Monday, December 29, 2014

Thoughts for the day - Courage

Today I wanted to share some thoughts about courage.  On a daily basis I hear stories of courage from the hospice patients I'm honored to serve.  They are so brave because they look at their challenge with strength and courage, and inspire others to persevere.  I hope you find these quotes inspirational.  Take care.   Dave

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that
something else is more important than fear.”
― Ambrose Redmoon

"Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.”
― Maya Angelou

"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”
― Mark Twain

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.
― Nelson Mandela

"Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone.
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own.”
― Adam Lindsay Gordon

Monday, December 22, 2014

E-Cigarettes - The Breakdown...

Good Morning,

This week I want to do a few postings on E Cigarettes.  I'm not sure if people were like me, and didn't understand anything about the mechanism.  I'll go into the whys, hows, and wheres concerning e-cigarettes.

The Breakdown on E Cigarettes - Parts and Design


An electronic cigarette (e-cig or e-cigarette), personal vaporizer (PV) or electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) is a battery-powered vaporizer which simulates tobacco smoking by producing an aerosol[1] that resembles smoke. It generally uses a heating element known as an atomizer, that vaporizes a liquid solution known as e-liquid. E-liquids usually contain a mixture of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings,[2] while others release a flavored vapor without nicotine.[3]

Lithium Ion Cell: The actual battery component, or power source of the e-cigarette. It is rechargeable, and is considered the most powerful type of e-cigarette battery.
Aluminum Shell: The attractive exterior of the e-cigarette. Sturdy and durable, it is made to be lightweight, and protective for the whole device. The aluminum shell makes the e-cigarette comfortable to hold, and comfortable to use.
Sensor: This is also known as the Operating Mode Sensor. When you inhale, this component will trigger the smart chip, which in turn signals the battery to charge the atomizer.
Smart Chip Microprocessor: Also known as the Microcomputer Smart Chip, this is where much of the e-cigarette's revolutionary technological capabilities lie. This mechanism cues in the battery, by sending a signal, which in turn engages the atomizer.
E-Cigarette Cartridges: Also known as Cartridges, Atomizers, or Carts, these devices are disposable, and come prefilled with USA-Made nicotine juice. Built into them are the necessary atomizers. The cartridges are screwed onto one end of the battery. The other end of the cartridge includes the comfortable, silicon mouthpiece that you puff on.
Atomizer: This component is responsible for vaporizing the nicotine liquid, which creates the nicotine-infused vapor that you inhale. It reacts to a signal sent by the battery. These parts are built into the cartridges, and are disposable because they have a tendency to not last very long. Having a new one in each cartridge allows the user to get the very best vapor possible.

Types of E Cigarettes

Atomizer

An atomizer generally consist of a small heating element responsible for vaporizing e-liquid, as well as a wicking material that draws liquid in. Along with a battery, the atomizer is the central component of every personal vaporizer. Differences between atomizers cause differences in the ingredients and their concentrations delivered to users, even when the same liquid is used.

Cartomizers

A "cartomizer" (a portmanteau of cartridge and atomizer) or "carto" consists of an atomizer surrounded by a liquid-soaked poly-foam that acts as an e-liquid holder. It is usually disposed of once the e-liquid acquires a burnt taste, which is usually due to an activation when the coil is dry or when the cartomizer gets consistently flooded (gurgling) because of sedimentation of the wick. Most cartomizers are refillable even if not advertised as such.

Clearomizers

Clearomizers or "clearos", not unlike cartotanks, use a clear tank in which an atomizer is inserted. Unlike cartotanks, however, no poly-foam material can be found in them. There are a lot of different wicking systems employed inside of clearomizers to ensure good moistening of the wick without flooding the coil. Some rely on gravity to bring the e-liquid to the wick and coil assembly (bottom coil clearomizers for example) whereas others rely on capillary action and to some degree the user agitating the e-liquid while handling the clearomizer (top coil clearomizers)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

E-cigarettes - What do you know?


Things to know about e-cigarettes


  • There isn't any need to light them because they may explode - True.  E-cigarettes are powered by lithium batteries that don't mix well with extreme heat.  Certain devices may have a red light indicator at the end of the e cigarette that glows as the user inhales.

  • They may contain liquid nicotine which is toxic - This is a concern because a teaspoon of liquid nicotine can be lethal to humans if inhaled directly, ingested, or absorbed through the skin.  Poison control centers across American have been seeing an increasing number of incidents related to e cigarettes for children under the age of 5.  If you have small children like me, please store the device safely like your household cleaning agents.[ Source- Association of American Poison Control Centers]

  • They aren't regulated by the FDA - Therefore you can't be sure that a device has been tested or that they are providing accurate information on the contents or amount found in the e cigarette.  The FDA only has been involved in overseeing the regulation of who can buy the devices, by prohibiting sales to minors. [source: FDA].

  • They're reusable and cost less than a smoking habit - the cartridges used and the lithium battery needs to be replaced according to the manufacturers instructions, but the cost is around $600 per year versus $1000 to $3000 for a smoking habit.

  • E cigarettes create secondhand smoke or vapor issues that have been shown to be harmful to human lungs.  "Despite the marketing claims that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking tobacco, researchers are finding e-cig users experience diminished lung function, airway resistance and cellular changes, regardless of whether or not they currently (or ever) smoke cigarettes. And in the lab, cells exposed to e-cigarette vapor show unhealthy changes similar to cells exposed to tobacco smoke. Users who vape nicotine-free e-cigs can't escape the effects, either; they also experience airway resistance and other signs of inflammation as side effects of e-cigarette use." [source: FDA].
This information was provided by Trimarchi, Maria, and Susan Cassidy.  "10 Little-known Facts About E-cigarettes"  10 January 2011.  HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/10-facts-about-e-cigarettes.htm>  01 July 2014.

