Wellness Wednesday – 7/1/20
WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK
Childhood Through the Eyes of a Pediatrician
by Dr. John Maddox
Pentucket Medical – Haverhill
As I reflect on my 20 years of being a pediatrician during these uncertain and apprehensive times, encounters with children continue to bring joy.
Reviewing a child’s growth chart with a family is a particular delight. There is such fascination in the question “How tall will I be?” Whether the answer is four-ten or six-ten, the essential question is “What is my full potential, and how can I reach for that?”
Like rings of a tree that testify to years of abundance and adversity, height and health require the right mix of nature and nurture. While DNA and diet are important, every child needs supportive relationships within the family and the community to weather tough times and resiliently thrive.
Transcendent of daily headlines and stresses, it is a privilege to be part of each young person’s journey, hopeful for all that lies ahead.
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
An Unlikely Aid in the Fight Against Skin Cancer
The Butantan Institute in Brazil may have found an unlikely aid in the fight against skin cancer. A recent study described by Scientific Reports indicates that proteins in the saliva of ticks successfully treated skin cancer in horses.
The protein is Amblyomin-X, which has been studied at the Butantan Institute for more than ten years and shows significant antitumor potential. It has already been approved in preclinical toxicity testing.
In the first phase of the study, spontaneous tumors in five horses were treated for 30 days with Amblyomin-X. Control tumors (not treated with the compound) maintained their shape and grew in size, whereas tumors treated with Amblyomin-X shrank and, in some cases, even reached remission up to two months after the treatment ended.
None of the five treated animals developed any adverse reactions. At the end of the treatment, the tumors were surgically removed for histopathological analysis. The researchers found no trace of tumoral characteristics.
Need Better Sleep? Time to Break Out the Tent
Falling asleep quickly and deeply requires some conditions that are hard to find in modern life: peace and quiet, natural lighting, and fresh air.
Science suggests that your internal clock is determined primarily by your exposure to natural light. The sun provides the short-wave blue light that rouses us in the morning and the long-wave reddish or orange light that signals the approach of bedtime. A 2017 study showed that a weekend of camping can shift your internal clock nearly an hour and a half closer to where your sleep cycle should be.
Additionally, fresh air (specifically air with lower CO2 levels) promotes more restful sleep and even better mental performance the next day.
These factors, combined with limited screen time, are essential ingredients for a more restful and beneficial sleep. Although camping this summer is limited by COVID-19, a fun tent-out in the backyard can be a fun way to promote better sleep.