All Posts in Category: (07) The Medicine of Life

Mental Health Monday – The Brain-Changing Benefits of Exercise






What’s the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today?
Exercise! says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki.
Get inspired to go to the gym as Suzuki discusses
the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory —
and protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.


Dr. Wendy A. Suzuki is a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology in the Center for Neural Science at New York University. Her major research is be brain plasticity. She is best known for her extensive work studying areas in the brain critical for our ability to form and retain new long-term memories. More recently her work has focused on understanding how aerobic exercise can be used to improve learning, memory and higher cognitive abilities in humans.


Mental Health Monday – a Neural Portrait of the Human Mind




Brain imaging pioneer Nancy Kanwisher,
who uses fMRI scans to see activity in brain regions (often her own),
shares what she and her colleagues have learned:
The brain is made up of both highly specialized components
and general-purpose “machinery.” Another surprise: There’s so much left to learn.



Nancy Kanwisher FBA is a professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and an investigator at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology








Mental Health Monday – What Really Matters at The End of Life




At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for?
For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. BJ Miller is a hospice
and palliative medicine physician
who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified,
graceful end of life for his patients.
Take the time to savor this moving talk,
which asks big questions about how we think on death and honor life.



Mental Health Monday – Childhood Sexual Abuse: A Survivor’s Story




        • 1 out of every 4 girls is sexually abused
        • 1 out of every 6 boys is sexually abused
        • 1 in 5 children are solicited sexually while on the internet.
        • Nearly 70% of all reported sexual assaults (including assaults on adults) occur to children ages 17 and under.
        • The median age for reported child abuse is 9 years old.
        • 85% of child abuse victims never report their abuse.
        • Nearly 50% of all victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under 12.
        • More than 90% of abusers are people children know, love and trust.
        • 30-40% of victims are abused by a family member.
        • 50% are abused by someone outside of the family whom they know and trust.
        • Evidence that a child has been sexually abused is not always obvious, and many children do not report that they have been abused.
        • Young victims may not recognize their victimization as sexual abuse.
        • Nearly 70% of child sex offenders have between 1 and 9 victims…at least 20% have 10 to 40 victims.
        • An average serial child molester may have as many as 400 victims in his lifetime.
        • Nearly 50% of women in prison state that they were abused as children.
        • Over 75% of serial rapists report they were sexually abused as youngsters.
        • The way a victim’s family responds to abuse plays an important role in how the incident affects the victim.
        • Sexually abused children who keep it a secret or who “tell” and are not believed are at greater risk than the general population for psychological, emotional, social, and physical problems often lasting into adulthood.
        • Women who report childhood rape are 3 times more likely to become pregnant before age 18.
        • An estimated 60% of teen first pregnancies are preceded by experiences of molestation, rape, or attempted rape. The average age of their offender is 27 years.
        • Victims of child sexual abuse are more likely to be sexually promiscuous.
        • More than 75% of teenage prostitutes have been sexually abused.
        • An estimated 42 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.


Seven Ways to Stop Breaking Our Own Hearts – Part 4



This article is specifically directed to women. However, the principles are applicable to all persons. I don’t agree with everything here asserted. But, “eat the fish and throw out the bones.”







Dina Strada is an L.A. based Event Planner, Author, and Certified Life Coach specializing in relationships and empowering women. She has most recently been featured as a Contributing Author in the powerful new book, “Simply Women: Stories from 30 Magnificent Women Who Have Risen Against the Odds”.


I’ve lost count how many times my own heart has been broken. I could argue that the breaking of my heart was done to me by another person. I could easily make myself the victim of my stories of heartache and loss. But I’ve come to realize that in each situation, I had a choice. And my choices were the cause of many broken hearts.I am in no way suggesting that we won’t sometimes have our heart broken by another person when we do everything right, even when we make the best choices for ourselves. Because that’s part of life. Our hearts are fragile and vulnerable to the actions of others.

7. Accept what is. Every 12 step program has a prayer they recite at meetings that has always carried me through life:

Acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed,
It is because I find some person, place, thing, situation—
Some fact of my life—unacceptable to me,
And I can find no serenity until I accept
That person, place, thing, or situation
As being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Anytime we find ourselves struggling emotionally or in turmoil about a situation, it’s because we aren’t in acceptance with what exists in the moment. And being in that place creates so much heartache for us.

I’ve found in my own life that I don’t have to like what’s happening. I just have to accept what’s happening. It’s the only way through and any other way breaks my heart and causes a whole lot of pain.

So on this last one I’m going to share a personal experience because I know that there are a lot of people reading this who may be going through the same thing.

Like many people, I’m a single parent. Holidays are still incredibly hard for me. My parents are still married and make a big deal about the holidays. I’ve never had to go between two homes or split the holidays with them. Now, I spend a lot of holidays without my children. Do I cry about this still? Yes I do. Do I accept the situation for what it us?


I can allow my heart to be broken every holiday and tell myself how unfair this is. I can tell myself how this wasn’t my choice, that this is not what I signed on for when I got married and had children and nurse my broken heart every time. Or I can just accept it. And the truth is, the acceptance is what gets me through. It’s the only path to not feeling broken anymore.

Don’t break your own heart. We have more control over this than we think. It just requires a little bit of practice.


Author: Dina Strada

Image: Lauren Treece/Flickr 

Editor: Catherine Monkman