Category Archives: Uncategorized

Just what is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

What is DBT?

Overview

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a cognitive behavioral treatment that was originally developed to treat chronically suicidal individuals diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and it is now recognized as the gold standard psychological treatment for this population. In addition, research has shown that it is effective in treating a wide range of other disorders such as substance dependence, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and eating disorders.

What are the components of DBT?

In its standard form, there are four components of DBT: skills training group, individual treatment, DBT phone coaching, and consultation team.

  1. DBT skills training group is focused on enhancing clients’ capabilities by teaching them behavioral skills. The group is run like a class where the group leader teaches the skills and assigns homework for clients to practice using the skills in their everyday lives. Groups meet on a weekly basis for approximately 2.5 hours and it takes 24 weeks to get through the full skills curriculum, which is often repeated to create a 1-year program. Briefer schedules that teach only a subset of the skills have also been developed for particular populations and settings.
  2. DBT individual therapy is focused on enhancing client motivation and helping clients to apply the skills to specific challenges and events in their lives. In the standard DBT model, individual therapy takes place once a week for as long as the client is in therapy and runs concurrently with skills groups.
  3. DBT phone coaching is focused on providing clients with in-the-moment coaching on how to use skills to effectively cope with difficult situations that arise in their everyday lives. Clients can call their individual therapist between sessions to receive coaching at the times when they need help the most.
  4. DBT therapist consultation team is intended to be therapy for the therapists and to support DBT providers in their work with people who often have severe, complex, difficult-to-treat disorders. The consultation team is designed to help therapists stay motivated and competent so they can provide the best treatment possible. Teams typically meet weekly and are composed of individual therapists and group leaders who share responsibility for each client’s care.

What skills are taught in DBT?

DBT includes four sets of behavioral skills.

  • Mindfulness: the practice of being fully aware and present in this one moment
  • Distress Tolerance: how to tolerate pain in difficult situations, not change it
  • Interpersonal Effectiveness: how to ask for what you want and say no while maintaining self-respect and relationships with others
  • Emotion Regulation: how to change emotions that you want to change

There is increasing evidence that DBT skills training alone is a promising intervention for a wide variety of both clinical and nonclinical populations and across settings.

What does “dialectical” mean?

The term “dialectical” means a synthesis or integration of opposites. The primary dialectic within DBT is between the seemingly opposite strategies of acceptance and change. For example, DBT therapists accept clients as they are while also acknowledging that they need to change in order to reach their goals. In addition, all of the skills and strategies taught in DBT are balanced in terms of acceptance and change. For example, the four skills modules include two sets of acceptance-oriented skills (mindfulness and distress tolerance) and two sets of change-oriented skills (emotion regulation and interpersonal effectiveness).

How does DBT prioritize treatment targets?

Clients who receive DBT typically have multiple problems that require treatment. DBT uses a hierarchy of treatment targets to help the therapist determine the order in which problems should be addressed. The treatment targets in order of priority are:

  1. Life-threatening behaviors: First and foremost, behaviors that could lead to the client’s death are targeted, including all forms of suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury, suicidal ideation, suicide communications, and other behaviors engaged in for the purpose of causing bodily harm.
  2. Therapy-interfering behaviors: This includes any behavior that interferes with the client receiving effective treatment. These behaviors can be on the part of the client and/or the therapist, such as coming late to sessions, cancelling appointments, and being non-collaborative in working towards treatment goals.
  3. Quality of life behaviors: This category includes any other type of behavior that interferes with clients having a reasonable quality of life, such as mental disorders, relationship problems, and financial or housing crises.
  4. Skills acquisition: This refers to the need for clients to learn new skillful behaviors to replace ineffective behaviors and help them achieve their goals.

Within a session, presenting problems are addressed in the above order. For example, if the client is expressing a wish to commit suicide and reports recurrent binge eating, the therapist will target the suicidal behaviors first. The underlying assumption is that DBT will be ineffective if the client is dead or refuses to attend treatment sessions.

