How Can a Healthcare Professional Use Social Media to Grow Their Business

Social Media: Opportunities and Dangers

With social media, healthcare providers have many tools at their disposal to help build their businesses. Social network sites can be a powerful tool in the hands of persons who know how to leverage it to its full potential. When social media is misunderstood or misapplied, it can turn into a time sink where many hours that could have been spent more productively in other ways to build your business. Since social media is easily misunderstood, it will help to clarify some of those areas.

One of the things that makes it confusing is that social media uses terms that people often assume they understand, like 'networking', yet in the realm of social media, it has very different meanings.

Social Media and Meetings

With 128 million people using the internet in the US, the way of reaching people and being relevant to their needs has changed. This means that the way of doing business has changed as well. The public now consults their phone for the best buys on products and services. They are also using their phones to purchase items. The changes in the way business is conducted also impacts healthcare.

Social Media offers many tools that you as a healthcare professional can use to build your business. With the use of social (interactive) media, the nature of business building has changed. Social network sites provide an interactive way of dealing with potential clients. In previous generations, the relationship between a healthcare provider and potential clients was limited to one way interactions dominated by the healthcare professional. Today, the patients talk back to you using Facebook, email, twitter or some other service, asking questions and want you as a healthcare professional to be responsive. If you provide good service, they can tell others, if your service is lacking, your reputation suffers much faster when they use social media.

In previous generations, any kind of marketing consisted of ads telling about the services provided and contact information. If the healthcare professional had social skills, they may even engage in networking as a way to develop their business. In previous generations, networking consisted of joining local business promotion groups in the local community. A healthcare professional typically joined the Chamber of Commerce, local professional group of their specialization, a business group like the lions or rotary or if they are really adventurous, toastmasters.

With social media, the groups that an aspiring healthcare professional joins have changed. Sure, there are still some of the old groups used in previous generations, which can be used. Social media provides more options. There are physician only sites like, which are a social media site devoted to only physicians.

In other healthcare areas, professional groups like the American Psychological Association and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy have developed their media presence. This allows the old professional groups to have a new place to meet on the internet.

In addition to those groups, there are groups on social media sites, themselves. LinkedIn has many professional groups on its site, as does Facebook. These groups vary by specialty. There are groups on oncology, depression, healthcare professional support, etc. Such groups often provide forums where you can discuss issues of concern to yourself as the healthcare provider. I recall a recent lively discussion on the existence on Sexual Addictions on LinkedIn, where healthcare professionals addressed the issue from many different perspectives. These provide a place to find out the latest information and to stay in touch with colleagues.
These groups provide a forum where healthcare professional meet and connect with others sharing similar interests. This is a new application of old style social networking. The networking that occurred at monthly or annual meetings is now available on a daily basis. Meetings and relationship continue remaining an important essential for a healthcare professional to develop in building their business.

The New Networking and New Challenges

Social media is changing the application of the term 'networking' in new ways. With social media, the healthcare professional is faced with the new dimension when you have to deal with interactive media. In previous generations, building a practice involved the use of static media. With social media, the relationship between the healthcare provider and client becomes interactive. It is no longer one way with the healthcare provider telling the public that they are the expert and the patient has to accept that. Now the public talks back to you, wanting evidence of your expertise, caring and empathy. In the past, you could get away with just 'being the healthcare professional'. In the age of social media, they want to know something about Dr. Jane, or Jack the therapist.

With the new application of 'networking' including the interaction with the client, healthcare professionals are in new game. The clients now ask questions and interact with them in an environment where the healthcare provider is not the one in control. The healthcare professional and the potential clients now share control. Potential clients now ask questions and engage in social interactions that did not exist ten years ago. With social media, the potential client is empowered.They know more and want more than they did ten years ago.

With social media, today's patients often self-diagnose before seeing the healthcare professional. In one study 81% of respondents indicated that they expect to find help on the internet, including medical help. This means that the public is going to the internet, and its social media for their healthcare help including self-diagnosis. In one recent study 47% of those seeking medical information also made self-diagnoses. This practice is becoming so prevalent, there is a tendency to refer to Dr. Google. One of the big challenges related to this information is is that the public is not always verifying the veracity of information they obtain.

Not only are the public going to the internet looking for help, they are often diagnosing themselves with the information they have access to. Dr. Bryan Varabedian said "Information is the new third party in the exam room". (Dr. Varabedian maintains a blog addressing the convergence of social media and medicine.) Healthcare providers building their business now have to deal with patients having and using more information.Some of the information is good, while some is not from proven sources. Another challenge is when patients have the right information but are using it in an unorthodox manner.

