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I Moustache You An Important Question November 3, 2020

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Uncategorized.
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Today is a big day. Not just in the United States, but all over the world, today is a day for changing and also for gaining insight. Today is Movember 3rd – also known as the 3rd day of No(shave)mber, a month dedicated to “changing the face of men’s health.” This month of awareness started in Melbourne, Australia in 2004, but has its origins in a 1999 story about a group in Adelaide, South Australia who were coined the word “Movember.” The Adelaide group of about 80 spent the month “growing whiskers for whiskers” (possibly while drinking whiskey since they started in a pub) while also raising money for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) by selling Movember t-shirts.

When Adam Garone, Travis Garone, Luke Slattery, and Justin (JC) Coughlin started the Melbourne group, of 30 “Mo bros” raising awareness for prostate cancer and men’s mental health (specifically depression), they didn’t realize that they were starting a movement. In 2005, almost 500 people joined the original 30 and raised over $40,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, the PCFA’s largest donation at the time. Today the Movember Foundation is an official charity in Australia and the movement has spread all over the world. Furthermore, the movement no includes “Mo sistahs”and other “Mo folks” and the focus has shifted to all aspects of men’s health and the discrepancies between men’s health and women’s health.

“Globally, men die an average of six years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Which means that it doesn’t have to be that way: we can take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives.”

“Mo your own way….”

 

– quoted from the (US) Movember website

Statistics show that the average life expectancy for men is 76.2 years, versus 81 years for women. This year, 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer (versus 1 in 3 women) and that a third of all cancers are preventable through diet, exercise, and other lifestyle choices. Those same lifestyle choices benefit everyone’s cardiovascular systems, digestive systems, and mental health. Yet, a large percentage of men are overweight (with 34.9% of Americans, in general, considered obese).

The term “obese” is tricky, especially in the United States, because our metrics can diagnose a very fit and muscular person as “obese.” Consider this then: 12.1% of men over the age of 18 are in fair to poor health – and suffer from diabetes and heart disease without even knowing it.

Globally, around 9.9 million men (1 in 7) are diagnosed with prostate cancer – which is treatable and recoverable – while testicular cancer (which is also treatable and recoverable) is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35. There’s about 70,000 new cases of testicular cancer every year, with a little over half a million men (worldwide) living with (or beyond) it. The risk of both prostate cancer and testicular cancer increase if someone has a brother or father who has had that particular cancer; if a person has African-American ancestry; and (in the case of testicular cancer) if they have previously had that type of cancer. To make matters worse, men can also get breast cancer – which also has a genetic component.

All of the physical aspects of poor health take a mental health toll in a typical year. Keep in mind, however that 2020 has been anything but typical – especially when it comes to mental health. Then consider that earlier this year about 51.5 million Americans adults reported experiencing mental health issues within previous 12 months and that that was an increase from previous years. In previous years, 15 million Americans (in general) were specifically diagnosed with depression. In 2018, an estimated 11.4 million people attempted suicide – with 48,344 Americans reported as dying from suicide. However, men die by suicide almost 4 times more than in women, and the highest rate of suicide is in middle-ages white men (who accounted for 69.67% of the suicides indicated above). Veterans are also at a high risk for suicide, regardless of gender.

And, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: gender. One set of stats that is only recently being tracked is the physical and mental health of transgender people. Just as diet and exercise affect physical and mental, so too does everyone’s level of hormones – which means hormone treatments could increase or decrease risk of certain illnesses. Additionally, physical and mental health improves when people have emotional support on their life’s journey. In my opinion, the high rate of suicide within the transgender community – as well as the high rate of violence against transgender people – indicates a lack of support and awareness. Thankfully, this is changing; however, as our perceptions change we need to make sure we do not leave transgender (or even non-binary) people out of the conversation.

  1. Spend time with people who make you feel good.

  2. Talk, more.

  3. Know the numbers. (If you are male and over 45, ask your doctor if you need a PSA test.)

  4. Know thy nuts. Simple.

  5. Move, more.”

 

– quoted from the (US) Movember website

According to the (US) Movember website, “70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends.” This is always a wild (and frankly ridiculous) static to me – but it points directly to the stigma and social mores or norms that make it challenging to be a healthy man in today’s society. Don’t get me wrong, as Dr. M. Scott Peck pointed out, “Life is difficult” for everyone. The individual aspects of each person’s life comes with distinct physical and mental health risks; however, life is easier and people are healthier when we pay attention to what we’re feeling and also share what we’re feeling with people who respect us and treat us well. If you can’t count five people (or even three people) with whom you can have a mutually beneficial conversation – and between those five or three conversations cover every subject under the sun – you might want to consider how that lack of support translates into your quality of life and general well-being.

  1. Get your annual physical.

  2. Don’t smoke.

  3. Stay active.

  4. Eat heart healthy foods.

  5. Manage your stress.

  6. Drink in moderation.

  7. Know your family history.”

 

– Tips printed in Men’s Health

Please join me today (Tuesday, Movember 3rd) at 12 Noon or 7:15 PM for a virtual yoga practice on Zoom, where will get our mou(ve) on. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. Give yourself extra time to log in if you have not upgraded to Zoom 5.0. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below.

Tuesday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify. [Look for “Movember 3rd”]

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

Don’t forget to add the first “Friday Night Special” on Friday, November 6th to your schedule!

If you are thinking about suicide, worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, you can call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also call the TALK line if you are struggling with addiction or involved in an abusive relationship. The Lifeline network is free, confidential, and available to all 24/7. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT ANYTHING.

### MO BREATHE, MO BETTA ###

Comments»

1. Julie Kendrick - November 3, 2020

I love this headline so much. You should write valentines for a living. J ᐧ

On Tue, Nov 3, 2020 at 11:54 AM A Joyful Practice wrote:

> ajoyfulpractice posted: “Today is a big day. Not just in the United > States, but all over the world, today is a day for changing and also for > gaining insight. Today is Movember 3rd – also known as the 3rd day of > No(shave)mber, a month dedicated to “changing the face of men’s healt” >

ajoyfulpractice - November 4, 2020

I did actually consider doing that once. Lol.


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