Thursday, December 10, 2009

Five Ways to Prevent a Holiday Heart Attack

While the holiday season is associated with the indulgence of food, spending, festivities and the "spirit(s) of Christmas" (i.e. something involving frequent visits to the liquor store), it can have its downside as well... a little cheer disturber called stress. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say the "stress of indulgence".

According to the alcohol industry watchdogs, 25% of the annual profit for liquor sales occurs between late November and January 1st, between American Thanksgiving and the New Year (Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, 2007).

That's right, one quarter of the annual sale of alcohol occurs in just over a month's time. Perhaps even more disturbing is the increase of cardiac arrest that occurs within this window of time as well.

In fact, coronary deaths are 33% higher between December and January than they are from June through September (L.A. Times, December 17, 2007). While this spike of heart attacks during this time period has been known in the medical field for years, it was at first attributed to people who would possibly overexert themselves by shovelling snow and have a cardiac event. Not so, as folks in southern and warmer regions (no snow available) are equally effected.

The two riskiest days for heart related deaths... Christmas day and New Year's (December 25 and January 1).

Such things as: alcohol, increased intake of rich (salty and fatty) foods as well as the all too often Christmas rush of getting from one social obligation to the next; not to mention the family tension and concerns that occur, for example, when you might wonder if "uncle Fred will go off at the mouth again" after having too much of the spiked eggnog, are all contributors to making the next party, possibly your last.

Your Five Christmas Cardiac Survival Tips:

1) Avoid excessive eating of salty foods

2) Avoid excessive eating of rich/creamy/fatty foods (avoid excessive eating period!)

3) Avoid excessive alcohol consumption (depends on age, weight, gender, history etc.)

4) Maintain some level of physical exercise or activity throughout the holidays i.e. go for a walk, take the stairs vs. elevator etc.

5) If social obligations require you to be around difficult family members, have a boundary of how long you will stay at the event, take your own car if you feel the in-laws will act up again and/or have another "out" in terms of being able to leave the event.

Perhaps the most important tip: if you feel a shortness of breath, chest pain and especially for women, symptoms such as indigestion, sleep disturbances, or weakness in the arms, etc. Don't just ignore it and think "another drink should fix that".

Listen to your body and get medical attention. This information could save a life.

Do take care over the holidays. Be mindful of excessive drinking, eating and over exerting or stressing yourself with too many social "obligations". The greatest "obligation" you can have is to a long and healthy life where you are there for your loved ones for years to come.

Season's Greetings, best wishes and best of health!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Neuro-Chemical Rush!

It may seem pretty obvious why someone would be addicted to substances like alcohol or drugs, but how does it work with a “behavioural addiction” i.e. shopping, gambling, self cutting, anger etc? Research has found some amazing facts about behavioural addictions that just might surprise you.

Did you know that some of the latest brain imaging techniques suggests that the brain/body can’t really tell the difference between whether you’re getting “fired up” with booze/cocaine or “fired up” from overdoing it at the casino or shopping mall?

Neuro-chemically you’re still getting a “hit.” The “hit” is usually a big dose of dopamine and serotonin the “feel good” chemicals produced by the emotional part of your brain, the mesolimbic system. So, whether you’re hitting the casino, the bottle, crack pipe or credit card, you will experience a similar neuro-chemical and physiological response with all of them.

For example, those who struggle with compulsive sexual behaviour (aka “sex addiction”), are reported to experience and activate neuro-chemicals such as dopamine, endorphins, androgens, norepinephrine, serotonin, vasopressin and oxytocin. Indeed it is quite a chemical cocktail! Which can also lead to seeking out activities, people and behaviours in a way that you can begin to lose control and experience destructive consequences to your finances, health, relationships, self esteem etc.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Neuroplasticity- Change Your Thinking & Improve Your Life

Howdy folks, how goes it? Its been awhile since I posted. Some of the LRP clinical team and I have been in conference for almost a third of the month so far. We've spent a number of days with folks specializing in genetics, neurobiology, neurophysiology etc and how certain conditions can lead to addiction, depression, anxiety etc.

One of our keynotes was Dr. Joe Dispenza (from the documentary film "What the Bleep Do We Know"), he was fantastic.

Much research and discussion has been placed on neuroplasticity, how your thoughts change your brain/life.

To change is to think greater than your feelings or condition. Often people become addicted to a feeling (and use substance/behaviour etc to achieve that feeling) which can become a person's emotional identity.

Neurons that fire together wire together (Hebbian Law)as demonstrated in this video which is in real time. It shows how a human brain can change its "neuro-net" thus altering brain chemistry and genetic activation.

What does all this mean? With consistent effort you will change the landscape of your brain which changes your body, relationships and reality in a way that empowers you and helps you realize your highest potential.

The key is consistency i.e. daily challenging the destructive thoughts/attitudes/distorted thinking and replacing them with affirmations/supportive thoughts and your brain/body will naturally do the rest (we use a technique called the "TFAB" which powerfully does all this).

To your journey of discovery, Paul Radkowski

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Support, Recovery & Lessons from Nature

As September is National Recovery month, I wanted to take this excerpt from ``Lessons from Geese`` (based on the work of Milton Olson) as it applies to the community of support and recovery.

FACT 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in V formation, the whole flock adds 72% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: it pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other`s skills and resources.

The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our `honking` is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. Their power of encouragement (to stand by one`s heart or core values and encourage the heat and core of others)is the quality of honking we seek.

FACT 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of the formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out with another formation or catch-up with the flock.
Lesson: If we had as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

From the smallest of creatures to the greatest of human achievements, we can learn and grow from the experience of others and the examples of life around us

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

As September is National Recovery Month new members who sign up for the Foundation Program will automatically upgrade to the Advanced program and get one full year of ongoing support.

Friday, September 18, 2009

September is Your National Recovery Month

The Recovery Month Web site aims to promote the societal benefits of alcohol and drug use disorder treatment, laud the contributions of treatment providers, and promote the message that recovery from alcohol and drug disorders in all its forms is possible.

