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AWorld Away WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE STEP OUT OF OUR BUBBLE
The older I get, the more I realize how incredibly fortunate I am. America is unequivocally the best country there is, but sometimes we live in a bubble with all our good fortune. Many people face incredible trials every day, something I was reminded of this past summer when my family visited Vietnam. We spent time with my wife’s aunt and uncle who lived in the United States for years before they felt compelled to return to Vietnam to help orphans. It’s hard in a Third World country, especially for a kid who doesn’t have anyone to take care of them. We saw children no more than 5 years old sleeping on street corners and 10-year-old boys trying to earn money by selling gum and cigarettes. In the last three years, my wife’s aunt and uncle have adopted 11 kids. Meeting them was the most surreal experience. They shared stories of being abandoned by their parents, some due to death or drug abuse, and others because their parents didn’t want them. My heart broke to hear how they were left alone on the street to fend for themselves. These kids could have been cold and jaded, but instead they were full of kindness. They were happy to have each other and appreciated everything. We went out with the kids one night and found a shop that sold knockoff Nike sneakers at $20 a pair. My wife and I were more than willing to buy the kids new shoes, but once they saw the price, the kids said no. They insisted it was too much and told us a store across the street from their home carried shoes for only $5. My heart went out to them, and I was moved by how nice and considerate they were. For my son, Connor, I know these kids left a significant impact. He matured a lot, even after just a week, and he seems to honestly appreciate his life and family more. He wasn’t the only one affected by the trip. After our return home, I refocused my purpose. My goal is to keep helping my patients, and through this, I hope to set up business classes for these kids in Vietnam. A lot of my own personal and professional development came through business courses. I want to help instill that same kind of growth in these kids and give them a head start on success. Vietnam is on the
verge of growth. There is so much construction in the country as new businesses and industries get started. It’s a prime opportunity for these kids. If they have the knowledge and mindset, they will be able to thrive beyond their imaginations. They began their lives with nothing, and I think that is completely unfair.
“In the last three years, my in-laws adopted 11 kids. Meeting them was the most surreal experience.”
My life is good today, and while my wife and I worked hard to get here, I know I am fortunate to live in this country. I owe a great deal to my parents who overcame challenges to move to America. Here, I could get an education and equip myself with the tools I needed to succeed. I want to give these kids the same kind of tools, so when opportunities present themselves, if they choose to work hard, they will be able to improve their own lives. I know I also owe so much to my patients. You all may not know how truly grateful I am to you. When you let me help you, in turn you help me help these kids half a world away. Thank you.
– Dr. Bao Tha i
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PUT ‘POSITIVE THINKING’ TO BED Why ThisWay of Thought Isn’t What It’s Cracked Up to Be
Testimonial In reality, the biggest factor at play when it comes to positive or negative thinking may be stress. Stress comes with its fair share of negative consequences. Stress can influence overall health, both mentally and physically. If you are stressed, chances are Can the power of positive thinking change your life? Bookstores brim with self-help books written to guide readers toward positive thinking and countless websites claim to do the same. But what is positive thinking? Essentially, it’s shutting out negative thoughts. One website, tinybuddha.com, says, “Negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become.” This sentiment is ironic considering the Buddhist philosophy of detachment (or non-attachment) suggests that one should let negative thoughts and emotions enter the mind, but not dwell on them, so they pass with the moment. Research into the subject agrees. In the 1960s, researchers studied grief — or the lack of it. When people attempted to suppress grief, it took them longer to recover from what caused the grief in the first place.
you are not in a good mood and, by extension, are thinking negative thoughts.
And this presents another problem with positive thinking. Anne Harrington, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science and director of undergraduate studies at Harvard, and author of “The Cure Within: A History of Mind-Body Medicine,” says, “It’s just as stressful to keep up a performance of positivity as it is to [keep up] a bad mood. It’s very stressful to be inauthentically upbeat all the time.” So, what can you do? Let yourself think negative and positive thoughts. Don’t dwell on the negative, and let it run its course. Then, turn your attention to your sources of stress and do what you can to minimize them.
