2011 November

Advances In Cognitive Therapy

Normally, people love to be engulfed, surrounded, and entertained by words used in stories, speaking, and tales expressed in books. That is why advertising and the media are such booming industries. That is why people read newspapers, and why people love reading about stories they’ve experienced themselves. And the more the person can become a confident story teller, the more people will become attracted to that voice, that personality, that therapist, or that entertainer.

Words, when delivered positively, are the life-blood of communication! When things feel positive, everything falls into place. The sounds of a ticking clock, metronome, musical instrument, animal call, running water, ocean waves, and singing voices, are all very effective means of soothing us. All these sounds have the ability of summoning the capabilities of the subconscious mind. A great example of this is when a mother sings her child to sleep. The short, soothing song, classified as a “lullaby” has pacified many a baby to the point of falling asleep in its mother’s arms.

Reprogramming The Subconscious Mind:

Holding The Elephant Captive – In a sense, our minds can hold us captive. Because of conditioning, our beliefs can become set, depriving us of all hope, of even attempting to change our ways. Conditioning can go both ways – it can either hold us captive, or it can release us from our bondage. And one way to become released from bondage is to practice repetition so positive, that the mind will come to believe it is so.

When wild elephants are captured in Africa they are fenced off and left there for a certain period of time. After a form of brainwashing, they become tamed. Then, upon being taken to a circus, for example, they are shackled to the ground by one leg for long periods. In time, they grow accustomed to it, with the understanding and acceptance that they cannot break loose from the chain that held them for so long. Through repetition, they come to believe they cannot escape their bondage. Weighing in at several tons, it is obvious to anyone, that with one simple tug the elephant could be off and running. But these elephants don’t know this – they have become conditioned to believe it is not possible, so they give up trying. And so, we too, tend to give up when things seem fruitless – when we cannot seem to break away from the chain that binds us. That chain can be broken; the chain that holds us down is our belief system.

By Health Care on November 11, 2011 | Alternative medicine

An Analysis of The Relationship Between Art and Mental Health

To understand how art is utilized in mental health you’ll have to think of art as a constitutive subject, an essential element in interpersonal communications. Art doesn’t exist for the sake of its own existence, but for the sake of interpersonal communication. In art, both artist and observer are participants. Although it is the artist that originally imbues their work with meaning, it is the observer who discovers its meaning. It’s the observer who must break the artist’s work down into its disparate parts, decipher its hidden code and piece that code together into a coherent sentence or paragraph which the arts reason for existing is stated. Consciously and unconsciously, it’s through art that those dealing with mental illness create insight into their existence.

It is through their art, that qualified art therapists are able to determine what underlying issues are at the root of an individual’s mental illness. Thus; their art acts as an indicator/confirmation of which mental illness they may be suffering from due to certain mental illnesses’ ability to affect an individual’s perception and expression. Thus, the art of a mentally ill individual is capable of being utilized as a road map which assist art therapists in determining which physiological and psycho-emotive issues need to be dealt with in order to return an individual to wellness.

Most individuals dealing with mental illness experience some form of impairment in their ability to intentionally communicate their instinctual desires through repressed thinking. This is because individuals suffering from mental illness may lack the ego integrity ( strength of mind and connection with reality) necessary to censor and harness the energy of their instinctual desires (emotions and sensations) while transforming them into coherent thought/spoken concepts or ideas. However, artistic expression allows individuals possessing mental illnesses to express their instinctual desires in a constructive manner without being forced to censor their thoughts, feelings, or instincts in a non-restrictive pattern of expression.

This is important because censoring can cause an individual to shut down and become incapable of communicating with others due to their frustration with being unable to convey their thoughts as quickly as they emerge.

Thus; for those that are mentally ill, art or the act of art becomes a non-threatening means of communications for the mentally ill and their artistic observer/therapist. This allows a mentally ill individual to communicate freely without reservation and feel comfortable with expressing their mental landscape thoughts, feelings and dreams to the art therapist who interprets the meaning of these phenomena into a meaningful representation of their clients’ inner-world; this further assist the art therapist in determining underlying issues responsible for their clients’ conditions and what issues may be agitating or preventing them from returning to health.