My thoughts on e cigarettes  - Our program doesn't propose anything other than a natural way of trying to stop smoking.  Therefore, we don't need to discuss side effects, harmful effects caused by use of a certain product, or worry about providing an expensive alternative program because of additional costs related to nicotine replacement options or devices.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing some research concerning the effectiveness of e cigarettes in helping people to quit smoking.  Until then have a great day.  Dave

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thoughts for the Day - Gotta Wash that Stress Right Outta Your Life...


“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”
Steve Maraboli


 “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”
Maya Angelou


“It's time to start living the life you've imagined.”
Henry James 


“I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much.”
Mother Teresa 


“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey

Stress Series - Using the QUIT approach for managing your stress...



Good Morning,

Today I wanted to complete our short series on stress by sharing a little bit of our program's philosophy - QUIT.  During this series we've had the chance to review the definitions of stress, and categorize it into negative and positive elements in our lives.  Then we discussed how our mind assesses the incoming stimuli to determine how our bodies respond with either a flight or fight response.  We also learned how certain hormones play an important role in physically managing stress to protect our bodies from harm, and finally we reviewed the emotional and mental impact stress creates by altering our behaviors and moods.

This final portion of the series will cover how to effectively manage stress by using the MINDWAYS QUIT philosophy.  Just like going from point A to point B, there is always more than one route to a destination.  The field of stress management also offers a variety possible solutions to minimize the impact of stress in life.

We at MINDWAYS Solutions came up with what we believe are the core principles to achieve positive change and quality in life.  We use our QUIT method to accomplish change in our program, and know that it can be applied to all challenging life issues:

  • Q - quantify your risks - What are you doing to invite unwanted stress into your life either through your actions or the people you have in your life?
  • U - understand your story - When did the stress start in your life?  What were the precursors to the onset of the stress? When did you lose control over managing the impact of this stressful issue in your life?
  • I - initiate action - Now it's time to be proactive in your response to the stress by creating habits that support your ability to effectively handle stressful events in your life.
  • T - transform your future - Change your thinking by developing a strong mental response to stress in your life.  Through the use of ccognitive messaging you can alter your subconscious to respond differently to the stress in your life.
Things you can do  to QUIT the stress in your life:

complete personal inventories or assessments about challenges in your life

-  keep a journal to capture life events and how you respond to incoming events 

-  continue to expand your personal growth through exposing yourself to inspirational content

- surround yourself with positive people who provide a positive and supportive influence

-  reward yourself with enjoyable activities or personal hobbies to create a work/life balance

-  make some goals for yourself about the type of impact you want to make in the world 

-  get adequate amount of sleep 

-recommended is eight hours to maintain mental focus

-  eat healthy foods from the identified necessary food groups - enjoy a treat in moderation

-  be active by implementing exercise into your daily life

-  use positive phrases to tell yourself that you can accomplish your goals

-  take time each day to sit quietly and let your mind rest by using meditation

I hope you found this brief review of stress helpful.  Here are the takeaways that I believe sum up our Stress series:

  • Know what stress is - both the good that motivates you in life, and the bad that can create turmoil.
  • Take time to understand how you respond to stress presently, and historically.
  • Make a change - that takes action - give yourself a plan and start moving forward.
  • Create a better life for yourself by maintaining consistent healthy behaviors and attitudes that impact your body and mind.

Finally, please review the opportunity to try our MINDWAYS QUIT Solution for FREE or take advantage of other free resources to manage stress in your life by visiting www.mindwayssolutions.com.  

Have a great day!

Dave

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thoughts for the Day - Adversity... How to Deal with the Funk






Good Morning,

Adversity, one of the many things that connects us all as part of the human condition.  How do we deal with it when it enters our life?  We each handle it as differently as each of us is unique in this world.  Going through these challenges can be a test of your personal fortitude, and your ability to make it through these tough times.

As I was talking to a friend about some common challenges we were each facing, I stopped for a moment to listen to myself.  I had a negative bent in my voice, and appeared to be whining about my current predicament.  We all have challenges in this life, but we also have blessings and things that cause us to be joyful.  Reading these quotes helped me gain some perspective on refocusing my mindset, and helped me get out of the funk I was feeling.  I hope you find them helpful as you go through your day.  Take care.

Dave

“I love those who can smile in trouble...”
Leonardo da Vinci


“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world”
Helen Keller


 “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."

Anne Bradstreet


 “Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty.”
Thomas S. Monson


 “Extraordinary people survive under the most terrible circumstances and they become more extraordinary because of it.”
Robertson Davies

A Week-long Wellness Series - Stress, how it affects our psyche...



Good morning,

As I reviewed the post from yesterday I realized that the cascade of events that occur during stressful situations was not clearly explained.  Therefore, I wanted to give you a brief overview before moving on to the proactive management of stress.  Here it is:

  • The stressful situation is evaluated by our perception and memory.
  • The hypothalamus in our brain is activated when it's considered stressful.
  • The fight or flight system is initiated to deal with the stressful situation by engaging the pituitary gland and adrenal medulla.
  • The pituitary then releases a chemical called ACTH which is used to stimulate the adrenal glands to release cortisol.
  • Cortisol enables the body to maintain a steady supply of blood sugar to the body while maintaining a stable blood pressure.  Maintaining a steady blood sugar level allows the body to cope with the stress encountered, and return to a normal state of emotional and physical balance.

