May 18, 2017

Safe Solutions for 6 Common Beach Body Concerns

Summer is approaching! It’s the time of year met with mixed emotions. On one hand you’re excited for the warmer weather, open toe shoes and weekends at the beach or pool. On the other hand you dread revealing the stubborn cellulite, dull skin, stretch marks, scarring from breakouts on the chest shoulders or back not to mention coarse hairs.

Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20, offers some insights and tips on these top 6 beach body concerns.

  1. My skin is so pale!

It’s been way too long since you have seen a glimmer of sunshine and realize how your skin matches the white of your office walls. You want to avoid tanning beds and load up on sunscreen. “Opt for a bronzing cream or spray tan instead of tanning beds. Many of the women who come to me for facial procedures including Botox, fillers and laser treatments could have slowed down the aging process by being vigilant about sun protection and avoiding tanning beds,” cautions Dr. Brandow.

  1. I have acne scarring on my shoulders and chest.

The quickest and most permanent way to remove these infuriating scars is with a laser. “Lasers are a very efficient way to remove scars and improve over all skin texture with minimal side effects. Patients are pleased with the fast results, which can be seen after the first treatment with optimal results by end of a treatment cycle based on your own needs,” explains Dr. Brandow.

  1. I exercise but there still that little bit of tummy flab.

Stubborn tummy flab won’t disappear even with all of that exercising and dieting. Some people who have had children even consider a full tummy tuck. “It is very important to find a doctor who understands all options and can recommend one that will address your specific concern. Some pricey non-invasive body contouring procedures will offer a temporary result making it necessary to repeat them,” advises Dr. Brandow whose specialty is the Jersey Shore Tummy Tuck given his practice’s proximity to the Jersey Shore.

  1. Cellulite.

There is no easy way to remove cellulite; you are either using a coffee scrub or going in to see the doctor for a laser procedure. Dr. Brandow recommends the professional treatment called Smartlipo, which is a small laser that goes into the skin and melts the fat away. Smartlipo is a less invasive procedure than liposuction, is costly and time consuming but the results can last up to five years.

  1. Stretch Marks.

An inevitable result of weight fluctuation, are stretch marks.

Coolbeam laser is a new hit to eliminate stretch marks thanks to Kim Kardashian, who posted on her Snapchat about the procedure. Dr. Brandow explains, “lasers are far less invasive than a surgical procedure, which has a much longer recovery time.” Another option for stretch marks that Dr. Brandow recently spoke of on a recent TV segment is using PRP (platelet rich plasma), which involves pricking the scarred region with a special roller instrument then using the body’s own plasma to stimulate healing and collagen regrowth. “This is the same thing as the ‘Vampire facial’ but done on stretch marks. Results are incredibly impressive,” he says.

  1. Unwanted body hair.

Hair removal is always a beach season battle. For a more effective long-term hair removal option, Dr. Brandow highly recommends investing in laser hair removal. “Laser hair removal is the most permanent way to remove unwanted body hair. It takes ups to 6-12 treatments offering the best results.” Waxing is a popular option, which can last up to 3-6 weeks depending on how your hair grows. It is the quickest and long-lasting hair removal technique that doesn’t require any laser and it can be done at home.

Dr. Brandow also reminds people to check with their dermatologist for an annual skin screening before exposing themselves to another season of sunshine.

About Dr. Kirk Brandow

Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery is a plastic surgeon with 2 locations in the Philadelphia metro area and a 3rd one at the jersey shore. Named a “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery by Philadelphia Magazine as well as nationally recognized for one of America’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” of this decade, Dr. Brandow is a trusted expert who has developed many innovative, minimally invasive procedures for the face, body and skin. He has been featured on local, national and international television programs including 20/20, CNN’s Headline News, Good Morning America.

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May 17, 2017

10 WAYS STRESS IS WRITTEN ALL OVER YOUR FACE

www.comprehendthemind.com

 

FROM THE PROS: According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez Psy. D, Colombia University Professor and Founder of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services in New York City; stress is written all over our face and can result in looking years older when stressed for prolonged periods of time.

 

Dr. Hafeez whose expertise is in understanding neural pathways as they respond to anxiety, stress and trauma explains that how we think directly impacts how we age and how youthful we appear. The routine stressors in our lives really impact how fast or slow we age. When stressed, we see it in our skin tone, texture, elasticity, and over all glow.

 

“When someone is under stress they can appear up to 5 years older, 10 years if they don’t manage stress or make changes to their lives. Stressful relationships and careers age people. I have seen patients end relationships or get new jobs and look 10 years younger within days.  People are spending money on creams, facials and cosmetic procedures but if the stress is still there it will still show in their face,” offers Dr. Hafeez.

