Pro Advice
April 27, 2018

5 Ways to Set Your Website Apart from the Competition

Whatever niche or genre your website falls into, whether it is a personal project, or part of a business venture, you will be competing against numerous other websites for precious traffic and attention in the online space. While it is now possible for anyone who wants to make a website to do so, actually mastering the art of web design is a much more difficult task.

Even once you’ve learned the nuts and bolts of it all and you understand how to put the website together, you still need to work out how you are going to make it unique and appealing. If your website looks and feels just like your competitors, how are you going to distinguish yourself? Even if you produce better content than your rivals, if you can’t step out of their shadow in terms of your design, your business will stand out as lacking innovation.

The good news is that by adopting a few relatively simple design principles and practices, you can effortlessly produce websites which manage to maintain the standards that internet users have come to expect, while also being unmistakably unique to you.

Logos and Banners

The easiest and quickest way to mark a webpage as your own is to make sure that your business logo and name are prominently visible. Remember, just because they are prominent does not mean that they have to be huge and take up the whole page. An eye-catching design will draw the eye even if it isn’t the largest thing on display.

Experiment with Layout

There are endless possible ways of laying out your website. Different types of websites will benefit from different design principles and practices, so think carefully about what you want to show the user and how you can most effectively show it.

Produce Unique Content

Note that there is an important difference between good content and unique content. Content that is unique is not necessarily good, and vice-versa. This is why it is important for you to be producing original and unique content that will also be of interest to the target demographic of your website.

For example, if you run a website for history buffs, you could throw in an article about the most famous thieves in history.

Affiliate with Others

Affiliating with another website means that you will both advertise one another’s existence to your respective visitors for your mutual benefit. Affiliate marketing is an excellent way of building up a network of contacts and other, friendly websites. You never know when these people might be able to help you in the future.

Make Sure to Proof!

Proofreading is a critically important step in the writing process. This is essentially where you check your work for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Just as you would when visiting another website, visitors to your site will expect everything to be written correctly and for the work to have been checked for mistakes.

Designing a website is easy, getting it noticed amongst all the competition is the difficult bit. At every stage of your website design and building process, ask yourself how you can put your personal flair on it. Just make sure not to overly complicate your design.

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April 23, 2018

Timothy R. Jennings, M.D, Keeping A Beautiful Mind and Body Health

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Psychiatrist and international speaker Timothy R. Jennings, M.D reminds us that
growing older is inevitable, but many of the afflictions associated with older age, including dementia, disability and increased dependence on others, don’t have to be.

“Aging has a wonderful beauty and we should have respect for that.” Eartha Kitt

Dr. Jennings has some insights. Dr. Jennings prescribes simple, everyday actions we all can take to promote vitality, and prevent dementia and late-onset Alzheimer’s. “The choices we make now can help us to keep our minds sharp and maintain our independence as we age,” says Jennings.

An easy-to-use guide to maintaining brain and body health throughout life, The Aging Brain, is based on solid, up-to-date scientific research, and the interventions discussed may help prevent progression toward dementia, even in those already showing signs of mild cognitive impairment. The recommendations also may help reduce disability and depression.

“This book isn’t just for people hoping to slow the aging process,” says Jennings. “It’s also for anyone who is a caregiver to someone at risk of or already beginning to suffer from dementia. It offers a hopeful, healthy way forward.”

“I take comfort that aging happens to everybody. It’s part of life. Aging offers great lessons in dignity, since the indignity wins in the end. Yes, it bothers me when I have lines or puffiness or droops. But it connects me with the human race. Like weather bringing people together, aging brings people together.” Diane Lane

Jennings, who maintains a private practice in Chattanooga, TN, has authored several books, including The God-Shaped Brain and The God-Shaped Heart. He has spent more than two decades researching the interface between biblical principles and modern brain science. A Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Life Fellow of the Southern Psychiatric Association, Jennings is president and founder of Come and Reason Ministries.

For more information about Dr. Jennings and to hear his lectures, please visit the website: www.comeandreason.com.

Book Release Date: June 19, 2018

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April 19, 2018

5 Ways to Learn Fast and Retain More

The sooner you realize that learning never ends, the more willing you’ll be to expand, elevate in your profession, thrive in your life and even generate more income. Learning and studying can be difficult once we are long past our college years.  For all the old dogs who might be reluctant to learning new tricks, we tapped the expertise of Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a New York based Neuropsychologist and Teaching Faculty at Columbia University to share 5 ways to learn fast and retain more so we can quickly grasp new concepts, technologies, business strategies and up-level our willingness to learn. 

