In this digital age, there is a big disconnect between leaders and the people they lead. Many managers think they are doing a great job but when you ask the people they lead, it’s quite the opposite. Many employees feel unappreciated and undervalued. Employee engagement is at an all time low. What seems to be missing link? Empathy. 

Many organizations are focused on achieving goals no matter what the cost to employees. If we treat people only as the means to an end, we will never have their loyalty. Treat your people right. Great leaders are concerned about getting the job done as well as the well-being of those under their care. It doesn’t mean being overly attentive or soft but demonstrate that you value people. Without empathy, you can’t build a team, inspire followers or elicit loyalty. Leaders that possess this trait always make time for people.

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”. – Theodore Roosevelt

Empathy and listening go hand in hand. Why? Because listening shows you care. You can’t show empathy if you do not listen. Good listening skills is fast becoming an endangered species due to information overload and shortened attention span. The quality of our listening determines the quality of our influence. Employees want to be heard and they want to be respected. Listening transmits that kind of respect and builds trust.

If you want to increase employee engagement and loyalty. Pretty simple! Show people that you genuine care! Sometimes it’s the little things we do that counts the most. It’s the simple things people remember. The thoughtful gesture, the kind word, the much needed support. It’s doesn’t cost much to show employees you genuinely care, but it can make the biggest difference in keeping them loyal, happy and engaged.

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Prostate Cancer Treatment Goes Nanogold

Christmas decoration, close-up full frame

One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, making it the most common nonskin cancer in the United States. Traditionally, therapies to treat prostate cancer have not been as specific as they could be, often leading to unwanted side effects and damage to the sensitive surrounding tissue. Now, a new study from investigators at Mt. Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine provides new data that biocompatible gold nanoparticles, designed to convert near-infrared light to heat have been shown to safely and effectively ablate low- to intermediate-grade tumors within the prostate.

Findings from the new study were published recently in PNAS through an article titled “Gold nanoshell-localized photothermal ablation of prostate tumors in a clinical pilot device study.” This treatment could offer patients a targeted therapy option that would preserve critical structures within the prostate, thus avoiding side effects associated with whole-gland treatment such as prostatectomies.

Removal or other whole-gland treatment of the prostate carries risks of urinary incontinence and erectile dysfunction. However, technological advances have provided clinicians with options for focal therapies with fewer complications.

In the current study, researchers tested the effectiveness of AuroLase® Therapy, a treatment from medical device company Nanospectra Biosciences that is based on technology invented at Rice University. The technique was used in the clinical trial to target and treat the prostate cancer cells using a custom-built MR US fusion guided platform in collaboration with Philips Healthcare. AuroLase uses gold-silica nanoshells (GSN), particles invented that is composed of a silica core and a gold shell with a diameter of 150 nm. AuroShells are designed to absorb energy from near-infrared light and convert it to heat, resulting in selective hyperthermic cell death, without affecting adjacent non-tumorous tissue. The treatment was effectively demonstrated in previous cell studies and animal models. Following treatment, the particles are cleared through the liver, while some remain sequestered in the liver and spleen. There are no known side effects.

“Gold-silica nanoshells infusion allows for a focused therapy that treats the cancer, while sparing the rest of the prostate, thus preserving a patient’s quality of life by reducing unwanted side effects, which could include erectile dysfunction and/or the leakage of urine,” explained lead study investigator Ardeshir Rastinehad, DO, associate professor of urology, and radiology, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Sixteen men aged 58 to 79 with low- to intermediate-grade prostate cancer (Gleason score of 4+3) received GSN infusion. All were diagnosed and treated at using a targeted biopsy technique called magnetic resonance-ultrasound fusion imaging, which uses MRI technology to extract a tissue sample directly from the tumor. Patients underwent GSN infusion and high-precision laser ablation and received an MRI of the prostate 48–72 hours after the procedure, MRI-targeted fusion biopsies at 3 and 12 months, and a standard biopsy at 12 months. Patients were discharged on the same day as the procedure after several hours of monitoring.

Amazingly, GSN-mediated focal laser ablation was successful in 87.5% of lesions treated at one year of follow-up. The goal of researchers was to find an eradication of cancer cells during a biopsy.