The Psychological Component of Stress - It feels like my world is crumbling? 
Hello,
I'm a firm believer that stories provide the best way to dig deep into a topic, and really understand it from both an emotional and practical point of view.  It provides the opportunity to empathize with the characters in the story, and truly understand the plight presented in the narrative.  With that premise in mind, I would like to share a story of someone who crossed my path at one point to illustrate how stress can and does affect our lives.
John

A man in his twenties who had just transitioned out of the military into a sales role with a large corporate company.  His new job required extensive travel, and was extremely autonomous.  Once a quarter his boss would visit from another state, but that was all the interaction he had with any team members from his company.

During his military career John worked in a cohesive unit that depended on each other to accomplish tasks and missions.  He was a great performer, and moved up the ranks quickly.  Now he was a civilian with a great job, excellent perks, and the freedom to run his own schedule.  It sounded great, but as the novelty wore off after the first 6 months, year, and at two years John began experiencing increasing anxiety and stress over his dissatisfaction and looming sales quotas.
 
His demeanor began to change around his close family and friends.  He was irritated when people spoke about how much they loved their work, or were experiencing successes in their lives.  His job seemed like a chain around his neck.  He was losing sleep, gaining weight, becoming more complacent with making sales calls each day, and finally decided to just stay at home.
Over the next few weeks John dodged work, and didn't leave home much.  John didn't know what to do because he felt trapped and ashamed about his feelings and behavior.  He had made the decision to quit and move on, but before that happened another company sales rep reported his actions to John's boss.  It wold finally be over thought John who felt a sense of freedom at thought of being fired.  The following day John called his boss and quit after apologizing for his shameful behavior.  He explained to his boss that he didn't realize his military transition would be so stressful, and said he'd felt paralyzed for months.  John finally took back control of his life, and stopped the stress that had been destroying his life.

Has stress ever consumed your life, and left you feeling paralyzed and helpless?  Stress can be a powerful and destructive force in life if it's not managed properly.  The first step is awareness concerning the cause, and the specific ways it manifests in our lives.   Below are some of the most common symptoms people experience when they're burdened by stress:

  • Anger, anxiety, compulsive behaviors, depression, despair, emotional numbness, loss of control, fear, irritability, resentment, and isolation.
Are you experiencing any of these feelings?  The first step in resolving these feelings is to identify the cause and extent of these type of feelings.  Here is an assessment to increase your awareness concerning the psychological component of stress currently in your life:
This resource is from the http://www.depression-anxiety-stress-test.org/ website where you can find other resources concerning anxiety, depression, and stress. 

Please seek the help of a professional if you can't manage your stress effectively.  Let me know if you found this helpful.  Thank you for taking the time to visit.  Tomorrow I'll be completing this short series by talking about managing the stress in your life with heal Take care, and have a great day.

Dave

4 Ways to Impact the World - A Caring Genius' Approach

"HE WAS A CARING PERSON THAT WAS A MATH TEACHER AND A SCIENTIST"
 Anonymous
How can we create a lasting impact on our world?  That seems to be a question that is the central drive for many people in this world.  There may be varying factors that initiate that drive for people desiring to make a change, but everyone will impact this world in someway during their lifetime.  Albert Einstein is most remembered for his brilliance, but as you read his thoughts it's clear that his greatness or impact was derived from 4 specific attitudes that guided his actions.

Be Humble - Albert Einstein was one of the most influential people of all time, but through his writings his humility shines through.  He clearly believed that he nor anyone else had all the answers, and freely admitted this perspective to the world.  If we want to make and impact on the world, our actions should be the voice people hear rather than any clatter that would come from being prideful.
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
Albert Einstein


“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”
Albert Einstein


Be Positive - Albert Einstein was one of the greatest thinkers of our time because his mind wasn't trapped by limited vision.  He was a man that could see possibilities, and believed that there was an element of practicality to even the worlds most difficult problems.  If we want to impact the world we have to take off our blinders created by seeing our limitations.

“I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right.”
Albert Einstein 

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”
Albert Einstein

   
Be Creative -     Albert Einstein valued being an out of the box thinker because he knew that's where true genius was created.  To make an impact on this world we have to be willing to color outside the lines, and be willing to be misunderstand if it results in benefiting the greater good.

“Imagination is the highest form of research.”
Albert Einstein

“Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible.”
Albert Einstein


Be Persistent -   Albert Einstein didn't succeed the first time around, and freely admitted the challenges he faced in solving problems.  His success came in realizing that the breakthrough was just around the next bend if he was willing to keep pressing forward.  When things seem insurmountable, hang on for the ride to achieve your goals that result in impacting others positively.

“You never fail until you stop trying.”
Albert Einstein

 “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
Albert Einstein

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week-long Wellness Series - Stress

The Physiology of Stress

Good Morning,

I wanted to continue with our stress series this morning by discussing how stress causes physical effects on parts of the body.  I hope you had a chance to take the assessment yesterday that places you in categories of stress based on life events.  The higher your stress level the greater your risk for something detrimental happening to your body.

Today I'll start with a quick layman's anatomy and physiology course with definitions, and then specifically talk about what the cause and effect relationship is to the body.  As you read this today please leave me your comments or questions if you want more clarification or if I failed to explain something.

