By Heather Yourex Health Reporter

CALGARY – Susan Ockey has been practicing yoga for nearly 5 years. She started her practice after her cancer treatment finished.

“I just got through everything and then about a year later went, ‘oh my goodness… what happened? I had cancer.”

According to clinical psychological, Dr. Linda Carlson, many cancer survivors experience stress and anxiety long after therapy ends.

 “It’s a huge problem for many cancer patients. They’re dealing with uncertainty, fears of recurrence, lingering side effects, pain, swelling in the arm, sleep difficulties… and fatigue is a big problem as well.”

Carlson is the co-author of new research that has found yoga and meditation can be more effective than group therapy in helping breast cancer survivors cope with the stress and anxiety that follow treatment.

The study, the largest trial of its kind , followed 271 breast cancer survivors in Alberta and BC.

“This was the first study to compare the mindfulness group with another active treatment and we actually found it was better for producing a number of different outcomes and helping with symptoms.”

Ockey was one of the study’s early participants. Several years later, meditation and yoga has become a regular part of her routine.

“I learned so many tools about how to deal with stress and how to notice the trigger points in when you are getting stress so you recognize before you’re wound up like a rubber band.”

The study was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.


New Research Shows Women Stare At Boobs Just As Much As Men

The phrase “eyes up here” usually applies to some dude who can’t make eye contact with a woman because he’s too focused on her chest. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found out that that phrase could and should apply to ladies too, because the women they studied stared at other women’s breasts just as much as the men did.

“When asked to focus on a woman’s appearance, study participants … quickly moved their eyes to and then dwelled on a woman’s breasts and other sexualized body parts,” the Nebraska researchers wrote in their release. They explain 

that they used eye-tracking technology to track at what parts people were staring at. “Though the men in the study exhibited such visual behavior consistently, the researchers found that women’s eye patterns actually were similar to men’s,” they added.

Essentially, women are every bit as boob-centric as their male counterparts when it comes to surveying the appearance of a woman. ”We do have a slightly different pattern for men than women, but when we looked at their overall dwell times – how long they focused on each body part – we find the exact same effects for both groups,” Sarah Gervais, an assistant professor of psychology at the school, said.

The difference is what those stares mean. Gervais says that women do it for “social comparison” while men tend to use those stares to form an opinion. “[M]ale participants regarded the curvaceous women more positively than women with fewer curves, whereas female participants viewed these women similarly,” the researchers explain.  So, men tend to use their breast reconnaissance surveys to judge women. Gervais and company add:

Even when study instructions encouraged the participants to focus on the personality of the female target – a manipulation that would seem likely to lead to additional focus on the images’ faces – women with hourglass figures were perceived more positively than women with straighter figures by male participants …

In short, hetero guys, just because women stare like you do, you’re not off the hook.

Source: The Atlantic Wire

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NEW YORK — The biggest and brightest full moon of the year arrives Saturday night as our celestial neighbor passes closer to Earth than usual.

But don’t expect any

“must-have-been-a-full-moon” spike in crime or crazy behavior. That’s just folklore.

Saturday’s event is a “supermoon,” the closest and therefore the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. At 11:34 p.m., the moon will be about 221,802 miles from Earth. That’s about 15,300 miles closer than average.

That proximity will make the moon appear about 14 percent bigger than it would if the moon were at its farthest distance, said Geoff Chester of the U.S. Naval Observatory. The difference in appearance is so small that “you’d be very hard-pressed to detect that with the unaided eye,” he said.

The moon’s distance from Earth varies because it follows an elliptical orbit rather than a circular one.

Like any full moon, the supermoon will look bigger when it’s on or near the horizon rather than higher in the sky, thanks to an optical illusion, Chester noted. The full moon appears on the horizon at sunset. On the East coast, for example, that will be a bit before 8 p.m. Saturday.

The supermoon will bring unusually high tides because of its closeness and its alignment with the sun and Earth, but the effect will be modest, Chester said.

The last supermoon, on March 19, 2011, was about 240 miles closer than this year’s will be. Next year’s will be a bit farther away than this year’s.

But no matter how far away a full moon is, it’s not going to make people kill themselves or others, commit other crimes, get admitted to a psychiatric hospital or do anything else that popular belief suggests, a psychologist says.

Studies that have tried to document such connections have found “pretty much a big mound of nothing, as far as I can tell,” said Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University.

Lilienfeld, an author of “50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology,” said the notion of full moons causing bizarre behavior ranks among the top 10 myths because “it’s so widely held and it’s held with such conviction.”

Why do people cling to the idea?

Lilienfeld said a key reason could be the way people pay attention to things. If something unusual happens to occur during a full moon, people who believe the myth take note and remember, even telling other people because it confirms their ideas. But when another full moon appears and nothing out of the ordinary occurs, “they’re not very likely to remember” or point it out to others.

So in the end, he said, all they remember are the coincidences. (original story is on

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