 

Here are Ways Stress is Written All Over Your Face

 

  1. You have dark circles. Stress results in blood flow to main organs plus capillaries under eyes are fragile and break under stress leaving your face looking sallow and tired. Dark circles seem more apparent.
  2. Mini-Menopause

The jury is still out on exactly how or if this is possible, but it appears that the constant flow of cortisol that goes along with chronic stress causes a dip in estrogen, one that mimics, on a smaller scale, the dip that occurs during menopause. Less estrogen means less collagen and less moisture. So, while estrogen levels may not drop enough to shut down your period, stress may make them dip enough to make your skin look dull and dry.

  1. You notice more wrinkles. Life’s stress due to divorce, death of loved one, job-loss, financial concerns; impacts our brain chemistry. When we feel sad or anxious, are crying or not sleeping well it’s common to see deeper lines around the middle of the eyes, forehead, under eye area and mouth.
  2. You itch, flake and even have hives.  Stress leads to inflammation which may lead to rashes, rosacea, eczema flare ups and changes in skin moisture.
  3. People ask if you’re feeling okay. When the Starbucks barista or guy at the dry cleaners asks if you’re feeling okay, pay attention. These people may not know the details of your life but they know how you look because they see you quickly.

 

  1. Under-Eye BagsTomorrow’sto-do list can weigh on your mind, keeping you from getting enough beauty sleep. This can cause fluid to pool below your lower eyelid area, and what you end up with is a puffy mess in the a.m. Stomach sleepers, bad news: You can expect the puffiness of your under-eye bags to be even worse because of gravity.

 

  1. Increased jaw size– Heavy jaw

Grinding teeth and clenching of the jaw are common symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, these habits can cause the jaw muscles to work overtime. This can result not only in damaged teeth, but also a heavier than usual jawline, as the muscles become larger with the grinding action.

 

8.Hair Loss

Stress can cause sudden hair loss by literally flipping the switch on the hair follicle’s growth stage from an active to a resting phase. Once the follicle enters this resting phase prematurely, it stays there for about three months, after which time a large amount of hair will be shed. When you experience an overall shedding of hair, you must cast back a few months to find the trigger. Rest assured that in most women, this hair will grow back.

 

  1. Adult Acne

Acne isn’t just for hormonally crazed teenagers. Many adults can’t seem to outgrow it because of stress hormones. What makes it worse is that tense people often can’t leave pimples alone. Squeezing, poking and picking at them becomes an almost obsessive way to release tension, but it also makes breakouts worse, exacerbating the inflammatory response, and you’re left feeling a bit more stressed. So no picking

 

  1. Hormonal Mood Swings

There is a lot of interaction between hormone physiology and mood that works both ways. Our mood can impact our physiology, and our physiology can influence the balance of our hormones. If stress can sit at the top of a cascade of events that lead to undesirable hormonal changes in the body (like those that trigger insomnia, insatiable hunger and weight gain, and collagen breakdown), then what we want to do is find ways to gain the upper hand on our stress level and ensure that we keep all those hormones in check.

 

 

According to Dr. Hafeez, “The good news is that we can get to the root cause of our stress and manage it. When you notice changes in your facial appearance take inventory of what is going on in your life and what may be stressing you out. Simple things like sitting quietly for 10 minutes focusing on breathing, writing in a journal, exercising or taking a walk outside, reading, baking, painting, listening to music and reaching for an activity that takes focus off the stress is helpful. If you find yourself reverting back to the stressful issue consider therapy. Clearly there is a connection between how we look and how we feel and think.”

 

 

About Dr. SanamHafeez: 

Dr. Hafeez  is available to speak to media on a plethora of topics that connect stress, anxiety and depression and its negative impact on our wellbeing and physical appearance. She provides neuropsychological educational and developmental evaluations in her practice.  She also works with children and adults who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert and expert witness by providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts.

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December 27, 2016

VERY, VERY SUPRISING USES FOR BOTOX THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH FOREHEAD WRINKLES

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When most people think of Botox the first thing that usually comes to mind is wrinkle reduction. Indeed, Botox is the world’s most popular treatment for eradicating wrinkles and fine lines.  The toxin is specifically FDA approved for treating frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) and lines around the eyes (crow’s feet). In addition to being the gold standard for wrinkle reduction, Botox can also be used to treat a variety of issues, both cosmetic and non-cosmetic. Dr. John Zannis is a New Bern, North Carolina board certified plastic surgeon. He provides a list of conditions that Botox has been used to treat.