Most of us have a recovery story. Recovering from an accident, illness, trauma, loss, relationship, addiction etc.

Is this true for you?

In honour of your recovery, the first 15 new members to sign up for the Foundation Program will automatically be upgraded to the Advanced program. You get one full year of cutting edge resources and ongoing support for the small investment of signing up for the Foundation Program.

Did you know that the Life Recovery Program has helped countless individuals just like you to recover from a place of feeling stressed, beat up and out of control... to a place of health, wellness a better sense of self esteem and better relationship with self and others?

This automatic upgrade only applies to the first 15 people who take advantage of this offer so don’t delay and act now.

When would be the best time to regain control and reclaim your life?

Recover to a place of optimal health and regain control over ANY stress, addiction, self-destructive habit or behaviour with clinically proven health recovery techniques in the privacy of your home. Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7. This program will change your life!

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Friday, September 11, 2009

Signs of Suicide Risk & What You Can Do

I recently sent some info. over Twitter about some of the risks to look for regarding suicide. As soon as I sent the information, I got a number of responses from people who were not aware of some of these risk factors, but who see the signs in hindsight as they knew of someone who did suicide.

This list is not conclusive but a good start.

Signs to Watch For:

-A Previous Suicide Attempt
-General Talk Of Death Or Suicide
-Talking About A Specific Suicide Plan, Including The Method, Date,Location
-Making A Plan (E.G. Drawing Up A Will, Talking About Final Wishes)
-Signs Of Depression Or Other Mental Illness
-Writing Or Drawing About Suicide
-Giving Away Valued Possessions
-Sudden Change In Behaviour (For Better Or Worse)
-Withdrawal From Friends And Activities
-Increased Use Of Alcohol Or Other Drugs
-Recent Loss (Such As Death, Loss Of A Job, Or Loss Of A Relationship)
-Feelings Of Hopelessness Or Helplessness

Remember, there is no sure fire list of warning signs. Any one of these signs by itself does not necessarily mean a person is suicidal, but the more of these signs that are present, the greater the risk. Also, suicidal person may not display the signs on this list. It may be right to be concerned simply because someone's behaviour is out of character. Sudden shifts in actions or attitude may alert loved one’s to potential problems.

How You Can Help …
1. Ask directly if the person is thinking about suicide. Talking openly about suicide does not increase the risk. In fact, it can bring relief to someone who has been afraid to confide their suicidal thoughts.
2. Talk to the person in a non-judgmental way, and listen to them without becoming upset. Let the person know you care and want to help.
3. Believe what the person says, and take all threats seriously.
4. Look into community resources, such as crisis lines and counselling services that you can suggest to the person.
5. Never keep someone's suicidal feelings a secret. Tell someone who can help.
6. Take action if you feel someone is at immediate risk. If necessary, make contact with the police, emergency services or a hospital to ensure the person's safety.

NOTE: Sometimes the greatest risk for someone committing suicide is when they are actually feeling better and have more energy after a severe depressive episode. When someone is in the depths of severe depression they may think or make plans of suicide, yet they often don’t have the actual energy required to take their life. When they are coming out of a severe depression, there is an accompaniment of more energy and often times someone will resolve at this point to take the action of taking their life for fear of slipping back into their depression.

What if you feel like killing yourself?
-Tell someone right away
-Develop a safety plan with family and friends to make sure that you’re not alone
-Don’t use alcohol and/or drugs
-Have regularly scheduled health care appointments and keep them
-Keep involved in things you like to do, if you can’t get together with family and friends even if you are only hanging out watching TV, reading or going to a movie with them
-Talk about how you’re feeling

Feel free to share this info. as it can save a life!

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Your Teen and Drug Use

As a parent, it is important to know what are some of the destructive influences that might be impacting your child.

For example-
Marijuana, Availability Up Sharply
Between 2007 and 2009 there was a 37 percent increase in the percentage of 12- to 17-year olds who say marijuana is easier to buy than cigarettes, beer or prescription drugs (19 percent to 26 percent).

Forty percent of teens (10 million) can get marijuana within a day; nearly one-quarter of teens (5.7 million) can get it in an hour.

Teens who say that the decision to use marijuana by someone their age is not a big deal are four times more likely to use it compared to teens who say this decision is a big deal.

Teens whose parents believe the decision to use marijuana is not a big deal are almost twice as likely to use the drug, compared to teens whose parents say this decision is a big deal.

Most teens who smoke cigarettes (56 percent) say the decision to use marijuana is not a big deal.

Other Notable Findings
• Two-thirds of high school students say that drugs are used, kept or sold at their school.
• Sixty percent of parents say that their child’s school is not drug free.
• Of parents who say their teen’s school is not drug free, almost half think there is nothing they can do about it, and only a quarter have even tried.

These stats are taken from the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XIV: Teens and Parents, the 14th annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

As a parent or loved one, how does this information effect your view on who your child spends time with or some of the activities they are engaging in? Talk with your child, let them know you care about them and perhaps are concerned over some of the choices they are making. Change often begins with communication.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drinking, Drugging and Sex

As a parent, it is important to know what are some of the destructive influences that might be impacting your child. Here are some sobering figures taken from the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XIV: Teens and Parents, the 14th annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

This year the CASA survey took a close look at teen drinking and discovered that 65 percent of 12- to 17-year olds who drink monthly report that they get drunk at least once in a typical month. Eighty-five percent of 17-year old drinkers get drunk at least once in a typical month.

The survey found that one third of teen drinkers usually drink with the intention to get drunk. Eighty-five percent of teen drinkers who say that when they drink they usually drink to get drunk do so at least once a month. Of those teens who do NOT set out to get drunk, 33 percent find themselves drunk at least once a month.

Compared to teens who have never tried alcohol, teens who get drunk monthly are:
• 18 times likelier to have tried marijuana;
• Four times likelier to be able to get marijuana in an hour;
• Almost four times likelier to know someone their age who abuses prescription drugs;
• More than three times likelier to have friends who use marijuana; and
• More than twice as likely to know someone their age who uses meth, ecstasy, or other drugs such as cocaine, heroin or LSD.

