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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

This question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges and their family caregivers, who want to learn to increase the odds of improving their health by learning to live with mastery & wellbeing. I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below and I will answer them on […]

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Cancer and Social Support

Social Support and the Immune System Psychoneuroimmunology researchers have consistently found a positive correlation between social support and the immune system. Medical researcher Dr. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser has proven that social support improves immune function and can reverse the damaging physiological effects of emotional distress. She found that social support improved leukocyte cell counts and immune function. […]

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Chronic Illness Q&A with Dr. B.

This new question & answer column is for people living with chronic health challenges, who want to learn to live with mastery & wellbeing. I invite you to post your questions in the comments box below and I will answer them on a future Friday in this column. I post to this blog three times […]

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Having a Close Circle of Friends Increases Longevity

The Karolinska Institute in Stockholm conducted a study to determine the benefit of social support among the elderly and whether it can improve health outcomes. The study involved sixty residents of a retirement community in Stockholm.  At the start of the program, a complete blood count and levels of testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone, and estradiol were recorded […]

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Social Support Contributes to Health

In a famous study, epidemiology researcher James House (no relation to Gregory) and his team conducted a prospective study of 2,754 residents of Tecumseh, Michigan, observing their social ties and group activities for ten years. This was a very rigorous study in that residents with any medical or psychiatric condition that could possibly interfere with […]

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Practice Relationship-Building

A healthy social support network is essential for the health of all people, and especially for those of us living with chronic illness. It provides a sense that we can trust and count on other people for friendship, emotional and problem-solving support, help with tasks, and physical or material assistance. An essential element of healthy […]

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Caring for A Loved One At Home

LB: Hello, I’m Larry Berkelhammer bringing you more information about living well with chronic illness. This is the first of a five-part text interview with Steve Olian. I’ll return to video interviews after this five-week series. LB: Larry Berkelhammer SO: Steve Olian  LB: I have with me today Steve Olian, an MBA, who worked in […]

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Healthy Support For Those Living With Chronic Illness

The Need for Support People living with chronic health challenges rarely receive the type of emotional and psychological support they need. They need to feel seen and appreciated, and both are hard to achieve when one is no longer well enough to do the types of activities for which people are normally appreciated. Without ongoing […]

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Practice Connection and Service to Others, Part 2

Many studies have shown that the healthiest and happiest people are commonly the first people to offer helping hands to coworkers and strangers in particular. In her extensive study of happiness, research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky found many reasons altruism is associated with health. It fosters a sense of mastery, which often creates healthy physiological changes. […]

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Social Support Improves Health

Most behavioral medicine studies involving heart patients focus on the efficacy of lifestyle changes to reduce atherosclerosis and reverse ischemic heart disease. World-renowned cardiologist Dean Ornish’s behavioral medicine program includes weekly psychoeducational group participation, which was initially instigated as a way to promote the healthy lifestyle changes he advocates, especially adherence to a very strict […]

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