With patients knowing more, they have begun to self-diagnose their presenting issues or problems.The whole idea of patients daring to self-diagnose is seen as threatening by some healthcare professionals. In Texas, a physician's group has sued the Chiropractors, podiatrists and family therapists because they dared to diagnose clients. This is a far cry from Pennsylvania, where all 277 of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) sent out e-mails, offering digital house calls. In that state, some patients receive a diagnosis without seeing a doctor (or any healthcare professional) in person or even speaking to one on the phone. It remains to be seen how those healthcare professionals will respond to patients diagnosing themselves. Today's social media savvy patients also present with more information and ask more informed questions than previous generations. Healthcare professionals now have to be prepared to deal with this challenge of patients having a knowledgeable voice in their healthcare decisions. The patients of today do not always go along with healthcare choices, just based on your word. They may also compare your information vith what they find on the internet. This means the healthcare professional needs to provide good information and be on top of the latest trends and developments in their field.

The input of patients in healthcare decisions has great potential in improving the quality of healthcare. By using social media, the patients are not only making informed choices, they are speaking out. With patients having a voice, the healthcare providers who listen to their voices and respond will be seen as the expert. This means that healthcare will have to become more responsive to patients overall if they want their business to thrive.

Potential patients also want to know about their healthcare providers. When patients are often limited as to who the patient can see, when the patients do have some choice, they often have questions and want to interact with the provider. Social media provides a way for them to "get to know" their healthcare provider. Providers that learn how to use social media in dealing with patients will be ahead of their competition. Those providers will also need to develop written "social media policies" in dealing with those patients. Healthcare providers using social media will need to be clear concerning the boundaries between themselves and clients, specifying what information they will share about themselves and their accessibility.

In using the new social media, the public is now going to Facebook or Google to find help before they go to the yellow pages. This means that healthcare providers who do not have a social media presence will be passed over. They will not even by considered by potential patients that are seeking out healthcare.

The Importance of Social Media

When millions of people are using social networks, those healthcare providers who choose not to be a part of it by exercising 'social media abstinence' are missing out on the changing way that people interact. Healthcare professionals who choose to avoid social sites altogether are crippling themselves. The public now use them extensively. Whether in the use of their computers or phones, or both, it is a reality. Social media has changed the way people interact in the marketplace.

Dr. Ross Speck, who researched social networks back in the 1970's saw the changes coming. He stated, "If the psychotherapist is to maintain a healing relationship with human beings in this predicament [social change]-if he is to be of value in relieving distress-he has to innovate". Although Dr. Speck's comments were directed at psychotherapists, it has application to any healthcare professional in practice today. It is becoming important for healthcare providers to know how to use social media, or hire someone for them who does.

Dr. Ken Cohn MD, has observed the importance of the new media and medical practice. He often addresses this subject. He sees the time for healthcare providers to act on social media is now, "...because physician leaders over the next 2 years will influence patterns of care delivery for the next 25 years".
Social media is also a way for an aspiring healthcare professional to compete with much larger competition, whether it be from other people in healthcare, publishing or speaking. Using social media removes the size advantage that some exploit in providing healthcare.

Dr. Ken Cohn who has pioneered collaborative work between physicians, hospitals and patients has used the new media to present the message of his work to others. In promoting his book, "I see social media as a great equalizer." He has seen social media improve the quality of care for hospitals. He has also seen how he, with his book could compete with larger publishers using social media.

Social media also allows the little person just starting out to make a name for themselves. A highly responsive healthcare professional can establish a name for themselves with the public rather than always having to be dependent on the power brokers of established practices.

Social sites are is changing healthcare, including how healthcare providers build their practice. It changes how clients find them, interact with them, and services are delivered. It also changes the way that healthcare providers will find potential patients. Knowing how to use and master social media is critical for any healthcare professional wanting to build their business in today's social media saturated culture.

Social Media Tools

Once you as a healthcare provider has a social media policy, you need to use the tools available. Below are some of the social media tools and ways they can be used by a healthcare professional in building their business.

Facebook: Facebook is the largest social community. With increasing frequency, people search Facebook for their needs. You can have business page to establish awareness of your business. Given the size of Facebook, it is critical that the healthcare provider have a page in order to remain relevant.

LinkedIn: This social site allows healthcare professionals to network with other professionals. 80% of small business owners in one 2011 survey report using LinkedIn. Having a profile will let others know that you are in business and lead to important business leads. Building a business often involves joint ventures. LinkedIn is a way to find potential partners for joint ventures.

Twitter: This site provides a platform to keep people informed of "what is going on". The public often likes to know about what is new. Keeping them informed as to events and new items coming out. In the US, 13% of the population online use twitter.

Digg: This news site can be used to develop a following for healthcare providers.

Google: Although not often seen as a social media, it has many functions that involve social interactions. This is where people look for services. Having a good Google ranking can make a difference in your business visibility.

Once a healthcare provider has visibility, they will need to use social media in interacting with their potential clients.

The healthcare provider can use these tools for announcements, patient education, answering frequently asked questions, dealing with common healthcare issues, and healthcare topics that would be of interest to them.

Summary of how to use social media

To sum up how a healthcare professional can use social sites to build their business the following steps can be taken:

1. Network with other professionals and people in the local community.

2. Provide good patient information. Become a resource. For example, if you are a chiropractor, you could write a series of articles, blog posts, etc. on exercise, health eating, how to lift heavy loads, etc. With each article, it would enhance your expertise in the eyes of potential clients.

