Monday, August 13, 2012

Staying Active on a Budget

If you live in northeastern Pennsylvania, as a free Member of ReferLocal you have access to great 50%+ off deals and exclusive offers.

These discount offers are from plumbers, lawyers, dentists, hair stylists, landscapers, wealth managers, casinos, arenas, sporting venues, yoga instructors, karate schools, locksmiths, colleges and universities, accountants, air conditioning technicians, florists, photographers, chiropractors, dog walkers, contractors, painters, optometrists, clowns, tutors, retail shops, pet groomers, and over time every other local and professional business you can think of.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Guest Blog Post

Ms. Jasmine McCarthy, of the Public Outreach Department at, recenlty requested permission to post the following to the Simplified Health blog, as part of a guest post. Guest posts do not necessarily represent the views of this blog. Any private questions can be directed here.

Severe Side Effects of Pelvic Organ Prolapse Treatment

While Pelvic Organ Prolapse (POP) is not necessarily detrimental to a woman's health, there are severe side effects to one of the most popular measures used to correct POP: the use of transvaginal mesh. More than 10 percent of women who have had corrective surgery to treat POP using transvaginal mesh have experienced complications. These complications can be mild or permanently damaging. It is important that women understand the health risks related to vaginal mesh products and be aware of safer alternatives to treat POP if it is determined that treatment is necessary.

What is Transvaginal Mesh?

Transvaginal mesh entered the market to treat POP in 2002. It was approved under the Food and Drug Administration's 510(k) "fast-track" clearance system. The clearance was given due to the mesh's supposed similarity to mesh products used to repair hernias.

Vaginal mesh is used like a hammock to support pelvic organs that have dropped into a woman's vaginal canal and/or rectum. It is also used in the form of a bladder sling, to correct Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI). Unfortunately, transvaginal mesh has the tendency to erode, and protrude into vaginal tissues and other organs. This can cause mild discomfort at best, and severe pain and organ damage at its worst.

Image provided by

POP can be corrected without the use of transvaginal mesh. There are multiple non-invasive alternatives that have widespread success in treating, and reversing, the symptoms of POP. In the more rare cases where surgery is necessary, there are alternatives to the use of transvaginal mesh. Prior to the popularity of vaginal mesh products, doctors a woman's own tissues to repair and support connective tissues. These tissues can have equal success in treating POP, with far fewer complications.

What Should a Woman Do if She Has Undergone Surgery Using Transvaginal Mesh?

Women who have already experienced a corrective surgery using a vaginal mesh product should become familiar with the signs of complications associated with the device. A woman who experiences any of these symptoms should contact her health care professional immediately. It is also imperative that she have regular exams and let medical professionals know she has had transvaginal mesh inserted to correct POP or incontinence.

Symptoms of vaginal mesh complications can include:

  • Pain in the vaginal canal or pelvic area
  • Unusual bleeding and/or discharge
  • Repeat infections
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Sexual partners may feel the eroded mesh material inside the vagina
  • Incontinence outside the norm
  • Constipation or new complications with bowel movements

Women who have experienced complications related to transvaginal mesh should report the problem to the FDA using the MedWatch Report Form. Women who have suffered severe physical and emotional trauma as a result of vaginal mesh products may be eligible for compensation. Many women have already sought to file a transvaginal mesh lawsuit. Other affected women may want to receive legal counseling to determine how they should proceed in filing a legal complaint.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Brief Collection of Some Inspirational Images & Quotes
on Our Human Character Strengths

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Dr. Nafeez Ahmed is Executive Director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development (IPRD), an independent think tank focused on the study of violent conflict in the context of global ecological, energy and economic crises. His documentary about our world's currently evolving challenges makes the most explanatory sense to me of anything else that I have seen or read on this topic.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." -- Martin Luther King Jr.


FOX News Video
"Better a thousand guilty men go free than one innocent be imprisoned." -- loosely attributed to Maimonides

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trailer for EMDR: a documentary film (2011)

Trailer for EMDR: a documentary film (2011)
Video clip courtesy of director Michael Burns.

Film's homepage can be found HERE.
More info on EMDR.

