Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mind Over Matter

The mind is the most powerful, under-utilized tool that we've got! 
Let's discover how we can maximize our potential together!

As children we naturally are very imaginative.  We have invisible friends, we talk to ourselves, and we are generally happy.  Then what happens?  Parents, teachers and society tell us to stop it!  They tell us to be serious, grow-up, and stop pretending.  We listen to authority because we want to be good boys and girls and we lose a vital aspect of ourselves in the process.

The mind cannot distinguish between what is imagined and what is real.  This is one of the reasons why the law of attraction works.  The law of attraction states that where your mind goes, energy flows.  In other words, what you think, you become.  If you have never heard about the law of attraction, watch the documentary called The Secret, it is full of positive testimonials on the matter:

When we program the mind to believe things that we want to believe (whether or not they are true), we become co-creators in manifesting the life that we want to live.

Incorporating as many senses into the process as possible is ideal.  If someone has a goal to take a trip to the Bora Bora, for example, they would put a picture of their dream trip somewhere that they would see it everyday and meditate on what it feels like to be there.  In their mind they would feel the sand on their feet, smell the ocean breeze, hear the birds chirping, taste the passion fruit juice etc.  They would do this on a regular basis until that dream became a reality.  Countless people who have done mental exercises like this one, consistently over-time, have reported positive outcomes.  Try it!  What do you have to lose?

One of my favorite speakers on the topic is Napoleon Hill.  After reading his best-selling book, "Think and Grow Rich," I found the following video on youtube which I found very inspirational and motivational:

Repeating positive affirmations (a form of prayer and meditation or a mantra) is very productive and utilized in many religions.  It can be done for mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and financial healing and more!  Remember, the only limitation, is your imagination!  This website has recommendations for specific affirmations for a plethora of health conditions: 

Louise Hay is one of the best experts in the field of positive affirmations.  She has written books on the subject and also has CDs on the topic.  You can hear a 10 minute sample of her work for free here:

The power of the mind has been well-documented scientifically.  There are numerous articles published in the scientific literature which prove that "mind over matter" is a real phenomenon that can be utilized for numerous things including not using anesthesia during MRI for claustrophobic adults!

Here is the abstract from

 2010 Feb;83(986):113-7. Epub 2009 Jun 8.

Neurolinguistic programming used to reduce the need for anaesthesia in claustrophobic patients undergoing MRI.


Department of Radiology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Glossop Road, Sheffield S102JR.


The purpose of this study was to assess the success of neurolinguistic programming in reducing the need for general anaesthesia in claustrophobic patients who require MRI and to consider the financial implications for health providers. This was a prospective study performed in 2006 and 2007 at a teaching hospital in England and comprised 50 adults who had unsuccessful MR examinations because of claustrophobia. The main outcome measures were the ability to tolerate a successful MR examination after neurolinguistic programming, the reduction of median anxiety scores produced by neurolinguistic programming, and models of costs for various imaging pathways. Neurolinguistic programming allowed 38/50 people (76%) to complete the MR examination successfully. Overall, the median anxiety score was significantly reduced following the session ofneurolinguistic programming. In conclusion, neurolinguistic programming reduced anxiety and subsequently allowed MRI to be performed without resorting to general anaesthesia in a high proportion of claustrophobic adults. If these results are reproducible, there will be major advantages in terms of patient safety and costs.

How the mind interprets things effects our experience of the world.  And we have a choice to select which thoughts we want to have.  A person may have a tendency (due to various factors including nature and nurture ie genetics and environment) however, they can still overcome their predispositions if they want to!  One way is to choose an environment of positive friends and uplifting social circles and another way may be affirmations or a therapy such as NLP can be used when someone has an over-reaction to an issue such as a fear or phobia.

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is the art and science that helps explain how the mind actually works in terms of our own self-programming using verbal and non-verbal communication and how that communication affects how we perceive ourselves and the world around us. Neuro stands for brain, linguistics for language, and programming for behavior.

According to

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) is an incredibly powerful discipline that enables people to unblock the structures of human communication and human excellence.  By doing so people can think, communicate and manage themselves, and others, more effectively. 
NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programmes). 
By studying and learning from these relationships people can effectively transform the way they traditionally think and act, adopting new, far more successful models of human excellence. (This activity is called modelling and is a key feature that distinguishes NLP from psychology). 
In effect, NLP is a powerful change management tool that transforms the way people think and act to have the greatest impact both professionally and personally.  That’s why NLP is one of the most powerful skills used in business management, psychology, sales, sports coaching and all forms of personal development.

The best part is that permanent positive change may be enjoyed after only 2 sessions!  In South Florida see: for a FREE consultation!

So the take home message is that you have the power to change your life for the better and it's located between your ears!  Be conscious of the messages that you are sending out to the universe because
the life that you are creating is your own!

Now take a deep breath in and think happy thoughts!

Healthy Travels

One of my readers asked me to blog about how to prevent getting sick while traveling and how to deal with Jet Lag.