Independent learning is the hot new brain trend. Thanks to digital media, we see a new renaissance when it comes to learning. On the professional side, nearly two-thirds of U.S. workers have taken a course or sought additional training to advance their careers, according to a March 2016 study by Pew Research Center.  On the personal development side, a simple Google search can lead anyone to a plethora of courses on everything from mastering personal finances, parenting, our relationships, nutrition, cooking, designing clothes, home organization and design.

“The key to longevity is the learning and application of new things. When we stop learning, we stop growing and that is a slow death to our brains and bodies. Luckily today there are online seminars and other ways to learn that speak to our interests. It’s also incredibly convenient to learn,” explains Dr. Hafeez.

What are the best ways to learn new things quickly? Dr. Sanam Hafeez offers the following 5 ways to learn fast and retain more.

  1. Learn in quick sprints.There’s a sweet spot for learning in the 30-50 minute timeframe. Dedicate that amount of time to learning and then take a 10 to 15-minute break to end a learning segment before starting a new task. “You’re more likely to retain more when you focus for a shorter amount of time at once,” explains Dr. Hafeez who helps people with ADHD to enhance their ability to focus and learn. “Using tools like notecards with quick points helps the brain absorb concepts even more,” she adds. Which leads to…
  1. Take written notes and use color!Ditch the laptop and go old school with a pen and paper. Outline important points with a different color pen or highlighter and if you can draw a concept out in the margin, go for it. Writing fuels comprehension and enhances listening skills. Studies out of UCLA and Princeton found students who took notes on laptops didn’t perform as well as students who wrote by hand. “When we handwrite notes we listen then process the information before writing. When we type on a laptop, we transcribe what we hear without any self-interpretation which is where the actual learning comes into play,” offers Dr. Hafeez.
  1. Give your brain time to rest and recharge with sleep.People brag that they work so much and sleep so little. Arianna Huffington’s book, “The Sleep Revolution,” and choice to add nap rooms at her Huffington Post offices turned the light onto sleep as a performance enhancer. “People who get a full 8 hours of deep uninterrupted sleep retain what they learn and have bandwidth to grasp more information quicker. We often feel tired after a course or following instructions. This is because focusing requires energy. Naturally, when we rest we get to reboot the brain,” says Dr. Hafeez.
  1. Read out loud, record, replay.Research has shown that reading out loud engages both senses of sight and sound which heightens retention.“Recording yourself reading and elaborating with your own idea of how the concept resonates then replaying the recording a day or two later, is a great technique that fires up the part of the brain that processes concepts like a computer filing information for later use,” explains Dr. Hafeez.
  1. Break things down and relate it to what you already know.We all heard of the math teacher who used the example of rock concert ticket sales to get kids to grasp algebra. According to Dr. Hafeez, “when we take a concept and link it to something we already know about or have genuine interest in, we retain that concept. Anytime we can internalize a concept is has resonance. It sticks.”

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 Dr.Oz.

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

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April 16, 2018

Fat Grafting 101: Your Guide To Facial Fat Transfer

 

Most people want to appear more youthful as they age, but time often tends to take a toll on someone’s face. The phrase “fat transfer” may sound unusual, but the fact is that it’s a healthy amount of facial fat that gives your face a youthful look. Whether you find yourself aging or have lost weight, you may discover that your cheeks or temples appear sunken, or that your face is lacking the youthful roundness it once had. If this sounds like you, you might be a candidate for fat transfer.

How Does Fat Transfer Improve Your Appearance?

In a culture where fat loss is a focus, it may seem strange to say that transferring fat to your face is a good idea. However, when you are young, facial fat is what’s responsible for smooth contours and the youthful “glow” that many young people have. As you age, these contours become less smooth. This is often due to a variety of factors. These factors include a number of things, including weight loss and gravity.

While getting a leaner-looking face as you age may sound appealing, the fact is that a rapid loss of facial fat will often lead to sunken-looking cheeks, circles under the eyes, and hollowed-out temples. With fat transfer, you can improve hollows in your face and smooth out the overall look of your complexion, making yourself look younger and more full of energy.

Where is the Fat Taken From?

This procedure is called “fat transfer,” but before you commit to undergoing it, you likely want to know where the transferred fat is coming from. The fat is transferred from another area of your body, typically from the thighs or stomach. This may sound off-putting, but the fact is that facial fat transfers generally involve small amounts of fat. Thus, while you will have two areas to heal–the site of the initial fat harvest and the transfer site–each area will be relatively small.

The harvesting of fat is typically done very inconspicuously, so you can expect little to no scarring from the procedure. Of course if you are concerned about scarring, be sure to talk to your surgeon–he or she may be able to help ensure that you have as little scarring as possible. And because the amount of fat taken from a different area of your body tends to be very small, you likely can work with your doctor to choose from a variety of areas of your body.

How Does the Procedure Work?