Acne

Botox can curb oil production, reducing breakouts. “To totally treat acne, you’d need to use doses of Botox so large they’d prevent you from constricting your facial muscles,” says Dr. Zannis. “But tiny amounts of Botox injected very superficially help reduce oil production, and you can still have facial expressions.” Though he’d recommend it for almost any patient struggling with acne, Zannis would likely advise trying another dermatologist-prescribed treatment, like spironolactone or birth control pills, first. And though it can technically be used to quell oil production anywhere on the face, he cautions against using it all over because of potential effects on muscular activity (a.k.a. frozen face). The most effective and common area for using Botox to curb oil production, he says, is the forehead.

Gummy smile (not FDA approved)

A “gummy” smile, one that’s characterized by a smile that shows too much of the gums, usually results from “excessive lip elevation” when the upper lip rises too far above the upper teeth when smiling. Injecting Botox into the upper lip weakens the upper lip’s retractor muscles so that it won’t raise as high and your smile will seem better-balanced. It can be done in about five minutes. Usually lasts for four to six months. Costs range from $200-$300.  Dr. Zannis says, “This technique is not for the novice Botox injector. Too much, and your lip won’t raise enough, too little and you will need more, or if injected asymmetrically, you might have a funny asymmetrical smile.”

Urinary incontinence.

Overactive bladder problems affect up to 20% of women over 40. For severe cases where medications do not provide complete relief, Botox injections into the bladder wall may provide relief lasting about 6 months.

Psoriasis
Psoriasis is uncomfortable, itchy, and not exactly easy on the eyes. Luckily, this flaky skin condition could be a thing of the past thanks to Botox. Though psoriasis is technically incurable, Botox minimizes the activity of inflammatory cells that bring on outbreaks.

Excessive Sweating

For those who suffer from excessive sweating, however, summer isn’t always the sunniest time of the year. Thankfully, Botox could be a saving grace for those attempting to manage this condition, which is officially known as axillary hyperhidrosis. Studies show that just a handful of injections can reduce underarm sweat for up to TWO years. Um, where do we sign up?

Breast Lift
Are your breasts in need of a pick-me-up? Instead of going under the knife and getting permanent augmentation, some experts have suggested a quick and easy Botox lift.  Dr. Zannis says that, “Those looking for a modest improvement are said to be able to temporarily plump their assets thanks to injections into the pectoralis minor chest muscle.”

Depression

The benefits of Botox® may be more than skin deep; two recent studies suggest that it may help alleviate the symptoms of depression. In a study published in the May 2014 issue of the Journal of Psychiatric Research, more than half of participants who had moderate-to-severe depression showed a substantial improvement in depressive symptoms following one injection of Botox® between the brows. This improvement lasts longer than the cosmetic effects, suggesting that the effect may be more than just feeling better about your appearance. Botox® is not approved to treat depression.

Teeth Grinding

Injections of Botox® were used to control involuntary muscle tension and spasms long before it became the go-to wrinkle buster. Dr. Zannis says that, “these neurotoxin injections may weaken the chewing muscles enough to reduce bruxism (teeth grinding) without affecting your ability to chew, talk and smile. Results last about four months. Botox® is not yet approved to treat bruxism.”

Migraine Headache

Botox® is approved by the FDA to treat chronic migraine headaches in adults who have 15 or more headache-days a month, each lasting four hours or more. Studies that led to this indication show that BOTOX®® prevents up to nine headache-days a month (vs seven for dummy injections). Other research hints that the neurotoxin may also help with low cerebrospinal fluid headaches and cluster or “suicide” headaches.

 Brow Boost

Much like lines form over time, your brow may also drop or droop. Botox cosmetic treatments can also be used to improve the appearance of the brow. Dr. Zannis explains that, “the treatment essentially freezes the sagging muscles in place and gives the brow more stability. Lifting the brows in this way leaves you with a less tired and younger, fresher appearance.”

Jaw Reduction (off label use)

Botox can be used to perform jaw reduction (commonly called jaw line softening). Injecting Botox into the masseter muscle (the primary muscle used in chewing actions) reduces its overall size; transforming an overly square and masculine appearing jawline into a more feminine oval or heart shape. 

Dr. John Zannis is a New Bern, North Carolina board-certified plastic surgeon and best selling author. A graduate of Stanford University and The University of Cincinnati Medical College, he received his formal training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina under the guidance of world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Louis Argenta. During this time, he performed over 5,000 surgical procedures and covered all aspects of plastic surgery including cosmetic surgery of the face and body, complex reconstructive procedures of face and body, cleft lip and palate surgery, hand surgery, facial and jaw fracture repair, and reconstruction following massive weight loss. He blends his interests and studies of classical art and symmetry to his surgery practices. Connect with him via twitter @JohnZannisMD or his website www.zannisplasticsurgery.com  

