Transform-Motivate-Awaken: What is Recovery and How Do I Know That I Am Ready?

There are many different definitions for recovery. In a general sense, recovery is a lifelong process in which you abstain from using/abusing your drug of choice. Lapses/relapses are also considered part of this process. They are a chance for growth and making a plan with which you can succeed.shutterstock_107588312

When suffering from an addiction, it is hard to see yourself that you have a problem. Often times the consequences will not stop you from feeding your addiction. So how do you know that you are ready to start the recovery process?

Everyone is different. Maybe your family has given you an intervention. Maybe you have some serious health consequences because of your addiction. Or maybe you are just sick and tired of chasing your fix. Whatever the reason is, you need to want to make the change for yourself. No one else can force you into recovery. You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared to work hard and stay clean.

A good indicator of readiness for recovery is a commitment to change. If you want to change and are sincerely willing to do whatever it will take to get there, you may be ready for recovery. Another good indicator is a reduction in use. Maybe you are skipping out on getting high and trying to keep yourself preoccupied. Maybe you are just choosing to abstain from use, despite withdrawal symptoms. If this is the case, you may be ready for recovery.

Now maybe you are just thinking about changing. You want to reach out for help but you aren’t sure if sober living is for you just yet. The best thing that you can do is explore your options and keep your mind open. Seeking support not only within your family and friends, but from trained professionals and agencies is a great idea to explore your options.

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Recovery is ultimately your decision. It is something that you have to be prepared and committed to. You have to want to recover for yourself, not just because you feel that other people want you to. Recovery is not easy, and it takes a lot of hard work and self-discovery to have a successful recovery. Transform, Motivate, and Awaken. Live the life that you want, addiction free.

ADHD and Obesity

 Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that can cause much turmoil in a young person’s life. The difficulties associated with this disorder can last a  lifetime if left untreated, leading to more problems later on in life. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to a lack of development in the brain, immaturity for age, social disconnectedness, and it puts them at higher risk to develop an addiction.

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ADHD causes problems in the child’s home, school, and social life, which can in turn lead to a variety of other disorders. It is important that parents, doctors, and educators are aware of the symptoms and ask the questions that need to be put forth.

A significant number of cases are diagnosed each year, leading to more and more children being put on medications and families seeking therapy. There are a significant number of interventions that can be used to treat ADHD, medication being recommended for the most severe cases. A combination of counselling and lifestyle changes can often make a large difference in the child’s life. ADHD may carry over into adolescence and adulthood, however, many develop coping strategies to combat the symptoms.

There have been links made between ADHD and obesity. Links have been made to obesity and the use of medication, as well as the impulsive nature of some of those diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD and obesity in childhood can predispose you to obesity in adulthood. Dieting and children are not something that go hand in hand, so what can you do to help your child?

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Making healthy lifestyle choices (i.e. eating right, exercising, etc.) is an easy and effective way to combat obesity in your family. Choosing to educate your child about eating habits and awareness of eating choices can help them develop a better sense of themselves and their choices. Allowing enough time for sleep, meals, and exercise will contribute to a happier and healthier child. Often times we may choose to stimulate our children with things like television and the computer. But everything has their time and place. Finding a balance between physical activity and time spent indoors is important.

We all want our children to grow up feeling happy, healthy, and loved. Let’s work together to make the next generation stronger, more aware, and empowered.

Self Image

What does it mean to love yourself and approve of yourself unconditionally? Self image is something that is important to most of us. Presenting our ideal selves to the world is not always possible. But learning to love yourself the way that you are, and striving towards being the best you that you can be, makes what we want to see and what we do see one in the same.

So how can we learn to love ourselves? There are different ways that we can work on self image. Different strategies work for different people. The end game is always the same. We want to learn to accept the things that we can change and come to terms with the fact that there are just some things that we cannot change. Loving yourself is an important part of self image building. If we can accept our strengths and weaknesses with humility and understanding, we can love ourselves. Feeling satisfied and fulfilled with who we are and how we look can greatly boost our love for ourselves.shutterstock_100264808

Approving of ourselves unconditionally means that we know we are good, and look good, and feel good. It means we know we are making positive and right choices for ourselves, content that the only approval we are considering is the approval of ourselves. Having faith in your own choices and direction boost confidence, that in turn, boosts self-approval. With all of this positive self talk and confidence, self image will follow right along.

