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 The practice of certain forms of meditation would have the effect of lowering blood pressure, according to the results of several studies. This decrease would be comparable to that observed when one follows the recommendations of health professionals: lose weight, exercise and abstain from salt and alcohol.

Meditation to lower blood pressure

Researchers at Maharishi University of Management (home of Transcendental Meditation) and the University of Kentucky School of Medicine analyzed the results of 23 clinical trials, with control groups, conducted in 960 hypertensive subjects.1 Six of these trials involved Transcendental Meditation (a Hindu technique). 1 Six of these trials involved Transcendental Meditation (a technique of Hindu origin). The results showed that the practice of Transcendental Meditation lowered blood pressure by an average of

-5 mmHg/-2.8 mmHg (millimeter of mercury column). The results generally obtained with an appropriate diet and exercise program are -4.25 mmHg/-3.1 mmHg.

The other trials analyzed in this latest study involved biofeedback, relaxation, autogenic training, stress management and other meditation techniques applied alone or in combination. Some of these trials also showed interesting results in relation to blood pressure reduction, but it was not possible to draw a clear conclusion due to conflicting data or too small a number of subjects.

In the summer of 2007, the US medical authorities published a report2 on the state of medical knowledge regarding the beneficial effects of various stress management techniques on cardiovascular health. After analyzing the results of 55 clinical trials, the authors confirmed the blood pressure-lowering effects of Transcendental Meditation, Qi Gong (of Chinese origin) and Zen Buddhism (of Indo-Japanese origin).

 It's easy to feel overwhelmed at work. Stress becomes part of everyday life and makes tasks much longer and less enjoyable. Organizing yourself well at the office helps limit this stress.

organized and not being stressed at the office

organized and not being stressed

1- A personalized office

Having a personal organizational structure of one's workspace is essential in order to stay in control. Patterns, colors, shapes and office layout can help make it easier to recognize work elements. So don't hesitate to indulge in a little extravagance. The visual plays a very important role in recognition and appropriation of one's work environment. In addition, keeping your desk in order avoids excessive stress because everything is easier to find and manage.

2- Organized information

E-mails should never accumulate in the inbox. Messages offer filing methods: it is recommended to use them by creating folders specific to each type of message. This method of categorization makes it easier to find one's e-mails and to remember to reply to an important message. To make sure you don't omit an e-mail that required follow-up, you can use flagging. It is advisable to classify as you receive it or once a week.

3- Phone calls can wait

The ringing of the phone should not interrupt work too frequently as distraction leads to several omissions. During periods of heavy work, it is recommended to leave the telephone on an answering machine: in addition to putting a stop to the ringing, the answering machine allows you to read messages smoothly. In addition, making a frequent contact sheet and placing it next to the unit will save time.

4- Lists

Lists are the organization tools par excellence. It is suggested to always maintain three kinds of lists, each with a specific format: lists of long-term projects (on a large sheet of paper), lists of weekly occupations (on a half sheet of paper) and lists of daily tasks (on a large post-it).

5- A calendar... up to date!

Maintaining and updating a calendar allows you to have a global view of deadlines and appointments. The calendar allows you to impose time limits on yourself: it is possible to note the date when a project must be completed in order to stay within the time constraints imposed personally or professionally.

6- Focus on one work at a time

Starting several projects at the same time is not productive and causes panic and stress. In addition, it makes you more vulnerable to forgetfulness. To perform only one task at a time, limits can be imposed, such as viewing messages, which can be restricted to 4 times a day.

7- Reserving time slots for pleasure

In order to decompress at work, it is important to allow yourself some time to relax and to devote yourself to pleasant and personal activities that have nothing to do with professional occupations.

8- Automation

Several tools have been created to facilitate small recurring tasks, so do not hesitate to use them. Using messaging tools to create a signature or standard messages can save a lot of time.

9- The bulletin board a visual memory tool

A bulletin board allows you to have in front of you the elements to be memorized. Using it with colored post-it notes facilitates a personal and efficient organization. Moreover, it is easy to manage because completed items can be deleted from the board. The arrangement of colors and patterns will create a visual memory that speeds up the retrieval of information.

10- An idea map

Organizing your ideas is often a difficult step. To better organize your ideas, the Englishman Tony Buzan has developed the concept of map minding. This form of organization allows better management of note taking, brainstorming, project structuring, speech preparation and organization of computer files. A completely free software allows you to have your personalized map of ideas on the computer: Xmind.

keeping children safe at home 

keeping children safe at home

1- Be vigilant

Parental vigilance is essential for children to be safe at home. Never leave a baby unattended in the bathtub, on the high chair or on the changing table. Also, always make sure to pick up hazardous materials after use, turn pot handles toward the stove, keep hot liquids away from children, and soak hot pots in cold water after use.