What are the stages of treatment in DBT?

DBT is divided into four stages of treatment. Stages are defined by the severity of the client’s behaviors, and therapists work with their clients to reach the goals of each stage in their progress toward having a life that they experience as worth living.

  1. In Stage 1, the client is miserable and their behavior is out of control: they may be trying to kill themselves, self-harming, using drugs and alcohol, and/or engaging in other types of self-destructive behaviors. When clients first start DBT treatment, they often describe their experience of their mental illness as “being in hell.” The goal of Stage 1 is for the client to move from being out of control to achieving behavioral control.
  2. In Stage 2, they’re living a life of quiet desperation: their behavior is under control but they continue to suffer, often due to past trauma and invalidation. Their emotional experience is inhibited. The goal of Stage 2 is to help the client move from a state of quiet desperation to one of full emotional experiencing. This is the stage in which post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) would be treated.
  3. In Stage 3, the challenge is to learn to live: to define life goals, build self-respect, and find peace and happiness. The goal is that the client leads a life of ordinary happiness and unhappiness.
  4. For some people, a fourth stage is needed: finding a deeper meaning through a spiritual existence. Linehan has posited a Stage 4 specifically for those clients for whom a life of ordinary happiness and unhappiness fails to meet a further goal of spiritual fulfillment or a sense of connectedness of a greater whole. In this stage, the goal of treatment is for the client to move from a sense of incompleteness towards a life that involves an ongoing capacity for experiences of joy and freedom.

How effective is DBT?

Research has shown DBT to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior, non-suicidal self-injury, psychiatric hospitalization, treatment dropout, substance use, anger, and depression and improving social and global functioning. For a review of the research on DBT, click here. In this video, DBT Developer and Behavioral Tech founder Dr. Marsha Linehan describes the amazing changes she’s seen in people who have received DBT and gotten out of hell.

Dive Deeper

Philosophy and Principles of DBT

DBT is based on three philosophical positions. Behavioral science underpins the DBT bio-social model of the development of BPD, as well as the DBT behavioral change strategies and protocols. Zen and contemplative practices underpin DBT mindfulness skills and acceptance practices for both therapists and clients. DBT was the first psychotherapy to incorporate mindfulness as a core component, and the Mindfulness skills in DBT are a behavioral translation of Zen practice. The dialectical synthesis of a “technology” of acceptance with a “technology” of change was what distinguished DBT from the behavioral interventions of the 1970s and 1980s. Dialectics furthermore keeps the entire treatment focused on a synthesis of opposites, primarily on acceptance and change, but also on the whole as well as the parts, and maintains an emphasis on flexibility, movement, speed, and flow in the treatment.

Video on the therapy treatment mentioned above.

Did you like this? Share it:

Blackstrap Molasses and its health benefits!

Blackstrap Molasses Combats Stress & Promotes Healthy Skin

Blackstrap molasses - Dr. Axe

Blackstrap molasses is the dark, viscous molasses that remains after maximum extraction of sugar from raw sugar cane. It has the consistency of a thick syrup, as the third boiling of sugar syrup yields blackstrap molasses. This concentrated byproduct is left over after the sugar’s sucrose has been crystallized. It has a robust flavor described as bittersweet. Unlike refined sugar, blackstrap molasses contains essential vitamins and minerals — boasting a number of powerful health benefits.

As the nutritional benefits of blackstrap molasses becomes better known, more and more molasses products are being sold in the supermarket. As opposed to refined sugar, molasses has the power to naturally relieve PMS symptoms, stabilize blood sugar levels, improve bone health, treat symptoms of ADHD and boost skin health.


Blackstrap Molasses Nutrition Facts

Blackstrap molasses contains the vitamins and minerals that it absorbs from the sugar cane plant. Molasses has a moderate glycemic load of 55, which makes it a better choice than refined sugar, especially for people with diabetes. It contains high levels of vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron and selenium.