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Loving ourselves and approving of ourselves go hand in hand. These concepts are not only applicable to our outer selves but our inner selves as well. Being happy and feeling fulfilled within our chosen path can make us feel more comfortable and confident with our inner selves. knowing that we are loved and accepted by our peers plays an important role in our perceived self image and can boost your positive regard for yourself.

So why is a positive self image important? A negative self image can lead to a negative mood overall. This can lead to depression, self-injurious behaviours, and other significant and troubling diagnosis.These illnesses can cause long term and persistent symptoms that may interfere with everyday functioning. It is important to nip that negative self image in the bud. Work on loving yourself and the rest will come, with a bit of hard work and dedication.  shutterstock_111393362

Dementia and Alzheimer’s

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Can you imagine not knowing where you are, what day of the week it is, what year it is, and even who the people are that are around you and caring for you? These are just some of the challenges that face those who face dementia and the people that care for them. It is a daily struggle that causes much heartache and suffering for those suffering with dementia and their families.

Dementia can affect many areas of cognitive processes including:

  • memory

  • attention

  • language

  • problem solving

Diagnosis of dementia is based upon the existence of symptoms for 6 months or longer, and often times is allowed to progress significantly before any treatment or therapy is attempted.

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The further dementia progresses, the more severe the symptoms become. The progression comes with further disorientation in time, place and person. Dementia is not solely about a memory problem. It reduces that ability for the person suffering to learn new things, reason, retain new experiences and be able to recall past experiences. Dementia also affects and disrupts thought patterns and feelings, as well as interferes with the completion of daily tasks and activities. It becomes harder and harder for them to make the connection to the present and to those around them. It is an extremely hard for family members to understand and cope with a diagnosis of dementia. Day after day, week after week, the person that you love is fading in front of you and it is difficult to accept that often times there is nothing that you can do.

A commonality between many dementia patients is the presence of depression and/or anxiety. It is understandable and even expected due to the nature of the symptom.

A very confusing part of the diagnosis to many people is the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia. Put simply, Alzheimer’s is a specific disease and dementia is a symptom of Alzheimer’s. Both are extremely complex in their own ways, which can make a diagnosis and treatment plan even harder to come by.

Both Alzheimer’s and dementia are taking a serious toll on our healthcare and nursing home system. It is a constant struggle to keep those that are undiagnosed from slipping through the gaps in the system, as well as to keep those that are receiving treatment in the programs that are treating them. Burn out rates for family members and nurses alike are extremely high due to the amount of care giving that is required, especially during the later stages. Support for families and healthcare professionals is an essential part of the effective treatment of dementia.

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Despite the difficulties faced by those diagnosed with dementia and their families, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the diagnosis isn’t a form of dementia that is irreversible. There are those that are lucky enough to be able to receive treatments that will reverse the effects of dementia. Regardless of diagnosis there is always hope for the future. With faith, love, and support, we can look towards a brighter future in the treatment of this devastating diagnosis.

HGH and PRP in Sport’s Medicine

Dr. Anthony Galea is founder and medical director of The Institute of Sports Medicine Health & Wellness Centre. Dr. Galea not only lectures internationally, but maintained his position with Toronto Argonauts as the team physician for several years. Despite controversy surrounding him, Dr. Galea practices with integrity and continues to innovate in the treatment of injuries for professional athletes.

We have all heard of controversy surrounding some of the world’s most famous athletes and performance enhancing substances. “Doping” as it is quite often referred to by the media and athletes alike, is against the rules in all sports and athletes are subject to testing to insure they are not using performance enhancing substances. However, the mental and physical strain that athletes are under, if left untreated, can spiral out of control and lead to many things (substance abuse, addiction, mental illness, etc.). Being aware of the causes of “doping” and other self destructive behaviours exhibited by athletes is the root to understanding the “doping” itself.