Compared to teens who have never tried alcohol, those who get drunk at least once a month are:
• Twice as likely to know a girl who was forced to do something sexual she didn’t want to do; and
• Nearly four times likelier to know a guy who uses drugs or alcohol to hook up.

“The message for parents is loud and clear. If your teen is drinking, the odds are your teen is getting drunk. And teens who get drunk are much likelier to try marijuana and hang out with friends who are abusing prescription drugs and illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin,” said Elizabeth Planet, CASA’s Vice President and Director of Special Projects. “Parents who think their kids are just having an occasional drink each month need to wake up and smell the beer and pot.”

As a parent or loved one, how does this information effect your view on who your child spends time with or some of the activities they are engaging in? Talk with your child, let them know you care about them and perhaps are concerned over some of the choices they are making. Change often begins with communication.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Teens Closely Watch & Mimic Parents Use of Drugs & Alcohol

As a parent or caregiver, it is important to be mindful of what you might be modelling to your child or teenager. Children closely watch and mimic their parents use of drugs and alcohol.

Compared to teens who have not seen their parent(s) drunk, those who have are more than twice as likely to get drunk in a typical month, and three times likelier to use marijuana and smoke cigarettes, according to the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse.

Here are some sobering figures taken from the National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse XIV: Teens and Parents, the 14th annual back-to-school survey conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University.

The CASA survey found that 51 percent of 17-year olds have seen one or both of their parents drunk and 34 percent of 12- to 17-year olds have seen one or both of their parents drunk.

Teen drinking behavior is strongly associated with how teens believe their fathers feel about their drinking. Compared to teens who believe their father is against their drinking, teens who believe their father is okay with their drinking are two and a half times likelier to get drunk in a typical month.

The survey found that five percent of 12- to 15-year old girls and nine percent of 12- to 15-year old boys say their fathers are okay with their drinking. Thirteen percent of 16- and 17-year old girls and 20 percent of 16- and 17-year old boys say their fathers are okay with their drinking.

“Some Moms’ and Dads’ behavior and attitudes make them parent enablers—parents who send their 12- to 17-year olds a message that it’s okay to smoke, drink, get drunk and use illegal drugs like marijuana,” said Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASA’s chairman and founder and former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. “Teens’ behavior is strongly associated with their parents’ behavior and expectations, so parents who expect their children to drink and use drugs will have children who drink and use drugs.”

Prescription Drugs Readily Available
For the first time this year, the survey asked 12- to 17-year olds how fast they can get prescription drugs to get high. More than one third of teens (8.7 million) can get prescription drugs to get high within a day; nearly one in five teens (4.7 million) can get them within an hour.

When teens were asked where they would get prescription drugs, the most common sources were home, parents, other family members and friends.

For the second year in a row more teens said prescription drugs were easier to buy than beer.

As a loved one it is important for you to know how your own attitudes and behaviour do have a powerful influence. Being mindful of what you do and making healthier choices is win-win. A win for your own health and for the ones you care about. I love win-win scenarios.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Healthcare Reform-Whose Taking Control Over Your Health?

There has been much controversy regarding revisions and proposals being made with the U.S. Healthcare Reform (many Canadians are probably wondering what all the fuss is about).

A recent news article...

...has focused on what seems a contentious issue of where does one's personal responsibility fit in with the new health system? Is the system responsible for my health, or am I? Before you definitively answer this question, I invite you to look at the responses posted by the public at large to get an idea what the controversy is all about.

It would seem there is a great deal of fear and reactivity regarding Healthcare reform as demonstrated in these posts. Change often means uncertainty. The greater the change- the greater the fear. I’m not sure if this is an either/or debate between the health system and the individual.

Perhaps the greatest need of change is in perception. I don’t need to wait for the system to change sometime in the future to take responsibility for my health in the present. The system is not responsible for my health choices, I am!

The choices I make today will reflect my health in the future. I become concerned when some people say “I can always rely on the system to fix the poor choices I’m making now” and use this thinking as their acting out ticket and/or a “licence to (gradually) kill” themselves. Some would call this (systemic) “co-dependency” and/or “enabling”. Of course the system needs to change and yet, we each have our own choices to make. That is our burden and our freedom.

Health and recovery begins with the power of choice.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

States Using Graphic Images to Show Consequences

A recent Washintgon Post article outlined the following "Packing a Heavier Warning
Elsewhere, Cigarette Boxes Bear Graphic Evidence of Smoking's Ill Effects; U.S. Labels Will Soon Do the Same"

Researchers have found a higher level of awareness when it comes to the risk of smoking cigarettes and nicotine addiction in countries such as Canada and Australia, and credit that to the more explicit labels in these countries. It has been argued that "pictures are more likely to catch people's attention and to hold people's attention over time," especially if the message reaches kids.

"Even the most hardened, recalcitrant smoker will often tell us, 'Well, they don't have an effect on me, but my 6-year-old keeps coming up to me and saying, "Daddy, this is going to happen to you?" ' " Hammond says. "That does not happen with the text warning (that has been used in the past in the United States)."

Study author David Hammond is a researcher from the Department of Health Studies at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

It is argued that these labels will also break the barrier when it comes to getting the message across for people who can't read (the labels in English) and targets this population that is "more likely to smoke anyway."

Over the years I have found showing brain images of alcohol/drug abuse an effective deterrent especially for early stage users...

Showing graphic images on cigarette packages is just showing what tends to be a (longer term)"natural consequence" to engaging in such behaviour and therefore creating a negative association (in the present) with smoking (or other substances).

Working with nicotine addicted clients who now have emphysema, they state they would do just about anything to "get their life back".

My belief of (graphically) showing the risk & consequences is providing the potential consumer/child with a more informed choice.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Best health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Improving the World One Step, One Person & One Family at a Time

Howdy folks, how goes it? Our "pay what you can" option was an idea intended for the month of January as people are more resolved to break "bad habits" and get healthy. Due to the state of the economy early 2009, we wanted to provide people with a very cost effective incentive to get going toward greater heath.

