Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Searching for the Cure on the Internet

Suffer from anxiety? Depression? Or any another of the psychological aliments common in our society?

If you do and if you have a computer, chances are that you've tried to find out how to deal with these problems by finding a cure for them on the internet. You put in your one or two words into the Google search engine and--voila!--you get pages and pages of links to sites that promise to offer what you are desperately searching for--a cure for your particular ailment.

The problem is that many of these places you will be directed to are going to be money-making schemes, costing a bundle of your hard-earned dollars. All of them will probably help in some way, as they are sourced from common psychiatric knowledge or therapies surrounding the problems you wish to alleviate, but they are still money-making schemes whose planners are crafty indeed.

Let's say you suffer from panic attacks and find a site, which we shall call "Speedy-Zone Panic Attack Lifetime Cure." You read through the testimonials and the money back guarantee, but you are still not convinced and wish to find out more about "Speedy-Zone Panic Attack Lifetime Cure." So you put Speedy into your Google search and come across numerous links that mention the Speedy Lifetime Cure. You even find some panic attack forums that contain testimonials of how Speedy is the best panic attack system out there. Yes, the price is high, but you are an idiot if you don't go for it. Just consider how much medication and traditional therapies have cost you. Getting Speedy to do the job, even if it costs $500, will prove cost-efficient in the long run. So go for it!

Well, maybe it will prove cost-efficient or maybe not. But you should be aware that the guy who is behind the original Speedy site probably has other sites that speak glowingly about Speedy, sites that seem independent of the original site, but are linked to it not only by promoting Speedy but by ownership as well. Also, Speedy probably offers affiliate programs. What are affiliate programs on the internet? Well, they are offerings to webmasters to link to the Speedy website, and if any sales are made from someone who follows the link, the webmaster gets a cut of the sale. So if the Speedy panic attack program costs $500, a webmaster whose link provides a sale may get a nice share of that, say $50 or $100, or even more. Not bad for just putting up a link or even creating a entire site with numerous links to Speedy-Zone Panic Attack Lifetime Cure!

Now, what about those message boards and forums? Well, the original webmaster of Speedy and his affiliate members know that a lot of people check on medical message boards and forums for cures to ailments, so what better place to post that, yes, the Speedy-Zone cure works and that you should definitely go for it!

So buyer beware. Try to find out what you are getting for all the money you may be paying. If you are just getting a pamphlet for a couple of hundred dollars--well, it's kinda obvious what's going on there. If you are getting a full program that includes CDs, workbooks, phone access to counselors, etc., then that may tell you something positive about the intention of the person or company behind the program.

It is difficult at times to find out the truth on the internet when it is being used so much for quick-buck schemes, but the truth is out there. The internet is a great resource if you know how to use it and if you can spot the warning signs of a scam ready to be played on the unsuspecting cyber-traveler.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Yoga Eases Up Menopause Symptoms

From Reuters:

Yoga can reduce hot flashes and night sweats among women going through menopause, and also appears to sharpen their mental function, researchers from India report.

To investigate whether yoga would help women with physical and cognitive symptoms of menopause, they randomly assigned 120 menopausal women, 40 to 55 years old, to yoga practice or simple stretching and strengthening exercises five days a week for eight weeks.

The postures, breathing and meditation included in the yoga intervention were "aimed at one common effect, i.e. 'to develop mastery over modifications of the mind' ... through 'slowing down the rate of flow of thoughts in the mind,'" the researchers explain.

Women in the yoga group also listened to lectures on using yoga to manage stress and other yoga-related topics, while those in the control group heard lectures on diet, exercise, the physiology of menopause, and stress.

After eight weeks, women in the yoga group showed a significant reduction in hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep disturbances, while the women in the control group did not, Dr. R. Chattha, of the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana in Bangalore, India, and colleagues found.

Both groups showed improvements in a test of attention and concentration, although improvement in the yoga group was significantly greater. In a test of memory and intelligence with 10 components, the yoga group improved on eight, while the control group improved on six. Improvements were significantly greater in the yoga group than in the control group on seven of the subtests.

"The present study shows the superiority of yoga over physical activity in improving the cognitive functions that could be attributed to emphasis on correctness in breathing, synchronizing breathing with body movements, relaxation and mindful rest," the researchers suggest.

The abstract of the study contains more specific information, good to know for Yoga practitioners: "The yoga group practiced an integrated approach to yoga therapy comprising surya namaskara (sun salutation) with 12 postures, pranayama (breathing practices), and avartan dhyan (cyclic meditation)." The conclusions: "Eight weeks of an integrated approach to yoga therapy decreases climacteric symptoms, perceived stress, and neuroticism in perimenopausal women better than physical exercise."

So do your Yoga. You know it's good for you!