So here we are...

Many people get sick on trips, especially those involving airplanes due to the lack of fresh air, circulating germs (if you buy into the germ theory of illness), poor sleeping, exhaustion, and suppressed immune function.  So what can we do to prevent that?  Plan ahead!

Before taking a trip, buy some Vitamin C, herbal teas, and natural supplements to take on the trip.  Make sure you have enough to last both going away and coming back home and make sure you pack it in your carry-on!

Start boosting your immune system a day or two before you leave on your trip.  I like the Vitamin C packets that dissolve in water because they absorb well and they taste good!  Winning combo!  And no this is not a paid endorsement!

You can take a couple packets per day.  Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, if you take too much, you just pee it out so there is no concern for over-dosing.  And since it is available in many flavors and varieties you can enjoy different tastes as well as additional health benefits such as supporting your joints as well.

If you know you are prone to sore throats, load up on some immune boosting teas.  These can be purchased at Whole Foods and even local supermarkets in the Health Food Isle.  It is easy to take tea bags in a carry-on and ask for hot water on the plane.  You might also consider taking zinc lozenges or herbal cough drops so you have them just in case.

At the first onset of a cold, the Chinese herbal formula Yin Qiao is recommended to nip the cold in the bud, before it develops into something major.  Airborne is a popular product that has some of the ingredients of yin qiao as well as other immune boosting nutrients.  It also dissolves in water, like an alka- seltzer and helps right away.  Another option is Zicam, a homeopathic remedy which dissolves under the tongue and also has a pleasant taste.  Both of these products are readily available at your local drug store.

Sleep is very important for the immune system.  So while traveling, it is best to try to maintain your sleep schedule like it is at home.  Avoid having the air conditioning on the plane or hotel hitting your face, neck, or shoulders directly, this can contribute to colds, sinusitis, headaches, tight muscles, and even bell's palsy (facial paralysis!). 

Another thing is that people often do not exercise when they are on the road, which may also have negative effects on the immune system.  If it is a long flight, get up and walk, stretch, and even do chair exercises to prevent ankle edema (swelling due to water retention and poor circulation). 

Being active on your trip, even walking, helps to improve circulation and prevents stagnation or the accumulation of bacteria and viruses in the body.  Sweating is healthy.  A sauna or steam room creates an artificial fever in the body which boosts the immune system.  So if you have access to a gym or sauna in your hotel, use it!  20 minutes a day of walking and a 10 minute sauna can do wonders for you!

If you can, massage and or acupuncture can also be beneficial for you to prevent getting sick on your trip.  If you go for massage, ask for lymphatic drainage which helps the body to clear toxins and if you go for acupuncture tell them you want to boost your immune system.  If you are in Miami, come to us and we'll treat you right! (okay had to do the plug :-)

In terms of preventing jet lag, melatonin may be helpful to re-establish the circadian rhythm and sleep schedule.  I found the following recommendations by Life Extension Foundation to be on point:

  • Attempt to schedule your arrival for morning or early afternoon, if possible.
  • Attempt to depart fully rested.
  • Expose yourself to (carefully timed) bright daylight.
    • Such light exposure should not commence until two hours before your normal wake time. For example, if you normally rise at 7 a.m., do not expose yourself to light at the destination until the time that corresponds to 5 a.m. at your departure point. Thus on a seven-hour eastward flight, do not expose yourself to light until noon at your destination.
  • Take 0.5 to 5.0 mg melatonin by mouth within three hours of desired bedtime at the destination.
  • Sleep in absolute darkness, to the extent possible.
  • Avoid caffeine after noon.
To beat jet lag on a long-distance eastward trip, consider the following preentrainment procedure. This strategy requires that you take action at least three days before departure. While flights across more than five time zones are of greatest concern, preentrainment may be useful for flights that cross as few as two or three time zones. For two-time-zone flights, begin two days before departure.
  • For each of the three days before departure, set your alarm for one hour earlier than your usual wake time.
  • Immediately on waking each day, expose yourself to bright light.
  • For 3.5 hours after waking each morning, including the morning of your departure, alternate 30 minutes of exposure to bright light with 30 minutes of exposure to ordinary room light.
    • Perform morning chores requiring mobility (e.g., showering, shaving, etc.) during bright-light phases.
    • Tasks such as working on a computer, applying makeup, or gardening outdoors without hat or sunglasses may be completed during bright-light phases, as long as full bright-light exposure is not compromised.
  • Take 0.5 to 3.0 mg supplemental melatonin in late afternoon (3 to 5 hours before desired bedtime).
  • Attempt to retire to bed one hour earlier than usual.
  • Attempt to sleep in absolute darkness.
  • Repeat procedure, again setting wake time another hour earlier than usual, for two more days. By day three you should be waking three hours earlier than usual.
  • Avoid caffeine after noon.
For more information:

Have a Happy & HEALTHY Trip!