Since January, we received such positive emails of appreciation for this option. Folks who did not have any kind of health insurance, or who were laid off, struggling financially etc were still able to engage in a healthy and life transforming option. As a result of the economy and this outpouring of emails, we had extended the "pay what you can" option until early August of 2009.

Thankfully, the economy is turning around. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for your emails and sharing your stories with us. To those of you who expressed your gratitude to us for providing such an option, we are more than grateful to you in sharing of your stories of growth and health.

Our mission was to create a resource that would make a difference in peoples lives. We are very honoured to hear that we have done just that and that many of you have chosen to use this resource to make a difference in you and/or your family's life. Glad we could be there for your journey.

With the break in the economy, we are resuming our usual options for this program and are more committed than ever of providing you the most empowering and best possible resource to you and your families continuing health.

As always, best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Improving the world one step, one person and one family at a time

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Saying "NO"- Can Save a Life

Recovery and mental health is about having healthy boundaries. Sure we can all be emotionally impacted by the people we spend time with and the moods of others. It is a problem when you feel helpless, hijacked and taken over by the requests and moods of others.

Here are some signs of NOT so healthy boundaries-

1. Having one’s self-esteem and mood decreased and negatively affected by other’s anxieties and worries

2. Measuring self-worth by outside validation.

3. Being controlled by thoughts such as: “What will they think? Am I doing it right? Do they like me?”

4. Reacting (often unconsciously) out of childhood conditioning/teachings/trauma: sudden, unexplainded flashes of intense hurt, anger resentment, shame.

5. Fear that is unequal to current reality. Fear of “hurting other’s feelings” by sharing truth.

6. Seeing the world/people as “doing it me” rather than seeing our part and exercising our power.

7. Constantly needing to soothe others, or needing others to constantly soothe you.

We need boundaries for every part of our lives. Yet when you attempt to set a boundary for the first time it can feel quite uncomfortable. You may even feel a bit ashamed or afraid to hurt someone else’s feelings when setting boundaries.

Do it anyways! Why? Because often times the people around us have no idea that they are trespassing on your feelings, thoughts, core beliefs, personal space or even your big toe unless you say something.

When a stranger bumps into you most often they will say, “Excuse me.” Why? Because they recognize that they have stepped over the limit, they have touched you without asking permission. That’s someone recognizing that they have crossed your boundary.

Often times the people who are closest to us, may not recognize or even know what your boundaries are so it’s important for you to share that with them. Otherwise you may find yourself feeling used, resentful, angry or hurt.

Did you know that nobody respects a person whom they can use? People use people they can use, and respect people they can’t use. So, setting boundaries means letting people know what your limits are so that they don’t end up accidentally or purposefully using you. It becomes win-win and a satisfying relationship for you both. Both of you will experience a sense of personal worth, value, respect and trust as you now communicate your needs more honestly and directly.

Saying "NO"- can save a life.
Find out how this mom learned to say "no" to her drug abusing son and not only saved his life, but their family as well...

This week take time to pay attention and think about and practice setting boundaries with people in your life. Start by simply learning how to honour your needs by saying NO, rather than yes every time someone asks something of you. Write them down, jot down your feelings about setting boundaries and why it’s important for you to do so. Practice this until it becomes a more natural and comfortable feeling.

Best health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

-Saving and transforming lives and families 24/7

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Boundary is Like Your Skin- Don't Leave Home Without It!

People will often experience stress, depression, anxiety and/or addiction as a result of what’s going on in their relationships. Often this is due to a lack of a healthy boundary between ourselves and our own needs and the needs and expectations of others. Poor boundaries will often lead to unhealthy relationships, stress, depression, anxiety and addiction, not to mention poor self esteem!

So, what is a boundary? The simplest and most common analogy that clarifies what a boundary is and the importance of having boundaries …is one of the most obvious and easy to remember….your skin!

Our skin is a boundary. It keeps our insides protected from the outside environment. Imagine what your life would be like if you didn’t have any skin? Life would be quite difficult if all of our internal parts were exposed to our external environment, the scorching heat, cold frost, prickly plants or our pets jumping on our bodies … ouch! Imagine what life would be like without that boundary.

Having boundaries is key to living a healthy and happy life. Think about it, even though our skin is a boundary for our internal tissue, we protect our skin by shielding it with clothing, protective sunscreen or other protective cover to ensure that our skin is able to do its job which is to protect our insides. If we didn’t have this protection, we would start to feel pretty exposed, burned, cold and perhaps feel violated both literally and figuratively.

Did you know that nobody respects a person who they can use? People use people they can use, and respect people they can’t use. What are your needs? Perhaps it starts with the need of setting a limit asserting yourself by saying “No” to what you don’t want anymore.

We want to make a difference during these tough economic times so until July 29, 2009 we are offering a "Pay What You Can" option.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What would your friend say about you? Words of a friend or your own worst enemy?

It helps to externalize and address your core thoughts, attitudes and beliefs about your self and the world by writing them down. Writing down your thoughts slows down the process and gives you greater success in catching yourself when you start beating yourself up and challenging some of those not so encouraging core beliefs. It is often the way you “Should” yourself, the way you put yourself down with harsh words. Stop “Shoud-ing” yourself! Harsh words lead to harsh actions which also become fuel for the fire of depression, anxiety and addiction.

Some people say, “So I put myself down a lot… so what?” and then I might say as their therapist “Is that in your highest interest?” or “In what way can you now motivate yourself that is more gentle, versus being brutal?" which is just blah, blah, blah to some folks.

Then I might ask “What would you do if your (so called) best friend spoke to you in that way?” What if your “best friend” who you spent most of your time with kept beating you up emotionally, putting you down, taking every opportunity to take a strip off of you, leading you to feel pretty bad about yourself. Is this the behaviour of a best friend? This is more the behaviour of your worst foe than your best friend. You would probably leave and fire your friend?!?

Then I might ask, what would you say to your most beloved child or grandchild, niece, nephew etc. who is just learning to walk for the first time? Would you do everything you could to encourage this precious being? Or, would you prefer if you or someone else did everything they could to trip them up to hit the floor where they would never want to take the chance of learning to walk again???

