Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Left Brain vs. Right: It’s a Myth, Research Finds


It’s the foundation of myriad personality assessment tests, self-motivation books, and team-building exercises – and it’s all bunk.

Popular culture would have you believe that logical, methodical and analytical people are left-brain dominant while the creative and artistic types are right-brain dominant. Trouble is, science never really supported this notion.

Now, scientists at the University of Utah have debunked the myth with an analysis of more than 1,000 brains. They found no evidence that people preferentially use their left or right brain. All of the study participants — and no doubt the scientists — were using their entire brain equally, throughout the course of the experiment.

A paper describing this study appeared in August in the journal PLOS ONE. [10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Brain

The preference to use one brain region more than others for certain functions, which scientists call lateralization, is indeed real, said lead author Dr. Jeff Anderson, director of the fMRI Neurosurgical Mapping Service at the University of Utah. For example, speech emanates from the left side of the brain for most right-handed people. This does not imply, though, that great writers or speakers use their left side of the brain more than the right, or that one side is richer in neurons.

There is a misconception that everything to do with being analytical is confined to one side of the brain, and everything to do with being creative is confined to the opposite side, Anderson said. In fact, it is the connections among all brain regions that enable humans to engage in both creativity and analytical thinking.

“It is not the case that the left hemisphere is associated with logic or reasoning more than the right,” Anderson told LiveScience. “Also, creativity is no more processed in the right hemisphere than the left.”

Anderson’s team examined brain scans of participants ages 7 to 29 while they were resting. They looked at activity in 7,000 brain regions and examined neural connections within and between these regions. Although they saw pockets of heavy neural traffic in certain key regions, on average, both sides of the brain were essentially equal in their neural networks and connectivity.

“We just don’t see patterns where the whole left-brain network is more connected, or the whole right-brain network is more connected in some people,” said Jared Nielsen, a graduate student and first author on the new study.

The myth of people being either “left-brained” or “right-brained” might have arisen from the Nobel Prize-winning research of Roger Sperry, which was done in the 1960s. Sperry studied patients with epilepsy, who were treated with a surgical procedure that cut the brain along a structure called the corpus callosum. Because the corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres of the brain, the left and right sides of these patients’ brains could no longer communicate.

Sperry and other researchers, through a series of clever studies, determined which parts, or sides, of the brain were involved in language, math, drawing and other functions in these patients. But then popular-level psychology enthusiasts ran with this idea, creating the notion that personalities and other human attributes are determined by having one side of the brain dominate the other.

The neuroscience community never bought into this notion, Anderson said, and now we have evidence from more than 1,000 brain scans showing absolutely no signs of left or right dominance.

Anderson said he wasn’t out to do some myth busting. His team’s goal is to better understand brain lateralization to treat conditions such as Down syndrome, autism or schizophrenia, where the left and right hemispheres have atypical roles.

So, should you trash your app that tries to determine if you are a left-brain or right-brain thinker? Both sides of your brain, as well as neuroscientists, say yes.




What You Ain’t Told About that Body Pain


According to a study by Omokhodion in SouthEastern Nigeria, the 12 months prevalance of low back pain was estimated to be (44%) while the point prevalance was (39%). Back pain was more prevalant in men (49%) than in women (39%). It was also associated to a history of trauma. The prevalance of back pain was highest among farmers(85%) and lowest among housewives(32%). The prevalance of back pain in this community is comparable to figures obtained in industrialised countries. Thus applicable to you and I in our respective environment; and I’m sure if you take the statistics around you, out of 10 people, about 4 or 5, will have some sort of back pain, that is just it! It is that bad. What are your options then?

A major treatment of not just back pain and complex regional pain syndromes, myogenic pain syndromes, osteoarthrogenic pain, polymalgia rheumatica pain syndromes, has been conservative management and statistic has shown that United States ‘victims’ of back pain have first contacted conservative management, but why? You ask


Conservative management of back pain, so as it is described, includes the pharmacotherapy management and non-operative management which simply put is, pain management with manual therapy or manipulation, whether under anaesthesia or not. It involves procedures like soft tissue mobilization, oscillatory trusts, manipulative thrusts, vertical digital pressures which are diagnostic and therapeutic depending on the aim of their use.

It has been proven to be cost effective – lesser amount charged, less health risk predisposing, and therapeutically efficacious with immediate relief in some cases.