3. Have a written social media policy, then use social media to promote your business.

4. Interact on social sites regarding questions and concerns. Be willing to answer questions and make yourself accessible on such sites. You can use them to post interesting articles, videos, etc.

5. Know how to use social sites to their full potential. Social media has many opportunities. You can set up a blogtalk radio show, have regular episodes on your own YouTube channel, have book club on LibraryThing. You are limited only by your own imagination in reaching out to clients and provide good quality patient care.

6. Let the community know that you are accessible on social sites. Include your twitter address, or Facebook logo on your advertising.

Six Impossible Physical Actions

Matter, and the forces that act on it, everyday, in everyway, we note and log examples; from the gravity that holds you firmly to terra firma, to the heat that boils your water to the chemistry that converts your food into you. Unfortunately, some people go way beyond the actual to embrace what's improbable at best; down to those concepts where the odds are high in the extreme as to be flat-out impossible. For example...

1) Astrology: I'm confused. Apparently the positions of the planets in the constellations influence your destiny at the time of your birth. However, prior to your birth, you existed for, on average, nine months. My confusion is, why didn't the position of these celestial orbs influence your destiny at the time of your conception? Well, an obvious answer is that astrologists don't know exactly the moment of your conception, but have on record the moment of your birth. But aren't the astrologists irrelevant in this scenario. I mean, if astrology has any meaning, it's just between you and the planets; no astrologers need apply to influence things. Things are fixed and nothing astrologers can say or do will alter the fates.

The next obvious objection is that in an Earth, population seven billion and rising, there are thousands who share the same date of conception or the same date of birth, even down to the exact hour and minute. If astrology has any significance, all these people should be equally influenced equally, since the heavenly position of the planets in the constellations are identical for all conceived or born at that specific time. Anyone care to place bets that what comes to pass for these thousands is anything but identical fates?

The third problem is why doesn't the Sun and the Moon influence you? I mean they are larger and have a greater gravitational and electromagnetic influence over Terra Firma than Mercury or Pluto. And why don't those minor 'planets' count, like the asteroids?

Another issue is that we are fully aware today that many stars have planets orbiting around them. Surely these planets too, both discovered and undiscovered, also influence out fate! No? They are too far away? Well, I'd suggest that Mercury and Pluto and all orbs in-between are also way, way, way too far away to play any role in your destiny, at any time; at any place.

So by all means have a bit of a chuckle reading your daily horoscope, but if you take it seriously, then that's one impossible concept you believe in.

2) Alchemy: If one could really turn iron into gold we'd all be rich - actually not since gold would become as valuable as iron is now and iron would be a valuable as gold. But alchemy borders on the absurd when considering how flesh-and-blood was turned into pure sodium chloride (table salt) as per the Biblical account of Lot's wife in the Sodom and Gomorrah accounting. Sorry, that's just impossible by any and all chemistry known to one and all. Now that's not to say that some elements can't be turned into others. It happens all the time via natural radioactive decay processes. Alas, iron into gold isn't one of them. However, no doubt nuclear physicists could probably figure out a way to do the transaction, it's just that in terns of energy, time and trouble, it would be like spending $1000 to make one cent.

3a) Mind over Matter: Telekinesis, Psychokinesis, Mental Teleportation and the Poltergeist: Can the mind alone influence matter and unlock locks and levitate stuff? If so, it's to your financial advantage, which is why there probably is no such mythological animal. If it is a real animal, it's to the interest and advantage of the military, like the ability of deflecting a bullet or a missile headed in your specific direction using pure thought alone. It's also an obvious untraceable assassination tool, if it's a real animal. However, odds on, it is indeed a mythological beastie.

If telekinesis, etc. were really possible, the construction industry wouldn't need cranes; warehouses wouldn't need forklifts; airlines wouldn't need to buy fuel for their aircraft; and if you're stuck in traffic jams, just use that mind-over-matter ability and fly your car out!

In sports, every tee shot in golf would result in a hole-in-one; a basketball player could shoot through the hoops from the opposite side of the court; every ball bowled would be a strike; and in baseball, every little infield pop-up fly would result in a towering homerun (unless the opposition team used their collective mental powers to bring it back into play, though their telekinetic pitchers would insure that pitched balls danced around the batter's bats in the first place - a perfect game of 27 strikeouts in a row).

As far as poltergeists ('noisy ghosts') are concerned, the near universal connection is that these 'ghostly' manifestations, objects flying through the air; pictures falling off walls; odd noises, etc. are associated with kids and teens and ghost hunters put them down to the psychic energies of adolescence. On the other hand, a more likely explanation is that brats are known to get up to mischief; often disruptive behaviour is a sign someone just wants to be the centre of attention.