Facial fat transfer is a two=step procedure. In the first step, fat is taken from another area of your body, typically the thighs or stomach. This fat removal is accomplished through liposuction, in which a cannula, or slender tube, is inserted beneath your skin. The cannula then essentially vacuums fat from beneath your skin. Because the only incision in liposuction is the tiny hole the cannula makes, you likely will have either very little scarring or no scarring at all once the incision has healed. And because the amount of fat removed is very small, you also are not likely to notice a major difference in your body contours.

The second phase of the procedure is the transfer of the harvested fat to your face. The fat transfer involves injecting the collected fat under your skin. First, though, the fat is purified. Once it is injected, your surgeon will make sure that it’s spread evenly under your skin to ensure maximum smoothness and best results. And because the injection sites are so small, you won’t experience any lasting scarring.

This procedure is popular with those who want to look younger, but who don’t necessarily want to pursue major surgery on the bones of the face. Because it doesn’t involve your bones, recovery time is generally shorter than the recovery time for rhinoplasty or other major surgeries.

How Permanent Are the Results?

One of the main draws of facial fat transfer is the fact that it’s permanent. Barring extreme weight loss, the contours created by adding a bit of fat to your face are there to stay.

Therefore, facial fat transfer tends to be a preferred method compared to other methods of facial rejuvenation. Other methods tend to focus just on the surface level of your face, but this one works at a level below the skin to help ensure lasting results.

How Can I Choose a Surgeon?

If you have decided facial fat transfer is for you, or if you want to schedule a consultation to see if it’s the right option, your next big step is finding a surgeon.

However, this can often prove to be a difficult task. For many people, distance is understandably a limiting factor, as nobody has unlimited time and resources to travel thousands of miles to see a surgeon. If you have the finances and ability to travel far, though, it may be helpful to also search outside of your immediate geographic area.

You also will want to look at several examples of each surgeon’s work. You may find that, across even many types of patients, a given surgeon’s before and after pictures catch your eye. If this happens, it’s well worth giving this surgeon a closer look.

And lastly, as you search for surgeons, keeping your budget in mind is useful. Some offices may offer payment plans, and others may be able to refer you to a medical credit agency that can help you manage debt from the procedure.

Ready to Get Started?

If you miss your youthful facial contours and are ready to pursue fat transfer, you may be eager to find a surgeon. If you are in or near the Miami area, Dr. Bustillo may be a good choice for you. Andres Bustillo, M.D. is board-certified and well known for his expertise in various forms of facial surgery and other cosmetic procedures, including fat transfer.

 

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April 12, 2018

Breast Reduction for Men

When you think of cosmetic procedures, you may imagine a breast augmentation, in which the breasts are enlarged. However, breast reductions are also done, albeit less commonly. These are usually done for women whose breast size causes back issues and other problems.

Breast reduction can also be done on men. Some men–and even boys going through puberty–may find that they start to develop breast tissue. This condition is known as gynecomastia. While it has several possible causes, it often requires surgical intervention.

What Causes Gynecomastia?

All men have some amount of breast tissue, but gynecomastia causes this tissue to swell. This often results in the appearance of breasts (sometimes called “man boobs”). While gynecomastia is sometimes only an appearance issue, it causes pain and tenderness in some cases.

It is important to understand that gynecomastia is more than just an accumulation of fat. Excess weight may cause you to look like you have gynecomastia, but true gynecomastia is caused by an imbalance of the hormones testosterone and estrogen. Every man has both testosterone and estrogen, but when testosterone is too low and estrogen too high, health problems can result.

High estrogen in men tends to lead to loss of muscle mass, fat gain, and fatigue, and it also can lead to gynecomastia.

There are several possible causes of high estrogen in men. The use of street drugs and alcohol may increase estrogen and lower testosterone, and anti-androgens used to treat prostate cancer and other illnesses may contribute. Anabolic steroid use also frequently causes gynecomastia, especially in those who do not also use anti-estrogen therapy.

Gynecomastia also affects some adolescent boys. As they go through through puberty, hormonal fluctuations may lead to a temporary overbalance of estrogen. Puberty-related gynecomastia typically goes away on its own, although it make take up to two years.

More rarely, other health conditions, including kidney failure and some tumors, may contribute to gynecomastia. If you find yourself experiencing gynecomastia symptoms, it’s important to talk to your doctor to make sure there isn’t a dangerous underlying cause.

How Do You Know if You Have Gynecomastia?

The main symptom of gynecomastia is swollen gland tissue in the breast region. However, many men with this condition also have pain and tenderness. In some cases, discharge may come from one or both nipples.

If you are unsure whether your symptoms are simply weight gain or gynecomastia, be sure to talk to your doctor. Your doctor can tell you whether you have this condition, and he or she also may be able to help you pinpoint the cause.

What Can You Do About Gynecomastia?