100 grams of blackstrap molasses has about:

  • 290 calories
  • zero fat
  • zero cholesterol
  • 37 milligrams sodium
  • 75 grams carbohydrate
  • zero dietary fiber
  • 55 grams sugar
  • zero protein
  • 0.7 vitamin B6 (34 percent DV)
  • 0.8 milligrams pantothenic acid (8 percent DV)
  • 0.9 milligrams niacin (5 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams thiamine (3 percent DV)
  • 1.5 milligrams manganese (77 percent DV)
  • 242 milligrams magnesium (61 percent DV)
  • 1,464 milligrams potassium (42 percent DV)
  • 4.7 milligrams iron (26 percent DV)
  • 17 micrograms selenium (25 percent DV)
  • 0.5 milligrams copper (24 percent DV)
  • 205 milligrams calcium (20 percent DV)
  • 31 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
  • 37 milligrams sodium (2 percent DV)

9 Blackstrap Molasses Benefits 

1. Relieves PMS Symptoms

Blackstrap molasses is a high source of iron; women need more iron than men, according to the Centers for Disease Control, because they lose a certain amount of iron during their normal menstrual cycle each month. Starting at around the time of adolescence when a woman begins having her menstrual cycle, her daily needs of iron increases, but then the level decreases once again as the woman reaches menopause.

Iron can also improve your mood, which relies on a balance of hormones — including serotonin, dopamine and other vital hormones — that cannot properly be synthesized in the brain when oxygen levels are low. This is why iron deficiency sometimes results in a poor mood, bad sleep, low energy levels and a lack of motivation. If you notice changes in your mood and feelings of mild depression or anxiety, especially during menstruation, an iron deficiency could possibly be a contributor.

Also, essential minerals in blackstrap molasses, such as magnesium, manganese and calcium, prevent the clotting of blood, which relieves menstrual cramps and maintains the health of uterine muscles.

2. Combats Stress

B vitamins, calcium and magnesium each play a role in combatting stress and anxiety, and blackstrap molasses contains all these vital minerals. Vitamin B6, for example, raises serotonin levels in the brain. This is an important hormone that controls mood and prevents pain, depression and fatigue, and blackstrap molasses’ vitamin B6 content makes adding it to your diet a great way to bust stress.

A 2004 study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that low levels of vitamin B6 causes depression, as the vitamin contributes to the tryptophan-serotonin pathway. Of the 140 participants, 13 percent of them were evaluated as depressed and vitamin B6-deficient. Although this is not a staggering number, the research suggests that the vitamin deficiency is correlated to depression levels and needs to be addressed in patients who have symptoms of moodiness and depression.

3. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels

Blackstrap molasses helps stabilize blood sugar levels, which can be extremely beneficial for people with diabetes. It has a low glycemic index and naturally slows the metabolism of glucose and carbohydrates — resulting in less insulin production. Blackstrap molasses also contains a high level of chromium, which increases glucose tolerance. Chromium plays a role in the insulin-signaling pathways that allow our bodies to control the amount of sugar we take in, helping balance blood glucose levels and giving us stable energy.

A 1997 study conducted at the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests that chromium is an essential nutrient involved in normal carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. In the study, 180 individuals being treated with type 2 diabetes were either given a placebo or chromium supplements over a four-month period, while continuing to take normal medications and not changing eating habits. As a result of chromium treatment, insulin values and cholesterol levels decreased significantly compared to the placebo group.

This study did have patients continue their normal medications for treatment diabetes, so it is important to note that chromium consumption seems to be only partly responsible for the positive results.

4. Helps Prevent Cancer

A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Diabetic Association suggests that blackstrap molasses serves as a nutritious alternative to refined sugar because it offers the potential benefit of antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are substances that help prevent certain types of cell damage, especially those caused by oxidation. Oxidative damage plays a major role in disease today and has been linked to health conditions including cancer.