Thus, it’s after the creation of art as a finished product that an observer/art therapist becomes a participant in the client’s artistic process through attempting to discover both its latent and manifest meaning. It’s through joint participation of artist/client and observer/therapist that both are brought together in developing its meaning. It’s through this process that the artist/client is given value or validation by the participating observer/therapist and that both process and observer are internalized by the artist; the client takes the therapist and their reaction to their art into themselves and is either positively or negatively affected by it. Thus; the therapist’s reaction to their art will either assist in returning the client to health or delay it. In short, a therapist reaction to their client’s art and their ability to praise and/or critique appropriately will assist their client in developing insight, self-esteem and connection to reality.

Without this interpersonal process between client and therapist, art in and of itself possesses no innate value associated with a client’s healing unless it is to release the instinctual energy pent-up within the psyche of those who are mentally ill through various creative outlets that de-energize the unsatisfied instinctual impulses responsible for the agitation of a client’s concomitant emotional states. So to the artist/client without the involvement of process and observer/therapist, art and its creation lacks value and is discarded by the client. Without process and observer it becomes another expression of unmet instinctual desires that the artist desires to alleviate, but unable to do so becomes even more frustrated. In short, without a voice and a listener those suffering from mental illness become shut off from others and reality while experiencing frustration, and anxiety. It is through art, its process of creation and the presence of an interested observer that this is prevented and remedied.

Because art and the creation of art gains value through collective participation by both artist and observer; it becomes a constitutive subject which is internalized by both artist and observer, and then possesses the power to heal through the internalization of process and observer. It’s this process that is invaluable to individuals dealing with mental illness, and brings about healing much in the same way as rationalized therapy, therapy in which disciplined rationale thought is applied, otherwise known as talk therapy where the observer/therapist and client develop insight and alleviate the client’s anxieties through developing cognitive behavioral procedures that deal with the client’s internalized conflicts or unanswered instinctual desires. The difference is that through art and the process of art there is an ability to create a public record of the psycho- emotive state in which both therapist and client engaged in during their time together. Thus; structured art therapy has the potential to assist the mentally ill in returning wellness as it assists them in understanding their underlying problems.

By Health Care on November 10, 2011 | Mental health

Keeping A Migraine Trigger Diary

There are many triggers that can cause a migraine attack and the only way to find out what your personal triggers are, is to record every aspect of your day to day living in a diary. By recording what you did prior to a migraine attack in a diary, you will be able to identify and eliminate those potential migraine triggers.

When you start recording in your diary, remember you must make notes of everything and I mean everything you did before a migraine attack.

I have listed below some of the more common triggers, although it is worth noting that what may be a migraine trigger for one sufferer may not necessarily be a trigger for another.

1. Your diet can be a migraine trigger, so make sure you avoid those foods and drinks that can cause you problems, in other words watch what you eat and drink. There are many common food triggers such as those that contain additives and preservatives, natural food substances like tyramine (This can be found in aged foods and citrus fruits), alcohol (red wine and beer). The list of potential food migraine triggers is certainly not endless, but once you start recording the foods and drink that you consume, you will get a fair indication if any of them are responsible for your migraine triggers.

2. Not only can your diet be a trigger, but skipping meals or even fasting will have consequences for some sufferers.

3. Prescribed or non-prescribed medication may be the cause of a migraine trigger for some sufferers.

4. A less obvious trigger for migraines can be your working environment. If you work in a stuffy, smoky atmosphere or are exposed to bright or flickering lights this will more than likely be a potential trigger.

5. Exercise is for most people a healthy habit, however strenuous exercise especially if you are not used to it can be a trigger.

6. Lack of sleep or overtiredness.

7. Women sufferers should keep a record of their menstrual cycle.

Once you have set about recording all the outside possible or potential triggers, then turn your attention to the symptoms and the attack itself and record the effects.

When and how the headaches started.

  • Did you have a vision problem?
  • Did you feel sick or vomit?
  • How long did the attack last for?
  • Where is the pain?

Keeping a migraine trigger diary will not cure your migraine, but at least it will make you aware of the possible triggers and give you enough information to help relieve your suffering from this debilitating condition.

By Health Care on November 4, 2011 | Headaches-Migraines

Recurring Daily Headaches – What Causes Them?