In some cases, though not all, gynecomastia goes away on its own. However, this medical condition is often embarrassing and sometimes very painful. If your doctor has told your your symptoms may be permanent, or if you don’t want to wait for symptoms to go away, pursuing breast reduction for men may be a good option. In this surgery, the glandular tissue that swells when gynecomastia is present is removed. Depending on how much is removed, a male breast reduction may prevent you from having to deal with this medical condition again.

How Does Male Breast Reduction Work?

There are two possible surgery types for gynecomastia. For less severe cases, liposuction is typically used. In liposuction, your surgeon will insert a cannula, which is a hollow metal tube, beneath the skin. Then, gland tissue and fat is suctioned out, helping to create a flatter chest. The cannula only makes an extremely small incision, so this option typically results in the least amount of scarring. After you are completely healed, you may not even see a scar at all.

If you have a severe case of gynecomastia, however, your surgeon may need to use a method called tissue excision. While this method is slightly more invasive, it is often necessary in cases with excessive tissue swelling, or where the swelling is enough to cause stretching of the skin. Tissue excision results in the removal of more tissue, but it often provides permanent or near-permanent results.

While tissue excision may result in some scarring, plastic surgeons are skilled with the placement of incisions. After healing is complete, you likely will notice little to no scarring.

How Much Downtime Can I Expect?

Male breast reduction is not quite as invasive as some forms of plastic surgery, but it does require some downtime. Many men are able to return to work in a few days, although vigorous physical activity should be avoided for a few weeks. Your surgeon will likely give you a compression garment to wear after the surgery as well. This garment will help minimize swelling and reduce pain. Post-surgical pain is usually minimal, especially with the liposuction option, and you may even find that over-the-counter pain medication is enough to manage it.

Healing times will vary depending on both the surgical method used and your individual physiology. At your consultation, be sure to discuss healing time with your doctor. Your doctor can take into account your symptoms and preferences, and he or she can then decide on an appropriate treatment plan for you.

Are You Ready to Get Started?

Gynecomastia can be painful and embarrassing, but you don’t have to let it hold you back. If you are ready to get started on improving your life, the first step is setting up a consultation with a surgeon who performs male breast reduction. At your consultation, your surgeon will examine you and discuss your symptoms to start formulating a surgical plan. And if you are near New York, NY, Madison Plastic Surgery may be the practice you need. This established surgical practice is known for a variety of cosmetic procedures, including male breast reduction. It is the home of Dr. Robert Tornambe, one of New York’s top plastic surgeons.

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April 11, 2018

What are my Long-Term Lip Augmentation Options?

Lip augmentation is a superficial procedure that is performed to offer the patient fuller, plumper lips. Recently, most people are going for dermal fillers, which get injected into their lips and around the mouth. Most of these fillers are comprised of hyaluronic acid. This is a substance that occurs naturally in the body and helps in increasing the lips’ volume.

Another option that was used in the past was collagen. This substance used to be common dermal filler, but today, doctors prefer to use safer methods whose effects last longer. Also, doctors use fat injections and implants for lip augmentation. However, not many people prefer these options due to the risks involved.

Who Qualifies for Lip Augmentation?

Many women feel concerned about their thin lips, and it is the reason they opt for augmentation. This procedure helps them get fuller lips that don’t show lipstick lines by filling the creasing that appears along the lip border as a woman ages. The ideal lip augmentation candidates include:

  • Any adult regardless of age
  • Any patient with extremely thin lips or persons who have suffered age-related lip volume decrease
  • People wishing to undergo this procedure should be medically fit and have measurable expectations of the results

What are the Medical Considerations?

Since it is possible for a patient to suffer from an allergic reaction to the material used during the procedure, it is important for all candidates to let the surgeon know whether they have any existing allergies. If the patient is considering undergoing a lip implant, the surgeon should be made aware of any respiratory issues that could be compromised by the anesthesia.

There are numerous dermal fillers and implants available out there to help with lip augmentation and not all of them are safe for every patient. Before going for lip augmentation, select a highly qualified cosmetic surgeon you can put all your trust in. Also, make sure that the doctor uses FDA approved products. Make certain that the method he chooses is ideal for all your cosmetic and medical needs.

Using Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

This substance can help improve your lips’ appearance through their volume, shape, and structure.

Its results last for up to six months after which you will need to go for more injections if you want to maintain the volume of your lips. There are many hyaluronic acid fillers in the market which are used in the same way and yield the same results too. Some of them even come with lidocaine which is a local anesthetic.