Hypothalamus - Makes hormones with the help of the pituitary (master gland).  The front part of the pituitary in called the anterior and sends hormones into the blood stream.  Next is the back portion of the pituitary called the posterior that interacts with the body's tissue.  The following hormones are the ones that get released, and what they do to the body:

  1. TRH-- Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone - controls energy and appetite.
  2. PRH-- Prolactin Releasing Hormone - makes breast milk
  3. PIH-- Prolactin Release-Inhibiting Hormone - stops production when not necessary
  4. CRH-- Corticotropin Releasing Hormone - This hormone affects ACTH release from the anterior pituitary - controls fluid levels in the body and blood pressure.
  5. GnRH-- Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone - makes the sex hormones (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and two involved in making and fertilizing an egg - LH / FSH
  6. GHRH-- Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone - helps the body develop and grow.
  7. SS-- Somatostatin - controls the bodies release of enzymes used in digestion.
When a stressful event occurs it can trigger a cascade of chemical reactions where all these hormones listed above can be released appropriately or inappropriately, and cause effects on the human body.  Here is what happens to our bodies:
Brain - headaches, feeling of despair, decreased energy, sadness, nervousness, anger, irritable, loss of appetite, decreased ability to focus and remember events, insomnia, panic attacks which can lead to anxiety disorders.
Skin - acne or blemishes
Muscles/Joints - aches, pain, and tension through the neck, shoulders, and back.  Stress also can affect the density of our bones.
Heart - increased heart rate / blood pressure, and increased cholesterol
Stomach - nausea, diarrhea, increased acid production, and weight gain by affecting hormones that make us hungry or feel full.
Pancreas - increased risk of diabetes with abnormal blood sugar levels.
Immune System
- decreased ability to fight off illness.
Now that you have a better idea of the physical effects of stress I encourage you to monitor how your body responds to the stress in your life.  Tomorrow I'll delve into how we respond to stress, and then follow up with ways to manage the stress in our lives that creates positive changes.  Have a great day, and please let me know your thoughts.  It would be so helpful to know if you found this valuable or if there were things that need changing.  Take care.

Dave

Weeklong Wellness Topic - "Stress - Causes, Effects, and Solutions for Living Successfully"

Good Morning,

I wanted to start this Monday with a new concept for this wellness blog, and see if you would find it interesting and useful.  I would like to do a week long series on a wellness topic that provides a complete 360 vhttp://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTCS_82.htmiew of the issue.  The initial topic is going to be: "Stress - Causes, Effects, and Solutions for Living Successfully".  I hope you find this an enjoyable way to explore a topic.  Please let me know your thoughts whether good or bad, so I can ensure I meet your interest level needs.  Thank you.



Stress - the causes

What is stress?  That might be the first place to start even though it seems quite elementary.  Merriam Webster's definition is the following -

constraining force or influence: as
a :  a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; especially :  the intensity of this mutual force commonly expressed in pounds per square inch b :  the deformation caused in a body by such a force c :  a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation d :  a state resulting from a stress; especially :  one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium <job-related stress> e :  strain, pressure <the environment is under stress to the point of collapse — Joseph Shoben>
2
:  emphasis, weight <lay stress on a point>
3
archaic :  intense effort or exertion
4
:  intensity of utterance given to a speech sound, syllable, or word producing relative loudness
5
a :  relative force or prominence of sound in verse
b :  a syllable having relative force or prominence

Now that we're all the same page literally, we can talk about what causes this mental tension that is derived from the challenging situations that occur in our lives.  How is your stress?  Have you taken the time to assess the stress in your life, both good and bad? 

Good and bad?  Is there actually such a thing as good stress?  Yes, sorry to be the bearer of this news if you were unaware.  We all need that little nudge sometimes in our lives to ensure we keep moving toward personal growth.  That nudge is the good stress in our lives.  Some examples I may be job performance reviews, annual physicals, or difficult conversations with the people important in our lives.  You may have others as well, but I chose these three because the cover moving ahead positively in our careers, our health, and in our personal relationships.  Without this nudging or "Good" stress we become complacent in these areas which will lead to bad stress.
How much stress do you currently have in your life?  Here is a link to a form that will help identify the stress in your life, and provide an evaluation of what level you're currently experiencing at this moment in your life.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Thoughts for the Day - Nelson Mandela - A Powerhouse for Change...


Good Afternoon,

Today I wanted to share some inspiration from a man who was a powerhouse of change.  When it came to creating change in this world he was a heavyweight champion.  It was great to have such me an amazing figure as an example of wisdom, and showing us how to create pathways to positive change.  I hope you find his words inspiring today.  Take care, Dave.


“A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something very special.”
Nelson Mandela


“The greatest glory in living
lies not in never falling,
but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela 


“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
Nelson Mandela 


 “There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Nelson Mandela


 “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself... Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.”
Nelson Mandela

Thoughts for the Day - The Courage to Pursue Change in Your Life...


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston S. Churchill


“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.”
Nora Ephron 


“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can't practice any other virtue consistently.”
Maya Angelou 


 “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear.”
Mark Twain


“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Activation - What do you want to put behind you?


 
Change is a challenging thing to accomplish in our most our lives without effort, and part of the process is understanding our story or what makes us tick.  One term that is being used widely in behavior change circles in the health and wellness is "Activation" that relates to that underlying motivation each of us has to drive change in our lives.  According to Merriam and Webster's dictionary, the term  Activate means to make (something) active or more active: such as : to cause (a device) to start working. 
 
Today I'd like to explain how it plays a role in the MINDWAYS QUIT Solution™ Stop Smoking program That combines change methodology with hypnosis to help people to stop smoking.  The program is currently free to anyone through the end of the year.  You'll find more details at the end of this post.

Activation is a fluid process of change.  In our program there is a focus on helping people personally activate to achieve the change they desire to stop smoking.  We combine a caring understanding of the difficulty they face in quitting, but infuse hope by providing scientifically proven tools that deliver an immediate lasting positive change.

First, we help our participants migrate through the quitting process by using a change methodology approach.  Next, we use hypnosis to clear a pathway for the brain to accept new messaging necessary to implement changes in behavior and thinking that helps the person to quit smoking.

Here is a study that supports helping people achieve change through hypnosis.  It looks at the science behind hypnosis, and how it affects the brain in delivering new behaviors while preventing the old from reoccurring.  In the article "Hypnosis, Memory, and the Brain" by the Scientific American  the process of PHA (posthypnotic amnesia) is investigated as a means of how hypnosis can alter memories, and induce action.    