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Human Growth Hormone (HGH) has been used along with anabolic steroids in an attempt to build muscle and improve athletic performance. However, there is no conclusive evidence to support that HGH does in fact boost performance. HGH has been approved to treat specific disorders in children and adults. HGH has also been prescribed with an off-label use as an anti-aging serum. Many companies advertise these products similar to beauty conglomerates advertising their anti-aging products, both having a lack of sufficient evidence supporting the claims that they will “turn back your biological clock”. HGH carries some heavy side effects and caution should be used when purchasing/receiving/using HGH and products containing HGH.

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Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections have come to the attention of media and physicians alike as a treatment for sports-related injuries. PRP injections are more commonly used as a surgical tool for plastic surgery and oral surgery. PRP injections were once on the list of prohibited treatments upheld by World Anti-Doping Agency. Due to inconclusive findings as to their use for performance enhancement, PRP injections have since been removed from this list.

So what are the ramifications when choosing to use HGH and/or PRP injections in sports medicine? While PRP injections are not against the rules, HGH is.HGH is now being tested for in some sports  with other organizations following suit. Being caught using HGH that is not otherwise prescribed for a disorder would gain the player consequences similar to those of the consequences by players doping with other substances.

Assisting players in seeking the help that they need is an important part of any team doctor’s job. Doing so may help in preventing “doping” and other self destructive patterns in players.

Alternative Solutions and Mental Health: Part 2

GutBrainConnection

The Brain-Gut connection is one that many people take for granted. Stress, anxiety, anger, happiness, and all other emotions effect the gastrointestinal tract, as it is sensitive to emotion. This is where feelings in your stomach like “butterflies” come from. It is a direct reaction from your emotional state, triggered by your brain and received in your stomach.

  • The brain and stomach have direct effects on each other. This is presented in many different ways.
  • Troubled intestine sends messages to the brain which can lead to emotional turmoil (stress, anxiety, depression).
  • Troubled brain sends messages to the intestines and stomach causing intestinal trouble (nausea, stomach aches and pains).
  • Brain notifies the stomach that you are hungry, stomach provides the digestive juices needed to digest the food before it arrives.

With the above things considered, it is often times hard to determine whether the intestinal problems are a product of emotional turmoil or the cause of emotional terminal. This is especially evident when you experience gastrointestinal upset without obvious physical cause.

Stress has a large part to play with GI upset. It might explain the nausea before giving an important presentation, or the stomach pains during times of high stress. This does not mean that all GI illnesses are just “all in your head”. They are however linked. Psychological symptoms influence the physiological symptoms and the physiology of the gut itself.

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Environmental toxins also play a large role in the overall wellbeing as well as the wellness of the brain and mood. Many toxins in our environment are able to pass the blood-brain barrier, making the brain more susceptible to their toxic effects. Chemical toxins, drugs, radiation from cell phones and cell phone towers all cross the blood-brain barrier and cause toxic stress. Toxic stress leads to mood changes and disorders caused by the imbalances in the brain because of the excess or lack of the proper hormones.

So what does all of this information mean? The important thing to remember is that there is a strong mind-body connection. With this connection comes many ways in which the mind and body effect each other. It is also important to remember that because of this mind-body connection, it is important to look after the entire self, not just the physical or psychological separately.

For more information, please visit http://www.wyldeonhealth.com/ .

Oral Cancer

Cancer of any kind is a devastating diagnosis to anyone. Oral cancer is particularly devastating as our mouths are a vital part of our daily lives. We express ourselves, and nourish ourselves through our mouth, and oral can be detrimental to any of th most basic tasks.

So what is oral cancer? It is described as any abnormal growth and spread of cells occurring in the mouth cavity including the:

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There isn’t one single risk factor that is the determinant for oral cancer. In fact, there are several risk factors that are associated with the development of oral cancer.

Age is a risk factor associated with the development of oral cancer. Oral cancer can be developed at any age, however, the incidence of an oral cancer diagnosis increases for those over the age of 40. That being said, those over 60 years of age have the highest incidence of oral cancer.

Gender has also been shown to play a role in the development of oral cancers. At one point in time, the ratio of men to women diagnosed with oral cancers was 6 to 1. Now it is closer with the ratio of men to women 2 to 1, respectively.

