Have you ever walked into a room and forgot what you went in there for? Perhaps you lost your train of thought mid conversation after being distracted by a noise. Maybe you forgot a name or a number or to buy milk. We’re human! We forget things. However, the more we multitask, the less we focus and the verdict is out on how this affects our brains long term.
So how do we strengthen our brains? Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD a New York City based licensed neuropsychologist and teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College, shares how we can exercise our minds and master our memory.
How do brain activities play a role in strengthening the brain?
Dr. Hafeez explains that just like physical exercise, brain exercises strengthen and keep the mind agile and active. “You have a cognitive reserve, a finite amount of memory, problem solving and visual motor even verbal reasoning skills that declines over time. The more you engage your brain, the longer you can hold on to your cognitive reserve,” explains Dr. Hafeez.
What are some brain-boosting activities someone could do before work?
There are a lot of activities one can do to boost your brain. Research shows that any stimulating activity will “boost” circulation and activate areas of the brain. According to Dr. Hafeez things like writing with your left hand, trying to remember phone numbers, doing mental math calculations, the daily crossword, or looking up a new word in the dictionary on a daily basis, helps your mind stretch in ways you can’t see but certainly feel. “The frustration that you feel when doing something that’s mentally taxing is when you know your brain is getting a workout. It’s good for you,” she says.
How do brain-boosting exercises help when it comes to work life?
There are a lot of websites and computer generated programs that offer memory training and visual spatial exercises. Dr. Hafeez suggests looking for puzzles, numerical sequences, and recall activities that can help boost processing speed, attention and memory. Just like your body, the more you do, the more your brain can stretch and accommodate.
How does doing these exercises before work enhance our performance?
“Doing something stimulating and challenging, before work, gets your brain geared up for the day. If you run two miles in the morning, walking seems like a stroll. Similarly, if you perform math calculations as you’re driving or insist on spelling words backwards for the fun of it will make the stuff you do at work every day seem like a breeze. It’ll make you more aware and vigilant not to mention focused and almost raring to keep moving from one task to the next,” Dr. Hafeez explains.
Can it enhance our performance in other areas of our lives? If so, which areas and why/how?
Mental health practitioners agree that over time, brain boosters such as learning a new language, a sport, a musical instrument, or painting, sewing, arts and crafts, boost the brain in bigger, more long-term ways. “It may even reduce or delay the onset on Alzheimer’s and other mental decline, again by strengthening the cognitive reserve. Brain exercises are good for one’s overall daily health and may actually protect one from more serious ailments. Daily smaller brain boosters can help with mental agility, daily memory, an active work and even social life, by helping increase attention, focus and creative, problem solving skills,” adds Dr. Hafeez.
About Dr. Sanam Hafeez:
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is an NYC based licensed neuropsychologist. She is a teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and clinical director of the Comprehend the Mind Institutes in Manhattan and Queens. She was a long time child school psychologist. She specializes in providing neuropsychological, educational and developmental evaluations to both adults and children in her practice. She works with individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert for various news outlets and programs, and as an expert witness providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts. Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMindor at www.comprehendthemind.com
Recently, I was at a baby shower. I overheard a mother of two teenagers relay the story of her many postpartum surprises to a young woman with no children who wondered out loud what kinds of changes happen to a woman’s body after giving birth. One of the shocks the older mother shared included problems with urinary incontinence that followed her pregnancies and never entirely went away. It may not have been typical party conversation, but as more women dig past their embarrassment to share their experiences with urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor disorders, we chip away at the stigma that prevents women of all ages from seeking help. Continue reading
MS. KRISTA TIPPETT, HOST: Tiffany Shlain thinks of the internet when she thinks of her favorite quote of the naturalist John Muir, that “when you tug at a single thing in the universe, you find it’s attached to everything else.” She is an internet pioneer and a filmmaker committed to reframing technology as an expression of the best of what humanity is capable, with all the complexity that entails. She founded the Webby Awards — the “Oscars of the Internet” — which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. And for over six years she and her young family have held to a technology sabbath or “shabbat” — 24 unplugged hours each week. Her perspective on our technology-enhanced lives is ultimately a purposeful and enriching one — the internet is our global brain, towards which we can apply all the wisdom we are gaining about the brains in our heads and the character in our lives. Continue reading
Bessel van der Kolk— How Trauma Lodges in the Body
Human memory is a sensory experience, says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. Through his longtime research and innovation in trauma treatment, he shares what he’s learning about how bodywork like yoga or eye movement therapy can restore a sense of goodness and safety. What he’s learning speaks to a resilience we can all cultivate in the face of the overwhelming events — which, after all, make up the drama of culture, of news, and of life.
