Researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that meditating daily may help people reduce anxiety, depression and even pain.
Using data from 47 studies done previously with 3515 participants, researchers found measurable evidence to support the use of mindfulness meditation to treat common mental health conditions. Although, meditation didn’t seem to affect mood, sleep or substance use, eating habits, sleep, and weight. Researchers also noted they found no evidence that meditation programs were better than any active treatment.
“Clinicians should be prepared to talk with their patients about the role that meditation programs could have in addressing psychological stress, particularly when symptoms are mild,” said Dr. Madhav Goyal, Professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
After going through the data, Goyal said his team found between a 5 and 10 percent improvement in anxiety symptoms among people who took part in mindfulness meditation, compared to those who did another activity.
There was also about a 10 to 20 percent improvement in symptoms of depression among those who practiced mindfulness meditation, compared to the other group. “This is similar to the effects that other studies have found for the use of antidepressants in similar populations,” Goyal said.
“Many people have the idea that meditation means just sitting quietly and doing nothing,” wrote Dr. Madhav Goyal in an email to Reuters Health. “That is not true. It is an active training of the mind to increase awareness, and different meditation programs approach this in different ways.”
The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine suggests after eight weeks of treatment, improvement in anxiety, depression, pain, and stress was noticeable.
“For example, the effect size for the effect on depression was 0.3, which is what would be expected with the use of an anti-depressant,” the researchers said.
Goyal said people should remember that meditation was not conceived to treat any particular health problem. “Rather, it is a path we travel on to increase our awareness and gain insight into our lives,” he wrote. “The best reason to meditate is to gain this insight. Improvements in health conditions are really a side benefit, and it’s best to think of them that way.”
The researchers also noted that one strength of their study was that it was limited to randomized clinical trials, “which should give clinicians greater confidence” in the reported benefits.
According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 9 percent of people in the U.S. reported meditating in 2007 and about 1 percent said they use meditation as some sort of treatment or medicine.
Researchers did say that stronger study designs would be needed to really determine whether or not meditation was beneficial for health.
Since meditation methods, lengths, times of day and reasons why someone practices all differ, it’s hard to decide if it helps or not. No harm ever comes out of meditating, according to Goyal.
“So, we don’t know if more meditation practice would result in larger benefits, and this needs to be tested in future research,” Goyal said.
Susan Smalley, founding director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA, agreed with the authors that more study was needed.
“What works best for each individual differs, and factors such as cost, time, need for a trainer or clinician, make certain practices easier for some than others,” she said in an email to LA Times. “Since adherence – or sticking with the practice – is important, finding meditation (a free and easy-to-learn practice) effective for depression, anxiety, and pain, even if small or moderate in size, in this systematic investigation is promising.”
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Facebook Affirms Decision To Block Marijuana Advertising
As Facebook gains a footing in the advertising industry along with Google, the California-based tech corp has finally decided that they will be implementing a universal ban on advertisements that attempt to sell marijuana.
Following an arduous rally of pros and cons and board room deliberations on the matter, the company has finally come up with continuing to block marijuana-related content and advertising on its platform, a decision made Tuesday says.
Roughly 60 policy makers and executive of the company convened at Ireland, Washington D.C., Kenya, Los Angeles and Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park at the company’s weekly product policy meeting, arguing the merits of the policy and the counter policy on whether they should allow direct cannabis sales throughout its platform. At the end of the meeting, the body has agreed that they will keep their anti-cannabis policy in place but also noted that the company would be implementing several changes on the social networking site’s current cannabis content rules.
Selling marijuana is already legal in some states and Canada, and currently, Facebook bans cannabis related content, especially those that attempt to sell, trade, or barter the drug. At present, Facebook, however, allows the advertising of cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-intoxicating compound found in cannabis plants. Other allowable contents are posts, pages and non-advertising content touting the sale of cannabis seeds and items such as bongs, rolling papers, vaporizers and accessories that are often found at legal smoke shops.
Facebook rolled out an updated version of their policies on community contents that govern tobacco, drugs, and other regulated products such as guns and CBD. Accessory ad regulations became tighter too.
However, Facebook’s decision to uphold its previous rules and strengthen them dismayed the cannabis industry citing that the universal ban can hamper companies’ ability to reach an audience that is available on the social media platform.
“What is the dream that has been killed?” Rebecca Brown, founder of Crowns Agency, which specializes in cannabis marketing and brand consulting, said over the phone Tuesday. “Everyone needs to build a brand and not just micro brands, but household, name brands. Facebook has reached and scale that competes with traditional broadcast. The bitter pill of this decision was that Facebook could have become an opportunity that could have solved very significant impediments to [cannabis companies] becoming a Coke, a Starbucks, a Walmart,” Brown said.