Smoking greatly increases the risk of developing oral cancer. This includes smokeless tobacco, snuff, chewing tobacco, chewing betel quid, paan, areca nut and cigarettes. When coupled with alcohol use, the risk for developing oral cancer greatly increases. The duration of use and amount of use does play a role in the development of oral cancer from alcohol use.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus), through increased research, has shown a connection to the development of oral cancers.

Lifestyle also plays a role in the development of oral cancers. Those who have a lot more sun exposure are more at risk of development of oral cancers. A diet that is low in fruits and vegetables is also a risk factor to develop oral cancers.

A diagnosis of oral cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. However, there are many things that you can do to prevent the cancer to begin with. They include:

  • Seeing a dental professional (traditional or holistic) for a regular check ups and  cleanings.
  • Quitting smoking and not using tobacco products. There are many warnings on packages, however, they are ignored. Even just reducing smoking can make a huge difference.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. The risk is higher the more that you consume.
  • Reducing the risk of getting HPV is important as well. Using a condom while sexually active is very important for reducing the risk of contracting HPV.
  • Using lip balm that have UV protection is a great way to reduce the harm of sun exposure on your lips.
  • Eating the appropriate amount of vegetables and fruits is important.
  • It is also important to brush and floss daily.

Another part of being an oral cancer survivor, is catching it at an early stage. As with other cancers, it is important to catch it early so that it doesn’t spread to other parts of the body. So how can you do this? As mentioned before, it is important to attend a regular dentist’s appointment. However, a dental and/or a healthcare professional can catch oral cancers in their early stages. There are some signs and symptoms to look for, and they include:

  • Sores in the mouth that do not heal within two weeks
  • Dark red or white patches in the mouth
  • Lumps located on the lips, tongue or neck
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Sore throat and difficulty with swallowing
    **taken from the Heath Canada Website**

It is extremely important to see a dental and/or healthcare professional if any of the above symptoms are experienced frequently.

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Oral cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. It can be an opportunity for change and growth. However, having a healthy and happy lifestyle is an important piece to preventing this painful and life-changing disease.

For more information, please visit the Health Canada Website ( http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/oral-bucco/disease-maladie/cancer-eng.php ).

Holistic Dentistry

Your smile is an international hello

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Treating the body as a whole, and not just separate pieces is the foundation of any holistic medical practice. This is just as true for Holistic Dentistry as it is for other holistic medical practices. Holistic Dentistry promotes health and wellness instead of the treatment of disease. This approach to dentistry includes both the advances of modern science and knowledge that is drawn from many traditions of natural healing. Holistic Dentistry focuses on not only the patient’s teeth, but their mind, body and spirit as a whole. It shows how dental health is an important part of overall health, not something separate. Holistic Dentistry is a way to take care of one’s teeth and gums that is healthy for the body as a whole, which includes using different techniques than those of traditional dentistry.

The Holistic Dentistry approach is one which chooses to take a different path than that of a traditional dentist. So how is Holistic Dentistry different from traditional dentistry? Listed below are some of the important differences between Holistic Dentistry and traditional dentistry.

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Traditionally, dentists use mercury fillings in teeth. It has been stated by the ADA and FDA that the mercury in the fillings is safe and stable enough not to do much harm to the body because they leak only a small amount of mercury over time. However, Holistic Dentists recognize that mercury is a toxin to the body, no matter how small the amount. They choose to not use mercury but a composite filling instead, to reduce the harm to the body as a whole.

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Severe decay brings the recommendation of root canal therapy from a traditional dentist. They will argue that a root canal is the most effective way to keep a natural tooth. However, unless the canal is 100% sterilized, the canal will not be effective. There are a number of chemicals that can be used to sterilize the canal. Holistic Dentists realize that these chemicals are toxic to the body, no matter how small the amount. They also recognize that any bacteria left over from an improperly completed root canal can also damage the body. It is for these reasons that a Holistic Dentist will not typically recommend a root canal.