Being gentle is not the only way... but it is one of the better ways. Recovery is like learning to stand on your own two feet and begin your journey. It takes courage and encouragement to go day by day. Find ways and folks who do encourage you to take those bold strides. You are doing it!!! Keep going and the walk does become easier, especially with a little encouragement.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Loving Yourself No Matter What!

Today I’d like to talk about something that most of us want more of …i.e. self-esteem. Whether you are struggling with stress, or an addiction, a mental health issue, trauma etc. many people including some of the wealthiest, attractive and most famous people often struggle with poor self esteem or poor self image.

Self-esteem is a term we’ve all heard of, yet often times it’s referred to as that thing that we feel we either don’t have at all, or, don’t have enough of. The truth is, we all have some measure of self esteem. However our thoughts, feelings, behaviours and core beliefs can impact it on an hourly, daily and life long basis. That’s why it’s so important to take the time to look after yourself, nurture and affirm yourself and not let yourself get away with “beating yourself up” through the influence of negative thoughts, people and statements.

If you were to rate your self-esteem on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 meaning extremely high, where would you rate? Often times we use to soothe by over eating, shopping, gambling or resorting to alcohol, smoking or drugs to try to shut out our negative feelings about ourselves. However, using doesn’t change how we feel, it merely masks it and often times results in us feeling ten times worse later on i.e. increased shame and guilt. And guess what, the higher the shame, the lower the self-esteem.

Self Esteem is not about perfection! It’s about self-acceptance.

Some people have low self esteem because they have made an ongoing habit of beating themselves up for something they did or perhaps didn’t do ie “It was my fault I got into that car accident that killed my partner” or “I should have never let my child’s addiction get so out of hand”. Often folks put themselves in a Penalty Box for these kinds of things. Giving themselves a time out and more so beating themselves up for some past “crime”.

In any sport where there is something akin to a penalty box, it is imposed for only a certain time. How long are you going to keep yourself in your penalty box? What is it going to take to get yourself out? The longer you stay in one, the more damage it usually ends up doing (to self esteem etc) and the more it often keeps people stuck in an addictive and self destructive process.

The media has influenced culture, our families, friends, acquaintances, all of us, and every one of these has an effect on how we feel about ourselves. Everybody battles negative feelings about physical appearance and whether or not we’re loved, liked or disliked at some point. Even famous celebrities like Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and the late Michael Jackson seemed to fall prey to the "expectation of perfection”.

Every day is a journey towards self-discovery and self-acceptance.

If your life is spent trying to be someone that you are not, in looks, finances, weight, social circle etc… you will find yourself falling back into coping with the disappointment of imperfection or a shattered past by using to soothe your pain.

However, the key to improved self-esteem, confidence and joy, is, … self-acceptance. And it starts by consciously making a decision to choose to build yourself up, surround yourself with healthy positive supportive people and activities as well as accepting the things that you cannot change and change the things that you can.

Do something different. Take the time to “risk” exploring what’s going on inside of you so that you can gain control of your thoughts feelings and actions, which ultimately improves self-confidence and self-esteem.

Self Esteem and health is about choice. So, what choices can you make with your life today?

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson- Addicted to Fame?

One of the main reasons folks resort to addictions is trauma. Simply put, trauma is considered a horrible life event that is often uncontrollable and overwhelming.

Michael Jackson's life, like so many had a past that included trauma. He reported that he'd been physically abused growing up. He also shared that he was self-conscious about his appearance. This feeling was later exacerbated by a tragic burn that occurred while he was shooting a Pepsi commercial.

A study by Ouimette, Kimerling, Shaw & Moos, 2000, indicated that as many as 2/3 of folks who struggle with substance abuse problems and addictions also have other co-occurring mental health issues. The most common are PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), anxiety and depression.

PTSD often creates the conditions for depression, anxiety and of course addiction issues. Trauma often feels like a "third degree emotional burn" for those who experience it. The addiction often arises as a means to soothe, using to soothe the memory, emotions, feelings and perhaps sensations of a trauma or abuse.

Michael Jackson, the "Man in the Mirror." Yet who was the man in the mirror? Is it possible that Michael's negative perception of himself resulted in what appears to be an addiction to plastic surgery along with a need to "use to soothe" through excessive shopping and prescription drugs with alleged use of Oxycontin,Demerol and Xanax? Did the pressure of fame result in extreme anxiety resulting in odd extreme and questionable behaviour, disordered eating and a need to withdraw from those around him?

Now it doesn't necessarily mean that if you struggle with addiction that you had been abused or traumatized. However, more recent studies do show a correlation between these unpleasant life events and experiences that lead many folks to self medicate and resort to addictions in an attempt to soothe.

Michael Jackson, a talent globally admired, yet a man profoundly troubled, with a deep internal struggle that he never figured out how to address in a healthy way. Even some of the most famous icons struggle with self esteem, trauma, destructive core beliefs of "not being good enough". Often as a result of these beliefs, some of the so called "most beautiful", talented, wealthy and most successful icons become addicted to fame and will go to desperate measures to remain in the limelight. These issues often lead to other addictions.

If you believe that beauty, talent, fame and your net worth are equal to your self-worth, then you will likely feel pretty beat up inside when these things fade. For many this leads to desperate, often addictive attempts, to try and reclaim those things that feel so wrapped up in our self worth.

Beauty, talent, fame and one's net worth have nothing to do with self-worth. Remember, your self-worth is not up for grabs!

Perhaps we are left with no other choice but to reflect, and honour ourselves by learning from his struggle and choosing to work through our pain so that we can learn to cope and soothe in a healthy and balanced way. Our past impacts us, but it doesn't have to define us. We all have a choice. There is hope.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Laugh and Live Longer

We all need laughter in our lives. Look at Ed McMahon from the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, who recently died at 86 years of age. He was part of a world that kept us all laughing. He had many struggles in his life, huge issues, especially in his latter years. We all have a choice, "use to soothe" or tap into other coping mechanisms like laughter, friends and other healthier options.

