Tag Archives: wellness
Therapy animals have long been the trusted companions of people with disabilities. Now, animals of all kinds are proving their value to individuals with dementia as well as to those hoping to reduce their risk of brain disease.
Physiology helps explain why animals are such effective therapists for all of us, says Marwan Sabbagh, MD, Director of Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health: “Simply petting an animal can decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol and boost release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate and, possibly, in elevated mood.”
Man is by nature a social animal
Depression is common in individuals with dementia, a byproduct of the isolation and loneliness they often experience. Likewise, caregivers can feel alone and overwhelmed by their responsibilities. In both cases, bonding with an animal can help fill this void with social support and, from dogs in particular, with unconditional love.
In addition, dogs foster human connections for their owners. Take Rover for a ramble, and strangers who would never dream of approaching you in other situations will strike up a conversation centered on the animal. Even a mere smile from a passerby is a connection that can brighten your day.
Get your six legs out there!
Walking the dog yields a second, equally important benefit: physical exercise, which is also key to a brain-healthy lifestyle.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults need at least 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for good health and double that amount for greater health benefits. Brisk walking (at least 3 mph — that’s 20 minutes per mile) qualifies as moderate-intensity activity. The payoff extends beyond enhanced brain health to weight control, improved cardiorespiratory fitness and muscular strength, and reduced risk of chronic diseases and killers such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.
So give the cat a cuddle, then grab the leash and whistle for the dog. Get moving with your faithful companion by your side. You’ve got nothing to lose — and the potential to add years of healthy life ahead.
|The spacing or lack off on the left is similar to my own joint. THERE IS NONE.|
Walking was almost unbearable while sitting and standing both cause me pain. My comfort pose was laying flat on my back with ice packs but it helped me get through the last few months leading up to the surgery.
|My hip socket|
|Similar hardware in my hip now|
What is Vitamin D?
Eh, Hype. Cancer? Come on man!
UBER KNOWLEDGE BOMBS
Examine.com has this to say:
- Vitamin D supplementation is strongly associated with a notable decrease in the risk of colorectal cancer, with some possible decreases in risk of other cancers such as breast. The Lancet meta-analysis assessed outcomes for those already diagnosed, and did not look at risk of cancer.
- Appears to be a significant protective factor for the development of multiple sclerosis.
- Usage for improving mood pertaining to seasonal affective disorders.
- Potential (albeit thought to be minor) benefits to glucose control via aiding pancreatic function.
“You can live your dreams or live your fears” – Les Brown
I use to struggle with anxiety that would manifest into panic attacks to the point I had a seizure type episode and black out. Every episode’s epicenter manifested from fear that would run wild through my mind. Understand, fear at times does demand respect particularly for our human survival. But there is a profound difference between having fear and the fear having you. My panic was nothing short of fear running me into the ground. I had been had!
Fear is not real. The only place it can exist is in our thoughts. Sure, danger is real enough but fear is a choice. I believe it was Zig Ziglar that said, “F.E.A.R is known as false evidence appearing real.” Fear is similar to anger in that it is a symptom of a deeper issue. Insecurities, past traumas and experiences, negative self talk, fight or flight responses are all the causes of fear. Even success can lead to fear. I remember the movie “Chariots of Fire” where one of the characters Harold Abrahams won the 100 meter dash in the 1924 Olympics. Just before the race he said to his friend, “ Aubrey, I’ve known the fear of losing but now I am almost too frightened to win.” It makes sense in many ways because we do truly fear the unknown. That bump in the night. The stoic stare of a peer. The police car driving behind you. And in this case for Harold what would he do after years of chasing the gold medal?
What are you afraid of?
My clients are fantastic and so unique. I enjoy the relationships that I have established with each and every one of them. This past week, failure was a central theme with several. Failure manifests itself into fear which freezes our foundational freedoms to fly free! Failure has a deep relationship with self worth; often having been created from past experiences. “Shawn if I try to lift that weight I could fail.” And? “Shawn, I never keep with my eating plans and always rebound.” Ok? On my chalkboard in my studio it says: “Every time you fail is a step toward success.” I want you to understand that the partnership between failing and fear can be broken for your benefit. You must know and accept that it is fine to fail because it has the potential to take you to the next step toward success. Often times I like to refer to failing as learning. There is an opportunity to grow in the moment you fail. When you accept this truth, the bond between fear and failing is weakened if not broken totally.
What are you afraid of?
What is the benefit of allowing fear to have its way in your life? Fear will kill your dreams. Fear will murder your hopes. Fear will age you. Fear can paralyze you. Fear is fed a regular dose of negativity to flourish. Negativity many times is about your environment. Who do you connect with? What do you listen to? Where do you spend time? Negativity and cynicism will fight you so decide to invest in what fuels your spirit with hope, joy and passion. What do you need to change in your personal inventory? A simple approach: if you want to keep on getting what you are getting, you can just keep doing what you are doing. So do things differently! Starve fear with hope, joy and passion to move ahead in life. Spend time with positive people. Listen to positive messages. Speak positive words. 87% of self talk is negative! Can you imagine that? We walk around saying no to ourselves, our dreams and our hopes. Do something different! Be honest with yourself regarding the past regarding what you have done and what has been done to you. It’s over! It’s in the past! The only thing that matters is what are you going to do about it now?
Start making goals. Getting rid of negative people. Take chances. The movie “Yes, Man” really has a profound message of what can happen when we say yes to life. Everything that the main character did also took action so be ready. None of this will be easy to work through those fears but as you face those fears over and over, life will get better. Remember, do something different. You didn’t face those fears and where did it get you? It will be hard. Acknowledge and accept that fact but buttress that truth with faith to endure. You can do this!
2014 is winding down. How was your year? I always look bad at Cline Eastwood referencing “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” to describe my life. Some view that as a 2/3’s negative statement but really ugly is self defined. Sometimes it might be bad. Sometimes it might be good. Life isn’t always pretty. But when you finish well…even with the lack of style points making it a little ugly…you succeed.
I drove thousands of miles and even flew thousands near the end of 2013 in search of something. In life we get caught up on that “it” component to make us rich, famous and happy. “If I just had ((insert word)) then my life would take off.”
Consider one of my favorite actors and likely one you also appreciate: Robin Williams.
Sure he played “characters” but he also inspired. He was rich, famous and I do think happy although he struggled with mental illness. The “it” fact alluded him. Or did it? Maybe there really, truly is no such thing. Maybe just maybe that “it” is really “you!”
What if really we are just tricking ourselves about our own existence? What if we really did believe in ourselves? What would happen if you suddenly believe you had all the tools in the world to be a success in life. What if what you needed was more really a different perspective? Maybe a blue or red pill if you will:
Time to unplug friends. It is time to move beyond the shackles of our own self tyranny and move forward with a perspective of truth: we are enough!
I finished well. I held on to hope, love. God Bless and Happy New Year!