3b) Mind over Yourself: Levitation: Moving and influencing inanimate matter via mental powers the throw of the dice and what symbols the slot machine throws up (I said there was financial gain to be had) is one thing, but can you move yourself? Alas, it you leap out of an airplane a mile up without a parachute, will you levitate yourself back down softly, softly to the ground or will you land with a bone-crushing thud? Have you ever known gravity to fail you? If you can will yourself to levitate, then convicts could will themselves over and out of the prison yard and make their getaway. I don't recall ever seeing that strategy employed and broadcast on the TV news! If you can cheat gravity, what a pole-jumper you'd make - Olympic Gold for sure. Alas, I'm sure Olympic pole-jumping is on the level, since have you ever known or seen someone levitate? Can you levitate? Then what odds that human levitation is legit? On the other hand, have you ever known people to hoax; pull your leg; perpetrate a fraud and indulge in fakery? I thought so.

4) Pyramid Power: One of those New Age wacko beliefs is that somehow the pyramid shape or pyramid geometry holds some sorts of mystical powers. Food placed inside pyramid structures won't spoil; cut flowers won't wilt; dull razor blades will regain their sharpness edge; if you sleep inside a pyramid structure all sorts of wondrous and positive things happen to you. What a load of rubbish! If true, pyramids would be a best-selling item in department stores from coast-to-coast and not just an item you find in New Age shops along with crystals, Tarot cards, and books on meditation/yoga and the astral plane. Houses wouldn't be the standard right-angle 'boxes' we find on every block, but pyramid shaped. It's easy enough to do experiments to verify claims that pyramids hold special powers relating to energy forces, but I don't see any mention of this astounding breakthrough energy technology in physics texts. Fridges are still sold in order to keep food fresh; razor blades are still available for purchase.

5) Orgone Energy: Orgone Energy was a 'discovery' by one Dr. Wilhelm Reich, a noted psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and associate of Sigmund Freud. When he migrated to the United States, one of many forced exiles brought about by the rise of Hitler's Nazi Germany, he really started to promote his Orgone Energy ideas which he said was a sort of primordial cosmic energy which had all manner of positive effects on those with mental and physical afflictions. It was also responsible for the colour of the sky and for the weather and was the cause of gravity. So without Orgone Energy there would be no galaxies and those other things that gravity is associated with, but on a more personal level, your emotions and sexual prowess was also a result of exposure to Orgone Energy. Overall it was a force that was the opposite of entropy. Orgone Energy created order out of disorder. Wow!

Unfortunately, Orgone Energy was a tad rarefied, and so one had to gather it up and concentrate it, but fortunately he had invented these Orgone accumulators, which gathered up the Orgone Energy, and patients could then sit inside these accumulators and receive the health benefits or therapy relating to Orgone Energy. Unfortunately for Dr. Reich, this ran afoul of American authorities who tried to ban these accumulators. Dr. Reich defied the powers-that-be, leading to his arrest, trial and imprisonment, and ultimately his death in prison. Some of his accumulators and publications were also burned, supervised by those powers-that-be; rather harsh almost Nazi-like censorship for what was a totally ridiculous concept in the first place.

There was also a negative counterpart to Orgone Energy, Deadly Orgone Radiation (DOR). This too was present in our environment and was responsible for bad things, especially bad environmental things. Dr. Reich came to the rescue with his 'cloudbusters', which basically was a rainmaking device, the rain being a useful means to dilute and disperse the DOR.

Although Orgone Energy has been discredited as fringe science (and that's being kind), these various Orgone Energy concepts haven't entirely died out and there are still true believers to this day.

6) Plant Sensations: By this I do not mean sensational plants, but plants that sense things, specifically you, so let's call it 'the secret life of plants' (I think that was the title of a book by the way). Do you talk to your plants? That sounds harmless enough. Do you expect in return your plants to respond, albeit not vocally of course, to your verbalizations? If so, then you're a prime candidate for the funny farm! In case you haven't done Botany 101, plants have no 'ears' (or equivalent) to receive sound waves; no nervous system to transmit audio input into electrical impulses; no grey matter to receive these nonexistent impulses far less translate your original vibrations into a meaningful message, like "you'd better put out some flowers quick-smart after all the money I spent on you down at the nursery!". I mean plants have an IQ of, well, plants. And do plants have a Star Trek type universal translator mechanism? Take three seeds from one pod. Plant one each in Australia, Japan and France. Will the three plants equally understand that 'you'd better flower or else' message in Aussie, Japanese and French? Would the Aussie plant comprehend a Native American visitor speaking to it in Navaho? Speak by all means to your plants if you like, just don't expect the plant to comprehend and respond accordingly.

Have You Quit Smoking? How Can Hypnotherapy Help You to Stay a Non-Smoker?

Please read this article if you have already successfully stopped smoking and you want to make sure that you will never start smoking again. If you only plan to quit smoking and you are about to choose the best method, my best advice is to have hypnotherapy in the first place, making sure that you choose real hypnotherapy and not some magical stage-hypnosis cure.