“Mount Sinai’s interventional urology program is research-driven and offers patients minimally invasive treatment therapies that improve quality of life,” said Ash Tewari, MD, chair of the department of urology at the Mount Sinai Health System and professor of urology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Dr. Rastinehad’s gold nanoparticle research shows that patients are not only benefiting from this treatment but also experiencing minimal side effects.”

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The Woodland Trust says the Japanese practice of “forest bathing” should be prescribed on the NHS to tackle stress and other mental health problems. According to the charity, hugging trees, listening to bird song and kicking through leaves are all activities that can boost mental health.


Denis Costille | ShutterstockThe Trust is urging GPs to prescribe forest bathing for mental health conditions and direct patients to their nearest woodland.

Head of innovation at the Woodland Trust, Stuart Dainton, say all family doctors should have the knowledge to point patients towards the nearest suitable woodland where they can absorb nature, informally or as part of a structured program. He is appealing to GPs to make use of the more than 1,000 sites covered by the Trust in the UK.

Stemming from the Japanese art Shinrin-yoku, the practice was devised 40 years ago by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries as part of an initiative to tackle stress among men. The activity involves breathing deeply and absorbing the atmosphere of the forest as a way of yielding calming, rejuvenating and restorative effects.

Participants are encouraged to immerse themselves in the environment and take in the sights, sounds, touch and smells of the forest.

It’s about invigorating the senses by walking in the woods, smelling, listening to the sounds of the woods, touching the ground. We’re almost losing that as a society.”

Stuart Dainton

He adds that forest bathing should also be encouraged for children to help fight the “always on” culture prompted by social media.S


BBC presenter Kate Humble is calling for schools to conduct lessons outside, referring to how difficult she found education whilst surrounded by four walls:

I find it stultifying and boring and I spent probably more of my school career going ‘How can five minutes feel like five hours?’ There is no reason why maths, English literature or any subject cannot be taught outside.”

Kate Humble

Forest bathing is now practiced by more than five million Japanese people and has quietly been gaining popularity in the UK. The therapy, which has become a cornerstone of preventative health care in Japanese medicine, has prompted a number of scientific studies that seem to prove its beneficial effects.

Research mainly conducted in Japan and South Korea, has shown that two hours of time spent mindfully exploring a forest can lower blood pressure, reduce the stress hormone cortisol and improve memory and concentration. Studies have also found that trees release substances called phytoncides, which have anti-microbial properties and can boost the immune system.

As a result of these findings, the Japanese government decided to introduce shinrin-yoku as a national health program and now forest therapy is an established practice throughout the world.

An increasing number of companies are now offering structured forest bathing programs that last anything from between a couple of days through to week-long residential stays.

The Forestry Commission, which is the largest proprietor of wooded land, has also announced that it plans to launch nationwide programs. In addition, it provides printable recommendations on how to practice the activity, including tips on how to breathe correctly.

Health benefits of forest bathing

Beneficial effects of forest bathing (that have been scientifically proven) include:

  • Increased natural killer cell count and improved immune system function
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved sleep
  • Higher energy levels
  • Improved mood
  • Increased concentration, particularly among children with ADHD
  • Faster recovery from illness or surgery
  • Decreased stress

Helen Stokes-Lampard from the Royal College of GPs advises that getting outside can have a “really positive impact” on health:

We do know that patients often benefit from non-medical interventions such as an exercise class, learning a skill or joining a community group. This is now referred to as ‘social prescribing,’ and ‘forest bathing’ is one of many activities that people might find beneficial for their overall wellbeing.”

Helen Stokes-Lampard

Dainton says that social prescribing through aspects of Shinrin-yoku, forest bathing, is a route to helping the nation destress: “One in four of us are potentially going to suffer from mental health problems. Part of the solution is just getting outside and enjoying nature.”

Forest bathing “practitioner” Faith Douglas points out that forest bathing has been out there for years: “ This is something our ancestors did, this is something that cultures do all over the planet — it’s simply being mindful in a natural environment.”

How many people could benefit from forest bathing?