“My name is Dave Pittman. I live in Garland, Texas, and I am a real estate broker. About six years ago, I had a double hernia surgery. A year after the surgery, I started experiencing numbness in my feet, which got progressively worse over the next five years. This peripheral neuropathy produced a lot of discomfort, and an MRI showed I also had a herniated disc. “My wife saw Dr. Thai on ‘Good Morning Texas’ and wanted me to go for a consult. He developed a treatment plan, which included a neuropathy diet. This gave me hope that I could be helped. I have been super pleased with my weight loss and pain reduction. Some say my attitude and disposition has improved. My humor and joke-telling are back! “Dr. Thai has a superb staff that is truly committed to helping patients. They are well-trained, friendly, and very encouraging. In other words, Dr. Thai and his staff do a GREAT job. As I talk to other patients in the office, I find common friends. Everyone is experiencing success! “Dr. Thai, Dr. Buckley, Sarah, and the staff, thank you for your professional expertise as well as your kindness to me.” – Dave Pittman
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EMP LOY E E SPOT L I GHT
I’m Amy! I was with Denton ISD for the past 10 years working in the special education department. It was an extremely fulfilling and rewarding job because of all the bonds I developed with students, teachers, and administrators. It also allowed me to stay connected with my own girls as they went through school! Whether it was being a stay-at-home mom, or at band, choir, sports, cheerleading, academics, or booster club, I was there to guide them. Now young women, Sydney is 25 and Sammy is 21. I have been blessed with beautiful, loving, giving human beings. I have also been blessed with an amazing son-in-law, Zach. And the icing on the cake is my grandchildren: Jonah, 1 and a half, and Roslyn, 3 months. I have been graced with so much, and I am so grateful! I love to give of myself with a warm smile, a helping hand, and a word of encouragement. I look for that in the jobs I do, and I seek opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others and my community. Whether at church, work, or home, it’s important that we give our very best. Life for me
is about helping others to succeed. It’s me living out my belief. I believe I have found another place to do just that here at Dr. Thai’s office. Now, I help patients get their lives back and enjoy the little things that make life joyful for them! That is the goal here … with a lot of passion! We want you to feel cared for. It is one of the keys to getting you better. I look forward to meeting each one of you and being a part of your journey!
O N E - P A N Harvest Pasta
Recipe courtesy of midwestliving.com.
This easy, healthy, hearty recipe is a delicious way to employ the harvest from your vegetable garden.
1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 cup dried whole grain elbow macaroni 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 small eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces (4 cups) 1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped (2 cups) 2 tomatoes or 4 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 cup) 1/3 cup chopped red onion
• • • • •
Ground black pepper (optional)
Snipped fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a very large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, red onion, and garlic. Cook, uncovered, 7–10 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. 2. Add beans, broth, pasta, and crushed red pepper. Bring to a
boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 7–10 minutes more or until vegetables and pasta are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper; top with basil and Parmesan cheese and serve.
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3941 FM 2181 Corinth, Texas 76210 940-202-1218 www.nerveandlaser.com
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
To the Kids I Met in Vietnam
Put Positive Thinking to Bed Testimonial
Employee Spotlight One-Pan Harvest Pasta
Dealing With Stress
You have more control over stress than you think. Stress management is about taking charge of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions, and the way you deal with problems. No matter how stressful your life seems, there are steps you can take to regain control. Identify Sources Chronic stress is hard to recognize. Look closely at your habits and excuses. Do you explain away stress as temporary? Do you define stress as an integral part of your life? Do you blame your stress on others? If you don’t recognize your role in creating or maintaining stress, you will never be able to control it. DEALINGWITH STRESS Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms That Put You in Control Find Healthy Strategies Withdrawing from loved ones, bingeing on food or alcohol, procrastinating, and sleeping too much are all unhealthy ways to deal with stress. Instead, find unique, healthy coping strategies. Focus on what makes you feel calm and in control.
reactions by choosing to avoid, alter, adapt, or accept. Avoid people or situations that stress you out. Talk about your feelings instead of bottling them up, create a balanced schedule, reframe your problems, look at the big picture, and practice gratitude. It’s critical to look at the glass as half-full and learn to forgive. Make Time for Relaxation Nurturing yourself is a necessity, not a luxury. If you make ample time for self-care, you will be in a better place to handle life’s stressors. Give yourself options like going for a walk, calling a good friend, journaling, or reading a book. Live a Healthy Lifestyle In addition to regular exercise, there are other healthy lifestyle choices that can increase your resistance to stress. Eat a healthy diet; reduce caffeine and sugar; avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs; and get enough sleep. Stress is unavoidable, but it doesn’t have to dictate your life. With stress management techniques, you can avoid chronic stress, reduce your stress levels, and live your life to the fullest.
Avoid, Alter, Adapt, and Accept Some stressors are predictable. Learn how to predetermine your
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