Firstly, I want to congratulate you. You have become a non-smoker, and you are a real achiever as you have probably done it by a method other than hypnotherapy - if you were using hypnotherapy, you wouldn't need to read this article today. Now you want to stay a non-smoker and this is the second step - to stay a non-smoker no matter what happens in your life.

Before I explain how hypnotherapy can assist you not only to stay a non-smoker but also to avoid all possible side effects of quitting smoking, like withdrawal symptoms, gaining weight, drinking more or being cranky, I need to make sure that you understand and remember the most important message.

Each day, even each minute, of staying free from smoking makes you stronger, healthier and adds to success. Even if you failed and have had a few smokes, keep going. It does not mean that you are a failure, it just means that you will find better ways; but if you want to succeed, you will succeed.

And congratulations again - you stopped smoking. How can hypnotherapy help you now?

Firstly, if you stopped smoking using some nicotine replacement products (such as patches or lozenges), you may still be addicted to nicotine. In this case you can use the deep hypnotic trance to remove the addiction to nicotine. When in a deep trance, you can access the deepest part of the subconscious mind that is steering the body and you can remove the addiction instantly, letting go of any withdrawal symptoms. You will sleep like a baby and your body will replace the nicotine in a natural way, so you will feel great.

Secondly, if you stopped smoking by using a prescription medication, like Zyban, Prexaton or Champix, you may need some assistance when you stop taking the medication. This kind of medication should be used with caution and only when prescribed by a doctor, and if there are side effects they also need to be reported to your doctor because they may be serious. The medication helps to let go of the physical addiction, but when it is stopped, hypnosis can be used to strengthen and extend its positive effects.

If you stopped "cold turkey", without any help, it is quite likely that you are still addicted and you fight the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. And it may be that you succeeded through this difficult phase, just having an occasional craving from time to time. Congratulations, you are doing well, but even if you do not smoke for a long time, it is better to balance the body in hypnosis and remove even the last remaining traces of addiction.

The next step is to make sure that you are not affected by the habit of smoking. Habit is the automatic reaching for a cigarette in some common situations. It usually takes at least six weeks to replace old habits, but they may also kick in when we are unguarded - even years down the track.

Most new non-smokers stay vigilant during the first few weeks, avoiding cigarettes after food or during breaks at work, but then they may become drunk and they automatically start smoking at the pub, or strong stress hits all of a sudden and they find themselves smoking. Hypnotherapy allows old habits to be removed instantly and completely, because automatic habits are stored on the subconscious level, exactly the level on which this automatic reaching for a cigarette comes from.

The final step is to remove all psychological reasons for being a non-smoker. This is where hypnotherapy is absolutely brilliant. Smoking is most often a psychological addiction, not just a physical one. The physical addiction is not that difficult to overcome - even with the cold turkey approach - and without any help it takes only a few weeks. However, most smokers use cigarettes to help them deal with stress or anxiety, to have "me time", a short break, or to overcome strong emotions, etc.

This kind of psychological addiction is the reason that many people who quit smoking feel strong cravings in some situations, even years after they had their last cigarette. When you look at it closely, this craving usually has a strong emotional component, but on the body level it can be blinded by a cigarette, or by a drink, or by some food. So you smoke or eat to deal with stress or emotions.

Hypnotherapy can assist in two ways - firstly, by finding and implementing better ways to deal with stress and better ways to feel good when you are upset, etc. When it is done with hypnotherapy, we make sure that the smoking is replaced with an acceptable behaviour, instead of overeating or drinking as usually happens when people quit smoking. The danger of putting on weight is closely associated with trying to fill this empty hole, as some of my clients call it, with something else other than smoking.

However, you can do much more with hypnotherapy. With a skilled and experienced hypnotherapist, you can address the real reasons for your psychological addiction and let them go, leave them in the past. Hypnotherapy uses a wide range of therapies performed in hypnosis. The psychological addiction is always a very personal issue and requires a personal approach, because everybody has different reasons for smoking, different triggers, different events from the past affecting them, and different subconscious beliefs. The skilled and experienced hypnotherapist who combines counselling and psychotherapy with hypnosis can help you not only to resolve the psychological cravings but also the underlying issues, even depression and anxiety.

And there is more. This is like a fairytale, because in a deep hypnotic trance you can visit the future and experience the benefits of staying a non-smoker. You can visit your fitness activity a few weeks from now, you can enjoy a long run without puffing, you can go father into the future and see how the freedom from addiction and good health will benefit your family, and you can go to the party and see how you enjoy socialising with people on another level.

Hypnotherapy makes staying free from smoking easy. It is the most effective way to dissolve all possible temptations which could drive you back to smoking - like a physical addiction to nicotine, the long-lasting habit of lighting a cigarette in particular situations, and mental or emotional dependency. Hypnotherapy is also enjoyable. You will learn to relax deeply; you will build real motivation and strong mental muscle, bringing joy and understanding to your life and becoming not only absolutely committed to staying a non-smoker, but seeing the fun side and enjoyment of your new freedom.

