Vaccines, the unvaccinated, and the delta variant: image of the COVID-19 virus
Science Corner

Vaccines, the Unvaccinated, and the Delta Variant of COVID-19

COVID-19 cases are up, the delta variant is plowing through the unvaccinated population, and people are dying. It's scary times, but how scary is it for those who are vaccinated? Some general background Let's talk a bit about variants and vaccines more generally before we dive into the delta variant and the COVID vaccines. What… Continue reading Vaccines, the Unvaccinated, and the Delta Variant of COVID-19

What is... Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) - cartoon of exhausted snail
Insights into Psychology Series

What Is… ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue)

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms... but not this week. Instead, we'll take a look at ME/CFS, and why it's absolutely not all in someone's head. The National Institutes of Health describes ME/CFS as "a debilitating disease that lacks a universally accepted case definition, cause, diagnosis, or… Continue reading What Is… ME/CFS (Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue)

Does the gut microbiome affect mental health? - graphic of magnifying glass looking inside intestines
Mental Health & Illness

Does the Gut Microbiome Affect Mental Health?

We all have trillions of microbes living in our intestines. This microbiome, which develops in infancy, plays a major role in our digestion, but there's growing evidence that it affects more than just our digestive system. This collection of critters weighs about 2 kg and includes bacteria, fungi, and viruses. There is no "normal" microbiome… Continue reading Does the Gut Microbiome Affect Mental Health?

Has COVID affected your access to health care? - icons of different health specialties
Mental Health Care

Has COVID Impacted Your Access to (Mental) Health Care?

It's been more than a year, and COVID is still going strong. It's made a lot of people sick and it's killed a lot of people. The lockdowns and social distancing have given most people cabin fever, and the ongoing stress has been bad for everyone's mental health. But what about those of us who… Continue reading Has COVID Impacted Your Access to (Mental) Health Care?

Medicine wheel
Recovery and Well-being

What We Can Learn from the Medicine Wheel

Curve Lake Cultural Centre While we're used to looking through a Western lens at health and wellness, I think there can be a great deal of value in looking at other ways of understanding to gain new ideas. The medicine wheel is used by certain North American Indigenous peoples to tie together culture, traditional knowledge,… Continue reading What We Can Learn from the Medicine Wheel

How does your health care system work? - icons of different medical specialties
Mental Health Care

How Does Your Local Health Care System Work?

I was talking recently with Luftmentsch of Vision of the Night about the health care systems in the UK and Canada, and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what a patient scenario might look like in different health care systems. Health care systems overview First, let's take a quick look… Continue reading How Does Your Local Health Care System Work?

the placebo effect: what causes it?
Science Corner

The Placebo Effect: What Is It and Why Does It Happen?

We've probably all heard of the placebo effect, but what is it, and how does it work. For something that happens regularly, it's not all that well understood. A placebo is any substance that's not intended or expected to have any therapeutic effect. Ethically, it generally wouldn't be considered acceptable to give a patient a… Continue reading The Placebo Effect: What Is It and Why Does It Happen?

Psychic surgery: a real thing, or just a very wacky placebo?
Science Corner

Is Psychic Surgery a Real Thing?

There are plenty of odd pseudoscientific health practices out there, but psychic surgery kicks it up to a whole new level of weird. Psychic surgery isn't like what happens in an operating room; it's more like what happens on a magician's stage. Sleight of hand, fake blood, and animal parts are used to make the… Continue reading Is Psychic Surgery a Real Thing?

Does your body need to detox/cleanse?
Science Corner

Does Your Body Need to Detox or Cleanse?

Detox diets and cleanses are quite popular these days, especially if you're of the Goop-y persuasion. And while they might seem to make sense on an intuitive level, from a science perspective, is there anything to actually back that up? The "toxins" Commercial detox products tend to refer vaguely to "toxins" without actually specifying what… Continue reading Does Your Body Need to Detox or Cleanse?

Adrenal fatigue: can your adrenal glands actually get tired?
Science Corner

Does Adrenal Fatigue Actually Exist?

The term adrenal fatigue was first used by chiropractor James Wilson in 1998, and it became popular with a book he published in 2001. I've written before about some of the quacky dabbling of chiropractors outside the neck and back pain issues we commonly associate them with. You can probably guess from that alone where… Continue reading Does Adrenal Fatigue Actually Exist?