Hypnotists produce PHA by suggesting to a hypnotized person that after hypnosis he will forget particular things until he receives a “cancellation,” such as “Now you can remember everything.” PHA typically only happens when it is specifically suggested and it is much more likely to occur in those with high levels of hypnotic ability, or “high hypnotizable” people. Now a new study shows that this hypnotic state actually influences brain activity associated with memory....Mendelsohn et al.’s study is important because it demonstrates that hypnotic suggestions influence brain activity, not just behavior and experience.

This study helps to prove the power of hypnosis because we now see that clinical diagnostic pictures (MRI) are able to show that with hypnosis there is increased brain activation that leads to change.  If this is powerful in controlling memory wouldn't it be effective in helping individuals overcome unwanted action in their lives (smoking)?  The study appears to lead us to that outcome.

I hope you found this interesting, and helps you in your decision of choosing a method to stop smoking or helping someone close to you.  Please visit us at www.mindwayssolutions.com for our free program, and other resources which are available through the end of the year.  Take care.

Dave

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thoughts for the Day - Happiness


Good Morning,

I hope your day is off to a good start.  I wanted to share some thoughts about happiness, and the impact it has in our lives.  It's a strong emotion, feeling, quality that can be hugely beneficial in our lives.



“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Abraham Lincoln


“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Mahatma Gandhi


“The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it's all that matters.”
Audrey Hepburn


“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez


“It isn't what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.”
Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How do you want to be perceived? A Smoker's Need for Compassion


Good Afternoon,

I was researching some data for something I wanted to write this morning when I came across this blog that I found saying some interesting things about people's perception of smokers.  I'm going to copy some of the content here, and then make some points after you've had a chance to read the postings.

Here's how it started:
Q: I have a roommate who is a militant chain-smoker. Despite promising not to smoke in the house when we moved in, since the Chicago winter set in, our house smells like a giant ashtray. I've asked him to at least smoke with a window open, but the smoke still seeps in under the doors and through the vents to the rest of the house. On the persuasion end, I don't think there is anything I can do until the weather warms up. Are there any sure fire ways of getting rid of cigarette smoke in your house?

These are the responses to his question:
Use a fairly damp bath towel. (Try putting it on the floor of the shower, turning on water for few seconds, then pulling it out. You don't want soaking wet, but it should be fairly damp overall.) Sprinkle vinegar on it. Whip the towel overhead and around the room; the damp, vinegary towel will soak up smoke where it has passed through the air.

Designating a smoking area in the house is like designating a peeing area in a pool. For the sake of your own health you really must insist on no smoking in the house.  Get rid of the roommate. All these methods of removing smells from a living space only really work if the source of the smell itself has been removed. Unless you're keen on scrubbing down all your walls and furniture every week and changing vinegar bowls every day, the smell will NEVER go away.

My Thoughts:

The one thing that no one in the post ever mentioned was trying to help this person try to stop smoking.  Obviously all the respondents gave advice on how to get rid of the smell or the smoker.  I thought it was a sad commentary on the perception held about smokers.  I don't see smoking as any worse than other unhealthy behaviors, but a horrible addiction that requires people to receive caring and effective interventions to stop.  The current statistics on the number of the smoking population who want to quit is about 70%.  Therefore, I wonder if anyone would have asked the roommate or suggested quitting would he have had made that step?

I would like to remind the smokers reading my post this morning that we at MINDWAYS are here to help and support you in transforming your life, and regaining your health.  Our eBook is available for Free currently at our website www.mindwayssolutions.com We wish you all the best in your journey to become a non-smoker.  Please contact us if we can answer any questions or be of assistance in any way.  Have a great day, and know we're on your side when you're ready to take that monumental life-changing step.  Take care.

Dave

Thoughts for the Day - Action



​“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ”
Walt Disney


“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”
Napoleon Hill

“Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.”
Thomas Jefferson


“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
Dr. Seuss

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Elio

Creating Joy - Dance in the Movie


Good Morning,

Joy is a word that doesn't seem to be used very often or just in certain circles, but it's a great word that should really impact each of our lives.

"the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/joy).

The other day I expereinced this elation that overhauled the bad day I was having.  I've been busy lately quite a bit, hence the lack of post, and needed to have some fun to get me out of my funk.  My wife and I decided that we would take our newly turned 3 year old daughter to her first movie.  Some of you might be thinking as I often have "this is no place for a kid that small".  I'm glad to report that my daughter did extremely well watching "RIO 2" because we sat in the very front where she could move around a little.  It was so fun to see how she enjoyed the movie, but my feeling of pure joy came after the movie during the credits.  As the credits rolled there was music b
eing played, and my daughter danced gleefully around with pure happiness.  I just watched her little feet, and listed to her sweet voice as she sang along.  My heart swelled with love and happiness in that moment.  That brief moment transformed the rest of my day, and took away the stress and funk I'd been feeling.

When was the last time you felt pure joy in your life?  I truly believe that it's an emotion that we all need in much greater quantities.  Here a 4 ways (there are probably a ton more) you can infuse your life with more Joy:
  • Spend time with those special people in your life doing something fun - In these moments great things can occur that leave you with that feeling of joy that can overhaul the worst of days.

  • Take time each day for Yourself to reflect - Having time to yourself to review your thoughts and your feelings can provide the balance necessary to maintain a sense of happiness by reducing stress.  Use that time to meditate, read, or listen to something that inspires you.