Psychic Vampires: Are You Being Vamped? How to Protect Yourself From Real Vampires

Is your energy being drained? Protection from Psychic Vampires

Forget about blood sucking vampires seen in movies, as sexy as it is. Psychic vampirism is for real and refers to people who drain you of energy. It is usually an unconscious process, they are unaware of it. You or I could do it at times as well. These people who do it all of the time tend to be toxic personalities, if not meeting criteria for a personality disorder. They may leave you feeling fatigued, angry or depressed. It may accumulate over time. Have you ever just not liked someone without knowing why? Have you just not liked a vibe someone gave off?

Pay attention and keep your distance. Our own negativity can drain us as well. That is why so many people who are depressed suffer from fatigue. Have you found yourself saying to yourself why am I so angry with this person, when you usually don't get that upset, you might be getting vamped. People who have no regard for your feelings, only their own, yes personality disordered and psychic vampires they probably are. People who are most likely to be psychic vampires are: your narcissists, histrionics (attention seekers), depressed people, sociopaths, dependent personalities or co-dependent types and physically sick people.

Yes we are all toxic from time to time. The focus here is on the permanent toxins. And while we can't change the other person, we can improve ourselves or leave the relationship. You might be saying, crap that's everybody. Well it can be everybody at varying degrees and times. And no you can't hold up in your home and avoid people, that's not healthy. You learn to protect yourself and detect them. There are many things you can do to protect yourself.

1. If you can, cut yourself off from them. Cut them out of your life if possible, if they aren't willing to change. If you can't, then avoid them as much as possible. You might also want to experiment with the dynamics, the conversations, to see how that changes the energy. You might want to keep conversations brief or only via email or texting. This tends to be a problem largely in the workplace and in families. You're stuck with these folks. If it is too toxic, a job change may be in order. We all know too well; however; given the economy, that leaving might not be an option. Although you'd be surprised how many people are leaving toxic workplaces and starting their own businesses. If you must work with these people, then try some or all of these methods, some are mental and some are more spiritual.

2. It is always useful to use reframes, meaning you change your viewpoint about something. Think about things differently. Look to your co-workers who might seem to be in denial and find out how they think about things. Not overreacting and not taking things personally is critical, a must. You see, the world resolves around each person. We all live in our own world and make it about us, so that person that vamps you is operating from that stance. So to taking it personally is useless. Let me be clear here, I am not telling you to just think positive and ignore your feelings. Feel them, but find ways to let it go, let it out, don't hold it in and act out. If the following spiritual solutions aren't for you then you will need to master the thinking piece (cognitive reframing) as well as the next one.

3. Set boundaries and limits with people. Know what you need and be sure you get it, or at least as much as you can. Take your lunch, hell you're not getting paid for it. Close your office or bedroom door, whatever it takes to have that social-work-home life balance. Say no to those who ask too much of you. You can't please everybody, and takers only want what they want and don't care about you anyway. You don't owe anybody anything more than what you agreed to. If you agreed to too much, modify the contract. You can change your mind. Don't take on more projects at work that leave you drained, feeling guilty stressed and cause you to lose personal and family time.

Narcissists and sociopaths are masters at projecting guilt onto people. It is their guilt usually because they're too incompetent to do the thing they're asking for to begin with. Also don't take on work you don't have to do if you don't get positively reinforced for it. If you're not treated well, why do something more for that person? You can't change people, only yourself and some of the dynamics. For instance, by changing how you respond to a particular person may result in a different response from them. At first they will sabotage, as they want things to remain as is. But over time they might change a bit, but only a little bit. You can't fix people and make them what you want them to be. Accept this and your life will change for the better. It will always be a balancing act. If you do something you don't want to do and know will stress you out, but you will benefit from it, then maybe you will do it. Think it through, rather than just saying yes.

4. Give to those who give back. If you have a martyr complex, it's time to turn the page. Thinking you'll get good karma or a spot in heaven for overdoing for others isn't healthy and your motives are messed up. I'm not advocating for apathy here, but equity. There has to be give and take. Give to those who make you feel good, who care for you and support you. That is where you put your energy. If you are a professional caretaker, then you need a lot of self care. Have you given and given to people who only seem to take? Do you really think they'll return the favor? Why would they? They have someone they can walk all over and get their needs met.

Giving to these people leaves you feeling resentful, hurt, angry and unappreciated. So if you're not getting enough back, stop giving and give back to yourself. Take baths, go for walks, appreciate nature, take a vacation or staycation, garden, exercise, do yoga, tai chi or qigong, meditate etc. Females working in testosterone dominant places, run, lift weights, but also do exercises like belly dancing, nia and pilates to get back in touch with your femininity.

5. Follow feng shui practices. This involves situating things in a room to increase positive flow of chi or energy. You can also enhance certain areas to improve wealth, health, relationships etc. The goal for this purpose is to keep the chi flowing to block negativity. Have you ever noticed how changing a comforter on a bed can change a room or how moving furniture changes how the room feels? You want the room to feel good and focus on deflecting negativity.