2- Proper storage

Storage allows for organization and prevents the child's access to harmful materials or products. Sharp and dangerous objects should always be stored in an inaccessible drawer. It is also advisable to reserve a cupboard that is high up and equipped with an anti-opening safety system for toxic products.

3- Use protective accessories

Protective accessories are tools that enhance safety in the home. A gate can be put at the entrance of the kitchen to prevent baby from entering when the environment is not totally safe. The same gate can be installed in front of the stairs. For dangerous products, it is advisable to prefer bottles equipped with an anti-opening safety system and containing Bitrex (= very bitter substance that causes the product to be spit out immediately). Thermostatic mixers that let the water flow only at the desired temperature can be installed on the shower faucet. In addition, windows should be equipped with a safety system that makes them more difficult to open. It is also advisable to use corner guards, and fixing furniture to the wall helps prevent injuries to children.

4- Preventing drowning

It only takes 10 cm of water to cause drowning in a baby. That's why you should never leave a child unattended in the bath and use a bathtub adapted to toddlers. In addition, it is strongly recommended that a fence with a padlock be installed around the family pool.

5- Beware of burns

The kitchen is the best environment for burns. Using an oven with a cold door and always storing the equipment after use can prevent serious injuries. Also, keeping the child away from the oven during meal preparation will keep him or her away from danger.

6- Drop baby where needed

It is important to always tie the child to the high chair and to lean the chair against the wall to avoid falls. It is important to put the child to sleep in his own adapted bed (with bars) rather than in the parents' bed from where he can easily fall.

7- Teaching children

Children should be taught safe behaviours at an early age. For example, they should be taught to always turn on cold water before hot tap water, not to touch electrical outlets, etc.

8- Preventing falls

Slippery floors, carpets, stairs and windows can be a source of dangerous falls for children. It is therefore important to ensure their safety. Installing a non-skid mat in the bath prevents all members of the family from falling badly.

9- Buying safe toys

The recommended age on the packaging is a good indication of whether the toy is appropriate for the child. For example, toys for toddlers do not contain small pieces that can be swallowed and are not a choking hazard.

10- Check the condition of the material

Checking the condition of the equipment in the house is essential to prevent accidents. Bare or worn wires, broken toys, etc. should be avoided.

 In Canada, 62% of employees say their main source of stress comes from their workplace. In France, the situation is similar: 89% of managers say they feel they work too much.


Workplace stress

Workplace stress can spread beyond professional boundaries. The society in which we live is increasingly individualistic and competitive, and personal fulfillment is closely linked to performance. In order to better control one's nervousness, it is imperative to learn to relax. Starting the day off on the right foot is crucial for a less stressful day. Waking up 15 minutes earlier and using this time to do some stretching exercises or to eat a good breakfast is one of the keys to a stress-free day.

Changing environments can cut the line with work problems. Don't hesitate to go out for a few minutes to get some fresh air. Fresh air helps to clear your head and take your mind off things for a while.

Working on breathing can help the body to relax. To relieve the pressure of work, it is advisable to inhale air for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds and then exhale it for as long as possible. Executing 10 breathing cycles is an effective method to achieve relaxation.

Posture is often a major cause of stress: a poor posture on the desk chair strains muscles and causes physical stress. It is important to ensure that office equipment is adjusted for personal comfort and that it is adapted to the needs of each employee.

Stress breaks are the most effective way to provide a relaxing moment during the working day. These breaks must be dedicated solely to a relaxation activity. Listening to music, playing on the Internet or watching a funny video are examples of effective stress breaks.

Naps are, finally, a way to invigorate your body and mind to perform better during the rest of the day. With a minimum duration of 5 minutes, these naps allow you to clear your mind and rest to accumulate energy. For this kind of rest, close your eyes and take slow ventral breaths that allow a better circulation of oxygen.

 Every year, during exam periods, about 20% of the students use psychic stimulants to facilitate learning.  But memory problems also affect the elderly: 70% of people over 70 years of age are affected and consider them inevitable. However, there are natural ways to maintain it, and even optimize it.

How to stimulate your memory?

During periods of fatigue or stress, memory problems can occur: forgetfulness, loss of concentration or reduced performance. Nutrition, sleep and physical activity play a fundamental role in maintaining and improving this function.


1. Eat a full breakfast

Studies1-2 clearly show that eating breakfast in the morning reduces memory lapses and drops in concentration: the higher the carbohydrate content, the more pronounced these effects are3. 3 Therefore, choose foods that naturally contain carbohydrates and are high in fibre, and reduce those that are fatty or high in added sugars.

Prefer cereals, whole fruits, eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, chicken, peanut butter, etc...

To be limited: bread, croissant, muffin, jam, fruit juice, bacon, sausage, maple syrup, etc...

Example :

1 kiwi, 1 cottage cheese, 1 pineapple compote and 1 whole grain bagel.