The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid Fillers

Its benefits include:

  • The slow pace of treatment- the injections don’t have to be applied all at once. They can be done gradually until the patient attains the desired results
  • More control over the lips volume- it is easy to control the amount of substance to be injected, which means that the surgeon controls how much lip volume to create for a patient
  • Dissolves easily- the lumps that the gel creates dissolve very easily
  • Reasonably longer results- the hyaluronic acid fillers results last longer although they are not permanent
  • Less bruising- this kind of filler comes with less bruising, unlike the other alternatives.
  • Unlikely allergic reactions- since the fillers are made from substances that resemble those found in our bodies, it is not likely for a patient to get an allergic reaction. However, any patient who is allergic to lidocaine should let the surgeon know before the procedure.

Lip Augmentation with Fat Transfer

Any patient with the desire to get fuller lips but afraid of having foreign substances injected into their bodies can opt for a fat transfer. Since most lip fillers like collagen come from animal or human donors, fat transfer is different. This is because it uses the patient’s own body tissue thus, yielding a soft and natural-looking outcome.

The procedure involves the transfer of fat from a certain area of the body and injecting it into the patient’s lips. During the process, only the patient’s body natural tissue get used, which means that there are no chances of rejection or allergic reactions occurring. Once the surgery is done, the patient will have soft and natural-feeling lips that will last for at least six months and up to more than a year.

The Procedure

The doctor first removes fat from a specific location, usually from the thighs or abdomen through liposuction. This procedure is unlikely to affect the removal area unless the patient is also undergoing a body liposuction surgery. The fat gets injected into the lips using a syringe and a blunt needle, leaving tiny prick marks only.

This type of augmentation is usually done under local, or if need be, light general anesthesia as per the surgeon or the patient’s preference.

What are the Benefits and Risks Associated with Fat Transfer?

This procedure is considered to have relatively low risks. However, any surgical treatment comes with possible side effects. In this case, they might affect the injection area or where the fat was removed. The risks include infections, inflammation, bleeding, and slight discomfort.

However, there is one problem that surgeons are striving to rectify. Some of the fat cells die during the transfer. Any highly-qualified surgeon will, however, avoid this from happening by injecting the fat at intervals as opposed to doing it all at once.

One of the benefits related to this procedure is that it is unlikely for a patient to develop an allergic reaction. Also, the chances of the body rejecting the tissue are minimal since it is from their own body. The results are usually natural-looking.

This is a simple procedure that is usually treated as an outpatient case. Besides, it only requires a couple of hours for patients to recover and go home where after which they can resume their daily activities.

What are the Benefits and Risks of Permanent Lip Surgery?

As compared to other surgeries, lip augmentation is relatively a low-risk procedure. However, every patient should know the possible risks and be prepared. Some of these risks include:

  • Scarring
  • Implant rejection and migration
  • Infection
  • Lip stiffness

The good news is that the risks can be reduced if the procedure is done by a qualified surgeon. This type of lip augmentation comes with one main benefit; it offers permanent results, unlike in the use of temporary fillers.

If you are looking for a cosmetic surgeon to carry out lip augmentation for you, consider Dr. Agarwal of the Aesthetic Surgery Center. Anurag Agarwal, MD FACS is an expert on this field and can be reached at (239)-594-9100 at his office in Naples, Florida. His great work goes beyond surgery as he loves giving back to the society through pro bono humanitarian work.

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March 21, 2018

High Anxiety: 5 Things that Set Us Off and What to Do

Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. It’s future thinking in a negative way. While it’s normal to have concerns from time to time, chronic anxiety leads to loss of appetite, insomnia, compromised immunity and other diseases. Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD 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, shares 5 common anxiety triggers and offers insights and tips for what we can do to get back into ease.

  1. Retirement

Once people hit 40, they feel as if the years are going quicker and the money is running out. They panic. They look at the math and it simply doesn’t add up to a life of abundance. They’re plagued with thoughts of an unknown future with medical expenses, costs for housing, food, and with every item added to the list, they get more and more anxious. “Some people go into denial because they feel such an intense of fear. While it’s normal to want to shift your thinking, avoidance only leads to more anxiety,” explains Dr. Hafeez. She suggests settling the mind with information and action. “The more you know about your retirement goals and create a plan of action, the more you can include other family members, shift finances and get clarity on what’s real. Information combined with action will give a sense of control.”

  1. Job Loss

Years ago, people would rebound faster from job loss. Within a month they would find another job often at a higher salary. Saving a bit of money as an “emergency fund” to keep up with expenses should there be a job loss was also a possibility. Times are very different now. These days people lose their job and it creates a complete upheaval in their lives. Finances are depleted and it could take months before getting another job and at times, people accept less money just to have a salary. “I have patients with good careers anxious that there will be a cut back and they’ll be let go without any idea what to do next. This scarcity mindset leads to anxiety. I always remind them to explore other income generating options of interest to them currently so they don’t feel as if their well-being is solely determined by their employer. Anxiety is rooted in fear and this fear is quite common, unfortunately,” says Dr. Hafeez.