High-antioxidant foods, like blackstrap molasses, help reduce free radicals in the body, which are believed to be the primary cause of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, free radicals are formed naturally in the body and play an important role in many normal cellular processes; however, at high concentrations, free radicals can be hazardous to the body and damage all major components of cells, including DNA, proteins and cell membranes.

5. Promotes Skin Health

Blackstrap molasses contains lactic acid, which is produced by bacteria that plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism. Lactic acid serves as a natural acne treatment and heals other skin conditions.

A 2002 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology found that lactic acid worked as a preventative solution for acne. The study involved 22 patients who experienced lesions, inflammation and cysts. Lactate lotion was used topically all over the face twice a day, and then it was used like a cosmetic for a year. At the end of one year, 90 percent to 100 percent reduction of the inflammatory lesions was achieved in 41 percent of the patients, and non-inflammatory lesions reduced in 23 percent of the patients. The remaining patients showed 50 percent to 90 percent reduction, while two patients showed less than 50 percent reduction in the non-inflammatory lesions.

This research suggests that lactic acid treatment results in significant reduction of acne symptoms, including the development of lesions.

Blackstrap molasses also promotes the growth of healthy tissues, so it serves as a natural wound healer. Consuming blackstrap molasses accelerates the healing time of cuts, wounds, burns and signs of acne — helping you maintain clear and healthy skin.

 

Blackstrap molasses benefits - Dr. Axe

6. Improves Bone Health

Because blackstrap molasses serves as a high source of calcium, it promotes strong and healthy bones. Since we lose calcium every day through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and stool, and we cannot make it within our own body, it’s important that we eat calcium-rich foods regularly.

Calcium is the most present mineral in the body, stored in the body mostly in the bones and teeth. About 99 percent of our calcium is found in bones and teeth, mostly in the form of calcium deposits, with the other remaining 1 percent being stored throughout bodily tissue. Calcium is involved in the growth and maintenance of bones. Without enough calcium present in the body, known as a calcium deficiency, bones are susceptible to becoming weak and pliable, making them prone to fractures and breaks.

The calcium, plus the iron and copper levels, in blackstrap molasses undoubtedly improves bone health, helps heal broken bones, and reduces the risk of weak and brittle bones.

7. Serves as Natural Remedy for ADD and ADHD

Research has shown that the same symptoms evident in children with ADD/ADHD are also seen in people who are nutritionally deficient in zinc, magnesium, calcium and iron. ADHD and ADD are neurological and behavior-related conditions that cause difficulty in concentrating, impulsiveness and excessive energy. Individuals with ADHD not only have a challenge in concentrating, but have a challenge sitting still.

Sugar is a major problem because it causes blood-sugar spikes, causing hyperactivity. Then as blood-sugar levels spike down, a person loses focus. Blackstrap molasses is a more nutritious alternative to refined sugar, and it does not have the same effects on blood-sugar levels. Also, consuming molasses provides iron and B vitamins — which have the ability to remedy ADHD naturally. These vitamins and minerals support the nervous system and brain function, improving focus.

8. Treats Arthritis

Arthritis is a joint disease that causes swelling and pain in the joints. It’s either classified as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when cartilage between joints wears down, causing inflammation and pain, and rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an autoimmune dysfunction where the white blood cells destroy the cartilage. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties in blackstrap molasses, it relieves swelling and joint pain, working as a natural arthritis treatment.

9. Contains Cholesterol-Lowing Potassium

Just two teaspoons of this, rich all-natural syrup contains 10 percent of the daily recommended amount of potassium. Potassium-rich foods help lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping cleanse your liver. Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the body hydrated and works with sodium to support cellular function with your body’s sodium-potassium pump.


