Impact Of Dogs On Mental And Physical Health

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By James Shore

dogsilouetteA dog is man’s best friend and best friends can never see you in pain. Latest studies have shown how dogs and cats at offices improve the work performance of employees. Moreover, the strong bonding of man with a dog is known for a long time.

Pets have positive effects on our mind and body health. They help us live life to the optimum and teach us to love unconditionally. Dogs have been known to bring a lot of changes in owner’s life. Dogs can help you improve your mental health in various ways:

Reduced Level of Stress:

Studies conducted by Aaron Katcher, a psychiatrist at Pennsylvania University, and Alan Beck, a psychologist at Purdue University, around 30 years ago measured the physical changes in people who regularly pet their dog. The gestures of care lower the blood pressure, slow down the heart rate, regularize the breathing rate and relax the tension in muscles—which indicate low-stress levels.

However, if your long-haired furball sheds a lot, no need to worry as there are some amazing pet vacuums that can clean up the mess. Find pet vacuums here.

Some studies that were published in Psychosomatic Medicine Journal show the analysis and observations of the researchers and there was seen a reduction in stress hormones, which had better mental health effects. Moreover, petting a dog works way faster than a medicine to reduce stress.

Reduced Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Level:

Pets have positive health effects on their owners by improving the quality of their lives and by reducing the risk of developing various chronic diseases. Studies have shown that pet owners have low blood pressure and cholesterol level in comparison with the non-pet-owners.

Dog owners have to take the pooch for walks, which reduces the risk of stress, anxiety, depression, and hypertension in them. Studies have shown that daily walk routines decrease the risk of chronic diseases.

Reduced Risk of Heart Problems

Pets help reduce the chances of cardiac diseases. A study published in American Journal of Cardiology showed that out of 400 patients who suffered a heart attack, dog owners had greater survival rate than the non-dog-owners.

It is due to a reduction of stress hormones, and an increase in the release of happy hormones while petting the dog that increased the chances of improving the health of dog owners.

Reduced Risk of Depression:

Besides stress, depression and anxiety are growing problems in the present society. Depression is seen as a disease that socially disables you and physically blocks your strengths. It’s a mental disease that puts you at a higher risk of developing cardiac diseases.

Loneliness is the top-most reason behind depression. Dogs are faithful companions that never leave your side. The love you’ll share with the Fido will increase the levels of dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin—the happy hormones. Do you still think there will be some space for depression?

Increased Social Behavior:

Socialization is a positive change in a dog owner’s life that turns it upside-down. The gloomy images in the mind are replaced by happy images and memories.

Social support is necessary for mental health, emotional strength and physical well-being. It creates confidence in the shy and anti-social people.

Dogs create opportunities for the owners to socialize during a walk or a visit to the dog park. It helps them develop a social circle and be more communicative and expressive about themselves. Such social interactions positively impact the human mind by boosting self-esteem and self-confidence. Moreover, depression will only become a “word” in your life’s dictionary.

– James is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant with years of experience in dog training and the man behind He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times.


Health Briefs TV Segment Focuses On Children’s Mental Health

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This article is courtesy of PRWeb, please share your thoughts below…..

Children’s mental health concerns will top a Health Briefs TV segment.

Children often have no guidance about dealing with mental health problems which can result in their developing anxiety, depression, addiction and leading to self-harm.

Health Briefs TV producers are pleased to announce work on a children’s mental health segment. It will encompass the leading complaints from children such as bullying, bereavement, domestic violence and family problems, and offer advice about how to handle them. Children often have no guidance about dealing with mental health problems which can result in their developing anxiety, depression, addiction and leading to self-harm. The informative segment is scheduled to air soon in the United States and Canada.

The Health Briefs TV show explores the emerging technologies, progressive treatments, revolutionary people, and innovative healthcare options that are all part of the global health industry. It explores topics relating to the health and medical fields and offers valuable information about the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of many common ailments. The show’s producers take pride in sharing up-to-date, valuable information about new procedures, prevention tips and outstanding businesses. It also features interviews with innovative health and medical professionals in the industry.