Having crystals hanging or religious symbols that are meaningful to you such as a pentagram or cross either displayed or hidden also helps protect you. Plants also help. You don't want to be sitting with your back toward the door. If you can't change the desk, put a mirror on our desk so you can see behind you. If you are sitting in line with the door, meaning if you turn your head to the side you are in line with the door, place a plant in between the desk and door and hang a crystal. If not the negative energy will flow right in, attracting drama and negativity.

6. Crystal quartz is a great stone to absorb negativity. You must cleanse it every so often by washing it in salt, ideally sea salt, or letting it sit in the sun for 24 hours, this way the sun and moon cleanse it. Other helpful stones are hematite, obsidian, onyx, amethyst, agate, aventurine, carnelian and tiger's eye. Gemstones have been known to have many healing and protective abilities. You can carry a stone in your bag, pocket or bra or wear jewelry. You can also keep some nearby.

7. Aromatherapy: If you can't burn candles or incense at work, try the aromatherapy burners, things you plug in or wear an amulet. An amulet is a protective stone that you put essential oils in, looks like pendant. You're getting double protection if you put say dragon's blood or frankincense in there. You can even rub some oil on your nose of wrists as well. Scents impact how we feel. Negativity deflectors include but are not limited to: frankincsense, myrrh, dragons's blood, anise, balsam, basil, bayberry, carnation, cypress, spearmint, vetivert, and violet oil. At home you can burn white sage and other incense that protect you and smell wonderful.

A word about oils. They are to be used externally only, in diffusers, a drop or two in a candle, several drops in a bathtub etc. You can put them on your skin. I like putting a drop on my nose, or on my wrists. However; if you are pregnant or have a serious medical condition, research the oil before doing so.

8. You can also use the power of your intention via visualization to protect yourself. Imagine yourself surrounded by a white bubble of light. You might want to say something to yourself such as let the white God/Goddess light surround and protect me from all harm. If you have no religious affiliation just say universal white light or whatever works for you. Also imagine a blue circle above you head to allow positive influences to enter. You can do this anywhere.

It is best to begin the day, before leaving the house and anytime when you feel you need some extra protection. At the very least it will distract you from the negative feelings you may be experiencing. Also practice meditation daily to more automatically protect yourself. If you find yourself in a conflictual and possibly toxic relationship you will want to reassess if this relationship is working for you. Can the energy be worked on by using these methods in addition to psychotherapy and/or reiki (energy therapy)? Can both parties change, or are they willing? If not, leave.

A word about working with, under or having to interact with micromanagerial narcissists. Know this about them, they are overcompensating for feelings of inadequacy by projecting it onto you. Perhaps a parent is like this. They create fires so they can put them out to feel relevant and useful (AKA arsonists). So overwhelm them with information. Let them know that you are the expert on your career field or the expert on you.

A word of caution here. These people are vi
ndictive. So if you don't stroke their ego or manipulate them, be prepared for retaliation. This must be balanced with standing your ground, otherwise they will walk all over you. Also be careful around sick people, especially people with chronic diseases or cancer. They will unknowingly drain you of energy, because they need it to survive. If you must be around them, then seriously consider using some of these suggestions, to be able to help them while maintaining your energy and, well, yourself.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Substance Abuse

Dual diagnosis rehab centers are the kind of rehab centers that provides treatment for both drug and alcohol addiction. According to a recent survey, 53% of the people who are addicted to drugs also suffer from a mental illness. Likewise, about 50% people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are diagnosed with some kind of mental disorder. It is a proof that substance abuse is directly related to mental disorder. For such people nowadays there are dual diagnosis treatment centers available. These centers provide treatments for people who are suffering from both mental illness and some kind of addiction. People who are suffering from these two problems have problems in maintaining emotional and psychological stability. In these rehab centers the patients go through various stages to recover from their addiction and mental disorder.

The first stage of this treatment includes complete detoxification of the addicted person. The patients are carefully purified of all the drug and alcohol residues present in their bodies. During this procedure the patient may suffer from severe withdrawal but with proper care and medication, they are able to deal with it. After the patient is cleared from foreign residues, the next step is to evaluate the mental disorder from which the patient is suffering from? This process includes collecting data by way of question and answer sessions, psychiatric evaluations, behavioral monitoring etc. Diagnosing the correct mental disorder is crucial to cure the patient.

After this the patient is treated with proper medication and counseling. Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicines are provided to the patients if its necessary. Along with proper medication and treatment, the patients are also given a good amount of love, care and affection so that they get motivated to deal with their addiction and recover from it. The success rates of these rehab centers differ as they are dependent on various factors. These factors are the patient's illness, its history, nature and most importantly the patient's willingness to get out of his addiction. Patients who are treated in a well known and capable dual diagnosis rehab center are able to attain full recovery provided they cooperate with the doctors and try their best to recover from his addiction to some kind of drugs or alcohol.