“Post-abortion syndrome” — the idea that abortion causes significant mental health damage — is not a real, evidence-based diagnosis.
While individuals who have abortions may have a wide variety of positive and negative feelings afterward (as do women who continue their pregnancies), there is no sound evidence that having an abortion itself leads to psychological harm. Studies that anti-abortion activists claim support the notion are often methodologically flawed, or have been misinterpreted. ( this article suggested by Va Boyle ) Continue reading
As with many mental conditions, people who suffer from depression often feel that it is impossible to overcome. This is made worse by the fact that the symptoms of depression usually include having low energy levels and motivation. There is no simple solution to depression but many people find that a combination of natural remedies and therapies can help them to beat it. Continue reading
Innovative Treatment for Chronic Headache and Migraine Sufferers
New Treatment Combines Sports Therapy Techniques, Neuroscience, and Advanced Dental Concepts to Relieve Chronic Dentofacial and Headache Pain
(February 17, 2014) Asheville, NC…Dr. Kani Louise Nicolls now offers a comprehensive treatment program for patients suffering with chronic pain relating to headaches, migraines, tension, and whiplash. Dr. Nicolls uses a combination of proven therapeutic, state-of-the-art techniques to evaluate and treat patients with pain or discomfort caused as a consequence of improper muscle forces in the mouth, neck, and head area.
“This treatment is badly needed in a subsection of the population that suffers from ongoing chronic head and neck pain. The TruDenta treatment program allows us to give our patients immediate relief and long-lasting results,” says Dr. Nicolls, of AshevilleSmiles.com . “It’s exciting and rewarding to see patients take back control of their lives and their health with more pain-free days. It’s really life changing.”
Dr. Nicolls uses the TruDenta system in a specific way to evaluate a patient’s pain symptoms and disabilities in the teeth, muscles, and joints that likely are caused by force imbalances. Then, based on the objective data, Dr. Nicolls provides patients with individualized therapy tailored to their condition. This rehabilitation of the muscles and nerves causing the pain is a combination of in-office treatments and at-home care. The treatment is minimally invasive and painless, with no needles or drugs involved.
The National Headache Foundation estimates that more than 29 million Americans suffer from migraines, and these individuals lose more than 157 million work and school days annually due to pain. Aside from migraine sufferers, it is projected that 90 percent of the population also endures other chronic debilitating headaches.
For more information call Dr. Nicolls at 828-251-2426.
Trim, Toned and Tranquil: Nutrition, Exercise and Relaxation Experts at Baylor Offer Summertime Strategies
Trim, Toned and Tranquil: Nutrition, Exercise and Relaxation Experts at Baylor Offer Summertime Strategies.
Heard about the 10-day fast allowing only cayenne, lemon and maple syrup? Close your ears.Such celebrity “detox diets,” touted to shed the body of toxins while helping you get svelte, are questionable, unnecessary and even unhealthy.So says dietitian Suzy Weems, Ph.D., chair of Baylor University’s family and consumer sciences and a former chair of the legislative and public policy committee for the American Dietetic Association.“There’s very little toxin that exists in the body unless it’s a high enough dose to make you sick. And if so, that’s likely to happen no matter what,” she said.
