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Djokovic, Federer back and Murray returns in Cincinnati

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Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will make late summer hardcourt starts next week as the ATP and WTA Cincinnati Masters gets underway with all major names set to compete.

Along to give his resurfaced right hip a test after seven months of singles inactivity will be two-time champion Andy Murray, with the world number 325 entered on a wild card.

British three-time Grand Slam champion Murray’s most recent singles match was a January first-round Australian Open loss, after which the Scotsman tearfully said his career might be over after playing and losing in severe hip pain.

He then underwent a successful hip surgery that has given his career a second chance at age 32.

Murray, a 2008 and 2011 Cincinnati champion, will open in the first round against France’s Richard Gasquet, whom he leads 8-3 in their personal rivalry, taking their past three meetings dating to 2015 and 2016.

Federer, who turned 38 on Thursday, will need to lift his game immediately as he prepares for the US Open.

Federer has claimed the Cincinnati trophy seven times, most recently in 2015.

The icon with 20 Grand Slam singles titles has been holding off Djokovic and Nadal, who continue to close in on his record with 16 and 18 titles respectively.

Top seed Djokovic and number three Federer will both be playing for the first time since their Wimbledon final, won by the Serb after Federer held two match points.

Nadal takes the second seeding after a standout week in Montreal.

The Spaniard called Murray’s return “good for the sport,” suggesting the decision shows the 32-year-old feels healthy enough to compete at the top level.

Fourth seed Dominic Thiem will hope to keep lifting his hardcourt form after reaching the Montreal quarter-finals. Greek fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will need to quickly improve after losing early in Canada.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori take the fifth seeding ahead of Montreal quarter-finalist Alexander Zverev and Russian Karen Khachanov.

South African Kevin Anderson, the ATP number 10 who has not played since Wimbledon due to injury, is missing the US Open tuneup.

On the women’s side, Australian Ashleigh Barty, who lost the top ranking with a first-match exit in Toronto, is seeded atop the table followed by double Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka of Japan.

Czech Karolina Pliskova, the 2016 winner, is third ahead of Romania’s Simona Halep and holder Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands.

Halep is dealing with an Achilles tendon injury after managing to play only one set in the Toronto quarters.

Serena Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam singkes winner, hopes to continue her fightback to match fitness, which was on solid display in a victory Friday over Osaka in a rematch of their 2018 US Open final.

The 37-year-old American will begin her campaign against a qualifier.

After losing the Wimbledon final against Halep, Williams is keeping her hopes toned down.

“I go into every match thinking I can do it, but sometimes that doesn’t happen,” she said. “Overall I just come and do the best I can.”

Bertens could play Venus Williams in the second round if the veteran gets past a qualifier in her opening match.

Men’s Seeds:

Novak Djokovic (SRB x1)

Rafael Nadal (ESP x2)

Roger Federer (SUI x3)

Dominic Thiem (AUT x4)

Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE x5)

Kei Nishikori (JPN x6)

Alexander Zverev (GER x7)

Karen Khachanov (RUS x8)

Daniil Medvedev (RUS x9)

Fabio Fognini (ITA x10)

Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP x11)

Borna Coric (CRO x12)

John Isner (USA x13)

Marin Cilic (CRO x14)

Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO x15)

David Goffin (BEL x16)

Women’s seeds

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x1)

Naomi Osaka (JPN x2)

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x3)

Simona Halep (ROM x4)

Kiki Bertens (NED x5)

Petra Kvitova (CZE x6)

Elina Svitolina (UKR x7)

Sloane Stephens (USA x8)

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x9)

Serena Williams (USA x10)

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x11)

Belinda Bencic (SUI x12)

Angelique Kerber (GER x13)

Johann Konta (GBR x14)

Wang Qiang (CHN x15)

Madison Keys (USA x16)

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24 Hours Across Africa

Got Pain? A Virtual Swim With Dolphins May Help Melt It Away

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Source: npr- Virtual reality is not new. But, as people search for alternative ways to manage pain — and reduce reliance on pills — VR is attracting renewed attention.

Imagine, for a moment you’ve been transported to a sunlit lagoon. And, suddenly, it’s as if you’re immersed in the warm water and swimming. That’s what Tom Norris experiences when he straps on his VR headset.

“It’s fantastic, I really feel like I’m there,” says Norris, who is 70 years old, retired from the military, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife. As dolphins frolic and swim by in the virtual scene, “I get a strong feeling of pleasure, relaxation and peace,” he says.

It doesn’t take long to produce that effect — about 10 minutes or so, via the headset.

Norris is no stranger to pain. He’s got chronic pain through his spine, back and hips, from injuries that go back years.

Ever since he was introduced to virtual reality, he’s been hooked. In addition to swimming with dolphins, he’s tried other VR experiences, such as wilderness walks.

Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood

Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood

“I relax. My attention is diverted and it makes the pain more manageable,” he says. Norris was on his deck when we spoke, drinking a morning cup of coffee and watching the hummingbirds. “Pain is part of my life,” he told me.

He uses lots of tools to help him cope, he says, including peer support groups, which he helps lead. But he says he finds VR particularly helpful. For him, the feeling of relaxation and ease that comes from a virtual swim with dolphins tends to linger for several days.

Can You Reshape Your Brain’s

Norris isn’t alone in his positive experience. A study published this month in the journal PLOS ONE is just the latest to document that an immersive, virtual reality experience can be an effective strategy for reducing pain.

