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MIND MATTERS BRINGING A PROMISING NEW TREATMENT TO OUR COMMUNITY
As chairman of the board for the Center for Child and Family Services, Inc., I have the pleasure of working with passionate professionals and volunteers dedicated to empowering those in need in our community. Through quality counseling programs and support services, the center helps over 10,000 people of all ages every year with a wide range of issues, from behavioral health to personal finance. The center owes this success to constantly remaining open to new developments in the counseling field and finding solutions that work for the community we serve. One promising treatment modality the center has begun to offer is neurofeedback therapy. The process is far simpler than the name implies. Neurofeedback, or EEG biofeedback, is the process of using sensors to monitor electrical brain activity. Neurofeedback may help individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), addiction, anxiety, seizures, depression, and other types of brain conditions. During a neurofeedback session, the therapist attaches electrodes to the patient’s skin, and these send information to a monitoring box. The therapist views the measurements on the monitor, and, through trial and error, identifies a range of mental activities and relaxation techniques that can help regulate the patient’s bodily processes. Eventually, individuals learn how to control these processes without the need for monitoring. This developing method of treatment is still undergoing research in the medical community but has shown very promising anecdotal results in treating everything from seizures in children to PTSD in veterans. Several neuroscientists have started to recommend neurofeedback therapy as a potential treatment for migraines, chronic pain, anxiety, and stress. As a nonprofit organization that works with many children with cognitive and behavioral issues, the potential benefits of neurofeedback therapy are too great to ignore. Having a noninvasive, nonpharmaceutical means of helping a child with challenges like Having a noninvasive, nonpharmaceutical means of helping a child with challenges like ADHD is the kind of solution many counselors dream of.”
ADHD is the kind of solution many counselors dream of. We’d already purchased one neurofeedback machine when a book on the subject caught our eye. “A Symphony in the Brain” by New York Times contributor Jim Robbins delves into the theories and ongoing research in neurofeedback therapy. Using his skills as a veteran journalist and freelance writer, Robbins paints the ongoing history of this very promising field, detailing the efforts and theories of research and presenting case study after
case study of successful treatments. For anyone interested in learning more about the science behind this method of treatment, I cannot recommend this book more highly. After “Symphony” was passed around our organization, the board and I decided to purchase a second neurofeedback machine. Given the success that has already been seen in treating a wide range of mental and medical issues when paired with counseling, we are very optimistic about this new program’s success. We firmly believe that this noninvasive, nonpharmaceutical approach has the potential to do a lot of good in our community. If you believe you or someone you know could benefit from neurofeedback therapy, we’ve provided a resource for locating providers. As always, the Center for Child and Family Services, Inc. (www.kidsandfamilies.com) stands ready to help those in the Hampton- Williamsburg area, but there are plenty of other providers throughout the state who have begun using this treatment.
N e x t D o o r Bu
Here’s to your health,
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WHY THERE ARE KIDS ON YOUR PORCH ASKING FOR CANDY The History of Trick-or-Treating
As Halloween looms and you load up your grocery cart with candy, you may ask yourself, “Why do I provide these spooky gremlins with a sugar high every Oct. 31, anyway?” Well, when your doorbell starts ringing around 6 p.m. this All Hallows’ Eve, you can thank the Celts for this tradition of candy and costumes. Halloween itself is a kind of mishmash of four different cultural festivals of old: two Roman fêtes, which commemorated the dead and the goddess of fruit and trees (not at the same time); the Celtic Samuin or Samhain, a new year’s party thrown at the end of our summer; and the Catholic All Saint’s Day, designed to replace Samuin and divorce it from its pagan origins. Long before there were young’uns on your porch dressed as Thanos with candy-filled pillowcases in hand, the Celts believed that Samuin marked an overlapping of the realms of the living and the dead. To trick the spirits leaking into our world, young men donned flowing white costumes and black masks — a great disguise when ghosts were about.
By the 11th century, people were dressing up as saints, angels, and the occasional demon instead of spirits. Eventually, costumed children started tearing through town begging for food and money and singing a song or prayer in return — a practice called “souling.” But when did they start dressing up as Minions? Starting in the 19th century, souling turned to “guising,” which gave way to trick-or- treating in mid-20th-century America, and the costumes diversified. So put on some clown makeup and a big smile, scoop up a handful of sweets, and scare the living daylights out of ‘em — ‘tis the season!
The Catholic Church was never a big fan of these pagan traditions, so they renamed it “All Saints’ Day” and gussied it up in religious garb.
