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Showing posts from March, 2014

Next in Line at the Howell Foundation's Health Series: Nutrition - A Novel Approach to Pain Management with Dr. Robert Bonakdar

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After a series of successful events on "Longevity and Intermittent Fasting" , "Reducing Stress and Increasing Happiness" and "An Integrative Approach to Stress Management", the Doris A. Howell Foundation is continuing with its path to Keeping the Women we Love Healthy with is next series presentation "Nutrition: A Novel Approach to Pain Management." Dietary approaches are theoretically an attractive option for the treatment of pain. Unfortunately, the many diet and supplement options as well as confusion regarding how to choose among them makes this option one that is often overlooked.   This presentation will examine the current body of science on pain and diet, including discussion of nutritional factors that may exacerbate pain, approaches for reversing this as well as diet and supplement prescriptions for optimizing pain and related symptoms.

Meet Our Speaker Dr. Robert Bonakdar is the Director of Pain Management at the Scripps Center for Integr…

The Howell Foundation holds its fourth installment of the series Health and Happiness with its Integrative Approach to Stress: Reducing Stress and Increasing Happiness

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Sharing the happiness –and the knowledge- through a research-based approach to stressGoing beyond ‘Fight of Flight’ and ‘Tend and Befriend’:  Newly released findings for the ‘fighters’ of the world and how they summarize the importance of relationships and stressThe meaning of connections, compassion, gratitude and growth under stress  
San Diego, CA, March 18th.- Having an audience stand up and hug their fellow attendee is just a very unusual way to start a seminar presentation.  But according to Dr. Bhatti, Integrative Psychiatrist and Wellness Physician at the UCSD Executive Health & Wellness and Concierge Medicine programs - and featured speaker of the event, hugging someone for 20 seconds raises oxytocin levels the natural way, reducing blood pressure almost immediately.  
 It certainly opened our minds to the science behind how men and women relate and deal with stress – starting with the differences between mechanistic and relational wellness, through the gender differences i…

The Science behind the ‘West Side Story’ of Health, Relational Wellness and Stress Management.

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To understand how stress differs between men and women, it is necessary to understand the differences between mechanistic and relational health and wellness, and the role they play in the eastern–western paradigm of addressing illness.  Whereas the mechanistic approach refers to how the body works mechanically, relational wellness considers other factors that influence – and are ultimately related to – the optimal functioning of our bodies:  our environment, our relationship with our family and our ability to be happy, just to mention a few. 


Mechanistic Approach Relational Approach
The heart is a separate organ based on a valve/pump system that is affected by personal choices such as diet, exercise and smoking.
The heart is connected to the entire mind/body experience and is affected by external factors such as the quality of our relationships, our social network of support and the amount of physical contact in addition to the personal lifestyle choices we make.
While the ‘mechanistic’ ap…

On the Subject of Health and Happiness: The Gray Area and Not-so-Traditional Way of Being Happy.

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Has anyone suddenly asked you the definition of happiness? A state of just being? Being content? Having a feeling of joy? Feeling satisfied? Being at peace? Avoiding stress? Is happiness in women different than happiness in men? 

What I do know is this:
If you are unhappy, the people around you will be unhappy. If you are unhappy, you won’t be aware of your surrounding and your own present moment, acknowledging and accepting your own feelings and thoughts, which in turn leads to a non-ending, thought-driven train of negativity If you are unhappy, the “Just do it” just “doesn’t make sense” And probably the most obvious. If you are stressed, you will most certainly be unhappy.  In other words, and perhaps in a western-eastern, ying -yang context Happiness IS the new Healthy. Even though the being-happy-to-be-healthy approach might sound a bit cliché, diagnosing and treating illness is just not black and white anymore. The connection between mechanistic (mechanical function of…

An Integrative Approach to Stress Management: Reducing Stress & Increasing Happiness

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An Integrative Approach in Stress Management: Reducing stress and Increasing Happiness is the fourth of a series of presentations organized by the Foundation.  It will offer a unique, interactive, thought-provoking insight on the effects of stress in our health, how stress differs in men and women, and simple techniques to stress management in our daily life.  
Meet our Speakers: 
Tahir I. Bhatti, M.D.  Integrative Psychiatrist and Wellness Physician at the UCSD Executive Health & Wellness and Concierge Medicine programs.
Tahir Bhatti, M.D. completed a Psychobiology and Psychopharmacology Clinical Research Fellowship at UC San Diego VA Medical Center. In 1996, he was awarded one of the first Fellowships to explore alternative therapies at UCSD School of Medicine.  Dr. Bhatti is Director of the Integrative/Holistic Services at the Center for Wellness & Personal Growth.  He combines his traditional training as a psychiatrist and therapist with meditation, stress reduction technique…

A Mindful Approach to Happiness: Being “Zoned In” to the point of “Zoning Out” & Six ways to Zone In and achieve Happiness

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It seems that the terms “flow” and “mindfulness” are intrinsically related when discussing one’s own happiness.  But what is the current research behind any given state of mind and its effect on our health?
Being “zoned in” - focused and concentrated doing something to the point where you “zone out” the rest of the world is my true definition of flow.   Operative word:  DOING - Moving from thinking to acting upon your thoughts.
But how does one achieve flow?  In the context of positive psychology, Dr. Csikszentmihalyi defines nine elements of the FLOW puzzle that lead us to achieve an ideal state of flow: a balance between skill and challenge, being aware of our actions, instant and definite feedback, concentration, the seemingly impossible task of letting go of control, transformation of time, loss of self-consciousness, andautotelicexperience

One state that Dr. Csikszentmihalyi researched was that of the “autotelicpersonality”.1]  - one in which a person performs acts because they are…

On Being a Woman

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To all the exceptional women who help us keep the women we love healthy…  donors, speakers, friends, guests, researchers, mentors, scholars, press… Happy International Women’s day!  Your support is crucial and greatly appreciated! 

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.” 
― Maya Angelou

Does Being Unhappy Stress You? 10 Ways to Increase Happiness

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What IS intentional Happiness? Why is intentional happiness important?
It turns out you CAN be happy.  It is not a question of just BEING happy, but actually taking the necessary actions to promote happiness within yourself and those around you.   At least 40% of it!
Easy to say?  After all, with things being the way they are in our world today, it is hard to believe that we are responsible for our own happiness:  the economy, our family, our marriage or relationship, unemployment, cost of living, social media and the information overload, the everyday wear- and- tear, whatever the circumstances… need I say more? 
Amidst all that is going on in our lives, WE CAN BE HAPPY.  Just as our surroundings make us unhappy, those same surroundings can be an immense source of happiness.  In other words, you CAN control your state of happiness and well being.  It’s all about making the necessary conscious and collective actions to get there.   And if we are happy, those around us will be happy – f…