Be advised that “your body is an extraordinarily effective mechanism,” Weems said. “There’s protective bacteria in the mouth. The stomach is highly acidic. The liver is a really good organ that’s incredibly protective, and the kidneys work as a filter.”Yes, there are “virtually no calories in lemons, and cayenne will make you sweat. Maple syrup gives you glucose, so that might help you maintain energy while you’re not eating anything,” Weems said.But while such diets may cut the appetite or speed up the system, any shed weight will be pretty much water. “Water weighs a pound a pint. But when you rehydrate, it’s not a loss,” Weems said. She suggests more moderate food choices instead.“Switch to lots of fresh fruit and vegetables,” she said. “This is the time of year when fresh food is reasonably priced.
”The Truth About Sweat“
The nice thing about summer is that many people become more active, whether they work in the yard, take part in sports with their children or get more involved in their own exercise programs,” said Darryn Willoughby, Ph.D., director of Baylor’s Exercise and Biochemical Nutrition Laboratory and an associate professor of health, human performance and recreation.But the flip side is that summer heat brings the risk of dehydration — especially since the body’s temperature regulation is more like a furnace than an air conditioner, Willoughby said.“Our bodies are always producing heat as a result of all the cells in our body that have to make energy to survive,” he said. “Since our body is always producing heat, it must be able to lose heat as well.”The body can lose heat by air or water moving across the skin, but during exercise, most of the heat is lost through sweat evaporating, Willoughby said.“When we sweat, our bodies also lose electrolytes — sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium — as well as water. During heavy, long-duration exercise, we can lose approximately 1/4 gallon of water through sweating,” depending on temperature, humidity, type of clothing worn, intensity of exercise and fitness level.“If we become thirsty, then we are already somewhat dehydrated,” Willoughby said. “We should not wait until thirsty to drink fluids. . . If we don’t drink enough water, we can get dehydrated and suffer from light-headedness, nausea and dark-colored urine. If not recognized, dehydration can even result in kidney failure and or, in extreme cases, death.”He offered these guidelines for exercising during the heat:
Cures for the Summertime BluesWhen temperatures are simmering, it’s easy to get cranky, anxious and weary.Loeen Irons, a lecturer in Baylor’s health, human performance and recreation department, has some ideas for de-stressing and re-energizing.Unlike early humans, “your body is not in the wilds of Africa running away from lions,” Irons said. “Our bodies are outdated. The things that raise our stress levels are generally things that we can’t punch or run away from, so ‘fight or flight’ doesn’t work for us. But the body doesn’t know that.”Exercise – especially aerobic exercise – helps burn off stress hormones, said Irons, an aerobics instructor.“Stretching, breathing, body awareness, nature — those are good things to turn your focus away from your cell phone and computer,” Irons said. “You need some kind of quiet time for 10 or 15 minutes now and then, whether it’s prayer or meditation or just being unplugged.”Another de-stresser is playing or snuggling with a furry friend. “There’s something really freeing about tending to your pet,” Irons said. “It takes you to a different place.”“And of course, get a great night’s sleep. It’s like the old chicken or the egg question: Are you tranquil because you slept well, or did you sleep well because you’re tranquil? It doesn’t matter. Either way is good.”Some yoga tips to beat the heat come from Baylor alum Amy Tarter, a yoga instructor in Baylor’s rest and relaxation class in the health, human performance and recreation department.To get a leg up on keeping cool, calm and energized, she suggests the “Legs Up the Wall” yoga pose for starters:
Other yoga aids:
WNC Birth Center is the first of its kind in our region to provide comprehensive primary and preventive care from adolescence through menopause and beyond to women seeking high-quality, personalized healthcare in a homelike environment. Complete maternity care, from pregnancy planning through childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding, is an important component of our services and is available to all pregnant women with a low-risk pregnancy.
