't get rid of the spasms until you get rid of the scar tissue locking them in place.

And that's where the "How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches" program comes in. It takes you by the hand and teaches you a little-known soft-tissue technique (sort of like acupressure) that breaks down this scar tissue, allowing for the spasms to relax.

Once that happens, there's no more nerve ending irritation, no more blood flow restriction to the back of your head...and no more headaches.

Of course, the entire cycle will repeat itself unless the posture is corrected.

To get more information about Tension Headaches read: How to Get Permanent Relief From Chronic Tension Headaches. It will give you several easy-to-follow stretches to do that gradually retrain your muscles to adapt to a proper posture.


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