  • Find a purpose that impact others - Doing something for others pays dividends to you while creating a benefit to those on the receiving end.  Look for opportunities in your life to give to others.  The feeling of joy you receive will be more than any effort.
  • An attitude of Gratefulness - when you think about the things you have in your life it can bring a sense of joy.  Even in the toughest moments in life, taking time to be grateful can transform your feelings and bring a necessary smile to your face.

I hope you have the chance this week to feel a sense of joy or "Dance in the Movie".  You'll be amazed at how your perspective will be altered as you look at the world with a smile.  Take care, and have a wonderful day.
Dave

Thoughts for the day - Create the Difference...

Good Morning,

I think this picture says it all, but I've also provided some quotes I think you'll like.  Have a great day, and please let me know if you like the thoughts for the day posts I've been doing.  Take care.  Dave 


​If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. ~Anonymous


Opportunities don't happen, yo
u create them. ~Chris Grosser


The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one's destiny to do, and then do it.      ~Henry Ford


There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed. ~Ray Goforth


The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. ~Anonymous

The Challenge of Quitting - A Smoker's Dilemma

Good Morning,

This is an article I came across that I wanted to share with you for a few reasons:

-  The importance of including our minds/brains in the process of quitting smoking.  We include our brain in every other other activity we do in life, so why would the challenge of stopping smoking be any different.

-  Assessing the uniqueness of people's confidence and personal strengths necessary to make change.  Just like when we were students there were kids with varying learning abilities in the class, changing behavior is no different because people have varying underlying motivation.

-  The MINDWAYS QUIT Solution stop smoking program does both of these things to help people gain a lasting freedom from smoking.  We believe people first need to quantify the risks associated with their smoking, help people understand their dependence, initiate a personalized plan with practical strategies to help overcome your triggers, and finally use your mind to change the old negative messaging through hypnosis to achieve a smoke-free existence.

Please feel free to let us know your thoughts.  Thank you, and I hope you find this valuable.  Take care.



New research sheds light on why quitting smoking is harder for some - -Relaxnews
Jun 14 2014 7:14AM
Researchers have identified a brain function that indicates whether reward-based smoking cessation strategies will be effective on certain smokers.

In the study, researchers performed brain scans on smokers deprived of cigarettes for at least 12 hours and found that the most reward-motivated among them were the least likely to quit.  "We believe that our findings may help to explain why some smokers find it so difficult to quit smoking," said Stephen J. Wilson, assistant professor of psychology, Penn State. "Namely, potential sources of reinforcement for giving up smoking -- for example, the prospect of saving money or improving health -- may hold less value for some individuals and, accordingly, have less impact on their behavior."

Researchers first told smokers they would be allowed to smoke in two hours.  Fully intending to tempt them, they then told them there had been a mistake and that they would be allowed to smoke in 15 minutes.  Before allowing them to smoke, researchers promised subjects $1 for every five minutes they did not smoke.  The test group consisted of 44 smokers between ages 18 and 45 who smoked a minimum of 10 cigarettes per day.
Researchers observed the responses of the ventral striatum, the area of the brain responsible for motivation and goal-oriented behavior.  Those with the weakest responses of the striatum were less likely to refrain from smoking.

Wilson believes his research will lead to solutions in identifying the most problematic smokers and develop new cessation methods specific to their needs.  "Our results suggest that it may be possible to identify individuals prospectively by measuring how their brains respond to rewards, an observation that has significant conceptual and clinical implications," said Wilson. "For example, particularly 'at-risk' smokers could potentially be identified prior to a quit attempt and be provided with special interventions designed to increase their chances for success."

Do Scare Tactics Work - We don't think so...

Good Morning,

I found this article this morning as I was reading about the CDC's stop smoking efforts that will begin in July.  This seems to be in step with the changes that are beginning to occur for smokers under the Affordable Care Act, and implementing wellness penalties for smoking.

What I take away from this article is truly a lack of understanding how to help smokers with this challenge they face in their lives.  I haven't spoken to any smokers including my own family, who don't know the dangers of smoking.  Also, the tragedy that befalls many families due to a lost battle with one of many terminal diseases processes caused by cigarettes.

We at MINDWAYS take a different approach to help people stop smoking.  We want to understand you as an individual because then we can tailor a proven approach that will help you be successful.  Therefore, assessing your needs is where it begins for us.  Yes, we will cover the risks because we want you to focus on the benefits you will experience once you have the life-changing transformation into a non-smoker.  We are excited to offer this solution, and be here to help and support you. 

If you click the link below you will have the opportunity to take advantage of our program for free.  Go to www.mindwayssolutions.com to get your digital copy.  It will be available for free through the end of the year, and then in the I Store.  Take care.    
Dave



CDC tries to shock smokers into quitting

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will re-launch a shocking ad campaign in July that features more tragic and gory details of the consequences of smoking.
Over nine-weeks starting on July 7, television, radio, billboard, online, theater, magazine and newspaper ads will feature former smokers who have lost their teeth to gum disease, have suffered surgery because of lung cancer and a mother who gave birth prematurely after smoking.One of the ads will feature a former smoker named Terrie who died last September from cancer and who pleads with smokers: “Keep trying until you succeed – I don't want anybody to have to go through what I’m going through.”

“These new ads are powerful. They highlight illnesses and suffering caused by smoking that people don’t commonly associate with cigarette use,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden. “Smokers have told us these ads help them quit by showing what it’s like to live every day with disability and disfigurement from smoking.”

The CDC says its original “Tips From Former Smokers” ad campaign that ran earlier this year was successful in getting more people to seek information to quit.  “. ring their nine-week run, the ads generated more than 100,000 additional calls to 800-QUIT-NOW,” says the agency. “On average, weekly quitline calls were up 80 percent while the ads were on the air compared to the week before they began running.”

The CDC says smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. killing about 480,000 a year.

 Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/210326-cdc-tries-to-shock-smokers-into-quitting#ixzz35g5frSYY
Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

Looking to Make Healthy Changes in 2015? Read this...



Good Morning,

Today I'm going to be discussing various behavior change theories, and how they directly impact an individual's ability to achieve improved health through lifestyle changes.  There will also be the opportuni. to 
experierence the MINDWAYS QUIT Solution for through the end of December.

*All information provided here was from  


Behavior Change Theories Utilized in Health Promotion


Health Belief Model

The health belief model is a psychological health behavior change model developed to explain and predict health-related behaviors, particularly in regard to the uptake of health services.[1] The health belief model was developed in the 1950s by social psychologists at the U.S. Public Health Service[1][2] and remains one of the most well-known and widely used theories in health behavior research.[3][4] The health belief model suggests that people's beliefs about health problems, perceived benefits of action and barriers to action, and self-efficacy explain engagement (or lack of engagement) in health-promoting behavior.[1][2] A stimulus, or cue to action, must also be present in order to trigger the health-promoting behavior.[1][2]


Theory of Planned Behavior


In psychology, the theory of planned behavior is a theory about the link between beliefs and behavior. The concept was proposed by Icek Ajzen to improve on the predictive power of the theory of reasoned action by including perceived behavioural control.[1] It is one of the most predictive persuasion theories. It has been applied to studies of the relations among beliefs, attitudes, behavioral intentions and behaviors in various fields such as advertising, public relations, advertising campaigns and healthcare. The theory states that attitude toward behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control, together shape an individual's behavioral intentions and behaviors.


Diffusion of Innovation Theory

Diffusion of innovations is a theory that seeks to explain how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Everett Rogers, a professor of communication studies, popularized the theory in his book Diffusion of Innovations; the book was first published in 1962, and is now in its fifth edition (2003).[1] The book says that diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system. The origins of the diffusion of innovations theory are varied and span multiple disciplines. The book espouses the theory that there are four main elements that influence the spread of a new idea: the innovation, communication channels, time, and a social system. This process relies heavily on human capital. The innovation must be widely adopted in order to self-sustain. Within the rate of adoption, there is a point at which an innovation reaches critical mass. The categories of adopters are: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards (Rogers 1962, p. 150). Diffusion of Innovations manifests itself in different ways in various cultures and fields and is highly subject to the type of adopters and innovation-decision process.


Social Cognitive Theory

Social cognitive theory (SCT), used in psychology, education, and communication, pontificates that portions of an individual's knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences. In other words, people do not learn new behaviors solely by trying them and either succeeding or failing, but rather, the survival of humanity is dependent upon the replication of the actions of others. Depending on whether people are rewarded or punished for their behavior and the outcome of the behavior, that behavior may be modeled. Further, media provide models for a vast array of people in many different environmental settings.


The Transtheoretical Model

The transtheoretical model of behavior change assesses an individual's readiness to act on a new healthier behavior, and provides strategies, or processes of change to guide the individual through the stages of change to Action and Maintenance. The transtheoretical model is also known by the abbreviation "TTM"[1] and by the term "stages of change."[2][3] A popular book, Changing for Good,[4] and articles in the news media[5][6][7][8][9] have discussed the model. It is "arguably the dominant model of health behaviour change, having received unprecedented research attention, yet it has simultaneously attracted criticism."[10]


Social Norms Theory (Approach)

The social norms approach, or social norms marketing,[1] is an environmental strategy gaining ground in health campaigns.[2] While conducting research in the mid-1980s, two researchers, H.W. Perkins and A.D. Berkowitz,[3] reported that students at a small U.S. college held exaggerated beliefs about the normal frequency and consumption habits of other students with regard to alcohol. These inflated perceptions have been found in many educational institutions, with varying populations and locations.[4] Despite the fact that college drinking is at elevated levels, the perceived amount almost always exceeds actual behavior [2] The social norms approach has shown signs of countering misperceptions, however research on resulting changes in behavior resulting from changed perceptions varies between mixed to conclusively nonexistent.[5]


I understand this is a lot take in, but I wanted you to understand the science and methodology we utilize in our program to drive positive lifestyle changes for the individuals we serve.  We use proven methods that have been tested to assess your strengths, and develop a personalized plan for you to achieve success.  In addition to our efforts in conscious behavior change, "MINDWAYS" believes that true change will only occur when new sub-conscious messaging is provided to create healthy change.

We are excited to offer a program that will support you by giving you practical strategies, give you access to the powerful changes that occur with sub-conscious messaging, and
provide you with ongoing resources by providing a 30 day post-program plan.  Thank you for visiting today.  Please leave your comments, so we can continue to provide information that meets your needs.

Visit www.mindwayssolutions.com to try our program for free through the end of December.

Take care, Dave.

Thoughts for the Day - Pursue Your Passions



Good Morning,

Here's a couple thoughts provided by a variety of people focused on encouraging all of us to pursue our passions and potential.  I hope you find it as inspirational as I did this morning.  Have a great day!


“Be the change you want to see in this world.” ~ Gandhi

 

“The meaning of life is to give life meaning.” ~ Ken Hudgins

 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

 

“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” ~ Steve Jobs

 

“A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.” ~ Albert Einstein

 

“Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.” ~ Satchel Paige

 

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”~ Oprah

A Mind to Change - Hypnosis as a Positive Impact

Hello,

There are so many self-help books on the market that talk about positive thinking, how you think determines your outcome, if you think it can happen it will.  The real message in those titles is that our mind is a powerful tool in driving our motivations and change in our lives.  In our MINDWAYS Smoking Cessation program we use a proven assessment tool to help uncover our client's strengths and underlying motivations.  This is extremely helpful in meeting people where they are in their personal challenges.  With this information we can work with them in a partnership that is focused on achieving their personal goal (smoke-free living).