Millions of people are affected by mental health problems every year in the U.S. Statistics on the prevalence and impact of these conditions in the U.S. include the following:

  • Around one-fifth (46.6 million) of adults experience a mental health condition every year
  • Each year, an estimated one in 25 (11.2 million) adults develop a serious mental health problem that significantly limits or disrupts day-today activities
  • Around one in five (21.4%) individuals aged 13 to 18 years develop a severe mental health condition
  • Around 13% of those aged 8 to 15 years develop a severe mental health condition
  • The percentage of adults living with schizophrenia is 1.1%
  • For bipolar disorder, the figure is 2.6%
  • Almost 7% (16 million) adults experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year
  • About 18% of adults developed an anxiety disorder such as phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Of 20.2 million adults who had a substance abuse problem, 10.2 million also had a mental health illness
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Sudden cardiac deaths linked to Energy drinks in young people.

“High amounts of sugar and caffeine can aggravate underlying heart issues, causing fatal arrhythmias!”

To many adolescents and young adults, energy drinks have become essential for getting through the day. But they carry a serious risk of sudden death, a new study finds.

An international research team, has concluded that energy drinks are the cause of many sudden cardiac deaths in young, healthy individuals. The main concern is that these beverages can easily aggravate underlying heart issues. Because of their high amounts of caffeine and sugar, dangerous arrhythmias can easily develop in the hearts of young people who drink them.

Many people already balk at the high amounts of labeled caffeine on these drinks. The problem is that there are many additional sources of caffeine that are “masked” by the labeling.

“Masked” caffeine

Ingredients such as guarana, ginseng, and taurine have caffeine concentrations that are equal to, or higher than, caffeine found in coffee. Ingesting high doses of any of these substances can be very dangerous.

Roughly 31% of adolescents from ages 12 to 19 consume energy drinks on a regular basis. An even higher number of people use alternatives to these beverages, such as gums or inhalers. The high amounts of caffeine in all of these products is causing serious harm, the study found. Of the 5,448 caffeine overdoses reported in the United States in 2007, 46% of them occurred in people under the age of 19. The question is, how can we halt this trend of overconsumption by young people?

Dr. Sanchis-Gomar and his team came up with several guidelines to keep young people from over-indulging. They caution that:

  • One can (250 mL) of an energy drink per day is safe for most healthy adolescents.
  • Energy drink consumption before or during sports practice should be avoided.
  • Adolescents with clinically relevant underlying medical conditions should consult cardiologists before drinking energy drinks.
  • Excessive energy drink consumption together with alcohol or other drugs, or both, may lead to adverse effects, including death.

In the study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Dr. Sanchis-Gomar goes on to say alerting physicians to the dangers of energy drinks is extremely important.

“It is important for physicians to understand the lack of regulation in caffeine content and other ingredients of these high-energy beverages,” he said. Knowledge and awareness are key to providing safety for young people. 

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Broken heart

You Really Can Die From A Broken Heart – Cardiologist Explains.

The concept of ‘dying from a broken heart’ is a tale that is often shared in our favorite movies and fairy-tales, painting a picture of a love that was so perfect that once just can’t imagine living without their partner. A romantic notion indeed, but experts are speaking up and revealing that ‘Broken heart syndrome’ isn’t reserved for works of fiction! In fact, people are suffering from the condition right here in America today!

Also known as ‘stress-induced cardiomyopathy,’ this is a condition that is caused when someone is under sudden extreme stress, like that caused by the loss of a loved one. 

Dr. Matthew Lorber, a psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York explains, “Broken heart syndrome – which is, in fact, a real thing – is when someone finds out some shocking news, typically terrible news, and there’s a massive release of these stress hormones that are released into the bloodstream, and the heart is then bombarded with these stress hormones. This could be the news, certainly, of a loved one dying, which is where the ‘broken heart syndrome’ name comes from. This could be the news of getting a divorce. This could be a boss coming in and telling you that you’re fired – anything that can cause intense stress”

Source: Collective Evolution

Lorber also warns that this shocking or stressful news doesn’t have to be negative in nature. For example, a father being told for the first time that he is about to have a baby can trigger a similar bodily reaction. When the stress hormones reach the heart, they cause a temporary weakening of the left ventricle, limiting its ability to adequately function. As a result, the heart momentarily ‘freezes,’ causing circulation problems.

