Health-related Articles

Finding the Yin and Yang During the Hot Summer Months

Monday, September 8th, 2014

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It’s been a hot summer. I showed up to my yoga studio the other day, and noticed that the air purifying machine was blinking and beeping, which made me think of my kitchen lights, which just the night before had shorted out. I looked up to see the time and saw that even the clock was running slow. I was about to teach a class on the dangers of “Summer System Overload,” and the electronics were proving my point.

We know, of course, that we have to be careful when it’s hot to avoid dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburn, but extreme heat can also affect us on energetic and emotional levels. From a Taoist perspective, we are in a Yang season, and now is an important time to stay in touch with our inner Yin.

Subtle Signs It Might Be Time to See a Therapist

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Getting to the Good PartOften it’s not glaringly obvious that we need to seek professional help. So we wait until we’re experiencing crippling anxiety, a deep depression, full-blown insomnia or seething self-loathing to finally contact a therapist.

In fact, many people do. According to some research, people wait years or even decades before seeking help.

However, going to therapy early — before problems become deeply entrenched — means we can feel better faster, and start the process of healing sooner.

Breath Practice Made Simple

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Flickr/Mae ChevretteBreath is your most accessible and portable tool to calm and center yourself. Breath techniques are ancient and are practiced world-wide in different religious and spiritual practices, as part of various healing modalities, and in yoga, martial arts, and other physical activities.

The breath is always with us, but we generally take it for granted.

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Hyper-Worried About Your Health? 3 Tips to Help Some people are especially attuned to their bodily sensations. When they experience certain symptoms — headache, stomachache, dizziness or any kind of discomfort — they assume the worst. They start worrying that something is very wrong with them.

What if it’s heart disease or cancer? What if it’s a tumor or meningitis? What if it’s an illness I don’t know about or doctors haven’t even discovered?

They may pore over medical websites trying to diagnose their symptoms, trying to figure out if they’re safe or sick. They may become consumed by their worry, ruminating about a specific illness or a range of dangerous or deadly diseases.

Reactivity and Its Impact

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Reactivity and Its ImpactI recently presented to a large group of Direct Support Professionals, people who support individuals with behavioral challenges. I have conducted similar workshops for family members of those with serious mental illness.

We talk about stress management, self-protection, and the limits of compassion. We meditate together. But the topic that always garners the most interest is how the supporters’ own reactivity, or fight or flight response, can precipitate negative behaviors in the individuals they support.

Once an Addict, Always an Addict?

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Once an Addict, Always an Addict? This is a saying I’ve always grappled with. One part of me is against any type of labeling, let alone a heavy label to be carried for the rest of your life. We are all so interchangeably dynamic, that to categorize someone into a box forever doesn’t sit well. 

Another part of me completely agrees with this statement and perceives it to be utterly valid. Instead of denying who you are, true acceptance perhaps is the only way to not only recover, but to continue to maintain your recovery. However much I am against “branding” someone for life, it is human nature to create categorizes in order to piece things together and make sense of circumstances.

When Happiness Isn’t a Choice

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

P6160020American poet T. S. Eliot wrote:

I said to my soul, be still and wait without …

Life in Balance?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

 

{Flickr photo by RelaxingMusic}

Is your life in balance? By identifying stressors and associated feelings, evaluating lifestyle habits, engaging in relaxation activities, and monitoring self-care, balance is achievable.

Identify what your stressors are: work, relationships, juggling multiple demands, or a personal belief system. What is it that’s stressing you out? What can you change and what can you improve?

How the Brain Creates a Dependence On Opioids

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

How The Brain Creates A Dependence On OpioidsOpioids have been around for a very long time, and are used as painkillers to help patients cope with pain post-surgery. They have both helped and harmed people, alleviating chronic pain for people who have undergone invasive surgeries, but also being the source of dangerous addictions for those who have developed dependencies on the painkillers.

Derived from the poppy plant, it’s known for being able to induce sleep. And the use of opioids for medical reasons is widespread, which has contributed to the growth of opioid related addictions. The reason lies in the powerful effect opioids have on the brain.

You Have the Right to Say No

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

You Have the Right to Say NoSo many of us end up saying yes to activities, events and even ideas only to regret it. We end up answering questions that are too personal or downright rude. We let people into our lives who don’t deserve to be there.

Or we say no, and then worry — endlessly — if we really have the right to decline a request or invitation, to stop spending less time with a friend.

According to authors James Altucher and Claudia Azula Altucher in their new book The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance and Happiness, not only do we have the right to say no, we have an entire Bill of Rights for doing so.

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

10 Things Parents Wish Educators Knew about Eating Disorders

1. Eating disorders are real and deadly illnesses and having one is not a choice. Your reaction, as an administrator or teacher, to a disclosure of an eating disorder should be the same as if you were told a child had leukemia. Certain eating disorders have a mortality rate as high as 20 percent.

Eating disorders are up to 80 percent genetic, and they are biological in nature. Treatment has to be the number one priority, and the medical and psychological needs of the student should drive how school absences, attendance and other issues are handled.

Ways to Combat Insomnia

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Ways to Combat InsomniaIf you find yourself tossing and turning for hours, unable to go to sleep or stay asleep, you could be suffering from insomnia. Nearly 40 percent of Americans report some symptoms of insomnia in a given year. It can take a toll on one’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being.

Chronic lack of sleep not only causes stress and depression, but has been linked to a cluster of disorders such as diabetes, memory loss, obesity, elevated blood pressure, an increase in bad cholesterol, and accumulation of dangerous abdominal fat hugging one’s internal organs.

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