VR “changes the way we perceive the pain,” explains study author Brennan Spiegel, a physician and the director of Cedars-Sinai Health Services Research in Los Angeles.

The research was done in a hospital where participants were undergoing treatment for various conditions; some were experiencing pain linked to cancer and others had orthopedic pain. “We divided the patients into two groups,” Spiegel explains.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has been testing the value of virtual reality devices in hospital settings for a number of years.

Courtesy of Cedars-Sinai

One group tried VR. They used Samsung Oculus headsets that were each fitted with a phone that had a VR app. Patients could select from a library of 21 VR experiences available on the app.

They were free to use the VR devices as much as they liked, but were advised to aim for three daily sessions, 10 minutes per session. The other group of patients got to watch a health and wellness channel on TV, as much as they wanted.

“We found that virtual reality reduced pain by about three times as much as watching TV did,” Spiegel says. Using a zero to 10 pain scale, the virtual reality experience led to a 2 point drop in pain, compared to a half-point drop for watching TV.

Spiegel’s study was partly funded by a grant from Applied VR, a company that sells VR software, but the company played no role in the conduct, data collection, data interpretation, or write-up of the study, he says.

It’s not exactly clear how VR works to help reduce pain perception, but pain specialists say there are likely multiple explanations. Distraction in just one element.

“When the mind is deeply engaged in an immersive experience, it becomes difficult to perceive stimuli outside of the field of attention,” Spiegel and his collaborators write in their journal paper. In other words, when something captures our attention and uses all our senses, we focus on it. It’s like a spotlight — and everything else falls into darkness — at last temporarily.

So, a virtual swim with the dolphins can overwhelm our visual, auditory and other senses. “VR is thought to create an immersive distraction that restricts the brain from processing pain,” the authors conclude.

The study adds to other evidence pointing toward potential benefits of VR to manage pain. Going back more than 15 years, studies have shown the technique to be useful in a range of settings — from helping people cope with anxiety to helping reduce acute pain during medical procedures, during physical therapy or during dental procedures. And, there’s some evidence VR can help with chronic pain, too.

Still, there are some unanswered questions, says Zachary Rosenthal, a clinical psychologist at Duke University who has been involved in research on VR’s effect on pain. “Distraction is helpful for pain,” he says. “That’s an understood phenomenon. … But why should VR be better than any other kind of distraction?” he wonders.

Spiegel’s research “starts to answer this question,” says Rosenthal. “I do think this study moves the needle forward.”

If you’re new to virtual reality, Spiegel has some advice: “It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first, whenever self-treating symptoms. But in general, it is safe to use VR at home,” he says. About 5% to 10% of people who try it get cybersickness, which is basically a feeling of dizziness or vertigo, similar to motion sickness. So, it’s good to be aware of this risk.

“For people who own an Oculus Go or Oculus Quest [headset], I suggest Nature Trek, which is an outstanding set of content that is peaceful and meditative” for the treatment of pain, says Spiegel, who has no financial ties to the company. And there are other companies that make a variety of software specifically aimed at easing pain.

“For cheap and easy access to VR experiences, you can simply visit YouTube and search its massive library of free VR content,” Spiegel says. “If you want a virtual trip to the beach, type ‘VR beach’ into the YouTube search engine. Or ‘VR forest.’ It’s all there for the taking.”

VR is certainly not a panacea, but it can be another tool in the pain management toolkit. Spiegel and his collaborators say there’s still a lot to learn as to which types of VR may be most effective.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nearly half of people don’t change their Underwear Daily- and some wear same for a week.

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Source: Mirrow- Recently we discovered that a worrying number of people aren’t washing their underwear correctly.

And now to make matters worse, we’ve just found out that there are plenty of people out there who don’t put on a clean pair of underwear everyday.

Yes, really.

According to new research by underwear maker Tommy John, around half of people in the US (45 percent) don’t change their underwear daily – and a disturbing 13 percent of those they spoke to even confessed to wearing the same pair of knickers or pants for an entire week.

Ew!

Men are 2.5 times more likely to wear the same pair of pants for seven or more days (stock photo)

It’s probably time to throw out your old undergarments and buy some new ones (stock photo) (Image: iStockphoto)

Men were found to be the worst for doing this, with the survey of 1,000 Americans showing that males are two-and-a-half times more likely than women to wear the same pants for seven days or longer.

The research also revealed that people felt a strong sense of loyalty for their underwear, with 46 percent of participants admitting that they had owned the same underwear for a year or more.

Around 38 percent also said they’d had their favourite underwear for so long, they couldn’t remember when they bought it.

But this behaviour goes against the company’s recommendations, as they advise their customers to throw out their old underwear and buy new pants every six months to a year.

This is because underwear collects bacteria that can lead to nasty infections in the long run.

And as for bras, Marks and Spencer’s bra fit expert and technical manager Julia Mercer recently spoke to MirrorOnline about when you need to get a new one.

She said: “In my opinion, a bra is at its best in its first year of being worn”.

So there you have it folks, if you’re wearing underwear you’ve had at home for more than a year, it’s probably time to nip to the shops and treat yourself to some fresh new ones.

@ Anttention Fresh,                
We work hard to ensure that any news brought to you is legitimate and valuable so we leave out the noise. This material, and other digital content on this website, may be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part BUT give us credit as your source. 

DOWNLOAD ANTTENTION FRESH NEWS ON THE GO APP
JOIN AN ONLINE LEARNING COMMUNITY CLICK IMAGEonline training

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