  1. Health

When you’re anxious about your health, it dominates your mind. “The worst part about health-related anxiety is that it makes you feel worse and prolongs any kind of recovery,” warns Dr. Hafeez. A lot of people make the mistake of researching different conditions online and self-diagnose. They get overwhelmed with all the possibilities of what may be. “The best thing to do is take control of your health by staying current with doctor visits, exercise, eat healthily and focus your attention on optimal health,” she advises.

  1. Divorce

Marital strife is a common cause for anxiety. “It’s very common for people who are going through divorce to lose weight due to anxiety and stress. Night anxiety is also common which is when you can fall asleep, but then suddenly awaken out of a sound sleep feeling sad, panicked, unable to go back to sleep,” Dr. Hafeez says. “When anxiety interferes with one’s ability to eat and sleep, consulting with a therapist can be helpful. Divorce is a major life event that radically changes one’s life. Depression and anxiety are common,” she adds.   

  1. Terrorism and other acts of violence.

We live in a very different world today. Unfortunately, every time we board an airplane, enter a shopping mall, go to a concert, the movies or send our kids to school, we get anxious. Terrorism is intended to make people fearful and anxious. What can we do? “Again, anxiety is triggered by a loss of control. It’s rooted in a feeling of possible danger without warning. So be vigilant. Observe your surroundings. Report anything that seems suspicious. Put an emergency plan in place with family and loved ones. When triggered by anxiety ask, what do I need to know here? What can I control in this situation? Then do what you must to feel better and prepared,” recommends Dr. Hafeez.

The common thread here is to first acknowledge the feeling of anxiety, then assess the source of it, then access information and make an action plan to make you feel more in control.

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 Dr.Oz.

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

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January 2, 2018

BEST HAIR TIPS FOR GIRLS WITH NATURAL CURLS International Stylist and Curl Master Creator of The Doux Gets Real About Real Hair

The Doux

People with wavy or curly hair are always looking for new products, tips and tricks to lock in their desired look. Whether they want to blow it straight, create looser curls or maximize their tighter coils, Maya Smith, Celebrity Hair Stylist, salon owner and creator of The Doux, the “Indie” haircare line with cult following now available at Target, is truly the master. Here she shares her best tips for girls with curls who want to revel in their natural hair and create a style they love.

Understand the battle between oil and moisture.

The first thing people must understand is that there are opposite things going on at the same time. “Due to the shape of curly haired strands, the hair tends to be under moisturized. On the other hand, the curly haired scalp can get very oily. Managing these opposite demands is the struggle of girls who wish to keep their curls. The key here is knowing how best to address both,” explains Maya who led the movement for women to transition from relaxers to natural curls.

Be gentle when washing curly hair.

According to Maya, kinky, thick, coiled textures tend to appear “tough” and strong enough to withstand heavy manipulation. “In my experience, these hair types are actually the most delicate, and should be handled with care, she recommends.”

Step One: Pick your products wisely.

Maya applied over 2 decades of research and development based on working knowledge of hair texture and listening to what people wanted. “I created The Doux™ SUCKA FREE Moisturizing Shampoo and FRESH RINSE Moisturizing Conditioner as the one-two step that delivers both deep cleaning plus exceptional nourishment necessary for styling.” It’s now available in Target stores and the full product line is available online at www.thedoux.com. 

Step Two: Prep for shampoo.

Maya’s professional instructions for curl mastery begins with rinsing hair thoroughly with water for a minimum of 30 seconds. “This helps to eliminate any water-soluble product buildup, such as hair gel or heat protectant. It also helps you save shampoo! Assuming you’re shampooing in the shower, letting the water run over the hair in a downward motion helps prevent further tangling, and allows the hair shaft to swell and the curl pattern to fully rebound.” For those with extremely thick hair, Maya suggests separating hair into 4 sections prior to wetting the hair for increased manageability.

Once the shampoo is applied, Maya recommends light manipulation at the scalp, going from the crown of the head to the nape of the neck. “Squishing” the hair up toward the scalp is a no-no. “Shampooing this way can cause unforgivable tangling and matting. I recommend repeating the shampooing process at least once.”

Step Three: Condition and comb through like a pro. 

If your scalp was properly shampooed, conditioning is easy. “This time, you’re focusing on your thirsty ends first, working upward toward the scalp. Gently detangle with a wide-toothed comb or detangling brush (our favorite is Felicia Leatherwood’s “Brush with the Best” detangling brush) before rinsing, starting at the ends, working up toward to the roots. Remember to rinse with cool water which snaps cuticles shut, locks in moisture, makes your hair shinier and reduces frizz.”

