These two adult beverages — one that wakes people up in the morning and another that relaxes them in the evening — may help keep the mind young: coffee and red wine.

According to research, these two beverages — if enjoyed in moderation — might help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Staying Sharp
The recent news is no reason to start a coffee or wine habit. But if they’re already part of your beverage repertoire, you might be interested to know that both seem to contain ingredients that could help ward off dementia. Animal studies show that something in coffee may help trigger the release of a special growth factor — granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) — that recruits cells from bone marrow to help sweep out beta-amyloid deposits. (Those are the pesky plaques that cause Alzheimer’s symptoms.) And the polyphenols in red wine may have similar benefits, reducing levels of peptides that contribute to Alzheimer’s plaques. (Related: Do you forget things simply because you’re distracted? Find out what the symptoms of adult ADHD are.)

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[The] 24 states that chose not to expand their Medicaid programs, offered under the Affordable Care Act . . . have left about 3.7 million Americans with serious mental illness, psychological distress or a substance abuse disorder without health insurance, according to a recent report from the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA), a group that represents mental health professionals.

In states that agreed to expand Medicaid, about 3 million people who have those conditions and were uninsured are now eligible for coverage, according to the report.

 

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Like all counselors I believe we need more mental health services offered, not fewer.

April 8th, 2014

Currently taking new coaching and counseling clients.  I am starting at least two new groups, one for those dealing with loss–especially of beloved animals and people; the others depend on the desires of the group.

April 8th, 2014

Book Signing

 

Denver author, counselor, coach, and professor Thomas Ramey Watson will be doing a book signing at the Regis Univ. Main Campus (Lowell Blvd.) Bookstore on 24 April Thurs. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. He will be reading from his popular new book Baltho, The Dog Who Owned a Man, about his remarkable Afghan hound named Baltho, with whom he shared a psychic bond, helping in his counseling practice by pointing out things Dr. Watson missed; and two new books of poetry The Necessity of Symbols, and  Love Threads, a remarkable narrative of an often paranormal love affair that took place mostly in the soul realm.

And, sure, many of you already know that they have a rather unique drinking style — all that water seeming to slosh and splash up against our faithful furball’s face. In real-time, dogs seem to douse their faces, hoping some of that water creeps down their throats.

But, seen in ultra slow motion, that simple act has an utterly fascinating grace.

Check out this clip from the also-kind-of-brilliant documentary The Secret Life of Dogs. It shows an Alsatian drinking water filmed with a Phantom camera at 1000 frames per second.

Watch video. Fascinating.

“I define intuition as the subtle knowing without ever having any idea why you know it,” Sophy Burnham, bestselling author of The Art of Intuition, tells The Huffington Post. “It’s different from thinking, it’s different from logic or analysis … It’s a knowing without knowing.”

Our intuition is always there, whether we’re aware of it or not.

More.

When jazz musicians let their creativity flow and start to improvise melodies, they use parts of their brains typically associated with spoken language — specifically, regions that help people interpret syntax or the structure of sentences, according to a new study.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine in Baltimore tracked brain activity as two jazz musicians played pieces from memory and then engaged in back-and-forth improvisation, creating something akin to a spontaneous musical conversation. They found that areas of the brain associated with syntax and language were very active as the musicians were improvising.

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This could suggest there is a fundamental difference between how the brain processes meaning for music and language.

“Syntax has more to do with grammar and the structure of language — basically the rules of language,” Limb explained. “Semantics has more to do with the meaning of words. So, if music has semantics, it’s not processed in the way that is traditionally used for language.”

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Hundreds of families in Geel take in psychiatric patients; people who suffer from schizophrenia, from obsessive compulsive disorder, serious mental illnesses. About half of “the boarders” as they are known, also have what is described as “a mild mental handicap.”

Families in Geel have been looking after mentally ill people for centuries. When the numbers were at their highest in the late 1930s, there were 3,800 psychiatric patients living with families in Geel, a town at the time of only 15,000. A quarter of the town was noticeably mentally ill.

The tradition continues today. A young woman dressed like some sort of ragged angel scurries past on the street; a few minutes later a man with a vacant gaze wanders by muttering to himself. No one bats an eye.

“We are known all over the country as the place where there are insane people.” says tour guide Alex Martens. “There’s also an expression instead of saying you’re crazy. You can say you belong in Geel.”

There really is nowhere on Earth quite like it. Geel has become the gold standard of community care of psychiatric patients, and it’s a model that others are starting to adopt.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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