Daily headaches invade every aspect of life. If you’ve tried eliminating all the common causes of recurring headaches without success, you may be ready to give up. Don’t. There are simple, hidden reasons that are rarely acknowledged. Learn what they are and the ache in your head might become just a memory.

Causes of Daily Headaches: The Well-Known and Little-Known

Obviously anxiety and stress can cause tension headaches. Some foods or food additives are often the culprits. But if you’ve tried removing dairy, wheat, gluten, MSG, nitrates, and caffeine and still can’t get relief, it’s time to look beyond the obvious to causes that are rarely noticed.

Dehydration: When you’re dehydrated, your blood vessels constrict to conserve body fluids. Often, a headache will disappear just by drinking enough water.

Your Computer Monitor: The plastic of most computer monitors contains a flame-retardant chemical called “triphenyl phosphate”. It’s known to cause headaches. So make sure you have good air circulation in your computer room.

Calcium-Magnesium Ratio: Magnesium helps your muscles relax, which increases blood flow. If the ratio of magnesium to calcium is too low, your muscles contract. The result is often a headache. You can easily find out what this ratio is by getting a simple hair analysis. Or you can just try adding magnesium to your diet and see if it helps.

The Hidden Cause of Recurring Headaches

A major cause of daily headaches today is usually overlooked. In spite of research over the last twenty years, few people know about the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in our environment. Inside any building EMFs are generated by the electrical wiring and appliances. Over time, EMFs wear down your immune system, making it hard for your body to get rid of toxins. Chronic headaches and EMFs are very often linked!

High frequency EMFs from all wireless devices are even more likely to cause your headaches. If you’ve noticed a headache coming on after spending a long time at your computer (particularly if you’re in a room with Wi-Fi), exposure to EMFs is probably the cause.

How to Solve EMF Headaches

You don’t have to give up your cell phone or computer to be headache free. EMF protection devices can eliminate the dangers of EMF exposure and reduce or eliminate your headaches. A number of companies offer EMF protection devices, but they aren’t all the same. Look for a company with a long history and a generous guarantee that gives you an adequate period of time to try the product out to see if your daily headaches disappear.

The list of possible causes of recurring daily headaches in today’s world is a long one. But it’s easy to cross some of them off your list. Try some of these lesser-known causes and see what happens. How different your life can be without those nagging recurring daily headaches!

By Health Care on November 3, 2011 | Headaches-Migraines

Dental Plans Are a Great Alternative to Dental Insurance

If you have decided that you are going to get some dental work done, whether it be a cleaning or some other care, you will undoubtedly start thinking about money and how much the care will cost. This is a normal response, since dental care can be very expensive. But do not believe that you can’t get the care just because you don’t have dental insurance.

Like medical insurance, dental insurance can be very expensive. If you are able, it is a good idea to have dental insurance to supplement your medical insurance. This will allow you to get the very best of dental care without having to pay a lot of money out of pocket. But if that is not an option, there is something else that you can do. You can first talk to your dentist to see what kind of discounts you can get as a patient. Some dentists will offer such discounts for past patients or new patients. Always ask about specials.

If that doesn’t get the price where it needs to be, you can start looking into dental plans. Dental plans are a great alternative to insurance, since the cost is lower and can offer some great savings. If you are looking to research some plans that might fit you or your family well, you can start your search online. There are many places to look for the very best dental plans.

You should consider the following when looking at dental plans.

1. The cost to savings ratio should be considered. If you are looking to get just a cleaning or some other simple dental procedure, you may find that it is cheaper to pay out of pocket. If you need orthodontics or some other major treatment, a dental plan will give you savings greater than the cost of the plan.

2. Look at plans for individuals or for the family. Family plans are great, but only if you need the extra coverage for a family. If not, you can save some money going with the individual plan.

3. Always make sure your dentist accepts the dental plan you are considering. There are many plans and there are a lot of dentists. Whether your dentist accepts a particular plan can only be verified at the dental office. Don’t take the word of the plan provider, as their job is to sell their service. Always do your own research.

In the end, you should do what is best for you. In terms of dental care, there is no reason to skip dental care just because of cost. There are always resources available to help you maintain oral health.

By Health Care on November 2, 2011 | Dental Care