post

10 Tips to Help You Get The Most Out of Your Gym Membership

You’ve decided you want (or need) to get work out more and get fit. You’re thinking about joining a health club, but you’ve heard too many stories about people who sign up, go one or two times, and never go back. You’re not really sure which type of club to join: a low-cost chain, a more expensive, exclusive fitness center, or a club that caters to only women or men.

Buying and maintaining a health club membership can be pretty complicated, but if you follow these 10 tips, you’ll save money and be on your way to greater fitness.

1. Make a list of your specific fitness needs and wants. Will you be comfortable working out in a large club with both men and women? Will you need access to more than one club? Are you looking for one-on-one personal training services? How often do you think you’ll work out each month? Do you think you’ll be able to keep up your fitness regimen? How much can you afford to pay for a membership each month?

2. Once you’ve identified your requirements, visit health clubs that meet your needs. Get a free pass for each club (at least a one week’s pass) and workout at each club as often as possible during the free periods.

3. Don’t sign up for a membership at any of the health clubs while you’re using free passes. You’ll be under a lot of pressure from salespeople and managers, and they will tell you that you need to sign up today in order to get discount pricing. Don’t. Health clubs offer discount pricing all the time.

4. When you’ve decided a health club, go back and speak with a salesperson about membership choices. Don’t feel pressured to sign a long-term contract at any health club. Remember that long-term contracts are really installment loans with high-interest payments. If you don’t think that you’re going to keep up your workouts, don’t even think about signing one of these contracts. Gather all of the written information about each type of membership, then go home and review it at your leisure. Don’t feel pressured to sign up for any membership at the club.

5. When you’re speaking with the salesperson, ask all of the questions you want. Don’t feel rushed or pressured. Never forget that any contract you sign supersedes any promises a salesperson gives you. Even if the salesperson writes it into the contract, it probably isn’t legally enforceable. The contract is king. Read it carefully before signing.

6. Compare the costs of each membership type, and remember that you should make the ultimate decision based on your own needs, not on short-term discounts that may sound like you’re saving money, but will end up costing you more money in the end.

7. Make sure you fully understand the cancellation requirements of each membership type. Many long-term health club contracts are almost impossible to cancel. A month-to-month contract may be a better solution.

8. Don’t sign up for automatic payments via credit card. If you no longer want a membership, and you’re able to cancel, you may find it difficult to get payments stopped.

9. Keep track of all your payments in case there are any disputes with your health club.

10. If you do cancel your membership, make sure you get the cancellation in writing from your health club.

By following these 10 tips, you will certainly set yourself up for fitness success.

post

What Causes Mental Health Disorders?

It is amazing how a lump of gray matter could manipulate all the systems in our body in the most systematic way possible with all the intricacies and complex functioning. But what’s queer about this stuff (the organ we call brain) is that it could malfunction in a way that it could result to single or multiple representations of mental health problems all in an individual.

Clinical research and laboratory observations consistently arrive at the conclusion that mental health disorders are products of the accumulation and interaction of several contributing factors. It would have been easier to identify each disorder if there is only one cause to all meal health disorders but that simply isn’t the truth. In reality, all mental disorders could root from several causes such as an environment that is conducive to the development of a mental disorder or individual genetic make-up that programs the brain (or the faulty components of the brain) to develop into something non-normal.

Saying that it’s all about the pathological make-up of the brain that causes the mental health disorders is simplistic, to say the least. Looking at the strange development of these disorders would reveal that there are actually at least 3 contributing factors that may be seen as potential causes, all of which have varying degrees. This means that a particular culprit could be more dominant than the other.

First with the physical causes. This bracket of causes is biological in nature. Each individual has a distinct and unique biological make-up that dictates the direction of his health, may it be physical or mental. Some people are born with an inherent tendency to develop a specific mental disorder in comparison with other people while others are less prone to risks. This cause also covers the genetic make-up of an individual, the biological make-up and the events in life that affects the physical body (such as a trauma on the head or substance abuse).

Second, are environmental or social causes. Nature VS Nurture has been a great debate in the scientific community but research confirms that a person experiences a spilled-half of both. Nature, of course, is the physical attributes of an individual while Nurture reflects more on the social structures and physical, emotional and mental environments to which an individual was exposed to. This factor tells us more about how an individual grew up, the interaction of influences that affected all facets of his growth and the mechanisms he used to cope with a specific environment.

It is observable that some mental disorders are caused primarily by the consequences of experience brought about by the environment. For example, people (especially children) living in a stressful, chaotic and unstable environment are more likely to develop mental illnesses than those individuals living in a peaceful environment. This consequence is due to the fact that there are certain social and environmental components that may become risk factors in the development of mental health problems.

The third is the psychological factor. This particular factor tells us more on the psychological state of a person, his coping mechanisms to certain life events that could otherwise end up with psychological disorders, his perception on his own self and his environment and thought patterns that affect his mental health. For example, someone who has gone beyond the limit of his stress coping capacity is likely to break down mentally as a result of the psyche’s automatic “lockdown” to protect itself.

