Can't help boasting about your forest bathing and wild swimming…Fess up – you are just a smug …

Can’t help boasting about your forest bathing and wild swimming…Fess up – you are just a smug …

Have you started the year determined to get mind, body and soul together? Good for you. Do me a favour, though — keep it to yourself. Social media seems to have become one, huge wellness brag as people post endlessly about everything from what they ate for breakfast to how long they slept for. So called ‘health signalling’ is the latest smug trend where the most important part of living a wholesome and mindful life is not to feel better, but to make sure others know all about it. Below are some of the worst types of wellness braggers to watch out for this year… THE STEP COUNTERS Remember when it was decreed 10,000 steps (the rough equivalent of 8 km) was the gold standard to aim for every day? Well, the super steppers laugh in the face of 10,000 steps. They’ve done that many before breakfast. They never use the world ‘walk’, they ‘hike’, and delight us all with screenshots of the trails they took together with their step tally. If the super stepper hasn’t reached her 25,000 target, she’ll jog on the spot before bedtime until she does. THE BATH TIME BRAGGERS Who’d have thought washing yourself would become something to boast about? But we’re not talking about a quick shower, rather a bathtime ritual to be shared with the world. The bathing beauty will usually be in a clawfoot tub surrounded by dozens of scented candles as she poses with a book of poetry that she never actually reads. Setting her phone up on a tripod, getting the angle and lighting just right and re-arranging the bubbles, all to demonstrate the power of ‘me time’ sounds so relaxing doesn’t it? Just have a normal bath! THE MEDITATORS There she is, sitting cross legged in her £200 cashmere pants, eyes shut, hair all wild and tousled, thumb and forefinger pressed together as she ‘Oms’ her way to her special place. She’ll list all the ways meditation has improved her life — not to mention gaining her 2,000 new followers on Instagram. What a shame her special place isn’t somewhere there is no Wi-Fi. THE WILD SWIMMERS Swimming outdoors is nothing new, but changing the name from boring old ‘open water swimming’ to sexy, risqué ‘wild swimming’ means it’s now become a huge wellness trend. Said to boost circulation and the immune system, there is now a whole tribe of women who plunge into rivers, ponds and seas in all weathers in order to improve their health. The photos they upload to social media will show them shivering and about to boldly take the plunge — not emerging with blue lips and covered in green slime. FASTERS/DETOXERS Hands clasped around a mug of steaming green tea as though her life depended on it, she is cleansing her body of impurities and wants you with her every step of the way. Gwyneth Paltrow is her role model as she glugs down revolting looking green juices and bone broth, while her constant mentions of ‘gut flora’ put you off your 13 in American Hot pizza with extra cheese. BOOZE BANNERS Any sensible person who took up dry January on the 1st would have ditched it by the 4th, as soon as news of the second national lockdown was announced. Being under house arrest in a freezing cold January is miserable enough, thank you very much. But for some health signallers it provided ultimate bragging opportunities — their resolve is so much stronger than yours. Many dry January participants are people who drank in moderation to start with yet will post about being ‘nine days sober’, as though they were some raging alcoholic knocking back cheap cider in the park. While everyone else is cracking open the Pinot Noir, they are holding firm and annoying the hell out of us all by banging on about how there are more calories in half a bottle of wine than a vegetable stir fry. Maybe, but one of them is going to get me through this winter, and it’s not the beansprouts. SELF-CARE SHOWOFFS Who doesn’t enjoy a pyjama day? Curled up on the sofa with a favourite book or boxset and feeling slightly guilty that the laundry is piling up and the plants need watering. But for some wellness braggers it’s nothing more than a photo opportunity. Cushions and sheepskin throws will be carefully arranged, the Diptyque candles will be burning, interiors magazines are scattered on the coffee table and a pretentious subtitled film will be frozen on the TV screen. They’ll be in full make-up and sporting a bouncy blow dry as they post about the importance of taking time out to just chill and do nothing — apart from taking selfies and pretending to like Ukrainian cinema. RUNNERS Nothing fascinates me more than knowing that someone on Facebook went for a run. I’m on the edge of my seat as they detail: the steepness of the inclines, the danger of the terrain, their heart rate at various stages and whether the run was any kind of ‘PB’ (personal best). I love to be shown a map of the course that they ran along with black and white photos of them lacing up their trainers. They’ll claim that running keeps them sane. It’s just everyone else it drives mad.
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It’s crucial we address COVID vaccine hesitancy among health workers. Here’s where to start

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Turkey: 700000+ health workers vaccinated in 4 days

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Brazil's health agency approves the use of two vaccines

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Health chief warns over failing to comply with restrictions

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64% health workers take jab, poor show in Punjab

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A Measles Outbreak Offers Lessons In Public Health Messaging

A Measles Outbreak Offers Lessons In Public Health Messaging

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Punjab to vaccinate 1.74 lakh health workers

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The face mask that stops you mumbling, the patch that scans for Covid and the loo that gives you a …

The face mask that stops you mumbling, the patch that scans for Covid and the loo that gives you a …

It seems like a lifetime ago. Just days after the 2019 General Election, health secretary Matt Hanc…
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Health and Counseling Services

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UK can see a way out of the pandemic, Health Secretary says

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Dept. of Health confirms first case of UK COVID-19 variant in Louisiana

Dept. of Health confirms first case of UK COVID-19 variant in Louisiana

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Further year of Covid curbs needed to protect public, says top health official

Another year of restrictions related to Covid-19 would be necessary before the number of people vaccinated would be sufficient to protect the public in general from the disease, a top health official has said. Meanwhile, close to 6,500 HSE staff are currently out sick with Covid-19, the HSE chief Paul Reid has stated. Dr Colm Henry, chief clinical officer at the HSE, said in radio comments that social distancing and restrictions in some form were likely for the rest of 2021 at least, until enough of the population could be vaccinated to grant general or herd immunity. “The answer, and not everyone likes it but it’s the truth… is that the public in general won’t have protection from Covid-19 for at least a year… In the meantime, it’s more important than ever to abide by the public health guidance so that we can stop the spread of the virus,” he told Máirín Ní Ghadhra on Raidió na Gaeltachta. “We’re in the middle of the main wave now… and we can see the damage that has been wrought. The vaccine is coming, and we’ll come out of this if we can stick to the public health guidelines until everyone has been vaccinated.” Meanwhile, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said the hospital system is “completely tightening up” and has “formally gone into surge capacity”. The national critical care surge group had been mobilised and close to 6,500 HSE staff are currently out sick with Covid-19, with about 4,000 of those having been working in hospitals, he said. “People are quite sick with this virus and we are seeing families being treated, we’re seeing young people being treated in hospital. So again, it’s a really strong message out to the public – this virus infects everybody,” he told RTÉ’s Saturday with Katie Hannon show. The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has risen slightly to 1,848, according to the latest figures on Saturday morning. Over the last 24 hours, there have been 115 Covid-19 admissions to hospital and 135 patients discharged, the Government’s Covid-19 data hub shows. There are currently 191 patients with the virus in intensive care (ICU). Mr Reid said there are 28 critical care beds available for adults and 12 for children. He said the HSE is expecting “a reasonable number” of the 6,500 staff currently out sick with Covid-19 “coming back very shortly”. He said some teams have been redeployed to support ICU, while non-urgent care has been suspended in hospitals. The HSE chief said there are about 250 people who are not in ICU but who still require “significant supports such as oxygen”. “We have triggered the private hospital agreement and have about 125 beds supported in private hospitals for non-Covid care such as for cardio or cancer patients,” he added. Mr Reid said nursing homes are under “significant pressure”, with about 25 per cent of the facilities experiencing Covid-19 outbreaks. He said the HSE “weren’t happy whatsoever” when Pfizer announced a reduction in manufacturing of its vaccine on Friday afternoon. “I know it got escalated to senior Government levels and I know the Taoiseach made calls across Europe on it,” Mr Reid said. “Thankfully, the situation as announced last night from Pfizer is that it won’t have the impact that was originally projected.” A further 50 coronavirus-related deaths were reported by the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) on Friday, along with 3,498 new cases. Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan urged anyone arriving into the State from Brazil to arrange for a coronavirus test due to the emergence of a new variant which has not as yet been detected in the State. Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the State’s latest vaccination figures “put us at number one in the EU 27 right now”. “That’s in terms of the number of vaccinations happening per day,” he said on a video posted on Twitter on Friday evening. “It’s great we’ve moved quickly to get our nursing home residents and staff vaccinated, and we’re making great progress with all our frontline healthcare workers right across the country. “Of course it won’t always be like this, as other countries will catch up and there will be times when we have to slow down.” Latest figures from last Wednesday showed a total of 77,303 Covid-19 vaccines had been administered in the State. Dr Ronan Glynn, the deputy chief medical officer, said the number of close contacts per confirmed cases has dropped to 2.3 after peaking at 6 at the end of December. “We have a very long way to go but the majority of people are stepping up and playing their part,” he said. “Do not be disheartened by stories of non-compliance. Solidarity has been and remains the hallmark of our response to date in Ireland – the silent majority continue to do the right thing.”
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PUBLIC HEALTH BOSS SAYS ‘NASAL SPRAYS NOT RECOMMENDED TO STOP CORONAVIRUS’

Asked about the effectiveness of the sprays, the Island’s director of public health, Simon Bryant, urged people to be careful when seeing this kind of …
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Why 'Dr Google' is bad for Norwich people's health