Journalists from the MarketWatch, who was also present in the meeting said that “Facebook studied three potential changes to its cannabis sales policy, according to presentation slides. One would have allowed users to sell pot directly to one another and buy from recreational and medical pot shops in legal jurisdictions. A second option looked at only buying from brick-and-mortar shops where pot is legal, and a third narrowed sales further still to only those stores involved with medical cannabis.”
Noting the complexity of cannabis legislation from around the globe and the diversity of policies targeted at irresponsible marijuana users, the team highlights that cannabis regulation in each country varies, and it is impossible for them to roll out. “The company also said that, partially because of regulatory uncertainty, it would be “operationally difficult” to implement policies — for example, determining who is a legitimate operator and who is not, across hundreds of jurisdictions.”
As part of the plan, Facebook said it was going to spend more time training content moderators about its cannabis-related policies. “For companies that are focused on creating a brand like we are, that is only accessible to those over the age of 18; Facebook is one of the best ways in the world to only target the audience we want to speak to,” Jake Heimark, chief executive of edibles-maker Plus Products Inc. PLPRF, -1.12% said it.
“It’s a real loss for the whole industry,” he said. “That’s the worst thing about this — Facebook could be a partner. But it’s a global company, and they’re put in a difficult spot.”
“We’re dealing with a regulator that’s trying to fix that plane while they’re flying it,” Michael Elkin, vice president of partnerships and sales at High 12 Brands, said late Tuesday over the phone. “Health Canada has not come out with a specific regulation — we’re still waiting for proper direction. Nothing [would have] changed.”
Will KylieSkin Be Kylie Jenner’s Next Billion-Dollar Business?
The world’s youngest self-made billionaire, Kylie Jenner, launched her new company, KylieSkin, which features a range of skin care products made and tested by the makeup mogul herself.
It’s a Barbie wonderland as Kylie Jenner threw her launch party the other night for KylieSkin and everything was adorned with pink (even the food and drinks were pink!) To top it all off, Kylie asked all her guests, which majority are Instagram and YouTube influencers, to wear pink.
In attendance were all of the youngest Jenner’s sisters and momager, Kris Jenner, except Kendall who wasn’t able to make it to the event. Also, Nikita Dragun, James Charles, Patrick Starrr, and other YouTube beauty influencers were present at the event along with many others. They spent the night roller skating and probably some drinking.
Kylie Cosmetics, who set waves in the beauty industry, made a mouth dropping success after all of her first 300,00 lip kits were sold out in minutes. Four years and a billion dollars later, Kylie Cosmetics is a brand to be reckoned with.
KylieSkin, which is entirely dedicated to skincare, includes two different types of face washes: a foaming cleanser and a walnut scrub, a vanilla-scented toner, an eye cream, a vitamin-C serum, and a moisturizer which individually doesn’t cost more than $30. Or, you can get the bundle for $125.
KylieSkin brand follows the minimalist theme of KKW (Kim Kardashian’s makeup brand) and is all wrapped up in baby pink packaging.
Though, as they say, with great clout comes opinions coming from left and right. Is that a thing or are we the only ones saying that? But anyways, KylieSkin has received major social media marketing from the Kardashian-Jenner clan and most of YouTube and Instagram’s top influencers, which most brands could only wish for. However, it also brought in a lot of mixed opinions regarding Jenner’s new products.
First of which, based on the ingredients and price point of KylieSkin, there’s nothing special to it other than it has Kylie plastered all over it. But she does nail the basics down. By purchasing the bundle, any novice (when it comes to the world of skin care) would find this useful as it contains all the essentials and a few skincare hacks from Kylie Jenner herself.
Second, the Walnut Face Scrub included in the line received heavy criticism online, accusing Kylie of not doing enough research and is only just pushing products in the name of making money.
Nut scrubs have been related to resulting more acne and irritation, but the worst part, it’s also associated with overtime skin damage as the scrub becomes too abrasive for the face and causes micro-scars that would eventually do permanent damage. For a company that’s intended to take care of your skin, this isn’t the kind of news you would want to hear.
And third, some people are pointing out that Kylie might not be the perfect face to represent the brand. With her flawless, glowing, and acne-free face, people were quick to point out that her face wasn’t a result of her skincare line. Moreover, it was more of an outcome of having tons of money since she was born where she could afford facials on a daily and a team of dermatologists at her disposal.
