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Brain science

1.  Deep "Belly Breathing".  Try taking 6 to 10 deep breaths.  Put your hand on your belly and imagine filling your belly with breath, rather than your lungs.  This helps you breathe deeply from your diaphragm.  Be sure to fully exhale each time.  You can even exhale with a "whoosh", forcing the breath out.  It's… Read More

If you or a loved one is living with Parkinson's Disease, you may want to check out Title Boxing Club in Newbury Park.  This gym is one of many across the country that offers the Boxing Against PD program.  It's an exciting new way to combat the symptoms of Parkinson's, so please check it out… Read More

Until a couple of years ago, I had never heard of this.  Then I met a young woman who described in detail how agonizing it was for her to hear her family members chewing their food, or her fellow students cracking gum, or making any other sort of mouth noise.  The clicking of pens and… Read More

Recently Time Magazine, in its April 11 issue, published a thought-provoking article on the effects viewing pornography can have on sexual performance and desire in young men.  It may not come as a surprise that viewing pornography online can quickly turn into an addiction, and that it an create a very unrealistic and distorted view… Read More

Parents sometimes want their children to get a headstart in academics, and so they want preschoolers to learn how to "big kid" type schoolwork.  But that's not the best way for preschool-aged children to learn, and it turns out it can cause them other problems as well.  Take at look at this blog post from pediatric… Read More

A couple of weeks ago our local paper the Simi Valley Acorn ran a great article on the symptoms of concussion.  As school starts up, it is so important to recognize these, especially if your child takes part in contact sports like football and soccer… Read More

In my many years of practice, I have encountered quite a few people who don't realize that they are what is called "a highly sensitive person".  What does this mean?  It means that some people have a nervous system that is more easily over-whelmed by too much stimulation.  They don't like too much of anything… Read More

Recently I read an article in Psychology Today that discussed a simple change in how we talk to ourselves.  It seems that if we are in the habit of using the first person "I" as we talk ourselves through a situation, we raise our anxiety levels.  If we use the third person, our names, we… Read More

If you need some help with parenting, it's always great to read a good book. There's one that I've recommended for years, called "1-2-3 Magic" by Thomas Phelan. It basically teaches parents how to apply natural and logical consequences in a consistent, effective manner. Many times, we parents repeat ourselves and then yell, basically teaching… Read More

Have you heard of the ACES study?  It's a study that began in 1994 that looked at Adverse Childhood Experiences and their relationship to current physical health.  The results are sobering,  and point to the need for treatment of childhood trauma, even when we are adults. An Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) is defined as experiencing… Read More

Here's a great article on how to stop obsessing, written by a popular blogger who struggles with this issue… Read More

Here's a short list of some meditation apps reviewed the Los Angeles times recently.  I'm going to give at least one of them a try. If you do, please let us know what you think by commenting below… Read More

I love it when regular media writes really great articles about different aspects of therapy.  Today's Los Angeles Times has a great overview of some mind / body approaches to therapy, all in one place.  Please take a look at it and let us know what you think!  … Read More

Our brains and bodies are wired together, and we are learning more and more about how powerful those connections are. For instance, did you know that if you smile, you are very likely to feel happy? It's true! Here's a link to an interesting list of body postures that influence productivity and/or emotions. Give them… Read More

Recently I ran across an article in the Los Angeles Times that may be of interest if you have a child who has suddenly shown symptoms of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) or tics.  It's important to state that although the article explores possible connections between strep throat infections and the sudden onset of OCD symptoms… Read More

There's a new song making the rounds that is supposed to be "the most relaxing sound of all time".  Wikipedia says, On October 16th 2011, Marconi Union created an eight minute track, 'Weightless' [6] in collaboration with the British Academy of Sound Therapy. In a scientific study commisioned by Radox, it was labelled as the… Read More

Recently I ran across a helpful article on how to distinguish those "senior moments" we all have from the much more serious memory problems of early Alzheimer's disease.  I thought I'd share them here: If you forget where you left your keys, that is normal. However, if you find those keys and don't know what… Read More

So often parents will come to my office, and ask for advice about one of their children who just seems difficult, picky, and hard to soothe. Of course, there can be many reasons for this, but in recent years we've been hearing about something called "sensory integration disorder". There are many variants of this sort… Read More

Do you know about MDPV? It's the acronym for methylenedioxypyrovalerone or mephedrone.  What's that?  These are ingredients in legal, easy to buy stimulant hallucinogens that can kill, directly or indirectly. Their street names are "bath salts" or "plant food" because that's what hey look like, and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) hasn't gotten around to… Read More

Career success and learning disabilities are not mutually exclusive. In fact, there are some extremely success people who credit their very severe learning disabilities with helping them to become excellent learners and very creative thinkers. Don't believe it? Take a look at this article in the February 2011 issue of Psychology Today The print article… Read More

There are some wonderful breathing techniques that can quickly help relieve some of the symptoms of anxiety and depression.  If you've ever taken a yoga class, you may be familiar with them.  If not, give this one a try and see if it helps.  It's a great idea to practice this when you are not… Read More

This is really short notice, but I just received a flyer on the first annual Life After Brain Injury Human Services Fair.  You can see a flyer at their website.  It looks like something very exciting -- hope you can make it if this is of interest to you. It takes place Saturday, March 27… Read More

We keep reading more and more about how seemingly minor head injuries can cause major trauma to the brain.  At the risk of offending the entire football playing community of parents, I am posting this link to Time Magazine's article from 1/28/10. It talks at length about the long-lasting problems that cumulative concussions can cause. … Read More

Here's a link to a post that was being share on one of my therapist email lists recently. http://www.drmomma.org/2009/12/crying-it-out-causes-brain-damage.html For us "old moms" it can be upsetting to wonder if we caused damage by letting our children cry.  I can't remember too many events where that was true, but one in particular stands out.  I… Read More

I just read a very interesting article in the latest Psychology Today (May/June 2009, page, by Matthew Hutson) entitled "The Muscle is the Message". There doesn't seem to be a link to it, so with all credit given to Matthew Hutson, I'd like to summarize it here. It really demonstrates the connections our brains make… Read More