The program is headquartered in South Florida, and films on location throughout the United States and Canada. It is broadcast on most regional and national cable television networks. The show is a proud leader of quality, educational programming. Join the fans, the show’s staff and its host on many of the popular social sites to discuss and comment on stories of the day. Learn more about Health Briefs TV on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and

Mental Health And Children: A Family Affair

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By Adelle Cadieux, PsyD

friendWhen talking about mental health, focus is often given to how the disease or condition affects the individual living with it. However, what about that individual’s loved ones? Mental illness affects the whole family.

Mental illness, mild or severe, disturbs people’s ability to cope with life’s ordinary demands and routines. Changes in mood, personality, and social behavior can put stress on the family. When the family member with a mental illness is a child, the dynamics within a family can shift; increasing the amount of attention and family resources devoted to that child. It is important to be cognizant of how a family is balancing the amount of focus given to a child with a mental illness, as at times that attention could be at the expense of other children or even a spouse.

By being mindful about the impact of mental illness to the entire family, parents can make pointed efforts to preserve or regain healthy balances within their home. Below are realistic strategies for parents to consider implementing.

Families Dealing with Mental Illness – Tips to bring about balance:

• Get organized – Structure time so that each child gets dedicated, special time with parents, and so that parents get dedicated time with each other. Make note of the dedicated time on your family calendar. It is crucial each family member feel important and connected.

• Focus on the positive – Try to minimize how “different” the child with the mental health issue is from the other siblings. Instead, focus on each family member’s positive qualities and strengths. Each family member brings something unique and positive to the family unit.

• Think ahead – Know the situations that tend to trigger the most problems and prepare ahead of time. For example, grocery shopping can be boring, over stimulating and/or triggering for some children, particularly children working through mental illness. Plan ways to incorporate children’s help or keep them busy with games.

• Keep being a parent – Parents can get fatigued, but being overly lenient will add more work to a parent’s day in the end. Establish structure and expectations of all the children within a family. Provide consequences to reinforce behavior (praise, privileges, etc.) and negative consequences for inappropriate behaviors (removal of privileges, etc).

• Be perceptive – Watch for changes in behavior (increased arguments, withdrawal or spending more time alone, aggression, changes in sleep/appetite, changes in academic performance, mood swings).

• Seek help – If a sibling has had changed in behavior, consider getting additional support to help the child deal with the stress of having a sibling with a mental health illness. Support groups, counselors and other health professionals can help a parent give greater attention to the needs of both the child with mental illness and their siblings.

Working together and being mindful of the experience of each person within a family unit can help families dealing with mental illness gain balance, strength and common ground.

– Adelle Cadieux, PsyD, is a pediatric psychologist at Spectrum Health’s Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Cadieux provides evaluation, treatment and psychological testing for children and adolescents at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. She has a special interest in treating children with eating disorders and obesity. Cadieux earned a master’s degree and doctorate in psychology from Central Michigan University. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University. Cadieux is a member of The American Psychological Association (APA), APA’s Division 54: Society of Pediatric Psychology, and Division 54 Pediatric Obesity Special Interest Group.

Spectrum Health is a not-for-profit health system, based in West Michigan, offering a full continuum of care through the Spectrum Health Hospital Group, which is comprised of nine hospitals including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital; 130 ambulatory and service sites; 975 advanced practice providers and employed physicians including members of the Spectrum Health Medical Group and West Michigan Heart physician groups; and Priority Health, a health plan. Spectrum Health is West Michigan’s largest employer with 19,200 employees. The organization provided $204 million in community benefit during its 2012 fiscal year.

Ten Keys To Correcting Your Physical And Mental Symptoms— Even When You’ve Tried Everything Else And Nothing Has Helped

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By Mark Pitstick, MA, DC

womanIt’s quite a challenge to determine exactly what is at the core of a person’s problems. There are literally hundreds of possibilities that can cause common physical and ‘mental’ ailments that keep people from feeling happy, healthy, and energetic.

In addition, each person is unique and is like a combination lock; when the right ‘combination’ of self-care and natural care is given, the safe opens to reveal a healthy, happy, energetic person who was just waiting to be well again.

After forty years of helping many thousands of suffering patients, I’ve found many Safe, Affordable, Natural, and Effective (SANE) solutions to preventing and correcting common health problems. In a series of upcoming articles, I’ll teach you about some primary causes of dis-ease and what you can do about them. These core causes can include:

1. offending foods (GMO, chemical laden, agribusiness) and food allergies

2. immune imbalances: overgrowth of viruses, bacteria, yeast, or parasites

3. EMF: electromagnetic fields from ‘dirty electricity’

4. excess chemicals due to the 2000 chemicals we’re exposed to daily

5. toxic metals from numerous sources in everyday living

6. skin trauma—from surgery, injury, IV’s, shots, body piercings or tattoos

7. deficiency of minerals and vitamins and other vital nutrients

8. chronically poor diet that prevents a healthy body-mind

9. lack of digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, good bacteria and yeast

10. poor lifestyle habits: as fully addressed in my book Radiant Wellness

These factors may not seem earth-shaking, but they can and do create great misery.

womanarmupSymptoms that we’ve helped patients heal themselves of include: depression, fatigue, tremors, overweight, anxiety, insomnia, constipation, diarrhea, allergies, sinus drainage and congestion, memory loss, cold hands and feet, facial twitches, rectal itching and burning, indigestion, night sweats, hot flashes, tender breasts, PMS mood swings, muscle cramps, sweet cravings, bad breath, brain fog, shakiness, skin rash, acne, irritability, dizziness, nervousness, panic attacks, ridged and split nails, frequent colds and flu, asthma, visual disturbances, sneezing attacks, joint pain, hair loss, urinary frequency/urgency/incontinence, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, imbalance/vertigo and heart arrhythmias

My articles will explain what self-care steps you can take and what health care techniques I recommend that you receive from a licensed practitioner.

If you are suffering with one or more of the above symptoms and want to get started on the road to wellness, here is a list of the techniques I recommend to address the above factors: Nutrition Response Testing, System Strength Analysis, Applied Kinesiology, Contact Reflex Technique, Bio-Meridian and Stressor Nutrient Balancing. Do a search for one of these techniques and find the best practitioner near you. Feel free to contact me if I can help you or your loved ones in any way.

– Mark Pitstick, B.S., M.A., D.C., has over forty years experience and training in hospitals, pastoral counseling settings, mental health centers, and holistic private practice. His training includes a premedical degree, graduate theology/pastoral counseling studies, masters in clinical psychology, and doctorate in chiropractic. His book Radiant Wellness: A Holistic Guide for Optimal Body, Mind and Spirit was endorsed by Drs. Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Bernie Siegel and others. Mark has been a frequent radio and TV guest and hosted a nationally syndicated radio show. He has presented many workshops on holistic health and spiritual awareness. He has been a review editor and regular contributor to many magazines and e-zines. Mark founded the Radiant Wellness Center and the Stressor-Nutrient Balancing healing method.

Disclaimer: Listing improvements of past patients’ problems does not imply a guarantee for those with similar conditions. I do not claim to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. I do teach people and health care professionals how to assist the body in healing itself of imbalances.

Different Ways To Care For Your Mental Well-being

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By Gerry Toms

womanWe all experience stress in different ways. While some people let their worries boil over until they affect the way they behave with their friends and family, others find their anxiety affects their health, giving them stomach problems, difficulty in sleeping at night and causing tension in different parts of the body like the back, shoulders and neck.

It makes sense therefore, that we all have different ways of dealing with stress and improving our mental well-being. For some people, there’s nothing better than a bike ride home or a gym workout at the end of the day to make all your work worries melt away and leave you re-energized and ready for a relaxing evening with your family.

Others like to write all their concerns down and approach each issue one at a time, working through their worry list until a solution has been found for all of them.

Talking really helps some people, whether it’s to a good friend or family member, of to a professional counselor or therapist.

One alternative way of approaching your problems is to have a psychic reading. This may not be something you have considered as it may feel a little too lateral to help with real life issues, but in fact, it’s become a popular way of getting a fresh perspective on one’s own life – helpful in allowing you to see the bigger picture and decide which way to move forward.

It’s very easy to find readers of all types via the internet – whether you would like a tarot card reading, an astrological chart drawn up, or to have a reading with a medium or clairvoyant. If you have never had a reading before, it may be best to book a session either with someone who has been personally recommended to you or to go through an association or group of readers so that you know that they have been vetted for their psychic reading skills.

Tarot card readings can be an excellent tool for analyzing your current situation, looking back at events in the past and seeing how your circumstances might be perceived by others.

An obvious time to try a psychic reading is when you are dealing with the loss of a friend or relative. Whether you believe in the afterlife or not, having a reading with a psychic or medium can be an emotional experience. The medium is there to make contact with spirits of those who have already died and to act as a link between their client and the spirit. A quality psychic will not promise to be able to reach a specific person’s spirit on your behalf, but they will try to do so if you make a request.

Tarot card readings can be an excellent tool for analyzing your current situation, looking back at events in the past and seeing how your circumstances might be perceived by others. This helps you to see your life and the decisions you have made in a fresh context. A tarot reader will not tell you what to do or what decisions to make, but will instead give you the information you need to make these decisions for yourself.

Many people scoff at the idea of psychic readings but if you’re looking for some solutions to stress and anxiety, it may be that this really helps you. Rather than putting a lid on your anxieties, it’s better to try a different way of finding a solution.

– Gerry Toms first had a psychic reading done when he was going through a divorce and found that the different way of analyzing his life situation really helped him. He now has regular readings at the beginning of every year. He recommends that people having their first tarot reading take a look at tables for tarot cards meaning beforehand so that they are prepared for how the reading will be structured. He also suggests that you should do your research to find a quality psychic before booking a session.

U.S. Adults With Mental Illness Have Higher Smoking Rates

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smokingFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting release from The Robert Wood Johnson about adults with mental illness having a higher smoking percentage rate that those with no mental illness. A study found that 36 percent of adults diagnosed with a mental illness are cigarette smokers, compared with only 21 percent of adults who have no mental illness. This was an interesting finding, and of course, the first question I have is what defines mental illness. The report states mental illness was defined as having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, excluding developmental and substance use disorders, in the past 12 months. Regardless, it is an interesting finding, and I encourage you to go to the RWJF web site to read the complete post. Maybe it can help someone you know.”

From the article…..

Adults with mental illness have a smoking rate 70 percent higher than adults with no mental illness, according to the February 2013 Vital Signs report released yesterday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report was done in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and found that 36 percent of adults with a mental illness are cigarette smokers, compared with only 21 percent of adults who do not have a mental illness. Among adults with mental illness, smoking prevalence is especially high among younger adults, American Indians, Alaska Natives, those living below the poverty line, and those with lower levels of education. Differences also exist across states. Smoking prevalence for people with mental illness ranges from 18.2 percent in Utah to 48.7 percent in West Virginia. The data used to determine the smoking rates in the Vital Signs report comes from 2009–2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Mental illness was defined as having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, excluding developmental and substance use disorders, in the past 12 months.

To read the complete article…..Click here

14 Signs Of Possible Mental Illness In Teens And How To Help

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By Diane Lang

friendAs we settle into 2013, the aftermath of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary is still very unsettling for many of us who are asking how we can help prevent something like this from ever happening again; hence the recent gun law debates and changes in gun laws. But how can we help individually? One way is to educate ourselves on the signs of mental illness in teens or young adults and how to help the person who may be ill. Author, Psychotherapist, and Positive Living Expert, Diane Lang, provides 14 signs to look for in teens and what to do to help.

Here are 14 signs that teens or young adults might possibly have a mental illness or problem:

  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Anxious and feelings of intense worry or sadness
  • Extreme fear and/or unexplained fear
  • Changes in school — grades/behavior
  • Loss of interest in normal activities/hobbies/leisure activities — social isolation
  • Lack of interest in family, friends, etc.
  • Changes in sleep patterns or eating habits (too much or too little)
  • Increased mood swings, anger, irritability and/or impulsiveness
  • Loss of focus and concentration
  • Talking about suicide
  • Obsessive dieting or extreme exercising
  • Destroys property and breaks the law
  • Uses alcohol or drugs
  • Hears voices

If you suspect a mental illness/problem in a teen or young adult:

– Have someone close to that person (friend or family member) approach them and let them know they are concerned about them. Be non-judgmental, calm, caring and empathic.

– Let them know there is help available.

– Give them resources of local agencies/therapists that can help (or as a parent of a teen look up resources yourself to get help)

– Let them know mental illness is treatable.

Diane Lang – Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized author, educator, speaker, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living. Lang offers expertise in multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and Dover Business College.