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IntroductionCardiovascular prevention is more effective if started early in life, but available interventions to promote healthy lifestyle habits among youth have been ineffective. Impulsivity in particular has proven to be an important barrier to the adoption of healthy behaviors in youth. Observational evidence suggests that mindfulness interventions may reduce impulsivity and improve diet and physical activity. We hypothesize that mindfulness training in adjunct to traditional health education will improve dietary habits and physical activity among teenagers by reducing impulsive behavior and improving planning skills. Methods/design The Commit to Get Fit study is a pilot cluster randomized controlled trial examining the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of school-based mindfulness training in adjunct to traditional health education for promotion of a healthy diet and physical activity among adolescents. Two schools in central Massachusetts (30 students per school) will be randomized to receive mindfulness training plus standard health education (HE-M) or an attention-control intervention plus standard health education (HE-AC). Assessments will be conducted at baseline, intervention completion (2 months), and 8 months. Primary outcomes are feasibility and acceptability. Secondary outcomes include physical activity, diet, impulsivity, mood, body mass index, and quality of life. Conclusions This study will provide important information about feasibility and preliminary estimates of efficacy of a school-delivered mindfulness and health education intervention to promote healthy dietary and physical activity behaviors among adolescents. Our findings will provide important insights about the possible mechanisms by which mindfulness training may contribute to behavioral change and inform future research in this important area.

Whether mindfulness training (MT) could improve healthy behaviors is unknown. This study sought to determine feasibility and acceptability of integrating MT into school-based health education (primary outcomes) and to explore its possible effects on healthy behaviors (exploratory outcomes). Two high schools in Massachusetts (2014–2015) were randomized to health education plus MT (HE-MT) (one session/week for 8 weeks) or to health education plus attention control (HE-AC). Dietary habits (24-h dietary recalls) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA/7-day recalls) were assessed at baseline, end of treatment (EOT), and 6 months thereafter. Quantile regression and linear mixed models were used, respectively, to estimate effects on MVPA and dietary outcomes adjusting for confounders. We recruited 53 9th graders (30 HEM, 23 HEAC; average age 14.5, 60% white, 59% female). Retention was 100% (EOT) and 96% (6 months); attendance was 96% (both conditions), with moderate-to-high satisfaction ratings. Among students with higher MVPA at baseline, MVPA was higher in HE-MT vs. HE-AC at both EOT (median difference = 81 min/week, p = 0.005) and at 6 months (p = 0.004). Among males, median MVPA was higher (median difference = 99 min/week) in HE-MT vs. HEAC at both EOT (p = 0.056) and at 6 months (p = 0.04). No differences were noted in dietary habits. In sum, integrating school-based MT into health education was feasible and acceptable and had promising effects on MVPA among male and more active adolescents. These findings suggest that MT may improve healthy behaviors in adolescents and deserve to be reproduced in larger, rigorous studies.

Lichens are used in traditional medicines by cultures across the world, particularly in temperate and arctic regions. Knowledge of these medicinal uses is available to us because of the contributions of traditional knowledge holders in these cultures.<br>The traditional medicinal uses of 52 lichen genera are summarized in this paper. Cultures in different regions of the world tend to emphasize different lichen genera in their traditional medicines, with <i>Usnea</i> being the most widely used genus. The folk taxonomy of lichens within a given culture is not synonymous with the scientific taxonomy and reflects the cultural value of those lichens and the traditional method of their identification. Even within western science the identity and taxonomy of lichens have not remained constant throughout history.<br>Lichens in traditional medicine are most commonly used for treating wounds, skin disorders, respiratory and digestive issues, and obstetric and gynecological concerns. They have been used for both their secondary metabolites and their storage carbohydrates. The European uses of lichens have been exported worldwide and sometimes influence the use of lichens by other cultures. These European uses started in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and arose from interpretations of Ancient Greek uses, as well as the application of the doctrine of signatures.

