Features

Reiki: Life Force Healing

Spiritual healing therapies have been around since olden times. A therapy known as Reiki may have originated in the region of Tibet more than 2500 years ago, but Mikao Usui, a Japanese Buddhist, is credited with rediscovering the root method of Reiki. Reiki is a form of healing that utilizes life force energy that is transferred to others through the use of a practitioner’s palms, otherwise known as palm healing. By transferring this life force energy into others, it is thought to bring equilibrium back to those plagued by a variety of injuries and illnesses.

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Unsolved Mysteries: Did Anastasia Escape the Firing Squad That Annihilated Her Entire Family?

The Romanov family ruled Russia for more than 300 years. The last Russian czar, Nicholas II, had been in power for more than 23 years. However, in 1917, Russia’s belief in a ruling czar was well on its way to oblivion. The Russian economy was in shambles, in part due to the country’s involvement in World War I, which began in 1914 and had already claimed more than 1 million lives. The Bolshevik revolution, led by Lenin, had created a Red Army that was marching to seize power, while loyalists to the czar, called the White Army, were trying to fend off the coup.

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America’s First Real Superhero: The Debate Continues

When you think of a superhero, typically what comes to mind is a masked figure, maybe with a cape, usually muscular, and with at least some sort of superhuman ability. Take Superman, for example. Whereas he doesn’t wear a mask, he does sport a silly red cape, and has x-ray vision, super speed, and super strength. He is as super as a hero can get. But do all heroes have to wear an odd costume and possess cool powers to be considered super? What about the real superheroes who have led extraordinary lives throughout American history, staring hardship in the face, and rising above the rest to change the country for the better? These superheroes are the ones who have died leaving a legacy. They are household names even generations after their deaths and forever will be remembered for their accomplishments. So who was America’s first real superhero?

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Surgeon’s Medical License Suspended for “Sexting” During Surgery

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and moving how express and admirable, in action how like an angel...ah, never mind.

Dr. Arthur K. Zilberstein, a 47-year-old anesthesiologist licensed in the state of Washington since 1995, has had his medical license suspended after it was alleged that he had been sexting while on duty at his hospital, including during surgeries he was assigned to, among other digressions.

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Take It off; Take It All off: Nude Recreation Week Is Right Around the Corner

So what does one do without any clothes on?

Besides that.

Well, members of the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS) will soon kick off their shoes to participate in a national celebration called Nude Recreation Week.

Nude Recreation Week is an annual event held during the second week of July when members gather at hot spots across the country to celebrate the week-long happening. The slogan for AANR is “Feel the Freedom!” and the motto for TNS is “Naturists…Bare All.” (The term nudist has evolved into the term naturist to more closely encompass the values of TNS members.)

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Is It Time to Ditch the ‘Stache?

As the 1970s were ushered in, the 60s counterculture became mainstream. At that time, there was hardly a home without a lava lamp, mood rings, or at least a pet rock. America’s youth was dressing, speaking, and acting differently than previous generations. It was a time of sexual liberation for women and psychedelic experimentation. It was the era of free love, disco, and bellbottoms. Even in corporate America, one could find employees dressed in leisure suits and often sporting facial hair. Mustaches and beards could be seen in every walk of life. It was a veritable facial hair epidemic that swept across America through the 70s and into the 80s. Moustachery was in vogue and celebrities such as David Crosby, Billy Dee Williams, and Burt Reynolds wore them with pride.

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Fourth of July Injuries

Several years ago on July 4th, 13-year-old Shane was with his dad at a backyard fireworks show. When it was his turn to load a mortar into the launch tube, it exploded in his face. “The impact shattered his forehead, cracked his skull in half and burned most of his brain,” said Glenda Lynch, Shane’s mother. “We had to take him off life support.” Since the death of her son, Lynch has been an advocate for fireworks safety. According to the National Safety Council, Independence Day consistently ranks as America’s deadliest holiday. In fact, emergency rooms add staff on this day because so many people hurt themselves. But it’s not just fireworks that make the holiday so dangerous; it’s also the heat, drowning, and drunk driving that put people at risk.

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World Cup Witch Doctor?

Cristiano Ronaldo is considered by many to be the best soccer player in the world. He plays for Portugal’s national team in addition to playing professionally for Real Madrid, the Spanish soccer powerhouse. He was born Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro on February 5, 1985, in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, which is on a small island off the western coast of the country. Ronaldo was named after Ronald Reagan by his father. He currently earns approximately $80 million per year and is hailed as the new David Beckham.