For the majority of people lacking mental health, it is often the case of triggering the mental health to break down through series factors that have eventually contributed to the cause of mental health disorder.

post

Histrionic Personality Disorder

People with a histrionic personality disorder often resemble narcissists – both seek attention compulsively and are markedly dysphoric and uncomfortable when not at the center of attention. They have to be the life of the party. If they fail in achieving this pivotal role, they act out or create hysterical scenes.

The histrionic is preoccupied with physical appearance, sexual conquests, her health, and her body. The typical histrionic spends huge dollops of money and expends inordinate amounts of time on grooming. Histrionics fish for compliments and are upset when confronted with criticism or proof that they are not as glamorous or alluring as they think they are.

Histrionic Personality Disorder and Sexuality

Histrionics sexualize everyone and every situation. They constantly act flirtatious, provocative and seductive, even when such behavior is not warranted by circumstances or, worse still, is highly inappropriate. Such conduct is often ill-received. People usually find this unabashed directness and undisguised hunger for approval annoying or outright repulsive. Consequently, histrionics are sometimes subject to social censure and ostracism.

Histrionic Personality Disorder and its Affect on Others

The histrionics’ intensity and unpredictability are exhausting. The person suffering from histrionic personality disorder’s nearest and dearest are often embarrassed by his unbridled display of emotions: hugging casual acquaintances, uncontrollable sobbing in public or having temper tantrums. The histrionic’s behavior is so off-color that she is typically accused of being a fake.

Concerned only with the latest conquest, the histrionic uses his physical appearance and attire as a kind of conscious bait. It is ironic that histrionics often mistake the depth, durability, and intimacy of their relationships and are devastated by their inevitable premature termination.

Histrionic Personality Disorder and in Essence

Histrionics are the quintessential drama queens. They are theatrical, their emotions exaggerated to the point of a caricature, their gestures sweeping, disproportional and inappropriate. The histrionic is easily suggestible and responds instantly and fully to the slightest change in circumstances and to the most meaningless communication or behavior by others.

post

Relationship Tips: Practice Biofeedback Through Meditation

Having constructive feedback from others can help you improve your life by discovering self and enhancing your relationships. We often teach from healthy feedback, which today’s latest solution such as biofeedback offer us ways to regulate bodily functions through sound and light. The elements of this form of feedback focus on the brain and body responses, such as the muscles, heart, the temperature of the body and so on. The machines signal the participants by allowing them to read out prints on a monitor. The participants are able to monitor their reactions from physical responses.

The natural remedies are something we already use throughout our life since our body and mind tells us when to stop or take action. When your head begins to hurt, for example, you might cease reading or watching television and close your eyes to relax the brain. Biofeedback provides you with ways to take control of your mind and body reactions. One can learn ways to take control of the central nervous system by controlling the heart activities, sweat, the tension in the muscles, and even self-consciousness.

When one learns to balance the mind and body it makes it easier for that one to discover the self, while working toward healthier ways of living that promote healthier relationships. By regulating and controlling your blood pressure through biofeedback, one can focus on what he or she must do to make the self healthier. If you find it difficult to relax, you can practice biofeedback through meditation. The practice will help you to focus on the physical and mental responses.

How to practice biofeedback through meditation to promote healthy self and relationships-
You will need to find a relaxing, quiet area in which you can concentrate without interruptions. Once you find the correct place to practice meditation, relax the body in a comfortable area of your environment. Once you are relaxed, close your eyes. Center in on your brain’s activity while working to encourage relaxation. Next, focus on your toes. Visualize your toes and allow yourself to feel the sensations coming from this area of the body. Continue to move up your body until you allow the responses to express its feelings and sensations. Once you reach the chest area, start to acknowledge your heart’s activities. Notice how the heart is reacting.

After you finish connecting with all parts of your body, start to become aware of your brain’s activities. Allow your thoughts and feelings to express it freely. Do not interrupt your thoughts; rather allow them room to express what it is feeling.

You can go into subliminal learning to discover the self, but for now, you want to become aware of your body and mind’s responses in order to take control of your actions. This will move you to a healthier way of living since you control your body. You can build better relationships once you work to improve the self.

You can build a stronger relationship with the self by learning ways to manage stress through meditation and biofeedback. If you believe, you have other problems that are slowing your progress from building your strength you may need to seek professional advice from a qualified mental health expert or physician.

In the meant time try biofeedback, since biofeedback can offer you many solutions for creating a healthy self and a healthy relationship with others. Various machines, devices, and other biofeedback solutions are available online. Take some time to explore the latest new age solutions. You will find it easier to relax by using the devices, which will encourage you to build a healthy self and relationship.

post

Unlocking the Mysteries of Depression and Bipolar Disorder

New measures are being explored to help patients with bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, to cope with their crushing illness. Surprising options are being tested as possible treatments for this disorder, such as motion sickness patches, a drug used to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease and a device that produces an electric field around the brain.