Why ‘Dr Google’ is bad for Norwich people’s health

Norwich has been crowned with a dubious honour: people living in the city are the most likely in the UK to jump to the worst conclusions after Googling their health symptoms. Most of us do it – if not for ourselves then for someone we love: we Google health symptoms and self-diagnose before we decide whether or not to see a doctor. Are you guilty of arriving for a doctor’s appointment pre-prepared with a list of possible reasons for your ailment? Do you self-diagnose in order to avoid a trip to your surgery? Or, like 37 per cent of people in Norwich, do you immediately assume the worst once you’ve spent an afternoon consulting Doctor Google? (Guilty as charged). Picture the scene: you’ve been aware all day of a persistent twitch in your eye – at first it’s really irritating, then it’s slightly worrying and by the evening you’re convinced that something must be really, really wrong. As you begin to scroll through the countless thousands of pages that immediately greet you when you type in your symptoms, you feel reassured: the NHS help pages say that such twitches are “very rarely a sign of anything serious”. Phew. Good news. So what are these non-serious reasons why might an eye still be twitching? It could be, according to the NHS, down to stress and anxiety, tiredness and exhaustion, drinking caffeine or alcohol or a reaction to medicine. At this point, it would be reasonable to stop Googling and accept the answer from the National Health Service which suggests that we should only seek help if the symptom persists for more than two weeks. But no: why accept a reasonable answer when we can go searching for answers that are far more distressing? The next search result suggests we may have blepharitis (inflamed eyelids), dry eyes, light sensitivity or an infection. We should stop here, and we know it. The next search result offers us hypochondriac’s gold when we discover that a twitchy eye MIGHT be a sign of Bell’s Palsy, Dystonia (an uncontrollable movement disorder), Parkinson’s Disease or Tourette’s Syndrome. It could, in a vanishingly rare number of cases, be linked to a brain tumour. What is the message that someone determined to see the worst in any given situation likely to take away from this research? Will it be that they are probably absolutely fine or will it be that the Grim Reaper is standing on the sidelines tapping his wristwatch? As we lose ourselves down a deep, dark rabbit hole of worst case scenarios we find ourselves Googling even more and becoming ever-more anxious which in turn leads to more symptoms and more Googling and… At best, the internet can offer us an idea of what might be wrong with us and offer us an over-the-counter remedy we can pick up, at worse it can cause anxiety, unnecessary contact with health services and impact our day-to-day functioning. According to a new survey by vision care provider www.lenstore.co.uk , people in Norwich tend to be the most likely in the UK to decide that their health symptoms are a sign of something terrible. Next on the list is Plymouth, then Leeds, Bristol and London. Further research has revealed that up to a third of people in the UK have become convinced they have a life-threatening illness after Googling their symptoms. The worldwide pandemic has worsened ‘cyberchondria’ as people race to research any symptom they may have to see if it is linked to Covid-19. And equally, many people feel they should not ‘bother’ their doctor with their health problems or are they concerned about going outdoors during a lockdown (please call your surgery if you have health concerns – the NHS has stressed the importance of seeking help when it is needed). More women than men use online tools to check their health and the age group most likely to check their symptoms online are those aged between 16 and 24 followed by those aged 35 to 44. Nearly half of us admit that using Google to research symptoms helps them to decide whether they need to visit a doctor or not. Just as the public uses internet search engines to predict their own health problems, researchers are using Google Trends to measure interest in specific symptoms related to Covid-19 to gauge actual incidence of the disease. In America, the research has shown that Google search interest in loss of taste, loss of appetite and stomach problems increased four weeks before a spike in Covid-19 cases in most states. While the internet is often a good starting point for discovering what ails you, it shouldn’t necessarily be your final answer to diagnosing your symptoms – and if you Google ‘should I look up my health symptoms on Google’, the answer is fairly self-serving. According to my search result, Googling symptoms can lead to an awful and debilitating condition called “health anxiety” which involves actually making yourself ill by worrying about already being ill. It’s enough to give you a headache (but is it really ‘just’ a headache? I better just check…). How to use Doctor Google safely 1)    Use trusted sites – it won’t come as a shock to you that you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. So stick to reputable websites such as www.nhs.uk and be particularly wary of sites that are selling supplements, food or health-related ‘miracles’. 2)    A survey published in the British Medical Journal found that the correct diagnosis was only returned as the top search result 34 per cent of the time on sites that are self-billed ‘symptom checkers’. 3)    If you are worried about your health always consult a pharmacist or your doctor. 4)    Try not to become anxious by what your internet search finds – while search engines can empower us with information, online research is no substitute for a trained professional’s diagnosis. Factfile * Just under 60 per cent of people in the UK Google their health symptom before consulting a doctor and 16 per cent see a condition go undiagnosed from self-diagnosis •    People in the UK worry about their health an average of 1.6 times each week •    Almost a third of people in the UK admit that Googling a health symptom makes them feel MORE anxious, with 22 per cent of people saying it has a negative impact on their mental health •    Diarrhoea, confusion and anxiety are the UK’s most searched symptoms •    Three in 10 of us would rather Google our symptoms to avoid putting pressure on the NHS, yet nearly the same percentage of people think Googling their ailments has a negative impact on their mental health •    With more than 90 per cent of the overall search engine market share, Google receives around a billion health questions every day and answers 70,000 health inquiries a minute
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US health secretary Alex Azar tells Trump Capitol attack threatens legacy

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Bryson DeChambeau focused on brain training, gut health after Masters health issue

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Zimbabwe Health Minister Denies Hospitals Overwhelmed by Virus

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‘We’re In A War With This Virus’: Biden Lays Out COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

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We cannot ease up in our fightback – Health Minister

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THAT was the message from Health Minister Robin Swann as Northern Ireland’s most recent Covid-19 …
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Patients putting off scans until they receive Covid-19 jab, health board warns

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