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A Disease Scattered to the 4 Winds

In 2013, a mother arrived at a Texas clinic with her 4-year-old son in tow. Three weeks earlier, he had been diagnosed with ringworm and given an antifungal (griseofulvin), but he had recently stopped eating. Concerned about his loss of appetite, she patiently waited for a doctor to see her son. When the doctor finally saw them, she informed him that it had been 2 days since her son ate. He also had begun to develop a rash on his face, trunk, and extremities and had some nasal congestion and an occasional cough. The doctor conducted a physical exam on the boy but there was nothing extraordinary other than his presenting symptoms: a “sand paper–like” erythematous rash and reddish mucosal tissue in his mouth and throat. He wasn’t feverish, his cough was not persistent, and a rapid strep test was negative. Believing he had contracted a virus, the doctor sent him home to rest.

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Hanged for Murdering His Boozing, Philandering, Show Biz–Wannabe Wife

A bespectacled, unassuming man who stood only 5’ 3” tall, Hawley Harvey Crippen fulfilled his childhood interest in medicine by graduating from the University of Michigan School of Homeopathic Medicine in 1884, and then securing an MD from Cleveland’s Homeopathic Hospital.

After medical school, he moved to New York and got a job with a homeopathic pharmaceutical company run by a Dr. Munyon. Shortly afterward, he met and wed Charlotte Bell, a nurse, and the couple had a son, Otto. In 1892, Charlotte died suddenly of apoplexy (a former medical term for a stroke). Crippen couldn’t handle the stress of raising his son alone, so he persuaded his parents, who lived in California, to take total responsibility for the upbringing of his 2-year-old son.

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Doctor Blogs

Amy’s Choice

With prescription opiate and heroin abuse on the rise, young women battling addiction have a tough choice to make. More women of child-bearing age have to decide between weaning off methadone and relapsing or bringing a baby into this world addicted to opiates.

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Pediatrics

Are Wikipedia’s Medical Articles Unreliable?

Something seemed odd when I first read that 90% of medical articles on Wikipedia contained errors. The paper was from an obscure osteopathic school called Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

Like most abstracts you read, this one was a little fuzzy about the methods used. The top 10 most-costly medical conditions were identified, and a Wikipedia article for each was reviewed by 2 randomly assigned investigators.

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Best Job in the World

I have the absolute best job in the world. I am fortunate to be a family physician. Where else can you spend 10 hours a day talking with and listening to interesting people, potentially making a difference in each other’s lives and actually being paid well to do so? Entering family medicine, I had the idea that it would be the right fit for me, and indeed it has far exceeded my expectations. Whereas many other fields in medicine over the last 25 years have been more lucrative, I have no regrets having entered the field of family medicine. I graduated from medical school 21 years ago and have completed approximately 80,000 patient visits. I am one of the founding partners in a small group practice in suburban Rhode Island and a clinical faculty member for the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

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Medical Director, Medical Bag

MORE DOCTOR BLOGS

Smart Contact Lenses

Aimed at providing diabetes sufferers a means to monitor their blood sugar, the device reads chemicals in the tear fluid of the eye and warns the wearer if the levels are abnormal via embedded LED technology within the lenses themselves. Because human tears contain a variety of inorganic electrolytes, organic solutes, proteins, and lipids, such a device would provide a convenient platform for diagnosing and/or monitoring many health-related illnesses.

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Online Doctor Reviews and What You Can Do

One of the biggest changes wrought by Internet transparency is the ability of almost anyone to air both opinion and grievance to a wide audience. For physicians, and all other professionals in the field, this freedom has brought some challenges. Grievance, rather than praise, is more likely to motivate individuals to take to the web to make their comments public. Good reviews are expressed online, but don’t tend to carry as much weight as the cautionary tale. Angry patients often turn to the public and their peers online to register grievances, which in some cases can feel like character assassination.

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Prohibitive Costs of Medical School and Incurred Debt

Student debt is a concern in the US overall, with college costs increasing at a higher rate than inflation for decades now. The rate of tuition increase for medical schools has exceeded other areas of graduate education. Student loan indebtedness has risen right along with college costs, with the median debt at $170,000 for medical school graduates in 2012, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. They report that nearly 90% of medical students graduate in debt.

