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... Series (Insights into Psychology)
Insights into Psychology

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
MH@H Mental Health

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. Role of the microbiome This collection of critters weighs about 2 kg and includes bacteria, fungi, and viruses. There… Continue reading Does the Gut Microbiome Affect Mental Health?

Has COVID-19 impacted your access to health care? - icons representing different health specialities
MH@H Mental Health

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?

Supplements for health and illness, a $35 billion a year industry – but do they help?
Mental Illness Treatment

Do You Take Supplements for Your Health or Illness?

According to a Washington Post article, Americans spend $35 billion per year on vitamins and supplements. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which have to demonstrate effectiveness and safety to get approved, supplements only need to demonstrate safety. That's a lot of money to spend on things that may or may not be helpful. Just because they're "natural" doesn't… Continue reading Do You Take Supplements for Your Health or Illness?

Medicine wheel
Wellbeing & Recovery

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. The medicine wheel is used by certain North American Indigenous peoples to tie together culture, traditional knowledge, health, and healing. Traditionally,… Continue reading What We Can Learn from the Medicine Wheel

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

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 particular health care system. Health care systems overview First, let's take a quick look… Continue reading How Does Your Local Health Care System Work?

What have toilets got to do with climate change? World Toilet Day 2020
Social Issues

It’s World Toilet Day – Yes, That’s a Real Thing

I love a good toilet joke, but this actually isn't one.  UN-Water's World Toilet Day is observed every November 19, and is an initiative of the United Nations agency that deals with sanitation. World Toilet Day 2019 The theme for 2019 is leaving no one behind, which speaks to the 4.2 billion people worldwide who don't… Continue reading It’s World Toilet Day – Yes, That’s a Real Thing

the placebo effect: what causes it?
Science Corner

What Exactly Is the Placebo Effect?

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 What Exactly Is the Placebo Effect?

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?