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December 13, 2016

Expert Tips: Avoiding Uber Scams This Holiday Season

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Office parties, family gatherings, special get-togethers with friends, and New Year’s Eve galas—‘tis the season of celebrations galore! It’s that time of year when the festivities, fun, and drinks flow freely. So RSVP and plan for a safe and sound ride home. With a tap of your smart phone, an Uber driver will get you from door-to-door safely. Uber is a transportation network in hundreds of cities worldwide that allows users to download an app, connect with a driver near them, and get a ride to their desired destination. For many people, Uber has become an alternative to taxi services. But be aware, some recent reports have warned of complaints ranging from non-Uber drivers picking up passengers and price hikes during peak times. Below, Justin Lavelle of PeopleLooker provides a few smart tips to help keep you safe and protected on your ride home:
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Staying on Top of Common Uber Scams This Holiday Season

  • Always Use the Uber App. Remember there is no human interaction with Uber. Uber rides can only be requested through the Uber app, so never accept street solicitations from those claiming to be from Uber. The app is free and easy to download on your smart phone. If someone approaches you at an airport restaurant, or other location claiming to be Uber, tell them you’ve already reserved your ride.
  • Upfront Pricing and Unauthorized Charges. Uber uses something called “Upfront Pricing” that estimates the cost of your trip upfront and charges you for that amount. In many instances, the actual trip price and upfront price can be off by quite a bit and Uber pockets the overage. If you feel the difference is excessive, contact Uber support straight away. Also, Uber passengers have found additional charges to their account for trips they didn’t take. Always double check the amount charged to your credit card to confirm the amount is correct and to make sure the trips are valid.
  • Watch Out For Surge Pricing. Price increases often take place during major events like concerts, known closing times of bars and nightclubs, and holidays. While a quick ride at 2:00 on a Mondayafternoon might seem quite reasonable, if you try the same distance during a popular event, it’s very likely that you’ll end up paying several times the standard rate. Pay attention when reserving the ride or you may not even find out about the price increase until you receive your credit/debit card statement.
  • Wait for Your Driver Inside. Uber recommends that all passengers wait indoors in a safe spot until the driver arrives. The app offers a notification of the driver’s arrival. This feature helps keep you safe and provides an extra layer of protection against being solicited by a non-Uber driver.
  • Confirm Your Driver. Before getting into any car, always check that it is the correct car by confirming your driver’s car model, license plate, and name via the Uber app.
  • Choose Backseat Riding. If you’re riding solo, opt to sit in the backseat. This ensures you have the choice of exiting either side of the car to avoid moving traffic. It will also give you some space from the driver.
  • Monitor Your Trip. While enroute to your destination, monitor the trip in your app and share your trip details with friends and family so they know where you are and when you’ve arrived safely to your destination.
  • Be Leary If Your Driver Tells You That He Accepts Credit Cards Or Cash. With Uber, you never need to carry cash. Fares are charged to your payment information that’s on file.
  • Do Not Share Personal Information. Do not share your personal information with your driver, such as telephone number or personal information. There is no reason the driver would need this information.
  • File a Complaint for Unsatisfactory Service. If you felt your trip was unsatisfactory due to such things as a rude driver, threatening behavior, or reckless driving, contact Uber support and file a complaint. If you have a valid grievance, they will usually give you a ride credit as a compensation within 24 hours.
  • An Additional Word Of Advice. Don’t disregard security precautions when creating and using online accounts and apps. For example, scammers might take pricey Uber rides in various locations that are then charged to your Uber account. In some cases, they even might invent fake Uber driver­ accounts and charge nonexistent rides—called ghost rides—to your account.
Credit for Justin Lavelle of PeopleLooker

Justin Lavelle is Communications Director at PeopleLooker.com (https://www.peoplelooker.com). PeopleLooker is the fast, affordable, and easy way to access public records and search for people. Find out ages, marital status, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, criminal records, and more. PeopleLooker is a popular tool for online daters who use the app to check the background of potential dates.

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November 9, 2016

Post Election Stress Disorder (P.E.S.D) 5 Signs You Have It and What to Do

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Regardless of whom you voted for in the 2016 Presidential election, there is one thing we all can agree on. It was stressful! For the past year people have been heated on social media, blocking and un-friending those on “the other side.” Families have been arguing. Spouses have been at odds. Now that the election is over, one side will feel the stress associated with the loss. We spoke with Dr. Sanam Hafeez, NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, who shares the signs of Post Election Stress Disorder and what to do about it.

  1. Your stomach is in knots!

According to Dr. Hafeez, stressing out about the future of our country can certainly manifest in physical discomfort. When you ruminate about the worst-case scenario it can lead to stomach tension, nausea and lack of appetite. She advises to take a break from news coverage and discussing the election results. “You want to be informed but YOU want to be in control of the news you are seeking out. Select one media outlet that you want to get your news from. Check in the morning and then focus on what you have to do that day.”

