Technology as addiction: Q & A with licensed psychologist Dr. Scott Becker

According to a study done by The Kaiser Family Foundation over the past five years, young people have increased the amount of time they spend consuming media by one hour and 17 minutes daily. Dr. Scott Becker is a licensed psychologist who has been researching and presenting on the topic of how media affects the lives and development of children between birth and adolescence. 


Meal delivery services a sign of time-strapped Americans

The Croizers are your average American family: two working parents and four children who are in school and after school activities. After a day of work and running the kids to activities, Susan Croizer is faced with the important question; what to have for dinner? “With work and the kids’ activities we sometimes don’t get home until 7 o’clock,” Crozier said. “At that point, it’s just quicker for us to grab something and bring it home because I don’t feel like making anything and my family doesn’t feel like waiting.”

Too much to do and too little time is the problem that affects many American families, and sadly it is a home cooked meal that falls by the wayside. “I can only get to the grocery store once a week,” Croizer said.

Meditation is growing in popularity as a pain killer

When thinking of meditation people usually imagine sitting with their legs crossed, eyes closed and humming. Depending on the type of meditation, that may still ring true, but meditation has come a long way and is now being used as a natural treatment for ailments. Psychotherapist Allison Abrams said there are more and more people out there turning
to meditation instead of medication. “Numerous studies over the years have shown the positive effects of meditation on pain and anxiety among other ailments,” Abrams said. “There are no side effects, it is usually more cost effective and it doesn’t lose its effects over time like medication can.”

A study conducted by  National Institute of Health in 2016, reported that individuals suffering from chronic pain who practiced meditation reported 50 percent fewer symptoms than those who did not.

Gluten-free eating: fad or a culture change?

According to Dr. Amy Burkhart, registered dietician and physician in digestive health, celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that affects one out of every 133 Americans; Burkhart is one of them. This is why she must follow a strict gluten-free diet, a diet that in the last five years has become popular among those without celiac or another form of wheat allergy. “It has become a diet that people are trying because they think it will help them lose weight,” Burkhart said. “When really, often times it can have the opposite effect, they replace the gluten-containing foods with more processed foods, which can contain high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates. This can have negative implications.”

Gluten is a mixture of proteins found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye.

Disabled workers finding more employment opportunities

Finding a job can be tough on anyone but having a disability can make it even tougher. Even after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed in 1990 the employment rate for people with disabilities stayed around 22 percent, according to Research on Employment Policy for Persons with Disabilities from Cornell University. More than 20 years later that rate has increased to 35.2 percent. Michigan employs 31.1 percent of its disabled population, a number that has been increasing since 2010. Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) has 35 offices throughout Michigan that help people with a variety of disabilities.