While there are some risk factors that will increase your chances, anyone can experience broken heart syndrome regardless of how healthy you may be. That being said, 90% of cases are in women, specifically those with a history of mental health problems, or those who have a history of neurological problems such as seizures. 

Those who are over the age of 50 are also at a higher risk. Surprisingly, a history of heart disease does not impact your risk of broken heart syndrome.

The condition is treatable in most cases; however, it is important that all Americans educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms so as to seek medical assistance at the first sign. Often mimicking a heart attack, stress-induced cardiomyopathy often presents with chest pain, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, nausea, dizziness, fainting or an irregular heartbeat.

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Arthritis Pain reduction foods


Arthritis is a disease that has no cure and it has long been known, but there are foods that can help us alleviate symptoms and reduce arthritis pain.


The great influence of the reduction of chronic inflammations responsible for joint pain and pain caused by arthritis have sour cherries. 200 milliliters of juice a day or a cup of fresh cherries are advised.

Fish (salmon and mackerel)

Omega-2 fatty acids are a natural remedy against inflammation, and therefore oils of some fish can relieve arthritis pain. Arthritis sufferers should eat two to three servings of fatty fish weekly or daily fish oil capsules.


It’s no secret that broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables we know. The broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a substance for which research shows that it possesses anti-inflammatory properties.


This leafy vegetables are rich in antioxidants such as camphorol, which has been shown to reduce inflammation and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.


While more studies are needed, research has shown that ginger reduces symptoms of arthritis, as well as anti-inflammatory conditions.

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Fresh Flowers in Your Home Reduces Levels of Pain

Researchers want flowers to be “complementary medicine” in hospitals.

fresh flowers bouquet buy

Sending flowers to your sick or sad friend might be a universal go-to gift, but the heartwarming gesture is actually more helpful than you think. I know it may be surprising, but there are more to flowers than just a sweet smell and a pretty face—they can have some seriously positive effects on our health, too.

The American Society for Horticulture Scienceperformed a study evaluating if plants have therapeutic influences on surgical patients, and the results are honestly kind of shocking. 90 patients were split into rooms either with plants or without plants, and those with some kind of foliage had wildly different results than those who had not. 

According to the study, those exposed to flowers had lower blood pressure and heart rate, lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue, and more positive feelings and higher satisfaction about their rooms than the patients without foliage. The findings from this research actually suggests that flowers should be “complementary medicine” for recovering patients. Now that’s an idea I can get behind. HOUSE BEAUTIFUL

Bouquets of flowers can actually also make us feel less stressed out, according to a study published in Complementary Therapies In Medicine. The study gave college-aged women a fresh vase of roses for their dorm rooms, and the results included the subjects feeling more relaxed and stress-free than before. I don’t know about you, but this info is persuading me to go out and buy myself a bouquet—or six.

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It’s amazing how many people believe that once they attain a certain title or level of leadership, that automatically people will respect and listen to them. 

Leadership and influence aren’t necessarily a package deal. Someone could be a good influencer, but not a good leader.

The key to successful leadership today is influence not authority – Kenneth Hartley Blanchard 

When used incorrectly, influence can appear as dictating, manipulative, or imposing when it should be about producing results and creating change – a distinct factor between a leader and a manager. 

People follow those who they believe in, leaders who demonstrate values that they align with.

Therefore, an influential leader knows that they cannot change others, only themselves – to be someone people will want to follow. Great leaders influence for positive results on behalf of the whole, instead of just themselves. 

An influencer leads ideas. 

A leader leads people.

When influence comes from a place of authenticity, it has the potential to leave a lasting impact.

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Eye Drops that Dissolve Cataracts

It could mean a cheap, painless way to restore vision to thousands.

Most of us take our vision for granted. As a result, we take the ability to read, write, drive, and complete a multitude of other tasks for granted. However, sight is not so easy for everyone. Indeed, for many people, si

Fortunately, there is a treatment; however, the only option is surgery, and it is prohibitively expensive. This means that, unfortunately, for individuals in developing nations, who often lack access to basic medical care, treatment is not an option.

But of course, this isn’t just a problem faced by developing nations.

There are, however, other treatment options. Researchers based in the US have created a drug that can be delivered directly into the eye via an eyedropper. And it can dissolve cataracts.