  1. You can’t focus!

Your mind wanders and you keep worrying about the next 4 years of your life. These wandering thoughts lead to a lack of focus. Dr. Hafeez explains that when we are fixated on a thought and are in a state of worry, it is difficult to give full attention to anything else. Her advice, “go for a 30 minute walk, exercise, meditate by lying still focusing on your breath, color in a coloring book or get a ball and have a catch. You want to choose tasks that are repetitive, pleasurable, calming and don’t require a lot of focus.”

  1. You can’t sleep!

You’re tossing and turning and can’t seem to get to that deep level of sleep. “This is a true sign of anxiety and stress,” flags Dr. Hafeez. Sleep is when our bodies turn over cells, fight off illness and are fully relaxed. When stress disturbs sleep for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to a slew of illnesses including, depression and mental illness, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes.  “Avoid watching the news before bed as it can evoke worry and negative thoughts. Get into the practice of writing down all the things you appreciated that day so you calm down and drift off on a positive note.”

  1. You’re snippy with everyone!

You feel on edge and angry. Anything can set you off. Your cell phone doesn’t work and you throw it across the room. You’re screaming in traffic. You’re irritable at work and prefer the door to your office closed so you can avoid everyone. Dr. Hafeez explains that it is normal to have a short fuse when stressed. Unfortunately the people we love the most get the fallout from our stress. “Put yourself in a ‘time out.’ Notice what is setting you off and avoid it for a day or two. Book a spa massage, take a long bath, pamper yourself, cash in on some well needed ‘me time.’ Within hours your mood will shift, “offers Dr. Hafeez.

  1. You’re not in the mood for love.

When stressed it’s common for sexual desire to wane. When your mind is on other things the last thing you want to do is get romantic. According to Dr. Hafeez starting off with sensual touch is calming. “Simply being in the bed holding hands breathing for 2 minutes can work wonders. Don’t rule out sex, ease into it. Avoiding sex only adds another thing to be stressed about and sex is a stress reliever. You need those feel good brain chemicals to beat the stress,” she reminds us.

So try not to be bummed out and stressed out if your candidate didn’t nab the presidency. Things could be far worse. YOU could be President of the United States. Now THAT is something to be stressed about.

About the doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and The Doctors.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or at www.comprehendthemind.com

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November 3, 2016

A BEAUTIFUL MIND: Mental Workouts To Strengthen Your Brain

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Have you ever walked into a room and forgot what you went in there for? Perhaps you lost your train of thought mid conversation after being distracted by a noise. Maybe you forgot a name or a number or to buy milk. We’re human! We forget things. However, the more we multitask, the less we focus and the verdict is out on how this affects our brains long term.

So how do we strengthen our brains? Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD a New York City based licensed neuropsychologist and teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College, shares how we can exercise our minds and master our memory. 

How do brain activities play a role in strengthening the brain?

Dr. Hafeez explains that just like physical exercise, brain exercises strengthen and keep the mind agile and active. “You have a cognitive reserve, a finite amount of memory, problem solving and visual motor even verbal reasoning skills that declines over time. The more you engage your brain, the longer you can hold on to your cognitive reserve,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

What are some brain-boosting activities someone could do before work?

There are a lot of activities one can do to boost your brain. Research shows that any stimulating activity will “boost” circulation and activate areas of the brain. According to Dr. Hafeez things like writing with your left hand, trying to remember phone numbers, doing mental math calculations, the daily crossword, or looking up a new word in the dictionary on a daily basis, helps your mind stretch in ways you can’t see but certainly feel. “The frustration that you feel when doing something that’s mentally taxing is when you know your brain is getting a workout. It’s good for you,” she says.

How do brain-boosting exercises help when it comes to work life?

There are a lot of websites and computer generated programs that offer memory training and visual spatial exercises. Dr. Hafeez suggests looking for puzzles, numerical sequences, and recall activities that can help boost processing speed, attention and memory. Just like your body, the more you do, the more your brain can stretch and accommodate.

How does doing these exercises before work enhance our performance?

“Doing something stimulating and challenging, before work, gets your brain geared up for the day. If you run two miles in the morning, walking seems like a stroll. Similarly, if you perform math calculations as you’re driving or insist on spelling words backwards for the fun of it will make the stuff you do at work every day seem like a breeze. It’ll make you more aware and vigilant not to mention focused and almost raring to keep moving from one task to the next,” Dr. Hafeez explains.

Can it enhance our performance in other areas of our lives? If so, which areas and why/how?

