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The Soulful Doctor Blog

About this blog

This blog will discuss and share views on topical issues and current affairs pertaining to religion/soulful wisdom/energetic truth and links with health, illness and disease and other forms of human suffering. The posts may share views that combine my medical knowledge and also the energetic understandings based on esoteric philosophy and healing along with personal experience and as such may present views or understandings that are NOT in mainstream evidence-based medicine. They are NOT a replacement for medical advice.  It is therefore for the reader to discern and feel whether they could be true or not and where applicable, whether to live them or not. Those seeking medical advice should consult their doctor.

Please be respectful to others in discussing the ideas/comments and please refrain from ad hominem comments. The blog holder reserves the right to remove posts that are deemed unsuitable or abusive.

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A Needle too Far….

I recently sustained a ‘sharps’ or needlestick injury whilst operating. This is not unusual in the field of surgery and is under-reported and under-estimated. One study reported that the rate of sharps injury per surgeon per operation was 23% and another found that 44% of those surveyed had sustained a sharps injury. In the latter study, only 9% followed the locally agreed policy, with 70% performing first aid measures and 21% ignoring the incident and continuing.  In the recent case,…

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Sugar, sugar – more toxic than alcohol?

This article reports on research published in Nature by Dr Robert Lustig and colleagues on the toxic effects of sugar. They are claiming that added sugar in the diet is more toxic to us than alcohol and that it has a bigger impact on public health than either tobacco or alcohol. They are calling for regulation and a ban on sugary foods in schools claiming that it leads to fatty liver, insulin resistance and is the underlying factor leading to obesity…

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Assisted Suicide – is it really the end?

This BBC News article and this Q&A report on the findings of The Commission on Assisted Dying which says that there is a ‘strong case’ for allowing assisted suicide for people who are terminally ill in England and Wales. However, the Commision was set up and funded by campaigners who want to see a change in the law and the findings therefore are likely to be biased.   The group are advocating that people who are over 18, terminally ill and judged…

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Red wine myth – part 2

One of the researchers involved in presenting the beneficial effects of a substance found in red wine, resveratrol, has been found guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data. The relevant journals that published his research have been notified. This obviously throws into question the research that claims that red wine is beneficial for the heart. However, it has been suggested by other researchers that this will have little impact on resveratrol research.  Another study has reported that…

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Joy-full New Year!

All around the world people have been welcoming in the New Year. Multi-million dollar displays of fireworks were staged in major cities across the globe, people partied and celebrated and counted down to 12 midnight wherever they were, perhaps hoping for a kiss under the mistletoe, welcoming in 2012.  It is a time of year when we may reflect on the year just gone, the good times and bad, the challenges, the struggles, the highs and the lows, and perhaps…

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Dementia: a little fishy?

This article reports on the findings of a recent research publication regarding the role of diet in dementia. It suggests that those with diets high in essential nutrients were less likely to have the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease and to have better cognitive performance. Specifically Dr Bowman’s research suggests that those with diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and several vitamins (C, D, E and B) were less likely to have brain shrinkage and more likely to have…

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Christmas Day – Just Another Day?

All around the world people are gathering to celebrate Christmas day with friends and family. The so called ‘true’ meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Jesus, whom many consider their personal saviour. Of course in an increasing secular society like the UK, the religious meaning of Christmas has diminshed somewhat in importance and so for many it has become part of a cultural tradition that they still participate in. It is associated with holidays, time off work,…

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Human rights and Equality for LGBT

Hilary Clinton recently delivered a speech to the UN regarding the equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender people. The speech can be viewed on you tube or you can read the transcript in this article. The speech is being hailed as ‘historic’ and many are applauding her clear and direct message regarding the human rights of the LGBT community.  She acknowledges that the US track record in this area is far from perfect with some areas…

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Caffeine Intoxication

This article reports on the varying levels of caffeine served in espresso coffee in different coffee shops. They mention that the general assumption that a cup of strong coffee contains 50 mg caffeine is misleading. They found levels ranging from 51 mg to 321mg and many were over 200mg per cup.  They note that this could be increasing the risk of miscarriage as previous research found that women who drank more than 200mg caffeine per day had increased risk of…

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Cancer Survival

  This article applauds the improvements in median cancer survival over the last 40 years from one to six years. It also recognises that there are some cancers where very little improvement (calling it ‘woeful’) has been made eg cancer stomach, pancreas and lung. It reports a 17 fold improvement in colon cancer survival and 10 year improvement for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It notes however, that for 9 cancers the median survival is 3 years or less and that in forty…

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Teens to die younger of heart disease.