When it comes to “co-washing” or “conditioner washing” Maya equates the popular trend to washing your clothes with fabric softener. “In my experience, co-washing causes build-up on the hair, coating the cuticle and impairing the hair’s natural ability to absorb water. Oils, waxes, and product residue harden on the hair shaft, making it more brittle and less porous over time. When the hair can no longer effectively absorb water, the elasticity of the hair is compromised, leaving the hair “crunchy” and stiff, where it is more likely to break. The result is hair that feels dry and brittle, no matter what product you use to moisturize it,” explains Maya.

One of the things Maya Smith and her team of stylists are known for is their ability to restore hundreds of their clients’ curls, simply by getting them to trade in the co-wash for a gentle, pH-balanced moisturizing shampoo, like The Doux’s SUCKA FREE which properly cleanses hair of product residue. “Once you have the hair thoroughly clean it “drinks” up the necessary amount of moisture, and returns to its natural softness,” Maya clarifies.

Avoid alcohol and kick the crunch to the curb.

Styling products high in alcohol give curls a crunchy feel.  They suck up every last bit of moisture.  Hair spray tends to contain the most alcohol, while gels, mousses and anything that provides hold or lift come in second. “I recommend water-soluble gels that don’t feel sticky on your skin, and aerated mousses or foams that resemble beaten egg whites, to give hair fullness, control, and non-brittle curls,” Maya says.

She adds that she created The Doux so it can be used on hair that is worn curly or straight. “Our clients purchase one set of products, and apply them differently to achieve the style they want. If you’re rocking curly hair today, you’re using The Doux’s Mousse Def and Bonita Afro Balm for softness and definition, and The Light for shine. If you’re wearing a blowout, you’re still using the same products, but applying them less liberally, and using the shine mist as a heat protectant. It’s super simple and easy to follow once you’ve seen the results each of them deliver,” Maya explains. 

Blow-Dry with a diffuser or hooded dryer.

Maya’s first choice for curly styles is to air dry. “If you don’t have the time to air dry then dry with a diffuser or hooded dryer on a low heat setting.  A regular blow dryer nozzle disrupts the curl pattern and focuses hot air on one small section at a time while a diffuser, dries curls evenly for a full, uniform look,” she explains.

Maya recommends always applying a heat-protecting product, then flipping your head upside down using a diffuser at the roots and mid-length making sure to dry the area completely to lock in volume. “It’s important to leave the ends for last, and leave them only semi-dry. Air drying the ends is your best option.”

Care for the curls you were born with!

About Maya Smith:

Maya Smith is an International Master Stylist and Founder of The Doux Salon and haircare line now available in Target. With over two decades of styling experience Maya dedicated two decades to cracking the code on curl care, maintenance and expert styling. When it comes to caring for one’s natural hair and styling it, Maya is the best there is.

While still in high school, Maya got her hair cutting license and graduated from beauty school. Soon after graduating high school, Maya began following her passion and worked as an assistant for celebrity stylist Tracy Johnson. She learned from Johnson and progressed as a hair stylist for celebrities and entertainers. Years later the military wife would relocate to Germany, where Maya opened up her first salon The HoneyComb, a mecca for textured hair care for women from all over Europe, The UK, and as far as Africa. Maya’s unique system of textured hair styling sparked the development of The DOUX® haircare products, first launched overseas, and distributed throughout Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.  

Currently, Maya leads a carefully selected team of stylists at The DOUX® Salon in Macon, Georgia and on Christmas Eve 2017, celebrated the arrival of The DOUX® in Target stores nationwide. Maya Smith, wife, mom of 5 and savvy business woman is an example not just for women of color but for all women who believe their gifts can impact the world, striving for entrepreneurial endeavors with grace, ease and hustle.

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December 12, 2017

Nurse Your Holiday Hangover with Dr. Christopher Calapai’s TIps

Tis the season for over-indulgence. As we gear up for this jolly time of the year, it goes without saying, most will be sipping on spiked eggnog, champagne, among other festive cocktails. In the moment, this may seem like harmless fun, but in excess can take a toll on your body, and some will be left with the holiday hangover blues.

 

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine, suggests the following natural remedies for getting rid of that pesky morning aftermath hangover.

1)     Drink water and other liquids too! Drink a good amount of water before [going out] — at least 6 to 8 glasses, with a little lemon or orange, which are acidic and balance your pH. If in the case this does not happen, rehydrate and flush the impurities from your system with electrolyte filled drinks. I.e. sports drinks, coconut water, or bouillon soup for salt and potassium restoration the morning after.

2)     Ginger is packed with vitamins and minerals making it a great remedy for settling an upset stomach. Add honey, as it contains fructose, which will help the body metabolize and burn off any alcohol still in your system.