Mental health practitioners agree that over time, brain boosters such as learning a new language, a sport, a musical instrument, or painting, sewing, arts and crafts, boost the brain in bigger, more long-term ways. “It may even reduce or delay the onset on Alzheimer’s and other mental decline, again by strengthening the cognitive reserve. Brain exercises are good for one’s overall daily health and may actually protect one from more serious ailments. Daily smaller brain boosters can help with mental agility, daily memory, an active work and even social life, by helping increase attention, focus and creative, problem solving skills,” adds Dr. Hafeez.

About Dr. Sanam Hafeez:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is an NYC based licensed neuropsychologist. She is a teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and clinical director of the Comprehend the Mind Institutes in Manhattan and Queens. She was a long time child school psychologist. She specializes in providing neuropsychological, educational and developmental evaluations to both adults and children in her practice.  She works with individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert for various news outlets and programs, and as an expert witness providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts. Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or at www.comprehendthemind.com

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November 2, 2016

4 Ways Your Cellphone Might Be Making You Ugly

Woman sending a text message on her mobile phone

Woman sending a text message on her mobile phone

Our cellphones have become so vital to our daily lives. Research has shown that the average person checks their phone 85 times a day and that we spend a total of five hours using our cellphones to browse the web or use apps. For many, our smartphone is the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we check at bedtime. Although quick glances at our phone may seem harmless, it can in fact be affecting us physically, mentally and emotionally. We caught up with some experts who help explain the ugly side of excessive cellphones use.

  1. Ugly posture.

When we look down at our cellphones we are straining our necks and slouching our shoulders. Doing this can cause some serious damage to our overall posture even leading us to lose up to an inch to an inch and a half of height. “I see up to 10 patients a week complaining of severe neck and shoulder pain. When asked how often they use their phones the typical response is all the time. When pain becomes chronic and severe, surgery has to be considered,” explains Dr. Richard Samperisi, CoFounder of Campus Chiropractic Center at Florida International University & Functional Medicine Practitioner.

  1. Ugly eye strain, bags and wrinkles.

Not only can staring at your phone all day cause serious neck and shoulder pain, the extreme use of our phones is leading to various eye conditions such as blurred vision, eye strain, headaches and dry eyes as well as to a condition they like to call “tech neck.” For those concerned with cosmetics and eye appearance constant squinting leads to wrinkles and under eye bags. New Bern, North Carolina plastic surgeon Dr. John Zannis explains that a combination of surgical and non-surgical procedures that address under eye bags, drooping and sagging usually range from 5 – $10,000 with a recovery time of up to 2 weeks. He’s also seen a rise in complaints about neck lines and wrinkling skin attributed to excessive cell phone use.

  1. Ugly skin.

Are you constantly struggling with breakouts around your cheeks or chin? Instead of blaming hormones, junk food or a bad skincare routine consider looking at the device in your hand. “Our cellphones are filled with bacteria. We are continuously touching them with dirty hands, throwing them in our bags, stuffing them in our pockets or putting them on counter tops. Then without even thinking twice we put our phones right up to our ears where all of that bacterium from those dirty areas wreak havoc on our face,” offers Board Certified Dermatologist Dr. Kaly Papantoniou.  She suggests frequently wiping the phone screen and using a face wash with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid to rid bacteria from building up.

  1. Ugly Manners

We see people at restaurants who are more focused on snapping a pic of their meal than enjoying each other’s company. Our persistent use of our cellphones can be affecting our relationships with the people and world around us. “When we focus more on our digital lives rather than the individuals we are with; we are not only giving off the impression that we do not care about what they have to say, we are also letting valuable and meaningful moments pass us by,” explains Dr. Sanam Hafeez a New York City based neuropsychologist and teaching faculty at Columbia University. She suggests putting the phone down and even going cell free twice a week.

Give it a try and see how cutting down on your phone use can also cut down on the ugly.

About the doctors:

Dr. Richard J. Samperisi, DC, of Miami, Florida, is a New York Native who completed his Doctoral studies at Life University in Atlanta, Georgia. His post-doctoral education focuses on functional medicine and clinical nutrition.

Dr. John Zannis is a New Bern, North Carolina board-certified plastic surgeon and best selling author. A graduate of Stanford University and The University of Cincinnati Medical College, he received his formal training in General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Connect with him via twitter @JohnZannisMD or his website www.zannisplasticsurgery.com

Dr. Kaleroy (Kally) Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology.  She is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou via twitter @DrPapantoniou or her website www.DrPapantoniou.com

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or at www.comprehendthemind.com

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November 1, 2016

7 Not So Junky Junk Foods to Grab on the Go

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Road trips, gas stops, no time for lunch; we’ve all found ourselves at the convenience store for a fast bite on the go. While a bag of chips or chocolate bar may be an option we later regret; there are fast bites that can actually offer some health benefits. Dr. Christopher Calapai a board certified expert in osteopathic medicine specializing in longevity offers some junk food options to consider the next time there’s no time for an actual meal.