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Fluoride is seen as an important part of a dental care regimen. It comes in both a topical and ingested form. Many traditional dentists argue in favor of fluoridating water supplies. Their argument is supported by the decrease of cavity rates in areas that have fluoridated water supplies. Holistic Dentists are typically against any form of fluoride that is ingested. The main concern is the toxic effects that the ingested fluoride can have on the body (i.e. cancer and various bone problems) as well as fluoridating the water supply being forced medication of the general public. However, there are some holistic dentists that are for topical fluoride.

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Whether or not a material that is placed in your body is referred to as the biocompatibility of dental materials. Most traditional dentists will not test the biocompatibility of the materials because they do not believe in it. Many traditional dentists will not even explain the difference between the fillings and other materials that will be used. Holistic Dentists recognize that any material that is put into the mouth, can affect the entire body. Many Holistic Dentists have on-site equipment to test for biocompatibility of any materials that will be put into your mouth. Composite materials are the materials of choice for many Holistic Dentists when doing fillings and they often use alternate materials for other procedures.

The important thing to remember when considering going to a Holistic Dentist is to ask the right questions. You need to keep in mind that it is your mouth that you are looking out for, so you need to choose a dentist that is right for you. This means asking questions like:

  • What kinds of materials do you use?
  • What types of procedures will you not perform?
  • What is your overall philosophy when approaching Holistic Dentistry?

Asking these questions will allow you to make the right decision for not only your mouth, but your body as a whole.

7 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally


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Depression is a state of mood characterized by negative effects in our life that continue to spiral, depression can be reflected in one’s physical, emotional and mental well-being. The onset of depression can be marked by an array of causes; perhaps you have reached a hiccup in a relationship with your significant other, or perhaps you are undergoing the loss of a loved one.

What was once the focus of intrigue and marvel in life may quickly and abruptly lose its enticing properties for the depressed individual.

If you identify with several of the following signs and symptoms, and they just won’t go away, you may be suffering from clinical depression.

1. You can’t sleep or you sleep too much

2. You can’t concentrate or find that previously easy tasks are now difficult

3. You feel hopeless and helpless

4. You can’t control your negative thoughts, no matter how much you try

5. You have lost your appetite or you can’t stop eating

6. You are much more irritable, short-tempered, or aggressive than usual

7. You’re consuming more alcohol than normal or engaging in other reckless behaviour

8. You have thoughts that life is not worth living (Seek help immediately if this is the case) 

7 Ways to Beat Depression Naturally

1)     Exercise on a regular basis, I highly recommend it.  There are so many different forms of exercise (Yoga, walking, tai-chi, weight lifting) begin slowly.  Begin outside if you can, fresh air is the surest way to get the blood flowing and change-up your energy.  Even if it’s as little as 20 minutes a day to start, you will notice you feel better instantly.

2)    Diet rich in vitamins and minerals, healthy foods, vitamin B and calcium.  Cut out refined carbohydrates, fried foods and avoid sugar at all costs.  Make sure you speak to your doctor about getting the proper DHA’s and probiotics into your diet for a healthy mind and gut.

3)   Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies produce it when exposed to sunlight.  Ask your doctor to check and see if you are low in vitamin D.  People often feel better when they take vitamin D especially in the winter months.

4)   Herbal Supplements contain many medicinal powers and can heal a variety of ailments.  Seek out a great naturopathic doctor to discuss homeopathic remedies, vitamins, acupuncture, cupping and getting to the route of the issue by releasing toxins from the body.

5)   Get enough sleep and notice when your sleep is being disturbed by your mood.  The best thing to do is create a routine and stick to it everyday.  Take a Epsom salt bath to sooth and relax you, reduce TV and all stimulants.

6)    Talk it out with a therapist, counselor, friend or mentor. Depression is not the cause of hopelessness and extreme sadness — it is a symptom. If there is a specific problem you are having that is causing these feeling…face it, come up with a plan. Do not allow your problems to go unanswered. Hope can be found in moving, step by step toward addressing our issues.

7)    Be of service to someone else in need.  Often when we take the focus off ourselves and help another we stop running circles in our minds and we tend to feel better.

Most important of all, have hope and faith that “this too shall pass” and you do deserve to live a happy life.

Stacey Dombrowsky