Gelotology is the psychological and physiological study of laughter and its effects on the mind, mood and body. The word is Greek in origin, gelos, geloto meaning laugh, laughter, or laughing. Norman Cousins author of Anatomy of an Illness observes that "laughter is internal jogging". It has been stated that "The physical and psychological benefits of laughter come second only to the physical and psychological benefits of sex." We're talking the "fun" kind of exercise here!

So, "LAUGH OUT LOUD!" Often times even a fake laugh will turn into a belly laugh. Laughter is good internal medicine. It relieves tension and loosens the muscles. It's an internal massage! It causes blood to flow to the heart and brain.

More importantly, laughter will decrease stress and anxiety, reinforce immunity, relax muscle tension, and decrease blood pressure and pain. What does this all mean? A life that is better in both quality and in quantity. Modern medicine is beginning to take advantage of these positive effects; hospitalized children who see clown shows have shorter hospital stays than those who do not. Remember the movie "Patch Adams" with Robin Williams? Laughter helps heal.

Every day, researchers discover new benefits of laughter. So, I ask you this one important question: "Could you use a good dose of belly-shaking laughter every now and then, how about right now?" Of course you can! So what are you waiting for? Get laughing! Go to a comedy club or rent a funny movie. Your mind, body and spirit will love you for it!

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Act As If- You Are Your Healthiest Self

A powerful way to achieve greater health and recovery is to... "ACT AS IF" you are already fully healthy and recovered.

"ACT AS IF" ... you are already at the ideal weight and physical health you want to be. "ACT AS IF" you already have the healthy self esteem & relationships you want to have. "ACT AS IF" you are already engaging in healthy behaviours & choices, right now.

People like Oprah, Lance Armstrong and President Obama "acted as if" they were already in a position of influence and power and look where they are now.

I want you to "ACT AS IF" you have already arrived to a place of optimal health & performance. As you now do this, "ACTing AS IF," ... how would you talk to others? What would you say to yourself on a regular basis? What would you carry in your purse or briefcase? What wouldn't you carry in your purse or briefcase? "ACT AS IF."

When you now "ACT AS IF" (you're already your healthiest self)... you are powerfully creating an attitude, expectation and behaviour that now creates a healthier reality. If nothing else, you owe it to yourself to give it a try!

Recovery is about working on ways that you can begin to behave toward new ways of believing and to believe toward new ways of behaving. Your beliefs can change your behaviour. Likewise, your behaviour can change your beliefs.

Recovery is about working on changes both inside and out. Whether it starts on the inside (with your beliefs) or the outside (with your behaviours), they each effect the other especially when you work on both at the same time. When your beliefs and behaviours are congruent with each other, this is known as "praxis". Praxis is the integration of belief with behaviour and as you begin to live life in this way, your brain will re-wire and re-integrate itself to reflect the healthier thoughts and habits you are now creating.

Be gentle, recovery is about honouring your needs and not your indulgences. What is your need? Feeling lonely, lost, bored, unattractive, flawed etc. A need is like thirst, it's not "good" or "bad" it just is. It's what you do with that need that counts. How can you meet that need in a way that is in your highest interest? In what ways can you now "Act As If" you are choosing, believing and behaving in ways that are in congruence with YOUR healthiest self?

So "ACT AS IF" you are where you've always dreamed of being. "ACT AS IF" your are completely recovered, healthy, happy and living your best and most fulfilling life.

Make a contract with yourself right now....

I will now "ACT AS IF...." in the following ways:____________________________________________________

We want to make a difference during these tough economic times so for the first half of 2009 we are offering a "Pay What You Can" option.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Closing the Door to Your Addiction- Is Your Recovery One of Commitment Or Convenience?

I often hear folks especially in early recovery say they want to "close the door" and end their destructive behaviour or addiction, but then I hear many of these same folks say "but maybe I'll just leave that door open just a crack".

So, for someone who has difficulty in overcoming toxic relationships they might say "I know its not good for me to call them, maybe I'll just send them a quick email or text message" or for someone overcoming overeating or a more recent categorization of "binge eating disorder" might say "I know its probably not in my highest interest to keep that tub of ice cream in my fridge, but the next time I have a guest they may want ice cream".

You can always find a way to rationalize a temptation and/or even act out in addiction. Its been said, to "rationalize" is about "rationing lies to your mind" and most often one lie leads to another, one temptation leads to a bigger one in a destructive slippery slope that will slowly but surely bring you down.

I do recommend closing the door to any or all temptations vs. leaving the door ajar. Recovery is about commitment not convenience. Commitment to follow a path of consistently making healthy choices. A committed choice is one that is consistent regardless of the circumstance, time or place "I'm committed not to smoke no matter what" versus a choice of convenience which is easily changed when circumstances and things are not so convenient "how could you expect me NOT to smoke after having such an awful day at work".

To make choices out of convenience is to keep the door open and invite "unwanted guests" to come in and linger in your life. I recall someone sharing their recovery story who had lived for some time in S. Africa. They said they would be able to keep the big predators away from the house like lions and such by having a big fence around their house, but it was the fire ants, the small little things that usually get past our guard easily that can and often do some serious damage. To leave the door ajar is to let things start to creep in, infest and take over.

You may have done some things in your life already to rid yourself of some of the big vices and temptations you previously engaged in and good for you for doing that. Remember, its often "the little things in life", the little temptations that lead to greater harm which is something to also be mindful of.

We want to make a difference during these tough economic times so for the first half of 2009 we are offering a "Pay What You Can" option.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stress, Anxiety and the Joyous Life

Children, teens, adults, seniors, absolutely everyone is affected by the stressors of life. Even up and coming singing sensation Susan Boyle has recently experienced the impacts of stress and taken to hospital. Cell phones, Internet, i-phones, blackberries, TV, the day to day demands of work, school, friends and family, feelings of loneliness, aloneness, grief, depression, anxiety, hopelessness and feeling lost, all impact our well being. The day to day pressures of life leave us with little room to stop and relax.