  1. Blue M&M’s and Blue Gatorade

Don’t get the blues about all food dyes. From candy to sports drinks, the unnatural colors of foods today can make you cringe at the thought of what’s making them colored. But, not all colored dyes are as bad as you may think. Research done by scientists at the University of Rochester found that Brilliant Blue G (BBG), found in blue M & M’s and blue Gatorade, could help reduce damage from spine injuries. When BBG was injected into lab rats with spinal cord injuries, it sped up their recovery time and ability to walk.

  1. Cheeze Whiz?? No way!!

Fat isn’t always a bad word.  The FDA has stated that not only are all trans fats not bad, some are actually good for you. Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs), although high in calories can help fight cancer, weight gain, diabetes and arthritis. It’s hard to believe, but CLAs are found in Cheese Whiz.

  1. Pork Rinds

Just the words pork rinds sound like instant heart attack. However did you know they are a fantastic source of protein? A one-ounce serving of this fried snack has seventeen grams of protein, seven times the amount of found in a serving of potato chips. Plus, 43% of the fat found in pork rinds come from oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil.

  1. Beer

Some studies have found that beer can actually help increase bone mineral density because it contains silicon, making bones stronger and less likely to fracture. A Harvard University study found that beer could prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. Italian researchers found that beer can raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body. Opt for a light beer with fewer calories to avoid that full feeling.

  1. Graham Crackers

They are the next best things to cookies if you’re trying to keep your health in mind. Graham crackers contain much less sugar than regular cookies and are still sweet enough to satisfy a craving. Plus, they are made with flour that undergoes a special milling process, preserving more of the whole wheat than in usual milling.

  1. Popcorn

This is a snack that gets two thumbs up. Popcorn is packed with fiber and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help to protect us from heart disease and certain cancers. Surprisingly, popcorn has more iron than eggs and spinach! It is also gluten-free, which makes it an option for those with Celiac Disease and other gluten allergies. Lastly, popcorn is mostly air. This means it fills you up, helping to stave off hunger cravings.

  1. Beef Jerky

Forget about the leather-tasting jerky of years past, today’s gourmet jerky is delicious and can be healthy. Beef Jerky, just like its non-dried version of meat, is high in protein, iron and zinc. It, also, contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Be sure to look for natural beef jerky as the newer gourmet styles that are packed with flavor and free of nitrates.

About the Doctor:

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s. He has worked with Mike TysonMickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham’s, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

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October 31, 2016

Morning, Afternoon, and Night… Which Foods Will Do You Right?

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From the Pros: 

Before you grab that morning cup of coffee on an empty stomach, that lunchtime slice of pizza, or indulge in a steak dinner or ice cream while watching TV, understand that what you eat and when you eat it can lead to stomach upset. It can also trigger more severe issues in your gut. On the flip side, there are some foods that when eaten at certain times of day may soothe already existing stomach issues or may even prevent stomach ailments from occurring down the line. We spoke with Dr. Gina Sam Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York who offers insights on what and when to eat certain foods for a healthy gut.

Best Bets for Morning

 Yogurt

It’s important to start the day with a healthy breakfast that factors in stomach health. Probiotics found in Greek yogurt is ideal as it regulates the growth of harmful bacteria that grown in the digestive tract. Probiotics also keep colon lining healthy as it breaks through gastric acid and gets to the colon. In 2015 a study published in the The Korean Journal of Gastroenterology showed that yogurt might improve intestinal function for those with inflammatory bowel disease. Those who are lactose intolerant can enjoy lactose free yogurt.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a great bet for breakfast and can be topped with blueberries another gut friendly food. Oatmeal doesn’t cause acid reflux. It soothes any morning stomach upset and regulates bowel movements.  

Fresh Fruit 

Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon are great options for those sensitive to reflux. Bananas help restore potassium, electrolytes and normal bowel function, especially if you have diarrhea. Bananas are also high in fiber, which is great for digestion.

The Lunchtime Lowdown

Salads

Eating leafy greens daily is a great for digestion. Lunchtime salads that include grilled salmon; chicken or turkey won’t cause reflux and will be easily digestible throughout the afternoon. If you are sensitive to acid then you will want to avoid onions or tomatoes and for some even the seeds in cucumbers can trigger a bout of stomach cramping. Be careful with lemon juice and vinegar in salad dressings, which can promote reflux. Try adding fennel with arugula and baby spinach along with parsley. Parsley is known to help digestion and settles the stomach.