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Robotic Surgery in Space

It's 2025 and you're serving as medical officer on a crew traveling on the first manned spaceflight to Mars. You've trained for this mission for years, and NASA's doctors gave you a clean bill of health before you left on the 6-month trip to the Red Planet. You wake up on day 121 of the mission with a dull pain in your stomach that over several hours becomes sharper upon palpation in the right lower quadrant. You have no appetite and are feeling nauseated. You shrug it off as being the result of the freeze-dried chili you had for dinner the night before. But later in the day, you begin vomiting and are now running a fever of 101°F.

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Career Burnout: Reinvigorate or Change Your Medical Career

Job burnout is stressful. It causes a unique type of stress that includes mental and physical exhaustion. There are so many factors that can contribute to burnout on the job, including work-life imbalance, monotony, lack of resources, and a dysfunctional workplace, to name a few. A MedPage Today survey indicates that approximately 38% of doctors experience job burnout.

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Fact or Fiction: Do Doctor Dramas Accurately Portray Real Life in the ER?

In the pilot episode of Scrubs, JD gets his first emergency call after a patient's heart fails. He frantically runs toward the patient's room, but panics and instead hides inside a closet where he finds Elliot, who is also hiding from the adrenaline-fueled moment of saving someone's life. Meanwhile, the scene cuts to Turk, who is already at the patient's bedside, furiously rubbing the defibrillator's pads together before shocking him back to life. Stop right there. Did you catch the inaccuracy?

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Google Glass in Medicine

Google Glass hasn't really caught the attention of many people. There really isn't much enthusiasm surrounding the project due to the awkward design and the privacy concerns surrounding it, but Google's device does have some interesting uses. Google Glass is currently under beta testing and available through Google's "Explorers" program, where if you are selected, you are eligible to purchase the product at a cost of $1500.

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Specialties

Near-Death Experiences: More Real Than Real

Near-death experiences (NDEs) have been documented throughout time, the earliest dating back to Plato. Generally, they are stories told by people who were dying, or thought to be dying, and then returned to life healthy enough to describe their experience. Dream-like, out-of-body NDEs usually involve a tunnel of light, seeing loved ones who have passed away, a sensation of euphoria, and a mind-expanding journey. The recent documentation of NDEs has raised the question of whether human beings have souls or not. In most NDE cases, there is the sensation that people's souls have left their bodies. However, as our knowledge has advanced, many experts claim NDEs can be explained through neuroscience, dismissing the theory of a connection to the soul.

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Ozzy Osbourne and the Overprescribing Habits of Doctors

On August 17, 2003, rock legend Ozzy Osbourne was invited to Wrigley Field to sing Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the seventh-inning stretch of a Chicago Cubs game. What ensued was a garbled-up, unintelligible rendition of the famous song so bad that Osbourne went down as the worst Wrigley singer in history. Over the next few days the scene was replayed on national television, making a mockery of the mumbling singer. That incident, said Osbourne’s manager-wife Sharon, was the last straw; she claimed that Ozzy’s doctor was overprescribing him a host of powerful antipsychotic and tranquilizing drugs, which contributed to his bizarre behavior.

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Health Officials Recommend Flu Spray Over Shot for Kids

According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a panel of US health officials that makes recommendations to the CDC regarding which vaccines people should get, children between the ages of 2 and 8 years should use the nasal spray over the shot when it comes to the flu vaccine. Studies show that kids within that age group are about half as likely to get the flu after a squirt in the nose rather than a shot in the arm.

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Basic Elements of Sports Cardiology

Sports cardiology is becoming an autonomous subspecialty medical field in the US. Cardiologists are leading the way and defining their role within the space that treats the unique physiology of athletes and the needs of individuals who exercise. The American College of Cardiology has developed a Sports and Exercise Cardiology discipline within their guidelines to address the growing population of these cardiac patients.

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Jackson Whites: Albinism, Piebaldness, and the Legendary People of the Ramapo Mountains

“Jackson Whites” is a pejorative term for a group of people who have been living for centuries in the beautiful and remote Ramapo Valley, a breathtaking section of the Ramapo Mountains that crosses the New York/New Jersey border at Suffern, NY. Many believe this name is short for “Jacks and whites,” with Jacks purportedly having been slang for runaway slaves; however, this is just one of many currently unprovable myths regarding this population. The group has mainly a Native American, African American, and Caucasian heritage. They prefer to use the Dutch spelling to describe themselves as the Ramapough Mountain Indians; they also go by the name of Lenape Nation. There is little documentation of their over 300-year history in the area, largely because the Lenape people had no written language.

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