EMDR: a documentary film is "the most in-depth narrative investigation into this treatment, with exclusive interviews featuring the most influential personalities who coordinate EMDR development and training" (quote from Interviews are conducted with Dr. Francine Shapiro (EMDR's originator), Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, patients who have undergone EMDR, and others. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have been a part of this groundbreaking film, through a featured interview with my former patient and me. As an educator, Jason drew courage to volunteer to share his heartfelt story as a way to enlighten others about the potential benefits of EMDR.

I truly like the manner within which Michael Burns uses his film's narrative to blend EMDR stories into compelling evidence for the use of this therapy as a powerful method to transform emotional pain. This transformation has the real potential to help prevent unanalyzed hurt from impacting its negative ripple effect throughout the lives of individuals, families, and society as a whole.

As a psychologist, I have been using EMDR since 1995. I wholeheartedly agree that it remains a most remarkable approach for helping people to expedite the resolution of disturbing memories. The 2007 research of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk even demonstrates that EMDR is likely more effective than psychotropic medication for the sustained improvement of symptoms associated with clinical anxiety and depression.

I highly recommend this remarkable documentary for graduate psychology students, health care providers, and anyone else who is interested in EMDR and how the mind works to heal itself.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Marketing of Madness: The Truth About Psychotropic Drugs

For those being treated for mental health issues, it is vital to be an informed consumer of treatment options. In light of this fact, I suggest that you consider the notion that according to a 2001 research study, psychotherapy is generally considered a complement to pharmacological interventions in the treatment of most mental illness. However, if the illness is an acute episode, psychotherapy approaches, like Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), have demonstrated their efficacy as primary treatments. More recent research has demonstrated that a form of psychotherapy was superior to control conditions in the amelioration of both Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms and depression. Upon termination of therapy, the psychotherapy group using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) continued to improve while the fluoxetine (Prozac) participants again became symptomatic.

The following is a controversial 2010 documentary produced by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a nonprofit mental health watchdog group. The CCHR was established in 1969 by the Church of Scientology and psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, M.D. Although this film appears to make some questionable and sensational claims, much of its information does appear to be substantiated within independent, reputable sources. If you choose to watch this documentary, please do so with an open mindedness. Always consult with your treating physician before making any changes to your mental health therapies.

The Marketing of Madness:
The Truth About Psychotropic Drugs
Video hosted by

Monday, January 2, 2012

Solutions To Help Keep Your 2012 Resolutions!

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the most popular New Year's resolutions are losing weight, quitting smoking, and exercising more regularly. Unfortunately, almost sixty percent of those who make resolutions give up, within the first six months. Nevertheless, chances are that if you do make a resolution, you will be ten times more likely to prevail over those without the resolve.

Our feelings actually dictate our actions. In that regard, if you are like most people (including myself), you probably have brand name toothpaste in your bathroom. Although we both intellectually know that generic toothpaste is basically the same as (and often less expensive than) the brand name, we pay more for the brand name, because we feel that it will provide us with "fresher breath and whiter teeth."

Advertisers tend to trick our emotional selves into feeling good about their product over their competitor's or generic, often causing us to change our behavior to spend more for their product. Using this same basic "Psych 101" principle to one's advantage, can help empower oneself to create positive change, especially as it applies to resolutions.

To succeed with your resolutions, therefore, it is vital to pair enough emotional pain to the old behaviors, and enough emotional pleasure with the new behaviors. A smoker, for example, might imagine how good it will feel to breathe easier as well as to have more energy, freedom and pride in the accomplishment..

Having a plan is also key to any behavioral change. Fortunately, the Internet affords an amazing array of self-help tools. My online collection of "Solutions to your 2012 Resolutions" offers free software and meditation downloads for managing stress; additional APA information on New Year's Resolutions; free ebooks on weight-loss, exercise and smoking cessation; and links to other select online tools for behavioral change.

Access a FREE Audio Hypnosis Quit Smoking Download, Request FREE Nicotine Gum, and view a list of FREE Ebooks for Quitting Smoking, Weight Loss, Exercise, and more: