Vital Points about Addiction
The urgent need to address addiction today has been overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the ravages of addiction continue and it looks like have been made worse by the pandemic. There are several key concepts essential to grasp for a balanced understanding of addiction and what can be done.
Addiction Cannot be Controlled by the Addict or by Loved Ones
Often, family members––partners, spouses, children, parents, etc.––try to help by giving what they feel is support: money, a place to stay, second chances, another car, a job, bail money, and yet, the madness continues. This is called enabling and actually prolongs the problem.
The Addict is Not the Disease
Unchecked, the alcoholic/addict’s behavior at some point will become too painful for the loved ones to bear. Then, the only thing the family can do is protect themselves. This requires either professional help and/or attending helping groups3.
The Addict Runs the Family
The readers who have had the experience of a loved one with addiction will tell you, the alcoholic/addict and the addiction are the center of the family and the alcoholic/addict, essentially runs the family.
The Loved Ones and the Families Need Help Too.
Think of a tornado tearing its way through your house, turning everything upside down and inside out. This is what addiction can do to a family. And, the family will need repair. It takes work to resolve the resentments, the distorted communication patterns, the almost overwhelming guilt/blame, and confusion. The family needs recovery also.
Addiction Continues to Affect the Family for Generations if Unchecked
Families I have worked with, often feel that, since the addict has stopped using, is living in a different city, or has passed on, has been divorced, that the problem therefore has been solved. I’ve never seen one case where this is true.
I often have clients with issues such as anxiety or depression, and, when getting the family history discover that one or more of the family members (grandparents, uncles, etc.,) had problems with addiction. This affected the client’s parents and these patterns were passed on to the client in some way. We can’t just shut the door on a room destroyed by the tornado and consider the job done.
The Good News
There are many excellent resources for treatment; residential (long and short-term), outpatient services, group therapy, the groups mentioned earlier, and intensive individual counseling. Since addiction has become a prominent, national issue, there are more and more reliable resources for those affected by addiction3, directly or indirectly. Millions of addicts and families have recovered from their nightmare of addiction and live happy, productive, healthy lives.
1. In this article, the term addiction refers to both alcoholism and drug addiction (whether the drugs are by prescription or illegal).
2. More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study. Alcohol sales have increased dramatically since sheltering in place: 27.1% for wine and 31.7% for spirits, and 243% increase in online alcohol of any type, according to a Nielsen study.
3. Groups such as Al-Anon, Families Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA), etc. Therapists experienced with addiction know of and can recommend the appropriate treatment for someone.
The references for Footnote 2:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Data Spotlight: More than 7 Million Children Live with a Parent with Alcohol Problems, 2012. Available at: https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/report_3223/ShortReport-3223.html
The reference for the increase in alcohol consumption during the pandemic:
Fall is officially here and it's prime time to bring in the harvest. Let’s shake things up and add some new veggies to the plate!
During this time of year you will find incredible vegetables such as cabbage, beets, radishes, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, and kohlrabi. Kohlrab- what? Yep, that right. Kohlrabi! It’s part of the radish family but is slightly sweeter with only a mild spiciness. You can eat it raw or steam it and use as the base for “creamed soup” (perhaps a replacement for potato as a low carb low cal version). Of course, you can also roast them along with your other root vegetables like purple carrots, onions, and squash. They are super detoxing for your system too!
Another outstanding fall vegetable that is good for cleansing the body and kicking the “sludge” out of the gallbladder are beets. I’m not talking just the bottom of the plant, the beet itself either. Did you know the beet tops have nearly 10 times the nutrients of the actual beet?! It also has a great component to it called betaine, which aids digestion and “gets things moving.” Take the tops, stems included, chop them up and sautéed with a little organic chicken broth. Tas-ty!
You can always keep rolling with the cabbage family though too. Take some brussels sprouts and sauté with a little olive oil and balsamic…they caramelize and no longer have the bite some people are turned off by. Maybe even use the green or purple cabbage leaves to make cabbage rolls stuffed with grass-fed beef and tomatoes.
They are sure to please! Until next time, eat well…live well.
Who likes talking about suicide? It’s uncomfortable.
That’s why I want to talk about it.
Looking at those stats is overwhelming and shocking. So what can we do? We can check in on those around us and know what to look for so we can recognize the signs of suicide.
What can you do?
If you are worried about someone you love asking about their wellbeing could be a matter of life or death. Check in on your friends and family. Ask how they are doing, ask how you can support them and never keep someone’s plan for suicide a secret. There is always hope. There are emergency resources available for those who need them.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are feeling hopeless or you are identifying with any of the behaviors or thoughts mentioned in this article, there is no need to be ashamed, there is help for you. Contact your mental health provider today if you do not have one please contact us and we will set you up with the appropriate therapist for your needs.
If you are currently having serious thoughts of harming yourself or have a plan to harm yourself or commit suicide, you need to get help right now.
If you are in the U.S. you can call 911 or The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255).
Allowing your child to play football at any level is a difficult decision for any parent due to the concern for broken bones, concussions, and the potential for long-term negative consequences. No one would have ever expected that we as parents would also have to worry about a pandemic impacting their physical and mental health. Enough time has been spent over the past four months by “experts” educating all of us about the physical precautions that we need to take in order to keep our kids safe from the virus. However, not enough time has been spent talking about dealing with their mental health.
As a therapist and mother of two boys who have played football for many years (local leagues, middle school, high school, and now college), I can tell you that in general the state of their mental health is just as important as their physical preparedness for the game. One of the main reasons my husband and I have continued to encourage them to play football are the life lessons that they can learn from the game. Dealing with adversity of the pandemic and navigating the unknown regarding their upcoming season is just another one of the lessons.
As a parent we have a crucial role in these lessons learned, that of support and encouragement.
We have always told our children that there are two things that we cannot give them in life: attitude and effort. We can buy them the best helmet and cleats, pay for the best coaching and personal trainers, drive them all over the state to show case their skills, but we cannot make them have a positive attitude or make them give 100% effort. I believe through our support, encouragement, and role modeling that they will desire to have both of these things. So talk to your children. Be open with them about the uncertainty of things and validate their concerns and frustrations. Help them to discern between the things that are in their control verses what is not. The pandemic is what it is, the decisions of the government about school and sports is what it is, but they can control their attitude about it and the effort they put in to be prepared mentally and physically if they are allowed to participate in the football season. Help them recognize that the season might be reduced, forced to stay local, or cancelled all together. Continue to encourage them to workout, run routes, hydrate, and stay in contact with their teammates. Routine, structure, contact with our support systems, and a positive attitude are highly important for all of us during the pandemic regardless of what sport we play or job we have.
With Back-To-School upon us you might be wondering how you can keep the nutrition going packed up in your kiddos lunch pail. I’m here today to offer up a few ways to make them nutrient packed and a step beyond the norm.
Recently, I came across the new Cauliflower Thins and Jicama Wraps from Trader Joe’s. They are delicious and a super avenue for getting more vegetables in your child’s diet. They are also an excellent option for kids with Celiac Disease or have a nut allergy.
For the Cauliflower Thins you can layer thin slices of cucumber, a slice of organic deli turkey (omit if vegan), thin slices of avocado or spread of guacamole, and a slice of tomato.
If you want a healthier improv of the pizza Lunchables, you can also pack them along with a side of tomato sauce, shredded cheese, and olives or another favorite toppings to build his/her own pizza.
On to the Jicama wraps. These are nice and crunchy and do no have an overpowering flavor, sure to pass even a picky eaters taste test. Here you can take canned tuna/chicken/salmon, finely dice up celery, pickles, & onion (if they’ll eat it), and Veganaise mayo.
Combine well. Fill the Jicama Wrap like a taco or burrito and there you have it! You can also toss in a container of berries to boost their brain power.
All of these options include the protein they need for growth and strength, the right kind of fats for their brain & body, and quality carbohydrates packed with nutrition to keep their immune systems at peak and full of energy. Stayed tuned for more healthy kid-friendly suggestions.
Many of us are thinking the same thing at this moment. How are we supposed to manage our schedules in the ever-changing world we live in right now? Kids are starting school with a mix of online and in person learning. Parents are juggling going into work, working from home, kids doing school from home, chores, couple time, family time, alone time, and all while still trying to have a bit of normalcy and fun in all the chaos. My hope is that I can give you some ideas for how to create and manage a new schedule that brings a sense of balance and consistency for this upcoming year. Whether your kids will be attending school online or face to face, forming a dependable and reliable routine for home time that also incorporates your own self-care is incredibly important.
When creating a schedule, incorporate kids in the decisions by asking what is important to them to include on the schedule. If they are doing school from home, ask them what time of day works better for them to do some of their schoolwork when they do not have specific times they will be in online classes. What time would they like their snack? What time would they like some playtime? Having these little decisions will help create some control in their world which helps to decrease anxiety.
For younger kids, having a clear schedule that is put in a central location is helpful. Color-coded sections for them highlight their value in the family and what each can expect (you don’t have to use this, just maybe add something about what this does for kids). Some parents use a clock that has color coded sections like the following picture. Each section has a label associated with it and this helps for kids that cannot tell time.
For teens, sometimes you do not need to have a complete set schedule but having set expectations is helpful. If they have some freedom with when they can complete their school-work, some of these expectations can be:
Even in an unpredictable world, we can have set family fun time! This is something that all of you can look forward to after a long school and work week. You can set a movie night every Friday starting at 6pm. You order pizza, pick a movie, build a fort, and enjoy time with each other!
No matter what this year brings, the most important things are to be consistent when you can, give choices when possible, and to be sure to make time for fun!
Sports and other physical activities come with an inherent risk of injury. Sometimes, injuries occur due to an unforeseeable event. These types of scenarios are challenging to avoid unless you can see into the future, of course. On the other hand, there are predisposing factors that can make you more susceptible to injuries. Some of these factors include:
How Can You Prevent Injuries?
Addressing the factors above is a great start. Taking action now may help you avoid future injuries, relieve pain, and keep yourself healthy! Chiropractic care is a great way to reduce the risk of injury and treat preexisting ailments. There are various treatment methods chiropractic doctors may use to achieve this.
The stress/emotional tension you may have and the foods you consume are significant to the body’s ability to heal and recover. Though overlooked, individuals cannot forget these factors. At Curis, we also offer mental health counseling and nutritional services.
For more information on treatments and services, visit our website here!
Almost all professional sports organizations, including the Olympics, utilize chiropractic care for their athletes.
No one is certain what back to school is going to look like, but seeing a Chiropractor is a MUST on any back to school checklist. The Chiropractic adjustment has benefits for school children of all ages. It can help your child pay better attention, grasp difficult concepts, and improve athletic performance. For sure, whether we are sitting at home or in a classroom once school starts, the benefits of good posture and chiropractic care are the same.
Chiropractic and posture are intertwined because bones move in specific ways. Sitting in the same slouched position for long periods inevitably leads to neck and back problems. Not only will chiropractic adjustments help prevent future spine problems, but they also help teach proper posture and keep your student sitting up and paying attention.
In a university study, half the participants were told to sit with good posture and pay attention to a lecture while the other half were supposed to lounge in the seat. After the class, each participant took a test on the professor's lecture. The participants who sat with good posture scored an average of 30% higher on the test.
Sitting upright isn't the only way Chiropractic care can help your child function and learn. Research shows that spinal adjustments improve brain function by up to 20%, specifically in the prefrontal cortex. Research has shown that spinal adjustments improve sensory and motor function, balance, muscle strength, and activation. All of these benefits can be useful for growing children and athletes alike and can be related to the effects of spinal adjustments on the prefrontal cortex. That part of the brain allows us to see the world around us and process it into usable information. Affecting this area of the brain has the potential to improve a LOT of higher-level functions! These can include behavior, memory, spatial awareness, motor function and control, attention, and even decision making.
Whether at home or in the classroom, eating fruit snacks or sushi for lunch, studying shapes or geometry, don't let your child go back to school without first getting their spine aligned!
Reference: Lelic, D, Niazi, IK, Holt, K, Jochumsen, M, Dremstrup, K, Yielder, P, Murphy, B, Drewes, A and Haavik, H (2016), "Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the prefrontal cortex: A brain source localization study," Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016 (2016).
Summer is here, and everyone is itching to get outside and into the sun. After months of being cooped up inside, nothing feels better than breaking a sweat in the warm rays. However, that beautiful sun can make it too hot to be outside, even dangerous. You can put yourself at risk for heat-related issues, so it's essential to know when it's too hot to exercise outdoors, continue your workout inside, and stay committed to your health goals.
First off, heat and humidity are a dangerous combination. Your body must work much harder to regulate the temperature in a humid environment than it does in a dry one. Use a heat index to determine if exercising outside is the right choice that day. If you decide to brave the sun, watch out for headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea, or vomiting as these are all signs of heat-related illness. If you feel any of these symptoms, stop exercising, find some shade, and put a cold, moist rag on your head. It doesn't hurt to call a friend either.
There are plenty of ways to get in a great work out while staying inside, and basic levels of exercise aren't as challenging as most people think! The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least:
Additionally, the recommendation is that you train major muscle groups twice per week.
An easy way to plan for all this is to break it down to 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day. The more time you invest or by increasing the level of intensity, the more significant your benefits will be. REMEMBER, something is better than nothing, so do what you can with the time you have! Breaking your routine will lead to breaking a good habit. Ten minutes of effort can help maintain your motivation for the next day.
Here's an example of an indoor, at-home workout you can do when the heat index is too high. For the sake of keeping it interesting, I am going to ignore the common ones everyone knows; push-ups, squats, and crunches.
Lower Body Segment
Upper Body Segment
This at-home workout is an example of one you can do indoors. There are many other indoor activities that you can do, such as; yoga, barre, going to the gym, and other online resources. Remember to a check with your doctor before beginning a workout program, but also remain consistent and have proper form when doing any exercise.
Stay safe, and let's continue to make our health a priority.
The Distract, Relax, and Cope technique is a Dialectical Behavior therapy technique that can help you with anxiety and feelings of dissociation that many are experiencing during this stressful time.
1. Distract: Sometimes, the best way to distract yourself from painful emotions is by doing pleasurable activities. You do not have to wait until you feel overwhelmed to try a pleasurable activity. The recommendation is to do something pleasurable every day as it can help stave off depression by activating endorphins in the body.
Some examples of pleasurable activities you could try are:
Other things you can try to distract yourself are: Doing something for someone else can be very useful, distracting your thoughts by keeping a prayer or special saying with you, distract with tasks and chores, or distract by placing your hand on your belly and counting your breaths (or counting anything)
2. Relax and Soothe Yourself: Relaxation is essential for our health and well-being. When you relax, your blood pressure lowers, your heart beats more slowly, and you can get out of your flight or fight response, which allows your brain to think of healthier ways to cope with your problems. A great way to relax and ground (perfect for dissociation) is to utilize the five senses. Focusing on and engaging with what you smell, see, taste, hear, or feel in the present moment can help you relax and soothe.
3. Cope: Put your relax and distract skills into practice! Pick some from these lists that work for you or come up with some new ideas your own! Keeping your stress levels down keeps your cortisol down, which helps your immune system function better and promotes feelings of well-being. So, the next time you are feeling stressed, remember to distract, relax, and cope!