Yet, if we don't stop and breathe ... we will not recharge. Breathing is such an automatic thing yet when done properly it can be a very powerful way to decrease stress and anxiety. It is another effective stress reduction tool. It is a great way to ground yourself, rebalance and centre yourself. We tend to "shallow breathe" when we are upset or stressed. If you've been there and I know you have, ...pause and do this simple exercise.

Take a full, deep breath in from your diaphram, expand your rib cage and allow your lungs to fill up with oxygen. Breathe slowly and completely in through your nose. Now hold your breath for about 4-5 seconds, then exhale through your mouth, slowly. Do this several times in a row whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious or stressed and you will find your body rebalancing itself.

So, where does the joy of life come from. It comes from seeing beyond yourself and your circumstance(s) and also from looking within. It comes from recognizing that joy stems from an internal awarenes, that who I am is ok. It comes from changing unhealthy thoughts that result in increased anxiety or stress. It is about awareness of your needs and meeting them on a moment by moment basis i.e. self-care.

Have you checked in with yourself today? Have you exercised today? Have you taken some deep healthy breaths? Have you reached out for support? When life seems like too much to handle ... take the time to ask yourself, "What do I need right now?" Self-care and truly experiencing joy and self-acceptance, comes from knowing when to reach out beyond yourself and getting the support you need.

You're worth it!

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Disturbing Reality

Did you know that most people let things slide, or even get worse before they make any changes? In fact, did you know that less than half of those in need of services regarding mental health actually seek help? And those who do seek treatment typically do so after 10 or more years of denial or delays in getting any help at all, during which time they are most likely to develop even more problems (National Comorbidity Survey, 2005).

So what I say to these folks is, “Imagine your life 10 years from now, you’ve done nothing to change your circumstances, in fact things have gotten worse! Your health has deteriorated, your relationships have become more toxic and you feel even more beat up than you feel right now. Allow this image and feeling to just sink in for awhile.”

I then say to these folks, “Imagine you did do something right now that began to turn your life around for the better, improved your health, relationships, finances and self esteem."

Please do contact your doctor, counsellor (or school guidance counsellor), Employee Assistance Provider (EAP) etc.

You can also get help and do it now online, without fear of stigma or shame with complete confidentiality in the privacy of your own home with this program

The choice is yours and you deserve the best in life! Please don’t let yourself become a statistic!

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recession Proof Your Life...

The Journal of the American Medical Association (2004) Stats tell us that the 3 leading preventable causes of death to North Americans are smoking, obesity and alcohol use and the related illness that result i.e. cardiovascular disease, hypertension, cancer etc.

The National Eating Disorder Association states that 95% of folks who diet, will relapse and regain within 1-5 years. Today’s economic climate has kept many people in Survival mode which is the stress response of fight or flight.

Fear based stress will result in the activation of 1400 known physical and chemical responses in the body releasing stress hormones, increasing blood sugar etc, and if your mind/body believes it’s at war, it will store fat as a protective response to stress and the fear of possible starvation. It’s no wonder people have a difficult time losing and keeping off weight if they haven’t addressed their stress properly!

The question I ask folks is “How long can you run your car at 10,000 RPM… before something breaks down”. The American Institute of Stress tells us that 75-90% of visits to primary care physician’s results from stress related disorders. That’s right, up to 9 out of 10 times that you or your loved one go to the doctor, is due to a stress related illness.

I’m not stating all this to be doom and gloom. I’m stating it to highlight the need for mindfulness and self care, especially during the current economic climate with layoffs, credit crunch, foreclosures etc. Often the more stress and lack of control people feel toward their circumstances, the more they tend to resort to self-soothing, often in destructive ways by grabbing the pack of cigarettes, the tub of ice cream, hitting the bottle etc. Short term gain, long term pain as this form of “self-medicating” will ultimately make things worse, more stressful and more out of control.

As you probably know, the lower your bank account, usually the higher the experience of stress…. it is also important to realize that your “human accounts”, your health… physical health, or physical bank account, your mental account, spiritual, emotional and relational accounts need to be replenished. The lower these human accounts of your life are… the greater the stress and more overwhelmed you will feel as something may come along and “break your bank”.

This internationally awarded “All Addictions Life Recovery Program” ( is a program that will show you how to keep your “human accounts” topped up; how to find a greater sense of balance and self control during these times of uncertainty and how to recession proof your life and health.

In keeping with our commitment of improving the lives of others, given the challenge of today’s economic uncertainty… the Life Recovery Program is providing a “pay what you can” option.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stress & Self Destruction

Many people don’t realize that the stress in our lives can cause us to cope by using a variety of not so healthy things, to soothe ourselves, to try to make ourselves feel better. Life is stress and yet for many, how to manage it, has become something that not only destroys the stressed person’s life but also those closest to that person.

Did you know that some folks try to deal with their stress through such things as drinking, shopping, cutting, drugs, porn, gambling or even eating too much or too little? Many people, especially women are familiar with the notion of “emotional eating.” However, managing stress in this way can lead to disordered eating which may lead to a variety of health problems either now or in future. Sadly, from a very young age, many are taught that when you’re hurting, a cookie will make you feel better, while others have learned over time, that toxic relationships, the Internet/porn, gaming or other destructive behaviours are ways to help “not feel” the emotional pain caused by the stress or even trauma in their lives.

Other ways that people destructively cope with stress or trauma may be by using drugs, sex, cutting (to stop the emotional pain or, somehow feel alive) alcohol, gambling, excessive shopping, angry outbursts or any number of things to try to help themselves feel better and/or release bottled up emotions. None of these things have any long lasting healing effect on the feelings caused be chronic stress or a traumatic past, which is why the behaviour continues and for some gets worse.

Many of us are unaware of the destructive nature of our habits, they sneak up on us so suddenly. Often times it takes someone close to us to tell us that what we’re doing is pretty destructive. Most people don’t realize that such behaviours can be defined as addictive patterns of behaviour. That’s right, an addiction, hard to believe but it is true.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Addicted to Stress?

According to the American Institute of Stress, between 75-90% of visits to primary care physicians result from stress related disorders.

