Biorhythms and Daily Life
Abstract: The knowledge of biorhythms, or the body's natural cycles, can be applied to numerous aspects of daily life. Biorhythms have medical, occupational, and recreational uses which allow for the maximization of healthy, productive life through understanding and application.
Biorhythms, as described by other members of this research team, are the natural cycles of the human body. Most important to this undertaking are circadian rhythms, those which repeat roughly every 24 hours. Obvious examples include sleep cycles and temperature fluctuations; more subtle types of circadian rhythms are hormone production and cell division patterns. The scientific community's growing understanding of these everyday phenomenon has resulted in newfound comprehension of many aspects of our lives, including medicine, work, and recreation.
The most striking advances enable by biorhythmic research have come in the area of medicine. Chronotherapuetics, or the synchronization of treatment with body rhythms, is perhaps the most rapidly growing field of medicine. Increasingly, pharmaceutical companies, research centers and individual doctors have begun to consider the body's flux when prescribing medical treatment. Many chronic ailments have direct connections to biorhythms, and by utilizing new treatments which acknowledge this potential tool, doctors anticipate that many sufferers formerly resigned to coping with perpetual hardship will be able to lead relatively normal lives. A prime example of chronotherapeutics involves arthritis treatment. Depending upon the type or arthritis (rheumatoid or osteoarthritis), medication can be timed to relieve the symptoms when they are the most severe: upon waking in the former case, and late in the day for the latter. Though the only medications designed to consider these differences are currently in research and development, doctors have found that even conventional medicines, when timed appropriately, can result in noticeable change. "With some anti-inflammatory agents, we can increase the effectiveness by about 50% by selecting the time of administration," says Dr. Gaston Lebrecque, professor of pharmacology and pharmacy at Quebec's Laval University. In addition to arthritis sufferers, cancer patients have found new hope by improving chemotherapy results through biorhythmic application.
In a Canadian study, for example, 118 children with acute lymphomic leukemia in remission took a daily maintenance dose of mercaptopurine at home. Their parents were told to give the drug when convenient, but consistently at the same time. Treated between 1976 and 1984 and followed up until 1991, the children who took their medicine in the evening were three times less likely to relapse than those who took it in the morning.
The timing of chemical therapy to peak at night, when the rate cell division is highest, enabled the drug to prevent cancer cells from...