Kimchi

This delicious Korean coleslaw is made primarily with cabbage, which promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon. Also cabbage helps to eliminate waste regulating bowl movements. Home made sauerkraut is also a delicious option but be mindful if you are sensitive to spicy foods. This is why it is best to make your own so you can regulate the amount of spice.

Mediterranean Plates

Lunchtime is optimal for grilled veggies, legumes such as lentils with olive oil along with grilled fish or chicken. Preparing a plate of various whole grains, cauliflower, carrots, figs and pears are all great sources of fiber for the mid day.

A Digestible Dinner

You really want to focus on ease of digestion at dinnertime. Foods that are high fat

can overwhelm the stomach, resulting in acid reflux and heartburn. Steatorrhea or pale colored stool is excess fat in the feces. People with IBS fare better when they avoid high fat foods. That said here are some options for a healthy gut.

 

Grilled Fish

Cold-water fish such as salmon, halibut, or tuna when grilled in olive oil are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which can address any inflammation in the digestive tract. According to a 2014 study featured in the World Journal of Clinical Cases, omega-3’s were sites as being beneficial to those with ulcerative colitis.

Grilled Chicken with Couscous or Brown Rice

Chicken another lean meat that offers protein and is easy to digest goes great with couscous or brown rice especially if you tend to get acid reflux after late meals. Another option for a side dish is guacamole or avocado slices with lime. Artichokes also feed the good bacteria in your gut as does asparagus and lentils.

Stomach Friendly Snacking

When it comes to snacking there are several options you can reach for. Granny smith apples with almond butter, baby carrots and hummus, hallowed out cucumber and cottage cheese, kale and zucchini chips and assorted nuts (not peanuts) are all healthy and good for the gut.

You know your body best. Pay close attention to what agrees with you at varying times of the day and if you notice changes in how you take to certain foods see your doctor.

 

About Dr. Gina Sam: 

Dr. Gina Sam, MD/MPH is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York. She is the Director of the Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center specializing in achalasia, gastroesophageal reflux, functional disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis, and anorectal disorders including pelvic floor dyssnergia and fecal incontinence.

In addition, she does practice General Gastroenterology including colon cancer screening with colonoscopy. She also has a special interest in Women’s Health Issues.
Dr. Sam graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine with her medical degree and her Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in Community Health in 2003. She has established the Mount Sinai Gastrointestinal Motility Center at Mount Sinai Medical Center providing a multidisciplinary approach to motility and Functional gastrointestinal disorders.

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October 9, 2016

What’s Aging You? Pollution? Sugar? Exercise?

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From the pros:

Add Heliocare® Daily Use Antioxidant Formula to your daily routine to help skin protect against the damaging effects of free radicals*

Aging happens to us all. It’s inevitable, but it’s also complicated. First of all there are two different kinds of aging: Intrinsic (think: genetics) and Extrinsic (think: environmental and lifestyle related factors). Unfortunately, extrinsic factors like pollution, sun exposure, excessive alcohol consumption, stress, smoking and even exercise all include elements that produce free radicals.

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A free radical is a molecule that’s missing at least one electron, causing it to be negatively charged. In an effort to remain neutral, free radicals seek electrons from healthy cells. This process leaves healthy cells damaged, and sets off a chain reaction. Unfortunately, free radicals are a part of our everyday life and high levels of free radicals in the body have been linked to a number of medical conditions and premature aging.1

Pollution as an extrinsic factor is specifically concerning. And the ozone may be a primary cause of skin damage related to pollution. As described in a recent NY Times article, “Ozone, the toxic gas formed when UV light hits mono-nitrogen oxides (basically, combustion exhaust), is suspected by some to be one of the primary causes of pollution-related skin damage. (Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs UV rays, and so is protective against skin cancer. But ground-level ozone has been linked to respiratory problems.)”2 The ozone oxidizes lipids in the skin causing damaging inflammation, breaking down of the skin barrier and causing DNA-damaging effects.

Fortunately, you don’t have to permanently stay indoors or give up on your fitness goals; you can help neutralize free radicals by introducing antioxidants into your daily routine.3 The goal is for the number of antioxidants in the body to outnumber free radicals in the body. So in addition to a healthy, antioxidant-rich diet, consider adding a dietary supplement, like Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula to your daily routine to help your skin protect itself from the damaging effects of free radicals.*

Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula is a natural oral dietary supplement with a powerful antioxidant formula. It is derived from the extract of Polypodium leucotomos (PLE), a tropical fern native to Central and South America that has been used for centuries as a remedy for skin related conditions. The antioxidant properties in this supplement help skin protect against the damaging effects of free radicals and help to maintain younger-looking, more resilient skin.*

Heliocare retails for $29.99 and can be purchased at Walgreens locations nationwide. For more information, please visit www.heliocare.com or www.ferndalehealthcare.com.

 

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