2. Reduce and distribute energy intake

Low-calorie meals cause less drowsiness than fatty, high-carbohydrate meals4. Eating too many carbohydrates at lunchtime causes a sedative effect, linked to the production of serotonin. Therefore, avoid sweet desserts, potatoes, white rice or corn at lunchtime. It is best to divide your daily food intake into 3 meals, if possible at regular times. Nutritionists also recommend having a snack in the afternoon5-6.

Example of a snack:

1 piece of fruit and a piece of cheese with a 20% fat content.

1 cereal bar and nuts, and a soy beverage

3. Choosing foods rich in omega-3, B vitamins and iron

The human being has about 100 billion neurons. They can connect to each other through a sheath that surrounds them, called myelin. Since myelin is composed mostly of fat, it is recommended to consume omega-3 fatty acids to strengthen the structure of the neurons7-8. However, avoid saturated fatty acids, which are associated with the formation of blood cholesterol.

Prefer fatty fish, nuts, linseed oil, rapeseed oil, wheat bran, etc...

Limit: cold cuts, butter, sauces, poultry skin, cheese, etc...

Vitamins B (especially B1, B6, B9 and B12) play an essential role in memory. They are part of the manufacturing process of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for learning functions.

To privilege: salmon, liver, spinach, eggs, offal, pistachios, ...

Iron deficiency is detrimental to intellectual performance. Its role is to transport oxygen to the brain. Red meat, green vegetables, quinoa and shellfish are excellent sources of iron.

Healthy lifestyle

1. Sleep well for better retention

Studies9 have clearly shown that memorization of new information occurs during sleep. It is during this phase that the "consolidation" of memory takes place, allowing the development of new skills and the retention of information. Thus, a lack of sleep will inhibit the learning process. The choice of staying up all night to revise more is therefore largely debatable. It is rather advised to sleep 6 to 8 hours to enjoy the benefits of sleep.

Furthermore, attention can be affected when the body lacks sleep. The liveliness, concentration and alertness are strongly disturbed.

Finally, it should be noted that a short nap (less than 30 minutes) would allow a gain of one to two hours of sleep per night. The nap is essentially composed of deep slow wave sleep, which is the most restorative for the body. It is therefore also beneficial for memory: many studies show that it increases intellectual performance and frees up creativity.

2. Recommended sports activity

In recent years, scientists have become interested in physical activity as a means of preserving and improving cognitive abilities. Studies have shown that the development of cardiovascular capacity can lead to improved neurocognitive performance. Aerobic exercise (30 minutes per week) and weight training are therefore highly recommended.

 Whether occasional or persistent, constipation affects 1 in 4 people and concerns women in 80% of cases. Constipation can occur when stools are hard, dry and difficult to evacuate. In general, it is diagnosed below 3 bowel movements per week. It most often results in bloating and intestinal pain, but can lead to serious complications. Discover our 10 tips to fight it.


Anti-constipation remedy: flax seeds

1. Urinate regularly

Flax seeds contain a substance called "mucilage". Made up of polysaccharides, it swells on contact with water and produces a viscous substance similar to gelatin, which explains its laxative effect.

Commission E and ESCOP recognize its effectiveness in treating temporary constipation. Simply add it to applesauce, milk, muesli, oatmeal, etc., and it's ready to use.

2. Drink lots of water

In general, 2 to 3 liters of water per day is recommended, but a good part of this is provided by food. In case of constipation, the ideal is to drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, preferably between meals.

Mineral waters rich in magnesium have a mild laxative effect and should be preferred.

3. Eating prunes

Prunes have a remarkable laxative action. This particularity would be linked to the presence of dihydroxyphenylisatin, a substance that stimulates peristalsis (contractions of the intestine). Sorbitol, a type of sugar it contains, is also said to contribute to this.

In addition, like other dried fruits, prunes contain dietary fibre, which is also useful in the treatment of constipation.

4. Eat a high-fibre diet

All foods of plant origin contain dietary fibre, unlike those of animal origin. A distinction is made between soluble fibre (which forms viscous gels on contact with water), and insoluble fibre (which has a water retention capacity). Both types of fibers are useful in the fight against constipation.

The foods that contain the most are legumes (peas, beans, lentils, ...), cereals and artichokes.

5. Playing sports

Practicing a sport (at least once a week) is a very good way to stimulate the abdominal muscles and strengthen the abdominal belt.  

To prevent constipation, most cardiovascular and endurance activities are effective: hiking, walking, running, swimming or cycling.

6. Choosing Psyllium

Psyllium is a species of plantain native to India. The fibers it contains have the property of absorbing several times their weight in water. In the intestines, they form a gel, thus increasing the weight of the stool.

In case of constipation, soak 10 g of psyllium in 100 ml of warm water for a few minutes. Drink immediately to prevent the mixture from thickening and gelling.