Through it all, Kylie didn’t bat an eye and proceeded with her launch. Watching her Instagram stories and several others, she seemed to have enjoyed the whole event as she was seen laughing, being quirky with others, all the while roller skating.
No matter how much hate people are throwing at her, diehard fans are bound to drop the dollar and might even purchase the whole bundle the moment it goes live on the website.
To make it clearer, here is Kylie’s Instagram story hours after the products went live. Obviously, a restock means she’s sold out. We’re not really surprised, though.
Based on the success of her first line of products and how it still performed the way it did despite the early backlash, KylieSkin is heading towards a very bright future. On the question, if will it be another billion-dollar business, it still depends on how her products play out with consumers and how many times a year Kylie will be launching products considering this is a whole lot different from makeup.
#CancelMyDebt Trends On Twitter As Debtors Urge Student Loan Default
#CancelMyDebt trends on Twitter as emotional student loan debtors took to the popular micro-blogging website their frustrations on the debts they are still paying and urged the government to pay off their student loans.
Twitter erupts with poignant posts of Americans paying off their student loans and how their debts affected their lives following their graduation. The angered netizens expressed their opinions on the tax plan that granted America’s 1% with a $1.5 trillion tax cuts while the government turns blind eyes over the student loan problem that the youth has been facing.
The apparent hashtag came after U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren encouraged students and graduates to share their stories using the #CancelMyVote hashtag to support her plan to cancel student loan debts of 95% of Americans currently paying for it. Warren’s policy to cover the student loan repayment from an additional tax on top of the top 0.1%.
“I paid off my student loans after 10 years, but it took me getting a six-figure book deal to do it. Folks shouldn’t have to hope for the equivalent of winning the lottery to have a future. #CancelMyDebt” wrote @nkjemisin on Twitter.
President Donald Trump signed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” into law on December 2017 and have brought significant tax reforms. “For the wealthy, banks and other corporations, the tax reform package can be considered a lopsided victory given its significant and permanent tax cuts to corporate profits, investment income, estate tax, and more. Financial services companies stand to see huge gains based on the new, lower corporate rate (21%) as well as preferential tax treatment of pass-through companies. Some banks have said that their effective tax rate will drop under 21%.,” Investopedia explained.
As the current tax plan consistently accommodates the rich, student loan debtors remain in limbo as the increasing interest rates and the piling debt are crippling their financial presents and even their futures. Student loans are a form of financial aid used to help students access higher education. Student loan debt in the United States has been snowballing since 2006, rising to nearly $1.56 trillion by 2019. Shockingly, the entire total loan debt of American equals 7.5% of the country’s GDP.
There are approximately 45 million Americans who have an outstanding student loan of $37,172 on average at the time of graduation. On top of that, student loan also appears not to be evenly distributed and is disproportionately concentrated on the for-profit college sector.
Now, student loan debtors are calling for the government to default their debts. They argue that as the outstanding student loan debt totals 1.5 trillion and the tax cut equals the same, the government can afford to pay off all of student loan debts.
People tweeting #CancelMyDebt clarifies, however, that they are not asking for a loan default because they did not owe anything. They said that call was intended for the government to take actions to destroy the systems that allow student loan companies to exploit people with dreams.
“My reality is paying $1200 a month for my student debt ALONE and working 7 days a week over 4 different jobs. I’m not asking for a “hand out,” I’m asking that we as a country address the insane cost those who are not wealthy have to pay to get higher education #CancelMyDebt,” said @steeltoejilly on a Twitter post.
Another Twitter user also chimed in saying that interest hikes have ballooned her student loan debt even if she’s paying them religiously. “I have four jobs in the education field right now. I graduated in 2005 with $100,000 in student loans. After a decade of payments, undergrad debt is over $200,000 bc of interest rates. I can’t lease a car to get to work, so I walk. I don’t own a bed. #cancelmydebt.”
However, sentiments are polarized. A huge chunk of posts bearing the hashtag talks about their disagreement to Warren’s plans. Most of them argued that student loans are student’s decisions, and the government should not be burdened to pay for their obligations.
“#CancelMyDebt? Uh, no. Nobody forced you to take out student loans. Nobody forced you to major in something that won’t land you a good job. Nobody else is responsible for your debt. It’s your debt; it’s your responsibility.” Joe Walsh tweeted Wednesday.
Kurt Schlichter, a veteran, chimed in saying that Americans can serve in the military and reap the benefits of GI Bill as he did. “Well, you could have served your country and earned GI Bill benefits like I did. But you didn’t. So I’m kind of unclear why you think I owe you anything.#CancelMyDebt? Nah. How about you #PayYourOwnDebt?” /apr
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