Every nine and half minutes someone else is infected with the HIV virus.
Stop. Think about that for a minute. Someone is being infected right now as you read this.
It maybe someone you know.
December 1st, is “World AIDS Day”.
The day we remember that 33 million people in the world have HIV
Spread Awareness, not the virus.
Because if you are sexually active at all, it CAN happen to you. Before we can stop any epidemic, we first have to recognize the magnitude of the disease. HIV is still a threat across the United States. And even though there are treatments to help people with HIV live longer than ever before, AIDS is still a significant health issue. Surprised?
Here are some other surprising facts:
I personally took this picture of Elton John live on stage leaning over his piano during one of his final sold out performances at Caesars Palace here in Las Vegas. I’ll leave the story as to why I was standing on stage with Elton in the middle of one of his concerts for another day.
However, what I wanted to show you is a side of Elton John that most people never get to see. We all know him as the crazy, over the top hit maker. But few know him as I do. He is kind, generous, caring, compassionate and one of the most sincere people I have ever met. Yes, he is a “Diva” and has his moments which are legendary. But when he believes in something or someone, you will never find a greater friend.
What you are about to read is profound. A personal letter from Elton written to a young boy long gone that has touched the lives of millions. Including my own. Elton has said that it was Ryan White who turned his own life around.
Scientists at the University of Tokyo have shown that the spice-based compound, linalool reduces the effects of stress on the immune system.
Linalool is a fragrant compound found in several plants including the spices, sweet basil, thyme, cinnamon, bay leaf and fruits such as citrus and mangoes. For many years it has been used extensively in aromatherapy essential oils and as a fragrance for soaps, shampoos and other toiletries.
Linalool is well known as one of the most important calming fragrances and, until this research was published, was thought to act only on the nervous system. However, writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Akio Nakamura and his colleagues demonstrate that its action extends beyond the brain to the immune system itself.
In a controlled study the researchers exposed a treatment group of stressed rats to linalool fragrance. At the end of the two hour stress period they measured the white blood cell count, hormone levels and gene activation levels of both the treated and control groups.
The blood tests following the experiment showed that stress hormone levels in both the control and treatment groups were significantly raised at the end of the two hour stress period.
Today’s blog post contains Part 1 of a very dramatic interview with Steven Diamond, magician, entertainer, speaker, and author who graciously shared his life story with us.
Richard Zwolinski (RZ): Hi, Steven. Can you start by telling us a bit about your background?
Steven Diamond (SD): I was born on October 1, 1968 into a very dysfunctional American family in Portsmouth Virginia, though I didn’t know it at the time. It wouldn’t be until decades later that the true depth of the scars left on my life would be revealed.
All of the males on my mother’s side of the family were abusive, raging alcoholics, and I hardly knew my father’s side. My mother was consumed by mental illness and sought refuge in her Southern Baptist religion, where she would learn to hide.
Do you have a glass of wine each evening to unwind??
Don’t worry not everybody who uses alcohol or even drugs becomes an addict or an alcoholic.
Many addiction experts agree: you have to have a specific genetic predisposition to become an addict.
However, stress can lead people to try substances that they otherwise wouldn?t. Many times people (with and without genetic predispositions for addiction), first pick up a drink or try a drug in response to a stressor. However, some people can drink frequently or even use some drugs and stop whenever they want! That’s because an addiction, including alcoholism, is not acquired according to most medical evidence you simply can’t catch alcoholism or addiction unless you have that genetic code.
According to current official descriptions, substance abuse is indicated by daily or weekly abuse (or other episodic abuse), without signs of changing tolerance or marked withdrawal symptoms. Addiction is indicated by having signs including increasing or decreasing tolerance to the substance as well as marked withdrawal symptoms.*
So how can you tell if stress might be leading you to abuse chemical substances and placing you on the path towards becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs? If you find yourself frequently or regularly:
Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On (Without Wasting Time or Money), and Therapy Soup. He is a nationally and internationally licensed psychotherapist and anxiety and addiction specialist with over 25 years experience. He is writing patient rights and therapist ethics regulations for New York State, serves on the Ethics Committee of the NY Licensed Mental Health Counselors Association, and volunteers with at-risk youth. Richard encourages everyone to stay emotionally, physically, and spiritually aware and healthy so they can live the happy, productive, meaningful lives they were meant to live.
Richard is our newest guest blogger and it’s with GREAT pleasure that I introduce to you someone I feel has so much to offer…
Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC
What many of us have known for years – that one of the causes of depression and anxiety is a poor quality diet – has now been scientifically proven.
Mediterranean diet beats depression
At least three scientific studies over the past year have shown that a good, so called “traditional” diet can REDUCE the risk of depression by up to 30%. On the other hand those who eat a “westernized” diet INCREASE their risk of depression by up to 50%.
These research papers show that individuals who follow a Mediterranean type diet have far lower incidences of depression than those who eat a typical western style diet.
A Mediterranean diet typically consists of whole grains, pulses, fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, seafood and low levels of saturated fats.
A typical western diet, on the other hand, consists primarily of refined carbohydrates, sugar, high levels of animal-based saturated fats and very few fruit and vegetables.
A couple of years ago I started writing my third book on a health related topic. While carrying out research for the book, numerous references to scientific studies showing how important spices are in helping to prevent and treat a variety of diseases, kept turning up.The closer I looked into this subject the more I discovered how much research was being done into the therapeutic and preventive properties of spices.
That warm feeling you get after you have eaten a very spicy meal is not only a result of the heating effects of chilies and other spices. Apart from their delicious flavors and metabolism-boosting effects, all spices have extremely valuable health enhancing properties.
What has this got to do with stress you may ask?
December 1st, is “World AIDS Day”.
Become aware. Because if you are sexually active at all, it CAN happen to you. Before we can stop any epidemic, we first have to recognize the magnitude of the disease. HIV is still a threat across the United States. And even though there are treatments to help people with HIV live longer than ever before, AIDS is still a significant health issue. Surprised?
Here are some other surprising facts:
Dr. Tess Hightower is a highly trained relationship therapist, experienced in assessing, diagnosing and treating individuals and couples. In working together she helps them to achieve more satisfying relationships, be they social friendships…