7. Do not hold back

It is important not to hold back when the "urge" is felt. As this is not always easy when you have neither time nor a toilet, it is enough to "educate" your intestine by going to the toilet at set times.

Get into the habit of going half an hour after a meal, taking as much time as you need. If you experience difficulties, don't try too hard and try again later.

8. Use oat bran

Oats contain a large amount of soluble and insoluble fibre, which has positive effects on the digestive system.  Fibre increases the volume of the alimentary bolus and changes the consistency of the stool. This promotes their circulation in transit.

To consume it, add oat bran to yoghurts, fruit compotes, bread preparations, pies, cakes, muffins, ...

9. Opt for soups and broths

The consumption of vegetables in the form of broth or soup reinforces their natural water intake. Starting the meal with a vegetable soup is therefore an excellent habit to combat constipation and calorie overload.

Soups rich in small pieces of vegetables will be more effective. Vegetables that have been ground or filtered are less rich in fiber.

10. Don't forget the fruits

Plums, kiwis, passion fruit, raspberries, blackberries... The fruits are bursting with pectin, whose benefits on constipation are recognized. This fiber activates the regulation of the intestinal transit, and contributes to the quality of the bacterial flora.

When it is possible, it is necessary to eat the previously washed skin, because it is it which contains the most pectin.  In the same way, after having pressed a fruit to extract the juice, the ideal is to add the pulp to the juice obtained.


Position. The lumbar vertebrae form part of the spine, or rachis, a bony structure located between the head and the pelvis. The spine is the skeletal base of the trunk, located dorsally and along the midline. It starts below the skull and extends into the pelvic region (1). The spinal column consists of an average of 33 bones, called vertebrae (2). These bones are connected to each other to form an axis, which has a double S-shape. The lumbar vertebrae, of which there are 5, form a forward-facing curve (3). They form the lumbar region of the lower back and are located between the thoracic vertebrae and the sacrum. The lumbar vertebrae are called L1 to L5.

lumbar vertebrae

Structure. Each lumbar vertebra has the same basic structure (1)(2) :

  • The body, the ventral part of the vertebra, is voluminous and solid. It carries the weight of the skeletal axis.
  • The vertebral arch, the dorsal part of the vertebra, surrounds the vertebral foramen.
  • The vertebral foramen is the central, hollowed part of the vertebra. The stack of vertebrae and foramina forms the vertebral canal, which is crossed by the spinal cord.

Joints and insertions. The lumbar vertebrae are connected to each other by ligaments. They also have several articular surfaces to ensure their mobility. Intervertebral discs, fibrocartilages comprising a nucleus, are located between the bodies of neighboring vertebrae (1)(2).

Musculature. The spinal column is covered by the musculature of the back.

Functions of the lumbar vertebrae

Supportive and protective role. The lumbar vertebrae, which make up the spinal column, help support the head and protect the spinal cord.

Role in mobility and posture. The lumbar vertebrae make up the spinal column and help maintain the trunk's posture and thus maintain the standing position. The structure of the vertebrae allows many movements such as torsion of the trunk, bending of the trunk or traction.

Pathologies and associated problems

Back pain. It is defined as a localized pain most often originating in the spine and generally affecting the muscle groups surrounding it. Low back pain is localized pain in the lumbar region. Sciatica, characterized by pain starting in the lower back and extending into the leg. Common, they are due to compression of the sciatic nerve, which can sometimes be caused by the lumbar vertebrae. Different pathologies can be at the origin of these pains (4):

  • Degenerative pathologies. Osteoarthritis is characterized by wear and tear of the cartilage protecting the bones of the joints. (5) Disc herniation corresponds to the expulsion at the back of the intervertebral disc nucleus by wear and tear of the latter. This can result in compression of the spinal cord or sciatic nerve.
  • Deformations of the spine. Deformations of the spine can occur. Scoliosis is a lateral displacement of the spine (6). Lordosis is associated with an accentuated curvature of the lumbar vertebrae. (6)
  • Lumbago. This pathology is due to deformations or tears of the ligaments or muscles located in the lumbar vertebrae.


Drug treatments. Depending on the diagnosed pathology, certain medications may be prescribed as painkillers.

Physiotherapy. Back re-education can be carried out with physiotherapy or osteopathy sessions.

Surgical treatment. Depending on the diagnosed pathology, surgery may be performed on the lumbar region.

Exploration and examinations

Clinical examination. Observation of back posture by the physician is the first step in identifying an abnormality.

Radiological examinations. Depending on the suspected or proven pathology, additional examinations may be performed such as an X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI or CT scan.


Research work. Researchers at an Inserm unit have reportedly succeeded in transforming adipose stem cells into cells that can replace intervertebral discs. The goal of this work is to renew the worn intervertebral discs, which cause certain lumbar pains. (7)