There is so much information about the latest findings related to health and wellness in newspapers, magazines, and on the Internet, it feels like a deluge. Some of this information is accurate and useful, some of the advice is wrong (“5 foods you should NEVER eat!”) or dangerous, and a lot of it is there just get money out of you.
How to make sense of all of it?
It isn’t hard for me. I have a PhD in Physiological Psychology, and have been working in the field of Psychoneuroimmunology for more than twenty years. I’ve spent 35 years in scientific research, involving hands on bench work, writing papers and grant applications, and reviewing (tons of)
papers submitted for publications and grants for funding. This has required developing expertise and background in topics ranging from molecular biology to human clinical studies. After all these years I feel like I am bilingual- I speak, read, and write in English and Sciencese.
The great thing is that now I have a wide-ranging knowledge base, and an ability to translate scientific results into something that non-scientists can understand. This knowledge has helped me greatly in my everyday life- not just in dealing with my own health issues and interactions with health care professionals, but in more fun things including learning to play my violin again (after not playing at all for decades). Not to mention knowing when not to click on tempting web sites!
The motivation for this blog comes from interactions with my friends and family, and people who come to my seminars. I’ve found that information about things like how the brain works, and what drugs do to our bodies, etc., that are so well known to basic scientists that they are pretty much dogma, is just not out there for the general public. This includes health care practitioners.
It’s a little bit frustrating (not to mention kind of nerdy) to try to explain the basis for my opinions when informally talking with people, because there is just a lot of background that needs to be explained before I can get to my point. And who wants to listen to a lecture at a cocktail party? (Yes, I have pretty much done that, but just because people keep asking questions!).
So this blog gives me the chance to talk about things that I think are important, interesting and useful, in a way that can be understandable to people without PhDs in Neuroscience, Physiology, Nutrition etc. I can explain things in a hopefully organized way, and provide links to science articles that back up what I’m saying.
I’m looking forward to feedback and questions about the topics I address in the blog, as well as suggestions for topics I should cover. Most of the entries will be about things I think are important, and things people I have spoken to think are interesting, but some will be about recent relevant reports in the media. This informal format will give me an opportunity to say what I really think about things!