From the monthly archives: "January 2016"


56a70bad78832.image (Copy) When it comes to cardiovascular events—heart attacks and blood clots in the heart or lungs—time is of the utmost importance. The sooner the person having the cardiac event get medical attention, the greater their probability of survival, and the greater their chance of preventing irreversible damage to the muscle tissue of the heart, which can eventually lead to heart failure. Most people know the symptoms of a heart attack—chest pain, shortness of breath, and pain in the left arm or between the shoulder blades. While these symptoms can be experienced by both men and women, women, in fact, can have unusual symptoms, and these differences may keep women suffering a heart attack from seeking immediate attention. Awareness of these signs of heart attack in women could prevent disaster, particularly so for black and Hispanic women, according to the American Heart Association.

While heart attack rates between men and women favor men slightly, women die at a higher rate of 1 out of every 3 to men’s 1 of 4—heart disease is the leading killer of both sexes annually. While chest pain, left arm pain and shoulder pain are typical and well known, as are shortness of breath, anxiety and dizziness, women can also feel nausea and vomiting, which does lead some to pass symptoms off as the flu or food poisoning. Women may also feel pain between their shoulder blades or neck pain, which is especially deceiving if the woman already has pain in those areas. Women tend to be about a decade older than men when they suffer heart attacks. And if women have diabetes, their risk is four to five times higher than it is for men.

heart-healthBlack women have a higher incidence of heart attacks in all age categories and young black women have greater probability of dying before they leave the hospital. Black and Hispanic women are also more likely to have heart-related risk factors such as diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure at the time of their heart attack.

Once a heart attack starts, time is of the essence: Getting help quickly minimizes damage and increases the chance of survival. Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women’s Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center and an American Heart Association volunteer, says: “Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure. Instead they may experience shortness of breath, pressure or pain in the lower chest or upper abdomen, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting, upper back pressure or extreme fatigue.”

And on women ignoring symptoms,“Many women I see take an aspirin if they think they are having a heart attack and never call 9-1-1,” Goldberg said. “But if they think about taking an aspirin for their heart attack, they should also call 9-1-1.”

Heart disease can be reduced by following some health basics:

  • photogallery_heart_disease_prevention_10_fullExercise – you have got to move; you have got to sweat. Fail to do either and increase your risk significantly.
  • Eat well – whole, natural foods, moderate portions, lots of water, fresh juices, vitamins supplements.
  • Rest – sleep and downtime are very important. People who don’t sleep enough are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease—regardless of age, weight, smoking and exercise habits.
  • Mental – balance those mental charges; Deep breathing and meditation go a very long way here
  • Minimize toxins – smoking, liquor, drugs, sugar, etc.
  • Medical – after 40, get checked consistently (to me rhythm is more important than frequency, but this will depend on your awareness and regular attention to body-health)

Women need to be mindful of heart attack symptoms. In sheer numbers, women are not much different from men, so knowing the warning signs of a heart attack, especially the unusual ones, may be the difference between life and death. The sooner any person having a heart attack gets into treatment, the less likely they will suffer irreversible tissue damage, which is almost a guaranteed future cardiac event. Be smart, ladies, save this link and go back to read the symptoms of heart attack every January 1st—it just might be the wisest health practice to do all year.


Part 1 here

Anorgasmia

I have previously written on some underlying factors which may cause anorgasmia. I have outlined four of the seven primary fears which pull people out of sexual consciousness and into self-criticism. As I have pointed out, our mental state is vital to our ability to perform sexually and to orgasm. Anorgasmia, while affecting more women than men, has every person susceptible if they succumb to any of these primary fears. I will finish this topic by discussing the final three fears, starting with the fear of inadequacy.

Fear of inadequacy

Fear of InadequacyThe next fear is related to our feelings of self-worth. While the fear of inadequacy could certainly apply to the fear of physical rejection, it is really our self-image in the world to which this fear applies. When a person misperceives her sexual worth in any given situation pertaining to her social or economic worth, or even her heritage, it can lead to hampered sexual arousal, and ultimately anorgasmia.

This fear is often financial in men.  As there is some evidence to women’s orgasmability being related to their male partner’s financial worth, at least according to one study, it thus makes this fear not completely unwarranted. However, men should consider that any true negatives on that end would likely prevent things from escalating outright, so if she is in bed with you, then it probably is not that.

Women, on the other hand, may feel intimidated by a difference in class, socio-economic status or racial heritage, which again can hamper relaxation, sexual arousal and orgasm. In fact, any feelings of inadequacy can do the same. This may be the number one reason some married couples only experience mono-orgasmic sex—that is, only one partner (usually the male) climaxes—even when both put in the effort. When one partner feels inadequate relative to the other, the sex will suffer. And when that feeling of inequality persists, so does anorgasmia. It is perfectly healthy for power to fluctuate in a relationship, and the partner perceiving the short end of the stick may express it sexually (albeit unconsciously); however, once balance returns, even if briefly, di-orgasmic sex can be had once again. Couples in awareness of this fluctuation can even find greater intimacy within this dynamic if the dominant partner uses it as an opportunity to nurture the other one sexually, and the non-dominant partner uses it as an opportunity to trust. Any power games played here, however, will run the risk of creating a mono-orgasmic sexual imbalance within the relationship.

Of course, this fear is based on a misperception, as one can never be beneath another. Saying this, however, it can be a difficult obstacle to overcome psychologically, and seeking help may be necessary. Please contact me if you have are having trouble with this fear and it is affecting you sexually.

 Fear of disgracing loved ones

Family disgrace“What would my mother think?” “What would my children think?” “What would my friends think of me if they knew I did/liked/desired that?!” The opinions of our loved ones matter to us, and many hold themselves back with an unconscious fear of disgracing ourselves in their eyes. This fear can be seen on more superficial levels as manner of dress, chosen profession (particularly in eastern cultures), even social and professional affiliations. It is closely related to fear of social rejection, only greater. If you can hear your mother scolding you, it is doubtful you will be climaxing. Now obviously some people might experience the opposite and actually get sexually aroused from the same scenario; however, most people who have an unconscious fear of disgracing their loved ones will be affected negatively sexually.

This can be tough and deep rooted, so I encourage anybody who is aware of this obstacle in their sex life to seek help. Please contact me.

Fear of dishonored reputation

reputationMany of us have worked hard to establish ourselves professionally, and as a result we have earned a certain reputation in our industries, our communities and within the world at large. It is not uncommon for the fear of loss of reputation to affect our decisions, in many ways good, as it keeps some of us in check, and prevents us from doing things that embarrass us later. However, when that fear runs deep it can affect sexual arousal, performance and orgasmability (creativity and partner satisfaction as well).

Some careers or professions are historically uptight—teachers, judges, clergy, to name a few—and thus people within those professions may have difficulty enjoying di-orgasmic sex. Saying that, however, anything that is repressed will be expressed elsewhere and so plenty of these professionals exhibit quite carefree (and sometimes careless) sexuality. The rise in female teacher sex relations with male students is testament to this. But to those afflicted with an irrational fear of losing face if their pleasures and fantasies are found out, only keep themselves from enjoying sex and experiencing thunderous orgasms.

While these seven fears may seem irrational to those who do not suffer them, I can assure you they are very real. And while some people are perfectly content with both their fears and their anorgasmic or mono-orgasmic sex lives, plenty are frustrated by them. If you happen to be one who cannot figure out why you no longer reach orgasm (or never have!), then it will be wise for you to self-reflect and investigate, and if you find that one or more of these fears is in fact hampering you, you can overcome them, and enjoy explosive sexual experiences that need to be experienced to believe. Please contact me if you need help in this area, and stop missing out on this natural gift that has been bestowed upon us humans—the pleasures of orgasm. Believe me your life will blossom.

Part 1

Cocaine BlissDrug addiction is a form of seeking. The high we get from drugs is the closest thing to the altered states of consciousness that are the hallmark of deeper states of meditation, including samadhi, and thus drug users—most unconsciously—are seeking what we all are: the internal source of bliss. Bliss can only be achieved from within, whether it be inspiration, fulfillment, joy or any other state of being; it is an inside job. Drug addiction, then, is like any other attachment to the external world—it is our seeking fulfillment from things outside of us.

The quest for bliss, or a something other than what we experience in the purely physical world, is a real and ubiquitous drive—a universal human yearning. We bounce from experience to experience, desire to desire, and even relationship to relationship—what the yogis would call gaining knowledge—seeking this bliss. And all these quests for the outer are necessary to lead us to the reality of the inner. Drugs and chemical highs are no exception. In fact, former drug users may even be at an advantage on this quest, as the altered states so familiar to substance abusers most closely approximates the different states the meditator passes through on his or her way to Self-realization.

Learning the Self is the most rewarding experience we can have, as it lasts a lifetime. While every former drug user has learned invaluable lessons about herself, only through conscious awareness and awakening can true Knowledge—and all it affords—be had. In seeking the Self the greatest of all fulfillments is ours—the bliss we are never able to find in outer experiences. By taking on this quest, the former drug user has the greatest probability of remaining clean, because what is a temporary high when compared to bliss?

russell brand meditatingThe quest to “find” the Self can be carried out by a number of paths. One such path is meditation. Meditation, the art of silencing the mind and going within, is a profound practice, one which has a number of short and long term benefits for the former drug user. The benefits range from the physical, like a decreased risk of debilitating cardiac events, to the mental (increased emotional control), to the spiritual, like greater creative inspiration. In the following paragraphs, I will touch upon these benefits of body, mind and spirit to encourage former users to take up the habit of going within. I am certain that when I am finished you will see that the enormous advantages the practice of meditation affords are far greater than any momentary highs we get from drugs.

The Way I Feel

Dopamine system

Click to enlarge

Drugs feel good—we can thank the dopamine system for that. But the physiological sensations resulting from drug actions are temporary and come with the risks of tolerance, withdrawal and potential overdose. Going within, on the other hand, particularly via the path of meditation, provides physiological changes which are longer lasting, and many even permanent. These physical changes can feel good too, but they are subtle and come on gradually, so there is really no high with true meditation.

Meditation has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiac events—like heart attack and stroke—by one half. At risk African American men and women were given either a meditation program, muscle relaxation exercises or conventional health education courses. Those participants who meditated had nearly half the risk of suffering a cardiac event. These findings are particularly valuable for recovering methamphetamine and cocaine users, as stimulants can stress the cardiovascular system (heart and blood vessels). Further, the practice of pranayama (breath control) works to slow the metabolism, bringing down heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. These physiological changes are imperative for any person who has been artificially speeding up their cardiovascular system with drugs.

Meditation also has been shown to reduce pain, fatigue and depression. Many people who suffer from chronic illness turn to drugs to alleviate pain. A 2010 study showed that an eight-week course of mindfulness training reduced all three symptoms above, and improved health-related quality of life for people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). As any long-term drug user will tell you: part of the package that comes with substance abuse is pain, fatigue and ultimately depression. Here we now have evidence of the power of going within for alleviating these overloading sensations which often plague chronic drug users.

healingFinally meditation may lead to improved healing—something every drug user needs, as repeated use of chemicals can and does lead to breakdown of the body. Both inflammation and immunity are altered by meditation. Inflammatory processes have been observed to diminish, while immune function has been found to increase in regular meditators. As self-healing, self-regulating organisms, we need our innate powers to function unimpeded. While drug use hinders our healing abilities, quieting the mind and going within enhances them instead. Choose meditation and watch your miraculous regenerative powers operate in full force as your body and mind return to their most optimal functioning states.

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