Blackstrap Molasses History & Interesting Facts

Blackstrap molasses has been imported from the Caribbean Islands since the time of the first settlers. Because it was much more affordable than refined sugar, molasses was popular up until the late 19th century. In fact, molasses was so popular that the British crown passed the Molasses Act of 1733 in order to discourage colonists from trading with the West Indies, which was not under British rule. Colonists had to pay six pence for every gallon of molasses, which was commonly used in rum and spirits at the time.

The growing corruption of local officials and the bitterness and resentment of British Law that was caused by this act only continued with the passing of the Stamp and Townshend Acts; by 1776, the colonists were fighting for their independence from British rule during the American Revolution.

Since then, blackstrap molasses has made a comeback. This is due to the “health food movement” that is popularizing nutritious and vitamin-filled foods. The largest producers of molasses are currently India, Brazil, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and the United States.


How to Use Blackstrap Molasses

It’s easy to find blackstrap molasses at your local market or health food store. When purchasing blackstrap molasses, look for products that are organic and unsulfered.

Blackstrap molasses is commonly used as a natural sweetener and sugar alternative. Molasses has a unique, rich flavor. Some people use it as a spread or topping on toast, oatmeal and porridges. It’s also a great sweetener for marinades, barbeque sauce and to use while baking. You can even add blackstrap molasses to coffee — it intensifies the richness of the coffee while lowering the acidic taste and enhancing coffee’s nutrition value.

Blackstrap molasses serves as a brown sugar alternative, too; you can use molasses to create brown sugar by adding two tablespoons of molasses for each ½ cup of coconut sugar that a recipe calls for. Put the coconut sugar and the molasses in a food processor, and pulse until the consistency of commercial brown sugar is reached. The result is a more nutritious “brown sugar” that still tastes great.

Blackstrap molasses is about two-thirds as sweet as refined sugar, but it can be used in recipes that call for brown sugar, honey and maple syrup. Try experimenting with this nutritious product today — you’re going to love it!


Blackstrap Molasses Recipes 

Because blackstrap molasses can sub in for maple syrup, trying using it in my Maple-Glazed Rosemary Carrots Recipe. The bittersweet flavor of molasses goes perfectly with the rosemary in this recipe.

Another way to use blackstrap molasses in place of maple syrup is with my Gluten-Free Cinnamon Buns Recipe. This recipe is delicious, healthy and gluten-free! The texture of molasses compliments the stickiness of a cinnamon bun too.

Blackstrap molasses is commonly used to make marinades, sauces and glazes. You can use molasses in place of honey; it provides the same texture and a slightly bitter flavor. My Grilled Honey-Glazed Salmon Recipe would be perfect for blackstrap molasses because it creates the thick consistency that works perfectly for salmon glazes.

Gluten-Free Gingerbread Cookies Recipe

This gluten-free gingerbread cookies recipe is delicious! It satisfies sweet cravings without the processed sugar.

 

Gingerbread-Cookies

 

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 12

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 3 cups gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, sprinkled
  • 1/2 teaspoon clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Blend dates in a food processor until chopped finely, then add oil, molasses and ginger while processor is running.
  4. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sea salt to food processor slowly and process until dough-like.
  5. Chill dough for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Flour your counter or workspace, then roll out the dough until approx 1/4″ thick.
  7. Cut shapes with cookie cutters or squares with a knife.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.

Possible Blackstrap Molasses Side Effects

It’s perfectly safe to consume blackstrap molasses in food amounts, and it supplies the essential vitamins and minerals that keep your body functioning properly.

Some people might develop allergic reactions to molasses due to a sensitivity toward the sulfite present in sulfured molasses. For this reason, I suggest you purchase unsulfered blackstrap molasses. Also, keep in mind that the glycemic index for molasses is 55, which is moderate and means that people should not consume large amounts of it. It should be used as a more nutritious sweetener.

