We take it for granted that pets are miracle workers for your health. In print, on TV and online, pets get credit for reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, reducing stroke risk and even extending our lives. If you’re a pet lover, you’ve probably shared a few of those articles on your social media accounts. As exciting and as affirming as those stories are, there’s a lot we don’t know about how animals affect their human companions. This episode of HealthConnections, includes what we know and don’t know about the human-animal bond.Read More
When you hear the word "mindfulness," what do you think about? A yoga studio, perhaps. Someone sitting, legs crossed, eyes closed, ommmmming their way to enlightenment. Or maybe something strange and unfamiliar. Specific definitions can vary, but in a general sense mindfulness is the experience of living through a moment free of distraction. Experiencing something without your mind veering off to some other tangent - which happens more often than you might think. And it doesn't necessarily require special techniques.Read More
A 2017 survey showed more than half of Americans take prescription drugs. If you’re one of them, you probably know prescriptions can be very expensive. But that’s not the case in other industrialized nations. What makes the U.S. different, and how can national leaders address the growing cost of prescription drugs?Read More
New Year's Day is the only major holiday dedicated to the passage of time. And just like clockwork, New Year's Day is when many Americans think about making big changes. Losing weight, quitting smoking, getting more organized - new year's resolutions are easy to make, but hard to maintain. Most people that make resolutions fail to keep them. That can feel like a personal failure, but it doesn't have to.
On this edition of HealthConnections, we kick off 2019 with a look at how the brain reacts to new year's resolutions, how habits form, and how to change those habits in the new year.Read More
The 116th Tennessee General Assembly convenes next month. Some of the decisions legislators make will affect health and healthcare in the state. What's ahead for the uninsured? How will lawmakers address opioid abuse? And what kind of changes are needed to improve Tennessee's poor health rankings? Dr. Carole Myers asks those questions, and others, of our guest, Dr. Richard Briggs.Read More
You can't teach an old dog new tricks, the saying goes. And for many years, people believed the brain was pretty much set in adulthood, unreceptive to change, growth and adaptation. We now know that's not strictly true. While not nearly as flexible as youthful brains, adults' grey matter can still be stretched and toned, just like a muscle.Read More
The flu feels familiar, doesn't it? It comes around every year, mainly in the winter. Most of us have had it at least once in our lives. And every year, we get the same admonition to get a flu shot. It all seems pretty routine.
But it isn't, really. More than 30,000 Americans were hospitalized for the illness during the 2017-18 flu season. And because flu strains mutate and evolve, there's no guarantee that healthy people won't catch it.Read More
Conversations about health care and health policy are, unsurprisingly, characterized by divisions common to the current political climate. But one area of common ground is care for those with pre-existing conditions.Read More