Rewarding Our Brains to Break Bad Habits

Two non-threatening animations from Dr. Jud

On Monday, we presented an infographic to help reduce anxiety. PLEASE take a look.

Now, we offer a brief discussion and two clever videos on changing bad habits by Jud Brewer, M.D., Ph.D.: “Dr. Jud [as he is called] is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University, as well as a research affiliate at MIT.”

As per Dr. Jud:

“How are habits formed? What is the biggest secret behind our mind’s choices? Why is it so hard to break some of our most unhelpful habits, including worry and panic during this challenging time? How can we upgrade our mind’s habit system?”

Video 1: The Habit Loop — Anxiety

The first animation deals with the three stages of the habit loop: trigger->behavior->reward.

Video 2: Breaking Bad Habits

The second animation notes some recent research that Dr. Jud’s lab has done to help people quit smoking and stop overeating. And it provides simple tips on how you can learn to leverage your own brain for habit change.

 

We REALLY Hope This Device Works

For just $300 in parts, Rice University is devising an automated ApolloBVM device.

As we all know, there is a worldwide shortage of ventilators for those stricken with COVID-19. While there are finally multiple efforts underway to produce more ventilators, the time to and costs of converting factories has caused a real  lag.

In the mean time, many innovative and entrepreneurial efforts are taking place.

According to Rice University:

“The ApolloBVM is a controllable, automated add-on solution to the existing and widely available Bag Valve Mask (BVM). The device compresses the BVM with a mechanical system that is able to provide consistent and accurate ventilation with positive-pressure.”

“This solution exists within the top range of high-acuity limited-operability (HALO) ventilator solutions with an a priori design to produce volume and pressure cycled ventilation that includes positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and enriched oxygen sources.”

“The ApolloBVM is a rapidly scalable solution with a clinician-informed end-to-end design that repurposes the existing BVM global inventory toward widespread and safe access of hospital-grade mechanical ventilation.”

The video below highlights the promising, inexpensive, and simple-to-scale-up inhaler that would help those who are not in critical condition. 

For much more information on this exciting project, click here.

 

I Am Now a Five-Year Cancer Survivor

Hope is a precious commodity.

 

Amazing. Unbelievable. Lucky. Blessed. I am now a five-year cancer survivor.  Although some define the 5-year period as beginning at the date of diagnosis, I prefer to use the date of my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer. February 12, 2015. So, exactly five years ago today.

I am kind of melancholy about reaching this point. But I don’t feel the euphoria about beating the less than 10 percent survival rate for PC that I expected. I just learned this is not uncommon. According to Dr. SP, a leading psychologist, my melancholy reflects a lot of subconscious feelings about the traumatic events during my journey. Even though I try as hard as possible to be upbeat on a daily basis. Also, it relates to my profound sorrow about others with cancer who have not been so lucky. And my own continuing challenges.

Live life every day. Live as long as you can, as well as you can.

Observations about Surviving Cancer

From Cancer.Net:

“A person who has had cancer is commonly called a cancer survivor. ‘Co-survivor’ is sometimes used to describe a person who has cared for a loved one with cancer.”

“Not everyone who has had cancer likes the word ‘survivor.’ The reasons for this may vary. For instance, they may simply identify more with being ‘a person who has had cancer.’ Or if they are dealing with cancer every day they may describe themselves as ‘living with cancer.’ Therefore, they may not think of themselves as a survivor. Living with a history of cancer is different for each person. But most people have the common belief that life is different after cancer.”

“Other common reactions that people have after cancer include:

              • Appreciating life more.
              • Being more accepting of themselves.
              • Feeling more anxious about their health.
              • Not knowing how to cope after treatment ends.”

           

        • Now, check out this video.

       

Videos from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Four informative (and short) videos.

The AICR offers a large number of resources related to cancer. Today, we highlight some of its videos.
 


 

 

 

 

Feeling Down, Watch This Video

Here’s a quick pick-me-upper. Enjoy.

When we’re feeling down, we need something that will make us chuckle.

Here is a very fun video featuring a little kitten who runs on the beach and  swims. The kitten is adorable. And the video will give you a short reprieve from what is troubling you.


 

CVS Pharmacy Ups Its Game

CVS’ new HealthHUB

In 2019, there are fewer large chain  pharmacies than ever before. Nonetheless, the competition is intense among giants such as CVS and Walgreens.

Thus, for example, CVS has been upping its game in major ways.

As CVS reports:

“The company is opening HealthHUB® locations  that offer a broader range of health care services, new product categories, digital tools and on-demand health kiosks, trusted advice ,and personalized care. With the new format, over 20 percent of the store is now dedicated to health services, including new durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies and new product and service combinations for sleep apnea and diabetes care.”

“With personalized Pharmacy support programs and MinuteClinic services, the HUB team is improving care for patients managing chronic conditions, with a focus on recommending next best clinical actions and driving medical costs savings.”

“The new store format also includes a variety of pathways to nutritional health with one-on-one and group counseling delivered by an in-store licensed dietitian, as well as access to a free weight loss digital app.”

“Acting as the connection point inside the HealthHUB® is the Care Concierge, a newly established professional responsible for customer engagement, including educating customers about our new service offerings, helping them navigate the in-store services and events, and connecting them to our in-store providers.”

The following video provides an overview of the HealthHUB.