So, a reminder… the definition of addiction is “Any behaviour you cannot stop, that results in destructive consequences.” Are you addicted to stress? Do you thrive on chaos and conflict? Children and people who live in poverty or through war obviously don’t have the same choices in their life but I’m talking about someone who is hooked on the adrenal rush.

Feeling chronically exhausted? Are you constantly doing a hundred and one things at a time? Can’t seem to slow down your own thoughts let alone your hectic pace? Stress isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing, it can provide great motivation and energy… but if things are breaking down for you emotionally, physically, your relationships etc and you can’t stop it… you may be headed for trouble.

It has been documented that there are over 1400 physical and chemical reactions occurring to the human body when someone is having a major stress reaction. If you are not able to stop, or at least take a break from some of your stress activities and behaviours, or you are actually constantly seeking things/events/people to create stress and drama (perhaps as a distraction?) and yet you believe there is no destructive consequence, then I ask… how long can you run your car at 10,000 rpms? Something is eventually (if not very soon) going to break down! If you can’t stop it AND its destructive, stress itself can be an addiction.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski

Monday, February 23, 2009

"Virtual Intervention"

Hello folks, how goes it? In response to a lot of email inquiries, we have included a new feature on our website..."virtual intervention".

or here

We have made it easier for you to take a step and share your concern with the person you care about. When you do have a conversation with this person, it's better to tell them what their addiction is doing to you. How you are effected by their behaviour ie feeling angry, hurt, helpless, frustrated etc. This usually creates less defensiveness. Allow yourself to "get real" and share that you do care and are concerned and this helps model to them to "get real" as well.

Be honest, say what you need to say in the most direct and caring way possible. They may be ready to hear what you have to say, they may not. If nothing else, you have been open and honest with them and you will leave them with something to think about.

See a recent news clip of how this program is already saving and transforming lives and families 24/7.

Best of health and best regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Freedom from... before freedom to

There is a significant difference between sobriety and recovery. Sobriety is when you stop engaging in an addictive behaviour, whether its alcohol, drugs, smoking, over eating, gambling, shopping etc. Freedom from before freedom to… this is a vital, significant first step on the journey of recovery. The difference between sobriety and recovery is… you may have stopped engaging in your addiction, however, your relationships may still be toxic, your boundaries and self esteem may be non existent or in rough shape. You still may be engaging in other toxic and destructive behaviours and stinking thinking.

Recovery is not just about abstaining, its about moving toward a healthier self, going from a negative not just to a neutral, but to a positive place of being. Recovery and health is not just the absence of disease or addiction, it is the presence of wellness… emotionally, physically, better relationships, self esteem, a sense of inner peace.

Best of health and best regards, Paul Radkowski

Friday, February 13, 2009

We all have a story... what is yours?

During a recent interview talking about how the All Addictions Life Recovery Program came to be, the interviewer had shared a story of how his brother in law overcame an addiction. He had struggled for years to overcome his addiction to alcohol, without much success.

One day he decided to take the money he would normally spend on alcohol and put it into a bank account instead. He shifted his attention and energy from something that was destructive and redirected it to something positive. He still went to A.A. meetings and accessed support from those around him. In a few years time, he had paid off his mortgage and bought a new car with the money he would normally have spent on his alcohol addiction.

I felt very privileged to have been on that interview to share my online addictions program with part of the global community. I felt even more privileged to hear in the sharing of someone actively and creatively overcoming the adversity of their addiction and making their part of their world… a better place. Sometimes the most powerful transformation comes from the sharing of a story. I want to hear your story, your greatest obstacles, your greatest triumphs. We all have a journey of the heart, a song of the spirit and a story to be shared. We all have a story… what is yours?

Best of health and best regards, Paul Radkowski

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Small steps and celebrations...

Hello folks, how goes it? For the readers of this blog out there i just wanted to send an update as to where I’ve been over the last week or so. I have just returned from the stunning island of Oahu, Hawaii where I had attended a conference in which I was honoured and most blessed to receive the “Outstanding Addiction Professional Award” from the International Association of Addictions & Offender Counselors for my contributions in the field of addictions and for the creation of the online recovery resource

I was privileged to be a part of this conference in which 3000 colleagues in the fields of addiction, education and counseling attended. I’d like to take a moment to thank the IAAOC and the American Counseling Association for this esteemed honour. I also want to acknowledge all of my mentors, clinicians, educators, supervisors and most of all… the people and clients who I have been most fortunate to witness and share in the journey and triumphs of their recovery.

It has always been my mission to provide the highest level of commitment, compassion and care to the people I serve. This “outstanding” award renews my faith and spirit that I will continue to learn, grow and serve in the greatest of my abilities, so that many others will reach and achieve the greatness of their own.

Beyond the cold depths of sorrow’s darkness
Within the warm rays of heaven’s light
The spirit knows no shadow
Born in love and bathed in light
In your life journey remember this truth,
Love is the skin of your soul

With sincerest regards, Paul Radkowski

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So whether you’re hitting the bottle, casino, crack pipe or credit card…

It may seem quite obvious why someone would be addicted to substances like alcohol, meth, coke, heroin etc, but how does it work with a “behavioural addiction” i.e. shop-aholic, gambling, self cutting, anger etc? Well, I did a bit of research and found some amazing facts about behavioural addictions that just might surprise you.

Did you know that some of the latest brain imaging and mapping techniques suggest that the brain/body can’t really tell the difference between whether you’re getting “fired up” with booze/cocaine, or, whether you’re getting “juiced up” from overdoing it at the casino, or at the shopping mall?

Neuro-chemically (juices in the brain) you’re still getting a “hit of stuff”. The hit is usually a great big dose of dopamine and seratonin the “feel good” chemicals produced by the emotional part of your brain… the limbic system (meso-telencephalic dopamine system).

So, regardless of whether you’re hitting the casino, the bottle, crack pipe or credit card… you will experience the same neuro-chemical and physiological response with all of them. There is a closer link with all of these than many would think.

Best of health and warmest regards, Paul Radkowski