“After four decades of declining deaths from heart disease, we are starting to lose the battle again.” These are the words of a physician Donald Llloyd-Jones who along with colleagues has presented research suggesting that today’s teens will die younger of heart disease.  This article comments on the research presented recently at the American Heart Association. Lloyd-Jones describes the future of today’s teens as ‘bleak” when it comes to cardiovascular health. The effects are already being seen with, for the…

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Not so sweet news ladies!

This article  says that women who drink 2 or more sugary drinks per day, even if they are at normal weight, are at increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. It is commenting on a recent abstract presented at the American Heart Association’s conference by Christina Shay et al.  Drinking sugar sweetened beverages (SSB) has been associated with obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and abnormal lipid or fat levels in the blood. The researchers undertook a study to quanitfy the…

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Bread, not so glorious bread!

I use to love bread – in all its many forms. Whether it was being served a warm freshly baked roll in a restaurant, hot-buttered toast on a cold morning, lashings of garlic butter on a french roll or my mother’s home-made wheaten bread toasted with marmalade on top – I use to eat and love them all. And of course don’t forget the lunch time sandwich with a bag of crisps – easy, handy and quick, to keep me…

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Mortality of Men with high Stress

This article reports on research performed looking at stress levels in men and their mortality. It found that men who reported persistent moderate or high levels of stressful events over a number of years experienced 50% greater mortality.  Those experiencing moderate and high levels of stressful events per year had similar mortality and the researchers were surprised that there was not a linear increase.  Self reported good health, marriage and moderate alcohol consumption supposedly conferred a benefit. However, the latter…

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Inflammatory Food Toxins – AGEs.

This study reports on a high level of food toxins called Advanced Glycation End-products in infants. AGE’s can come into the body from outside (exogenous) by heating food or can be formed in the body through a chemical reaction (endogenous). AGEs have been implicated in a number of aging conditions like Alzheimers, stroke and cardiovascular disease and are pro-inflammatory affecting many different types of cells in the body. They can cause damage to the cells lining the blood vessels, the…

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Media Affects Children’s Food Choices.

This study is perhaps stating the obvious – that both the media and parents can influence children’s food choices. There is concern re the possible negative effect that media advertising could have on children’s choices leading them to choose the unhealthy option. Researchers at Texas A&M International University took 2 groups of children aged 3-5 years and showed them cartoons with adverts between the cartoons. One group saw an advert for French fries and the other group saw an advert…

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Teen Sexting – A Criminal Offence

This report states that both young men and women experience peer pressure to share sexual images of themselves in the phenomenon known as ‘Sexting’. The study highlighted the pressure young people experienced from their peers to engage in sexting and the importance of their voice in developing ways to prevent and deal with the problem.   Boys can be ostracised by their peers or called ‘gay’ if they fail to participate and show their friends images of girls on their…

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Women to get vote in Saudi: heart wisdom vs dogma/doctrine

This article reports on the recent decision by the Saudi King Abdullah to grant women the right to vote and run as candidates in local elections in 2015. This is obviously a considerable change in a country where women and men are still segregated and women are still banned from driving. Some women have staged public defiance of this law. It is perhaps difficult for us in the West to appreciate that such levels of discrimination still exist such that…

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Red wine myth

Just an update on the alcohol debate – medicine or poison? The Alcohol Policy Coalition has challenged research that suggests red wine is good for the heart. They report that the harm of alcohol outweighs any perceived benefits and that ‘every drinking occasion contibutes to the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol.’ The Coalition, which includes the Australian Drug Foundation, Heart Council and Cancer Council of Victoria, conclude that ‘red wine had no special protective properties’ and that any positive…

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Just harmless fun – perhaps not!

