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Posted: August 04, 2006

Spiritual Caregiving

For a Better Future, Reflect and Improve on Your Past Life

"There are times when the greatest change needed is a change of my viewpoint," wrote Diderot. If you're struggling to change -- your body, your relationship, your routine -- a study co-authored by Ohio State University assistant professor of psychology Lisa Libby finds that viewing your past in the third person, as if you were a stranger watching a movie of your life, can help you acknowledge the positive changes you've made.

And this, says Libby, "May help to motivate you to keep on trying."

The study, which is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, asked college students in psychotherapy to rate their changes since their first appointments. Third-person viewers perceived more change (an average score of 7.18 versus 5.64 for first person). First-person recollections, says Libby, cause people "to get more caught up in the details of a past event," whereas third-person focus finds broader meaning.

In a related study, college students who said they were socially awkward in high school were told to recall an awkward event from that time. Those who viewed the experience from a third-person perspective were more likely to say that they had changed since then and were now more socially at ease.

Left alone with someone they thought was another student (actually a research assistant), they were then more likely to begin a conversation and score higher sociability ratings, suggesting that, as Libby puts it, "feeling like you've overcome a problem in your past can give you the resources to behave differently in the present."

Libby stresses that change is possible, but not always easy: "Therefore, it is important to focus on any progress you are able to make."


 Herbs for Joint and Muscle Pain -- a Conversation

(Editor’s Note: We asked our favorite pharmacist, James Mattioda, Ph.D., owner of the Arcana Pharmacy at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, to provide some alternatives to drugs like Vioxx. He says many age-old herbs have now been scientifically blended to challenge even the best prescription pain relievers.)

The products he identified are specialty formulas sold by pharmacies rather than grocery stores. You can buy them without a prescription. Nevertheless, you should consult your physician before taking any supplements or herbs; inform anyone recommending alternative products of any other drugs you are taking; and learn the interactions medications, herbs, and supplements may have with each other.

Here’s what Mattioda pointed to:

Kaprex, from Metagenics, is a clinically tested, long-term, anti-inflammatory joint-relief formula. It combines a proprietary blend of oleanolic acid and rosemary leaf components that influence the formation of PGE2, which is associated with minor pain of large joints or the back.

Boswellia Complex, from MediHerb, combines boswellic resin (triterpene acid, celery seed, ginger (gingerols), and turmeric (curcumioids). Use this instead of ibuprofen for more acute joint or muscle pain; it's also helpful for rheumatoid conditions. Not recommended for long-term use.

Joint Synergy, from MRM, relieves inflammation and lubricates the synovial fluid for better mobility. It combines medium chain triglycerides (CMO) with sea cucumber extract (mucopolysaccharides and holothurians), Panax ginseng (Noto-Gin Rb1, Rg1, Rg2), and chondroitin and glucosamine sulfates.

CORvalenM, from Valen Labs, is a powdered combination of magnesium gluconate and D-Ribose with malic acid. This product helps with muscle fatigue and stiffness, myalgia, and slow recovery from workouts.

Bush Flower Essence is a homeopathic stress-relieving formula that can be taken both internally and externally for aches and pains related to frustration and stress. Bush Flower Essence comprises more than 15 compounds from indigenous Australian plants that focus on emergencies, and not stressing over them; confidence and not fearing its absence; and abundance without breaking your back to get it.

For more information, James Mattioda can be reached directly by visiting his website at

This article originally appeared in Spirituality & Health magazine, For subscriptions call 1-800-876-8202 or see Editor Stephen Kiesling and his staff contribute weekly columns, features and articles published every Friday as "Spiritual Caregiving" at Contact staff directly via email at

© 2006 Pederson Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Commercial use, redistribution or other forms of reuse of this information is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission of Pederson Publishing.

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