Despite its remarkable promise, the treatment has yet to be tested on humans. The drug is slated to enter clinical trials, but because of the strict regulations put in place to ensure there are no extreme side effects associated with new drugs, it will be some time before these drops make it to market and can be utilized as a viable alternative to surgery.

Regardless, this is a great step forward.

How It Works

Cataracts result from the structure of the crystallin proteins that make up the lens in our eyes. Specifically, they form when this structure deteriorates, which causes the proteins to clump together, forming a milky layer over the eye that obstructs vision.

Scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes the proteins to do this (in other words, they’re not entirely certain why cataracts form in the first place). That said, there are some ideas, and this is where the new drug comes in.

This treatment was created based on a naturally-occurring steroid, which is known as “lanosterol.” Scientists recently discovered two siblings who had cataracts when their parents did not. These siblings shared a mutation that stopped the production of lanosterol. Notably, their parents did not have this mutation.

The scientists then thought, if the parents are producing lanosterol and don’t have cataracts, then perhaps their kids have cataracts because they aren’t producing lanosterol. Thus, adding lanosterol to the eye (or something that is similar to it) might stop the crystallin proteins from clumping together and forming cataracts.

The scientists tested this hypothesis on rabbits, and the results were very promising. After just a week, all but two of their 13 test subjects had gone from having severe cataracts to mild cataracts (or none at all). This drug was also tested on dogs, and it had the same results.

IIf the trials on humans are successful, and they make it to market, these eye drops could be used to change the lives of millions around the globe. It could literally mean the difference between blindness and sight. Ruben Abagyan, who co-authored the paper, hopes that the lanosterol drops will have the same impact on cataracts in humans.

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The Ancient Greek Cure for Depression and Anxiety

As far as societies go, we’re one stressed out, anxious, depressed and self-medicating mess. Those of us who work on the front-lines in the mental health field know this all too well; others need only to take a careful look around the social-cultural landscape to appreciate that our collective mental health is not too, well, healthy.

Globally, things aren’t much better; according to the World Health Organization (WHO) 450 million people worldwide are directly affected by mental disorders and disabilities and that by 2030 depression will top the list of all other health conditions as the number one financial burden around the world.

Why? Why are we getting more stressed out and more depressed?

Increased rates of depression (not to mention other mental health woes like anxiety and addiction) are a byproduct of our modernized, industrialized and urbanized lives. It seems that our love affair with the gadgets, gizmos and comforts of being a highly technologically evolved society have put us on a never-ending treadmill of overworking, under-sleeping and hyper-stressing as we exhaustedly lunge towards the “American Dream”. Our need for i-Phones, plasma TVs and a bigger house is killing us.

The levels of bright-light exposure-time spent outdoors-have been declining. The average adult gets just over six and a half hours of sleep a night. It used to be nine hours a night. There’s increasing isolation, fragmentation, the erosion of community.

We feel perpetually stressed. And the more we learn about depression neurologically, the more we learn that it represents the brain’s runaway stress response.

So what were these magical lifestyle changes (which have also become known as “Caveman Therapy”)?

They were essentially 6 things:

eating an omega-3 rich diet;

getting regular daily exercise;

getting plenty of natural sunlight;

getting ample sleep every night;

being involved in some type of social activity where social connections were made; and

participation in meaningful tasks that leave little time for negative thoughts-all things that our ancestors had in abundance.

A holistic way of living that had been known in the ancient world as the “Bios Pythagorikos” (the Pythagorean Way of Life) that included

a healthy vegetarian diet,

daily rigorous physical exercise, and

philosophical group discussions (dialectical discussions) that were meant to help a person better understand their universe and their purpose within that universe.

And living ethically was also essential. For the Greeks, act-right/think-right were the keys towards well-being.

Participants in my study who immersed themselves into this more engaged, reflective way of life experienced the following:

meaningfully increased levels of personal as well as transpersonal awareness;

an increased appreciation for life (as well as death);

an increased sense of purpose in their lives; an increased sense of concern for others, as well as

an increased sense of spirituality and self-acceptance.

So if you’re feeling depressed or stressed out, instead of reaching for the medicine cabinet, maybe it’s time to try a very old-school–as in ancient–solution; you might be amazed at how differently you feel and how differently you experience the world.

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