This report suggests that most young people think calling people names online like ‘slut’ or ‘fag’ is just joking around and not to be taken seriously. It says that 71% of people are more likely to use slurs online or in text than they would in person and only half are likely to ask someone to stop using such language.  One responder comments that ‘nobody really cares about nobody’s feelings’. A significant minority do find such comments offensive particularly if…

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‘What will they say?’

Have you ever found yourself stopping from saying or doing something out of fear of ‘what will they say’? ‘They’ being other people – be it family members, work colleagues, employers, friends, neighbours, acquaintances,  local community, local church congregation, social media sites, or relatives to name a few. It is quite pervasive and can slip in without us fully realising what is behind it. It has certainly been something that has popped up in my life many times and for…

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Alcohol: feel for yourself.

This report suggests that women who ‘enjoy an alcoholic drink in the evening tend to be healthier as they move into old age’. Yet again we are receiving conflicting reports from the media and scientific research on the impact of alcohol on one’s health. Such advice can range from saying that when it comes to cancer – there is no safe level of consumption. In other words drinking any amount of alcohol will increase one’s risk of certain cancers. On…

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Don’t bash the parents!

New research has been published in the Journal of Child Development by Marilyn Essex et al on the effects of parental stress on the DNA of children. Some of the study details are published here. The study shows that parental stress does not affect the sequence of genes but it can affect how genes are expressed, the proteins that they produce. It does this by a process called DNA methylation and these changes are known as ‘epigenetic’ changes. In other…

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De-stress your heart and laugh!

This report suggests that watching a funny movie that makes you laugh has a positive impact on vascular function whereas a movie that causes mental stress has the opposite effect and causes your blood vessels to constrict. The research was conducted at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.  Volunteers watched segments of a funny movie one day and segments of a stressful movie the next day – thus acting as their own controls. When the volunteers watched the stressful movie (eg…

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Climb every mountain ….or not?

Today in the news I came across an article celebrating the achievement of an Austrian woman Mrs Kaltenbrunner. She has become the first woman to climb all Himalyan summits above 14,000ft without bottled oxygen. She had apparently failed six previous attempts to climb K2 before being successful.  The typical response to such news is to celebrate it, to see it as a great feat of human endeavour and achievement. To marvel at the ability of the human person who has…

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Crisis in Medicine

A few weeks ago I came across a relatively new website  and organisation called the College of Medicine. It makes for interesting reading and demonstrates an awareness of the crisis in medicine. In fact it details that the main components of this crisis are threefold: a crisis in caring, a crisis in costs and a crisis in commitment. Under crisis in caring it points out that whilst modern medicine is good at treating symptoms it is losing its ability to…

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If not genes, then what?

In this article Jonathan Latham discusses the failure of the human genome project to deliver the answers it promised regarding illness and disease. He states that despite the many genetic breakthroughs and discoveries that are sometimes highly publicized for conditions such as cancer, mental illness and heart disease, only a handful are of genuine significance for human health. He also mentions a paper by Francis Collins, one of the leaders of the genome project, in which it is acknowledged that ‘despite more…

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Alcohol – medicine or poison?

We all know that excessive alcohol consumption is not good for the human body and can lead to many ailments like cirrhosis of the liver, chronic pancreatitis, alcohol related cardiomyopathy to name only a few. However, two papers recently published in the BMJ are suggesting that moderate alcohol intake may be beneficial to health. A meta-analysis and systematic review suggests that alcohol can improve survival and decrease mortality from cardiac disease. The second paper reports on beneficial changes in inflammatory markers due to alcohol…

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What does ‘Esoteric’ Mean?

As this blog will discuss life issues from an esoteric perspective this first entry will outline what the word esoteric means and also what it does not mean. It is a common misperception that the word esoteric is associated with that which is secret or hidden and only given to a select group of people. Online dictionaries refer to it being for a select group of people, for an initiated or enlightened minority or even a cult. It is also…

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