3)     Alka-Seltzer – Get a different type of bubbly in your system! Alka-seltzer varieties contain sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda), which can help settle an uneasy tummy by neutralizing stomach acid 

4)     Go Bananas for Bananas – A lot of potassium is drained from your body when you drink heavenly. Bananas are bursting with potassium and will the you the giddy-up and go your body may be needing!

5)     Exercise – Even when you don’t feel like it, it can help to stimulate the release of endorphins, resulting in a better mood and a better state of mind as you recover from your hangover.

6)     Multivitamin – Taking a vitamin supplement before drinking and one the next morning with food is a great source of rejuvenating the vitamins lost due to drinking, as alcohol is a natural diuretic.

7)     Eat a big meal before! – We all know how it is to get caught up in the celebrations and fun, but it can be a game changer if you can remember to do this. A large meal will coat your stomach lining, helping to better absorb alcohol.

About the doctor:

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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 Tyson, Mickey 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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December 7, 2017

HOW TO NIP A SKIN DISASTER IN THE BUD

What can be worse than the onset of an unsightly skincare emergency the day of a big event such as a wedding, reunion, business interview, or first date? Have you ever cancelled a first date because a cold sore erupted? How about an acne breakout the morning of your sister’s wedding or worse… your own? With tips and insights is board certified dermatologist, Dr. Margarita Lolis to help us handle these common emergencies within 24 hours.

Problem: Hives, Redness and Allergies

Solution: When you realize a certain food, beverage, cream or cosmetic triggered an allergic reaction discontinue use or consumption. As for treatment Dr. Lolis suggests using hydrocortisone cream which can be purchased at the drug store and should always be on hand. Also take an allergy medication such as Claritin or Zyrtec. Try a cotton compress of apple cider vinegar which is an anti-septic and anti-fungal that pulls any toxins out of the skin. A compress with whole milk is also very soothing.

Problem: Puffy Eyes

Solution: Cool tea bags, cold cucumber slices work wonders to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling when applied for 10 minutes. You don’t need to see a dermatologist for any kind of treatment for this beauty issue however be sure to invest in a good eye cream and keep it in the fridge. Applying eye cream morning and at bedtime will help.

 Problem: Cold Sore

Solution: “Most dermatologists will offer cortisone injections to tame a cold sore given its ability to rapidly address inflammation. This doesn’t take very long to do so many dermatologists will tell you to come in the same day. If you can’t get an appointment get your doctor to issue you a prescription for Famvir, Acylovir or Valtrex,” Dr. Lolis suggests. “Applying a lemon tea compress, applying witch hazel oil or peppermint are some natural ways to treat a cold sore,” she adds.

Problem: Cystic Acne Breakout

Solution: Resist the urge to squeeze and soak in rubbing alcohol. “This is such a common response and people end up making the pimple worse not to mention scarring their skin. Cystic acne is deep and if treated correctly beneath thesurface it could remain a bump and not a red, scabbing mess,” warns Dr. Lolis. The secret to destroying a deep cystic pimple is to get a steroid or cortisone shot. “What the dermatologist will do is inject a diluted glucocorticoid right into thepimple. You’re basically getting a concentrated dose of steroid molecules that are naturally produced by our bodies responsible for regulating metabolism, inflammation and immunity. Within one or two days of injection into a cyst, thesteroid will shrink the inflammation producing relief of pain and almost immediate cosmetic improvement,” explains Dr. Lolis. If you cannot get to the dermatologist apply a paste of baking soda with water then remove it within 20 minutes. Natural clay can also work very well as could a sea salt compress. Sea salt, especially directly for the ocean only takes 20 minutes to dry up skin.

Problem: Chapped Lips

Solution: “Use lip balms not waxes and go natural with ingredients such as almond oil, vitamin E or A and make and at home paste of sugar and honey to use as an exfoliator. You want to exfoliate lips in the shower when temperature is warmer,” Dr. Lolis advises. Dry lips are always a beauty bummer especially when they crack and bleed. If chronic chapped lips are an issue, you may experience flare ups when lips are especially sensitive. “Your lips lack a tough outer skin layer which is why they are a darker color from the rest of your skin. Plus, there are enzymes in our saliva made to break down fats and proteins which is why when we lick our lips it makes matters worse.

About Dr. Lolis:

Dr. Margarita Lolis, M.D. is a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon with over 20 years of experience. In her practice, she addresses common skin concerns such as acne prevention and treatment in both teens and adults, sun-damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, changes to skin texture and loss of volume. On the medical side, she is a trusted expert in melanoma and over-all skin health. Dr. Lolis prides herself in honoring facial symmetry to deliver a natural look to her clients. She always recommends a healthy skin care regimen plus lifestyle habits that are aligned with her holistic approach to beauty. Dr. Lolis is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society of Anti-aging. Her practice, Skin, Laser, and Surgery Specialists is in New York City and Bergen Country, New Jersey.

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