Now what you might never be told is that, that pain you have at your back is due to a condition originating from structures around the affected part, and could be diagnosed with manual tests, and it’s not everytime it gets picked up by an Xray which your physician has pushed for; that the drugs (Ibuprofen, Tramadol, Steroid therapy, et al) is short lived and not a lasting solution; that the decompression surgical schedule for a spinal canal compression syndrome might not be necessary when you meet experts in manual therapy and diagnosis; that the shoulder pain could be a rotator cuff syndrome and requires just a tone up and probably cryotherapy to relieve; that the acute prolapsed disc you’re being billed for a traction can benefit from manual therapy and a cure would be holistic; that your condition might be an anterior sacroiliac joint syndrome and drugs would never take care of it, it might just complicate it, and that your hope for a good diagnosis is manual diagnosis and the treatment manual therapy; that your dizziness as serious and life threatening as it is, probably just needs a canalith repositioning maneuver to get you whole! And that a physiotherapist is your best bet.


In Nigeria, when you mention manual therapy and diagnosis, you mention Physiotherapists not Physicians, I hope you know the difference?
For the lower back pain, for the neck pain, for the shoulder pain, for the knee pain, for that pain anywhere, get a physiotherapist. Fret not, a physiotherapist after thorough assessment may refer you to other specialist when he finds out your pain needs another specialist – maybe in case of cancer or a referred pain from your intestinal organs – WE KNOW BOUNDARIES and work with it in mind always.

So, my dear people, have you been experiencing this intractable pain, have you taken so much pain pills, there is another remedy that has proven effective both in cost and efficacy – Physiotherapy. We evict the cause of pain, we don’t mask pain, we don’t hide pain and we don’t treat pain, we treat the cause of pain.

Israel Adandom
(Manual Therapist)


Study: 30 Minutes of Daily Exercise Best for Weight Loss

Do you think spending an hour at the gym every day is going to get you to your weight-loss goals? Think again.  According to a new study, less might be more! But is that really the case?

To conduct their study, researchers at the University of Copenhagen divided a group of sedentary, overweight men into three groups, asking them all to keep food diaries.

The first group didn’t exercise at all, the second group exercised daily for 30 minutes (at a moderate pace that caused them to burn 300 calories) and the third group worked out daily for 60 minutes, at the same intensity as the other group (burning 600 calories per workout).

Guess who lost the most weight after 13 weeks?

The men in the middle! The men in the 30-minute group lost about seven pounds each, which is about 80 percent MORE than what the researchers were expecting. Meanwhile, the men in the 60- minute group lost an average of five pounds each, which was about 20 percent LESS than what the researchers would have predicted.

Mads Rosenkilde, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Copenhagen and lead author of the study, tells HealthySELF that he was surprised by the results of the study. “What was surprising was that the moderate-dose exercise group had a negative energy balance, i.e., loss of fat mass, that was nearly the double of what could be expected from the amount of calories that they burned while exercising,” he says. “Meanwhile, the high-dose exercise group had a negative balance that was … lower than predicted!”

However, he does point out that both exercise regimes were effective, but the moderate dose of exercise proved More effective for losing weight. “This is a very interesting study which could have major ramifications for the fitness industry,” Jim White, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer, tells HealthySELF. “But before you slash your cardio, it is still early yet,” he cautions, explaining that it’s possible that the 30-minute-a-day group lost more weight within the time frame of the study because the 60-minute group was too tired to engage in any more activity throughout the day.

Personally and as a Physiotherapist, I believe that less is more and more is less. Losing weight is but not limited to exercise (Cardio) nor hours spent in the gym. It also include other important factor like diet and sleep. The basic principle of losing weight is to be able to burn more than you are consuming (calorie intake). Adding weight simply would be to eat more than your body is burning. So what’s the point of spending half hour or an hour in the gym only to return and consume all the calories you’ve just burnt? So it suffice to say that fats are not necessarily burnt in the gym but in the kitchen and same for muscle building. Weight lifting will not build your muscles,  proteins (diet)  will. Lifting weight will only stimulate your muscle creating the favourable environment for hypertrophy (muscle bulking).

Also,  looking at our weight management product, one of the recommended exercise for the 9 day programme is a  half-hour moderate intensity exercise e.g Brisk walking which has recently been supported with clinical evidence. It can then be noticed that the exercise and diet factor has been carefully planned to maximise burning fat and losing weight.

Conclusively,  more is not always more and less is not always less as one may think. It’s been said that little drops of water makes the ocean.  You can adopt either of the above mentioned methods (30 mins or 60 mins)  depending on what works best for you.  This post is not meant to replace a professional advice from your physician.  Also consult your doctor and see a physiotherapist before commencing any workout program.

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