Bipolar disorder is a complex and mysterious illness characterized by severe mood swings, from mania to depression. A sufferer can experience periods of increased energy, over-activity, irritability and sometimes delusions during the manic phase, and low mood, reduced concentration, disturbed sleep and ideas of self-harm during the depressed state. This condition can ruin careers and split marriages apart. Extreme cases of depression can even drive desperate people to commit suicide.

Despite years of study, researchers have yet to develop a medication specifically for bipolar disorder. Anti-depression medicines currently sold in the market to help reduce symptoms but often fall short of complete treatment.
Nothing is certain about the latest batch of possible treatments that includes even the breast cancer drug tamoxifen. Approaches were identified by logic, and others by pure chance. However, scientists already have early evidence that someday these treatments may prove useful against bipolar disorder.

Individuals having episodes of mania may experience periods of boosted energy and restlessness that can run for a week or more, resulting in sleeplessness as well as extreme irritability. During this episode, a person may exhibit unusual behavior, such as rage and promiscuity. On the other hand, episodes of depression characterize the other face of the bipolar coin, a period of boredom, sleepiness, and lack of energy, which may last a week or more. Again, even thoughts of suicide may enter the picture.

Current bipolar treatments include a variety of drugs including lithium and other anticonvulsant and antipsychotic medications that can stabilize mood. Psychological therapy and patient education greatly boost the effectiveness of these drugs.

What makes bipolar disorder harder to treat is that its depressive episodes are more severe and more resistant to therapy than ordinary unipolar depression. Some current bipolar medications have side effects including weight gain, sleepiness, tremor, and the sense of feeling “drugged.”

As in the case of lithium, the new batch of possible treatments for bipolar disorder has revealed their potential only by chance. Take the experience of National Institute of Mental Health researchers Maura Furey and Dr. Wayne Drevets with the drug scopolamine, which is normally used to keep people from getting seasick or carsick. When they were studying whether scopolamine could improve memory and attention in depressed people, they noticed an odd thing as the patients started feeling less depressed the night after the injections, a remarkable thing since most antidepressants take weeks to kick in.

In October 2006, after Drevets and Furey changed their research focus to test the drug’s effect on depression itself, they published an encouraging, though preliminary, result with a small group of depressed patients, some of whom had been diagnosed bipolar disorder.

Furey is now leading a study using scopolamine skin patches — like those that travelers wear to prevent motion sickness — to treat depression in bipolar disorder as well as ordinary depression. For now, people shouldn’t try patch treatment for depression on their own, she said.

A similar incident happened at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., in 2001 when depressed bipolar patients who were getting their brains scanned for a study on brain chemistry suddenly felt a lot better. And in 2004, they published their conclusion that the electric fields produced by the brain scans might help lift depression.

But not everything is being based on luck. Apart from luck, researchers have taken advantage of the few insights they have into the bipolar disease to develop potential treatments. Scientists say the real key to unlocking the mysteries of bipolar disorder – and thereby open the way for the development of new drugs – lies in a new generation of research into DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, which could possibly be the key to discovering an effective treatment for bipolar disorder.

post

5 Different Types of Schizophrenia

Here is a rundown on five different types of schizophrenia and their various characteristics.

Catatonic type schizophrenia

Patients with this subtype of Schizophrenia may exhibit extremes of behavior including catatonia. Some may allow their posture to be rearranged, holding the new position (catalepsy or waxy flexibility). Others may imitate sounds (echolalia) or movements (echopraxia) of others. At times, some patients may explode into an excited, activated state marked by purposeless ad repetitive movements. The catatonic type is rare today, and probably reflected an advanced stage of schizophrenia before the advent of modern treatment methods.

Disorganized type schizophrenia

A form of schizophrenia that is characterized by a disorganized behavior and disorganized speech. Their affect may be flat or inappropriate. This type involves a disturbance in behavior, communication, and thought. Usually these patients show a variety of eccentric characteristics such as unusual clothing or peculiar gestures.

Paranoid type schizophrenia

Delusions and auditory hallucinations predominate in patients with this subtype of schizophrenia while their affective and cognitive functioning remains relatively intact. This type of patient often has highly elaborate delusions of persecution or personal grandeur. However, the patient may appear rather normal until he or she becomes entangled in typical argumentativeness and suspiciousness.

Residual type schizophrenia

A form of schizophrenia that is characterized by a previous diagnosis of schizophrenia, but no longer having any of the prominent psychotic symptoms. There are some remaining symptoms of the disorder however, such as eccentric behavior, emotional blunting, illogical thinking, or social withdrawal.

In the residual type of schizophrenia, the patient has had at least one episode of schizophrenia. If delusions or hallucinations are present, they are not prominent, and are not accompanied by strong affect.

Undifferentiated type schizophrenia

This subtype of schizophrenia applies to patients who fail to meet the criteria for the other subtypes but clearly suffer from this mental disorder. The patient suffers from pronounced psychotic symptoms, which may not fit in any other specific category or more than one.