WNC Birth Center believes:
*Compassionate care for women of all ages is beneficial to the family and society
*Birth is a normal process that is enhanced by a safe, familiar and relaxing environment
*Education, knowledge and evidence-based practices form the foundation of optimal health
*Family participation is an important aspect of quality patient care
*Breastmilk is the optimal food for babies
*Raising awareness about midwifery, normal birth and birth center care is one of our priorities
*Education of medical residents and midwifery students results in better healthcare for many who never enter our birth center
*Everyone deserves respect regardless of age, race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, gender, sexual orientation or marital status
*All women have the right to quality healthcare and the unique services offered at our center.
For more information visit our website WNC Birth Center
*WNC Birth Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Photo credit: Seana Berglund at Babymoon Birth Services
For years we’ve been focused on improving heart health overall. For men and women. Yet cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of death among women here in the U.S. and women are still at high risk – minority women even more so. Racial and ethnic minority populations confront more barriers to a heart disease diagnosis and care, receive lower quality treatment, and experience worse health outcomes than their white counterparts.
The no-cost, high value e-book publication offers core knowledge, next steps, and practical tools for individuals and families who are focused on the needs of aging loved ones at home
Journalists and experts focus on victims of domestic violence, and rightly so, says Dr. Christine Murray, associate professor of counseling at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and co-founder of the See the Triumph campaign to empower survivors. But, Murray asks, what should you say to a friend or loved one if they are the abuser?
“Assuming the person trusts and respects your opinion, you have an opportunity to send some powerful messages that could encourage them to stop the abuse,” she says. “Ask yourself, ‘If I’m not taking action against the abuse, am I actually helping to perpetuate it?’ By taking a strong stand against the violence, you have the opportunity to send important messages to the person that the abuse is harmful, it is their responsibility, and they can choose to change it and get help to do so.”
Message #1: “The abuse is wrong.”
Message #2: “You are hurting your partner.”
Message #3: “There are other negative consequences of the abuse.”
Message #4: “You are responsible for your own actions. You are also responsible for doing whatever you need to do to change them.”
Message #5: “There are resources available to help you stop abusing your partner.”
Message #6: “If you do not stop abusing your partner, I will….”
|The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a challenging, supportive and engaged community where learning is carried forward to Do something bigger altogether. Founded in 1891, UNCG is the largest and most diverse university in the Triad, serving nearly 18,000 students. Standing apart from other universities, the UNCG community is joined together by a shared value: We define excellence not only by the people we attract, but by the meaningful contributions they make.|
Now this is exciting.
The Open Medicine Foundation (OMF) has announced it has created and is raising funds for a huge “End ME/CFS” project. They’re looking for five million dollars a year to fund it — about double the NIH’s current annual spending on all ME/CFS research. That’s a really ambitious project. Could they actually pull it off?
“What is needed is a total attack on the problem.” – Ron Davis PhD
( This information was submitted to SheVille by Amy Mandel )
Read more: “End ME/CFS” Mega Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Project Begins http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/10/11/end-mecfs-mega-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-project-begins/
Read more: “End ME/CFS” Mega Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Project Begins http://www.cortjohnson.org/blog/2014/10/11/end-mecfs-mega-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-project-begins/
What works and what doesn’t in menopause care? We tapped three experts in the field for their take. They discussed new follow-up analyses from the Women’s Health Initiative, approval of nonhormonal options for hot flashes, and a new treatment for dyspareunia. Continue reading
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville (formerly the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement) is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed learning community dedicated to promoting lifelong learning, leadership, community service, and research. We opened our doors in 1988 as a department of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Our goal is to enable our members to “thrive” in life’s second half.
OLLI at UNC Asheville(OLLI) embraces an unusually comprehensive array of programs in the arts and humanities, the natural world, civic engagement, wellness, life transition and retirement relocation planning, intergenerational co-learning, and research on trends in the reinvention of
MedPage Today – Searching for Clinical Trials Just Got Easier
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