Josh AxeDr. Josh Axe is on a mission to provide you and your family with the highest quality nutrition tips and healthy recipes in the world…Sign up to get VIP access to his eBooks and valuable weekly health tips for FREE

 

 

Did you like this? Share it:

Combination of Treatments for MS Patients.

Investigating a Novel Combination of Treatments for MS Patients

stem cell therapyFrequently utilized MS treatments are prescribed with the goal of disease stabilization. However, they may share a common deficiency: lack of effectiveness in addressing many of the symptoms associated with the disease. Additionally they may lead to a troubling array of side effects which in themselves can negatively impact quality of life.

Newer treatments are now being investigated that seek to address many of the most debilitating symptoms related to MS. Since these novel therapies do not involve long-term treatment with pharmacological agents, they present a possible option for MS patients who are either unable to tolerate the side-effects of MS medications or who are unsatisfied with the results of their current therapies.

Dr. Michael Arata of Autonomic Specialists in Newport Beach, California has been investigating a therapeutic approach that targets many of the more troublesome symptoms suffered by MS patients, particularly those related to autonomic dysfunction (including brain fog, fatigue, headaches upon awakening, bladder and bowel problems, and inability to thermoregulate). This endovascular therapy, called Transvascular Autonomic Modulation (TVAM), has been shown to improve symptoms in a majority of patients, according to research published in Acta Phlebologica.

More recently, Dr. Arata has been investigating a surgical treatment involving the use of adult mesenchymal stem cells in conjunction with the Cell Surgical Network. This treatment involves mesenchymal stem cells in a stromal vascular fraction (SVF) that is produced from the patient’s own fat cells (extracted via a mini-liposuction procedure).

Mesenchymal stem cells and growth factors contained in SVF are known to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Mesenchymal stem cells also have the capacity to remain dormant until they reach an area of injured or damaged tissue.

Now Dr. Arata is investigating an approach for patients with MS that includes both TVAM therapy and the SVF/mesenchymal stem cell treatment in a single outpatient visit.

It is possible that including both mesenchymal stem cell therapy and the TVAM procedure may lead to an enhanced effect. Therapeutic synergy might be achieved through both the anti-inflammatory effects of the SVF and the reparative capabilities of mesenchymal stem cells along with enhanced autonomic function seen in patients following TVAM.

If you would like to find out more about this new therapeutic approach, feel free to contact us through this web form (click here) or call us at (949) 247-8877.

Dr Michael Arata Synergy Health Newport Beach CADr. Arata responds personally to Facebook comments between the hours of 3:30-5pm PST on Thursdays.

Did you like this? Share it:

Take Action for hearing loss and the CDC

Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study on the prevalence of disability in the U.S. The study examined vision loss, cognition, mobility, self-care and independent living, but failed to mention hearing loss, the third most common public health concern after diabetes and heart disease.

Join the Hearing Health Foundation in letting the CDC know that hearing loss is a serious concern that affects quality of life, ability to work, and a person’s full participation in society by signing their petition: https://www.change.org/p/centers-for-disease-control-and-pr…

Recently, Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) learned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study on the prevalence of disability in…
change.org

 

Check out this cool “Defeat Dizziness” car decal, designed by VEDA Ambassador Chair, David Morrill’s sister! Make a donation of $15 or more to David’s personal campaign page and he’ll send you a decal as a thank you gift.

https://vestibular.org/civicrm/pcp/info?reset=1&id=129

Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA)'s photo.

 

 

Dr. Rachael Trommelen is conducting a survey to assess physician knowledge of and experience with diagnosing vestibular disorders. If you are a patient or healthcare provider, you can help by sharing this article with your physician and/or colleagues.

Thank you!

https://vestibular.org/…/physician-survey-about-vestibular-…

Posted by Cynthia RyanAug. 13, 2015 | 4:00pm Dr. Rachael Trommelen is conducting a survey to…
vestibular.org

 

 

Earlier in 2015

Did you like this? Share it:

Supporting people with invisible illnesses