This article supports the premise of our program by supporting the power of hypnosis in altering perception.  By allowing the brain to accept new messaging related to a personal challenge, new healthy changes can occur because the previous thoughts driving behavior have been replaced.  We are excited to see how many smokers we can help.  

Through our approach of:

- understanding your story
- identifying your strengths
- providing new healthy messaging
- supporting people with ongoing resources

We know we can maximize their quality of life by providing a lasting freedom from dependence through mind empowerment.

Hypnosis - A Good Option for Life Changes

Hello,

This is a great article that gives an overview of hypnosis, and explains that sometimes we in the medical community can't find the answer through traditional pathways.  I will be posting more about hypnosis, and the benefit to helping people create healthy changes in their lives.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel - A Possible Solution for Reducing the Revolving Door at Hospitals


For some time we have seen the focus on reducing readmissions as the overriding source for decreasing avoidable healthcare costs.  Government agencies have enacted new policies to encourage new innovative ideas to help contain these costs while ensuring that quality care continues to be delivered to the challenging populations that have contributed to the costs.  With the advent of the Affordable Care Act and supporting new legislation, many delivery systems are beginning designed to support this effort.  We have seen a migration toward quasi integrated provider groups, and newly formed ACO partnerships.  These new ventures have had some success, but have also encountered a great deal of financial risk trying to achieve their goals.  The challenge to be successful in this venture is to weigh the decision to reinvent the wheel versus aligning with pre-existing proven systems.

Outside the challenges we are facing in present day medicine the beat moves in the world of business with new companies forming on a daily basis.  Statistically many of them fail at a rate of  almost 90% during the first year, and 50% by year five.  What is the secret to success for the companies that not only thrive in their first year, but stay in existence beyond that five year mark?  Of course there are numerous factors that impact their success, but market need, supportive funding, and having a proven strategy that is executed well seem to be some of the most important measures.  Therefore, we as a medical community should follow suite by developing approaches that are supported by a record of success in managing cost while delivering quality care to the prospective readmission populations.

The following is a 6 step summary of a possible approach that could provide a solution:

  • High Risk Identification - Everyone is currently migrating their actions toward trying to explore better ways of collecting and organizing system data into actionable reports.  An approach that supports this action and delivers results is to utilize a Business Intelligence Dashboard that segments data in easily defined demographic and population trend information.  Once the system is established and in place it can be used to impact outcomes by using it to also track patient interventions that are most effective in specifically defined populations.
  • Proactive Stratification with Behavior Change Assessments - One of the reasons the medical community seems to be struggling with the issue of readmissions is due to a resource allocation challenge.  Understanding the people you serve is key to providing the resources necessary to support their care.  One of the best and most accurate ways to do this is to assess the motivation of patients in addressing their own care.  By providing this assessment to all identified high risk patients, system actions can be aligned to support a lean approach to care.  By incorporating this information into the current EMR, patients are identified at entry and receive a focused approach that initiates the efforts at avoiding readmissions.
  • Patient Centered Care Teams - It has been clearly shown in research that most readmissions occur within specific sub-populations of the health system.  With this knowledge systems should design a multidisciplinary approach that supports improving self-care deficiencies in high risk populations.  By engaging patients based on their motivation level, care and education can be tailored to meet their needs while limiting the impact on inpatient flow and hospitalist productivity.  The addition of this focused inpatient team can connect the various entry point in the hospital, and utilize an integrated care plan that promotes improved communication regarding the patients treatment goals and intervention needs.
  • Upstream Collaborative Discharge Planning - The Beryle Institute has done a great job of isolating some of the challenges that occur with readmissions to identify a lack of patient education as one of the leading causes.  By dedicating the efforts of a collaborative team that works from a transitional care plan that guides both the inpatient and outpatient care education, the comprehensive holistic needs of the patient are met while increasing self-care confidence and compliance.
  • Community Based Partnership for Ongoing Care - The focus on where readmissions originate from should be central to determining solutions that reduce avoidable readmissions.  After discharge patients return to the community, therefore establishing a partnership with organizations designed to manage care in their homes in the community.  To adequately support these individuals and their families in their outpatient care it would make sense to enlist the help of agencies specialized in this delivery of care.  One of the best examples of this type of organization comes from the hospice and palliative care medical community. Hospice and Palliative Care organizations have the resources to support both the clinical and operational needs to deliver care to chronically ill populations.  They have proven track records of successfully managing cost because the have to deliver all the needs of the patient based on a tightly fixed daily per diem rate of reimbursement.  Therefore, they have become adept and designed systems to support the quality care of their patients, and minimizing the risk of avoidable hospitalizations that aren't covered in the per diem rate.  Another benefit is their history high satisfaction rates by the patients and families they serve.  By creating risk-based partnerships under the Shared Savings Program both the hospital and community-based organization can benefit from the new rules addressing care coordination reimbursement, and also deliver quality comprehensive care that will minimize the possibility of avoidable readmissions.
  • HIE Solution for Secure Integrated Communication - Having access to real time accurate medical information by the entire team of care is a necessity in promoting safe quality care.  Currently there are some solutions on the market that utilize mobile platforms to exchange real-time secure diagnostic information that aids in delivering quality care.  It also reduces the financial load on paying for the upgrades that act as the foundation for all the ancillary facilities to participate in the patients care.
This is a high level summary of actions that can be taken to reduce the incidence of avoidable readmissions.  For a more detailed look at the model that is the source of information for this post, please feel free to contact me personally.  Thank you for allowing me to share my passion for working toward innovative solutions that support the delivery and receipt of care.