But you should be aware of the fact that this treatment is often longer in duration and more complex than other traditional rehab centers. It is mainly because of the added complexity of the mental health treatment. A good such a treatment is comprised of an intensive 12 week course which includes medication, therapy, counseling and various other components. Till now a good number of people have been benefited from this program and the number is increasing with each passing day. Since there are many such service centers available nowadays, doing some amount of research will be beneficial for you to get information about a good such treatment center. Getting admitted there will help the addicted person to overcome from the trauma and sadness that is associated with drug and alcohol addiction.

Tell Me Anything But Don't Tell Me To Stop Training

Here you come with your signature limp and stifled grimace of pain. Your stark look of disappointment suggests that ice, anti-inflammatory drugs and electro stimulation therapy have collectively done little to alleviate your demoralizing leg pains. Your doctor, the reluctant physician, knows what's coming next and how he would like to respond. However, fidelity to his Hippocratic Oath will not permit a surrender to the impulse to run and hide underneath his desk. The first imploring words out of your mouth are: "Doc, I've been training for six months to run/bike/swim/ a PR in this upcoming race. I'm soooooooo close to reaching my goal. I can't stop training now. You've gotta help me.", you are walking on your injured leg as if it is a poorly fitted prosthesis. Common sense dictates that you wave the white flag of frustration and disappointment, ask for a hug and then, drown your sorrows in a few pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream until you can accept a few weeks of enforced idleness. Maybe then you will seize the rare opportunity to start reading those books you never found the time to pick up. Maybe perhaps, you'll even learn to play that instrument your parents returned decades ago when you threw it at your brother in a moment of sibling rivalry.

Between the expletives you are probably muttering: "This guy is clueless. He doesn't understand how hard I have worked to get to this point." Your "clueless author" would ask you to consider that if there wasn't some part of you that didn't want to get off the "training treadmill" then, you wouldn't be where you are right now. Furthermore, you wouldn't now be looking to turn your physician into a "bad guy" when he plays Devil's Advocate and asks you: "Would you like to rest for two weeks now or be laid up for six months later?" If being stuck between a rock and a hard place be your worst nightmare please keep in mind that whatever you hope to achieve in performing at your best may not in truth be all that it's all cracked up to be in your fantasy life.

Your physician has already figured out after the third or fourth go around with you that he is wasting his breath asking you to consider the probable consequences of abusing your body and how you would feel if such a scenario was played out to its natural and debilitating conclusion. It's amazing how deaf we can be when we don't want to listen to what we most need to hear. Why even recommend non weight bearing aerobics when your physician knows that to belabor the point is to risk losing you as a patient. So, how is a health care provider to deal with patients like us when we feel in our hearts that a world without pumping endorphins is like a world without sunshine?

I'm thinking specifically about the injuries sustained by those of us who believe that "more training is better," "too much training is never enough," and that "less is more" is reserved for lazy underachievers. By training on the edge we repudiate the time honored notions of rest and recovery. Without them, our bodies break down instead of adapting to training stress, and instead of reaping improved levels of performance, our performances diminish over time and/or we get sick and injured. So, why then do we cut off our noses to spite our faces?

The answers are many and they are not mutually exclusive. Principally, owing in part to how our personalities develop we have varying degrees of trust in processes we can't exercise omnipotent control over, i.e. creativity, emotions and the body's performance improvements that require rest and recovery. "Doing" is valued and "being" is not. We may move so urgently toward our desired goals so as not even to question why we are in such a rush. Then, whether we are aware of it or not, we may rebel against the internal pressures to do, do, and do more by over indulging in passive pleasures such as eating, and drinking to turn of the compulsive power switch until the rooster crows the next morning. Then, it's back off to the races.

Some of my clients describe themselves as "slaves" to their jobs, hobbies and athletic outlets without recognizing the poignant implications of this metaphor. We may kick and scream at the suggestion that we "shut it down" for awhile. Seldom if ever do we reflect on the evidence that such dramatic refrains as: "No pain, no gain," may be nothing more than a defense mechanism against guilt provoking wishes to "take it easy." In truth we may be begging for firm, benevolent paternal responses from folks like our trusted physicians such as: "I don't want to see you in my office again unless, you stay off the roads, your bikes, etc., for _____ days.

Many of us are unaware that we may harbor fears that if we do not crack the proverbial whips daily we may never muster the motivation to train again. Such self doubts may originate in childhood with well meaning parents who unwittingly transmit through words and actions: "If I weren't here to push you, you wouldn't get anything done." Others may have learned early in life that one is not entitled to enjoy any aspect of one's life if one does not pay first with a "pound of flesh."

If you are a workaholic on and off the athletic field it may be time to ask yourself why it is that my things to do list is perpetually filled with things to do and the unfinished business keeps me running even when the business isn't urgent or important? Maybe, it's time to consider that "less may be more" and will result in better performances, greater enjoyment and more time to nurture multiple sources of self esteem. We may underestimate our abilities to trust the messages our inner voices communicate to us. Our bodies speak volumes. Start listening!