<p>OBJECTIVE: A variety of results from both population and laboratory studies suggest that stress and hot flashes (HFs) are correlated and that HFs are more severe in women with lower coping abilities. The objective of this pilot study was to obtain information on the feasibility and effect of participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program on HF severity and menopause-related quality of life. DESIGN: Fifteen women volunteers reporting a minimum of seven moderate to severe HFs per day at study intake attended the eight weekly MBSR classes at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Participants were assessed for menopause-related quality of life before beginning and at the conclusion of the MBSR program. Women also kept a daily log of their HFs through the course of the 7 weeks of the MBSR program and for 4 weeks after it. RESULTS: Women's scores on quality-of-life measures increased significantly, and the median reported HF severity, calculated as the weekly average of a daily HF severity score, decreased 40% over the course of the 11 weeks of the assessment period. The women were individually interviewed at the completion of their participation, and the results of the interviews were consistent with the results from daily diaries. CONCLUSIONS: These results provide preliminary positive evidence of the feasibility and efficacy of MBSR in supporting women who are experiencing severe HFs, and it warrants further investigation.</p>
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Understanding the autonomic nervous system and homeostatic changes associated with emotions remains a major challenge for neuroscientists and a fundamental prerequisite to treat anxiety, stress, and emotional disorders. Based on recent publications, the inter-relationship between respiration and emotions and the influence of respiration on autonomic changes, and subsequent widespread membrane potential changes resulting from changes in homeostasis are discussed. We hypothesize that reversing homeostatic alterations with meditation and breathing techniques rather than targeting neurotransmitters with medication may be a superior method to address the whole body changes that occur in stress, anxiety, and depression. Detrimental effects of stress, negative emotions, and sympathetic dominance of the autonomic nervous system have been shown to be counteracted by different forms of meditation, relaxation, and breathing techniques. We propose that these breathing techniques could be used as first-line and supplemental treatments for stress, anxiety, depression, and some emotional disorders.

Combat-exposed troops and their family members are at risk for stress reactions and related disorders. Multimodal biopsychosocial training programs incorporating complementary and alternative self-management techniques have the potential to reduce stress-related symptoms and dysfunction. Such training can preempt or attenuate the posttraumatic stress response and may be effectively incorporated into the training cycle for deploying and redeploying troops and their families. A large systematic review was conducted to survey the literature on multimodal training programs for the self-management of emotional stress. This report is an overview of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) identified in this systematic review. Select programs such as mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management, Autogenic Training, Relaxation Response Training, and other meditation and mind-body skills practices are highlighted, and the feasibility of their implementation within military settings is addressed.

Combat-exposed troops and their family members are at risk for stress reactions and related disorders. Multimodal biopsychosocial training programs incorporating complementary and alternative self-management techniques have the potential to reduce stress-related symptoms and dysfunction. Such training can preempt or attenuate the posttraumatic stress response and may be effectively incorporated into the training cycle for deploying and redeploying troops and their families. A large systematic review was conducted to survey the literature on multimodal training programs for the self-management of emotional stress. This report is an overview of the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) identified in this systematic review. Select programs such as mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management, Autogenic Training, Relaxation Response Training, and other meditation and mind-body skills practices are highlighted, and the feasibility of their implementation within military settings is addressed.

The purpose of this paper is to describe benefits of yoga and to provide practitioners multiple ways to implement yoga into classroom settings and home environments for young children with Down syndrome (DS). Yoga can be introduced into many settings to enhance motor development as a physical activity warm up or cool down, a behavior management technique, and/or an innovative way to get children with DS moving. There are various techniques to integrate yoga into adapted physical education classes, early intervention or preschool classroom, as well as home-based settings. Fun activities to incorporate yoga include yoga stories and songs, picture cards, yoga with technology, playing yoga games, and involving families. Practical applications and multiple references help as a starting point for educators and care givers to introduce the practice of yoga for young children with DS. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR