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Yoga helps boost mood, relieve anxiety


Research is finding that yoga really does help! Should you drop therapy and just do yoga? That might work for some but not others. Just try it and see. Yoga can certainly be a good addition to talk therapy.

A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that compared with walking, yoga appears to be accompanied by greater improvement in mood and decrease in anxiety and a boost in the brain chemical (GABA) associated with these benefits.

Those who did yoga three times per week saw a consistent increase in GABA levels. Those who simply walked for exercise saw no change at all. Another study found an hour of yoga boosted GABA levels 27 percent over relaxing with a book for an hour.

“That information gets sent up to the brain, the brain uses that information so that the GABA levels go up,” the author the the study, Chris Streeter says. GABA is the chemical that helps lift your mood and reduce anxiety.

Her study is the first to demonstrate the GABA-mood-yoga connection by looking at actual changes in the brain using scanning technology.

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Lifetime t.v. interview

I was filmed today as the marriage expert for an upcoming segment on Lifetime t.v.’s show “The Balancing Act.” What a fun experience! More importantly though, they asked some good questions. One of them was:

What are some signs that your partner is dissastisfied?
The answer that got them laughing was Eye Rolling! O.k., we all do it from time to time but if it’s going on alot, then it’s something to be aware of. Eye rolling is actually a sign of disrespect. And depending on how it’s done, it can even be a sign of contempt for the other person. So keep an eye out for it (yes, pun intended!).

What to do if you see it?
I would address it with your partner. If they continue to do it, then I would look a little harder at your relationship and decide if you need to seek some help. One thing I said on the show was to get help sooner rather than later. We all change the oil on our cars and change the tires. We do the regular maintenance required to keep it running well. Don’t wait until your marriage has fire and smoke pouring out of it before you take it in. At that point, it’s no longer a tune-up; it’s a major repair. Get into counseling before that point to keep it running well.

New Office Open!

I came to check out my blog and realized it truly is “Barely a Blog!” I didn’t realize I hadn’t made any posts since October. Yikes! I think the holidays hit and then I was concentrating on opening my own practice so everything else went lower down the priority list. Yes, you heard right.

The new practice is open in Hollywood! It’s just west of I95 on Hollywood Blvd in the Wachovia building. It’s a great location – easy to get to and the office turned out pretty cozy.

My partner is Lisa Zucker, LCSW. She specializes in cancer and grief counseling and does a lot of work with Gilda’s Club. Give either one of us a shout if you’re looking for counseling.

Life gets hard sometimes and there are people (moi) who actually enjoy helping you through it. Some people come in and have a hard time understanding that. They feel like they’re burdening me with their problems. But they’re not. . . if I didn’t enjoy what I do, enjoy helping someone work through what’s going on for them, I couldn’t be a therapist for long.

It does take some self-care. I take measures for myself to not burn out, to remain good at what I do and present for my clients. That’s my responsibility and ultimately I do that for my clients so they don’t have to worry about any “burden” they may feel.

Goal for next blog – post it in a month! Take care!

Acupuncture helps with Prenatal Depression

This is a significant study in terms of treatment options for pregnant women struggling with depression. Most pregnant women are reluctant to take antidepressants during pregnancy for good reason. There are risks associated with them and the health of the mom vs. the risk to the fetus must be considered carefully. If someone is not able to function (i.e., is crying constantly, not able to go to work, can’t pull themselves out of bed, not taking care of already born children), then treatment becomes a necessity, not a consideration.

This study found that acupuncture is as effective as antidepressants or counseling. This is HUGE!!!

Read it here:
http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/health/Acupuncture-Found-Effective-Against-Depression-in-Pregnancy-86238287.html

Some people need counseling, they need to talk about it, to get feedback, to explore what’s going on in order to remedy it and prevent it in the future.

Others prefer not to talk or don’t have room in their schedules for regular counseling sessions. Looks like acupuncture is an excellent treatment alternative for them.

Should I have had this child?

I was recently at a going away party for a mom who has grown children. Most of the moms in the room had children ranging from Littles to teenagers. Several had grown children.

We all talked about those mothering moments when we ask whether we should have had the child. It goes like, “maybe I shouldn’t have had this child. . . . maybe I shouldn’t have had the first one, only the second . . .  maybe I shouldn’t have had the second and was only meant to be mom to one . . . maybe I shouldn’t have had the third . . .” Etc., etc., etc.

They all admitted to having doubts at one time or another, usually during a really hard mama day, about whether they should have had that child.

One, I felt huge relief to hear these mamas talking about this.

Two, I gathered that everyone has these thoughts which means . . .

(three) . . . forget the guilt that goes with them. Just throw it out! Everyone has the thoughts. Everyone has bad mama days. Everyone struggles, whether you’ve had one kid or six.

What the thought is a sign of is not your commitment to your child or your love for them rather that you’re having a bad day; that you’re struggling and probably need a break (at least a 5 minute one!).

It’s only information about your own process so next time the thought comes up, realize that and take the break!

Make it to bedtime

Sometimes you’re having a really bad day and the kids are driving you cra-zee. Here’s a mantra for you  – “I only have to make it until bedtime.”

Now it’s bad if you’re thinking that at 9 a.m. in which case you may want to pick a closer goal – “I only have to make it until naptime.” If naptime has been given up long ago, well then  . . .

You have full permission to decompensate, collapse, freak out at that point. In fact, you have full permission to do that before that point if you need to. I know plenty of moms who go into their bedrooms for a little private time. Make sure the baby/kiddos are safe and go for it.

Some days are just going to be like that. You’ll get through them. Call a friend, get out of the house, go to the grocery store, put the t.v. on for the kids, anything to help you cope. If you have willing relatives/friends, ask if you can drop the baby off for a bit. Nothing horrible is going to happen if you take a couple of hours to yourself. And you need it!

If it doesn’t help, well then contact a professional. Seriously. If the depression doesn’t let up and just keeps coming at you, never giving you a break, and you feel like this day after day after day you need to see someone. It will help like it helps thousands of women every day.

Does anyone “deserve” to be a parent?

It’s been about a month so time for me to blog again in my “barely a blog.”

So you have a baby . . . and then you feel really guilty for having a baby as in, “Omg, I don’t deserve to be a parent! What am I going to do now??!!”

This happens to everyone. Let me repeat . . .  everyone! In fact, only the people who do not have children think they deserve to be parents. Nothing will change a pre-kid mindset (see below) faster than having kids though.

I do think it happens worse if you’re one of the unlucky ones to get hit by postpartum depression or anxiety. I’ve heard women and men say they get obsessed by the thought, repeating it in their head over and over. Stop that! Seriously! Here’s something for you . . .

No one deserves to be a parent. These children come into the world so precious and beautiful and innocent. None of us are perfect enough for them. We all mess up, end up yelling from time to time, don’t get enough “me” time. I could go on and on. O.k., yes, there are the “angel mamas” (aka mothers who seem to be perfect, i.e., everyone but you) but most of us are not them.

I’m going to get all spiritual on you. There are reasons beyond our understanding that children are born to us.

You don’t have to believe in god or vishnu or the great alien to get this. On a purely biological level, we procreate for reasons unknown to us. Parenthood is so hard that it’s a miracle anyone repeats it. And if you do want to go to a spiritual place with it, well then consider that a child may come into your life for spiritual reasons of their own. They picked you for whatever insane reason.

So hopefully that will help stop the obsessions. It’s something you have to learn to live with and despite it, continue parenting.

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Pre-kids mindset – Sense of superiority to all other parents held by someone before they have children themselves; ideas that you have about raising children before you actually have them; something you will think about fondly and laugh at after you have children.