WANT TO TRY NEUROFEEDBACK THERAPY? Find a Certified Professional
Finding a Practitioner
As discussed on this month’s cover, neurofeedback therapy is a promising treatment that has successfully helped people of all ages manage or overcome a wide range of mental and physical health challenges. We’ve laid out a list of conditions neurofeedback therapy can help with as well as how to find a qualified neurofeedback therapist in your area. Neurofeedback Has Helped People With:
A quick Google search will show you that there are plenty of neurofeedback
practitioners throughout the state. Virginia does not require any form of medical licensing to use neurofeedback machines, meaning these listed
• Epilepsy • Autism • Attention deficit disorder • Addictions • Depression • Post-traumatic stress • Anxiety • Chronic pain • Anger management • Migraines • Incontinence • High blood pressure
locations may be anything from medical facilities to hobbyists. To ensure that you find a professional, you’ll need to do a little more research. The Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating an industry standard of care among neurofeedback practitioners. When researching care facilities, look to see if they list a BCIA certification. You can also search the BCIA’s database of licensed professionals by visiting certify.bcia.org/4dcgi/resctr/search.html.
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HERE FOR THE GIRLS
... CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
nurturers aren’t always comfortable asking for or receiving help. So make specific offers to assist , such as cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, providing dinner, watching the kids, grocery shopping, or doing laundry. Set a time and be sure to follow through. • Offer to communicate the diagnosis to neighbors, colleagues, etc., so she doesn’t have to keep bracing herself for the reaction each time she shares the news. Volunteer to write a blog on a site such as CaringBridge.org to keep family and friends informed of your friend’s progress, thus reducing the phone calls she receives. • Accompany your friend to medical appointments and take notes so she can concentrate on her conversation with the doctor. Chemotherapy appointments are a great opportunity to hang out together as they last hours and are, well, boring. • Organize others to prepare and deliver meals throughout treatment, especially following chemo days and surgery.
Create a schedule to ensure she gets a variety of healthy meals and not lasagna every night. You may even ask your friend for specific meal or dietary suggestions. LotsaHelpingHands.com is a useful online tool for coordinating meals and other needed household tasks. • Help your friend celebrate her life and her femininity with all things “girly.” Gifts of lotion, books, comedy DVDs, dark chocolate, indulgent magazines, fluffy slippers, comfy PJs,
and fun jewelry are always appropriate. You can also take your friend out for tea, lunch, a lighthearted movie, a concert, a manicure, a massage, or even a girls’ night out.
Mary Beth Gibson is the executive director and co-founder of Here for the Girls, Inc. (HereForTheGirls.org), a not-for-profit improving the lives of young women affected by breast cancer.
APPLE PUFF PANCAKE BY LAUREN DURHAM, FORMER LEAD CASE MANAGER
Q: I asked my new friend to meet me at the gym, but they never showed up. A: I guess the two of us aren’t going to work out.
• 4 tablespoons butter • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour • 1/2 cup milk • 2 eggs • 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 1 medium apple, peeled, cored, quartered, and sliced • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon • Powdered sugar
1. Heat oven to 425 F. 2. Place half the butter into a 9-inch ceramic pie plate or metal pie pan and bake 4–5 minutes or until melted and pie plate is hot. Spread melted butter over bottom of pie plate. 3. Whisk flour, milk, and eggs together in bowl. Carefully pour batter into hot pie plate. Bake 14–17 minutes or until puffed and light golden brown.
4. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add maple syrup, apple slices, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4–5 minutes or until apple is tender; keep warm. 5. Spoon apple mixture over puffed pancake and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately.
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INSIDE This Issue
The Benefits of Neurofeedback page 1
Here for the Girls (continued) page 3 Apple Puff Pancake page 3 Here for the Girls page 4
The Surprising Origins of Trick-or- Treating page 2 How to Find a Certified Biofeedback Therapist page 2
HERE FOR THE GIRLS
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Since 1 in 8 women in this country will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her life, chances are it will affect someone you care about (if it hasn’t already). First thing not to do: Offer advice on how she can “cure” herself! There are many things you can do to help your friend or family member besides scouring the internet and sending her endless (often scary) links to websites. Remember that breast cancer is not a death sentence, so if your loved one tells you she has it, don’t react as if you’ve just received details of the funeral, and definitely do not share horror stories of other women who battled the disease. But downplaying the situation and being overly positive may also appear insensitive. Just let her know how sorry you are she is going through this very difficult time and that you will be with her every step of the way. There are many ways to offer encouragement, and if you are the caregiver, there are resources to help you too. The women of Here for the Girls, Inc., have been blessed with faithful friends and family they call their “Boostiers” because of the uplifting support and “boost” they provide! Take your lead from your loved one because
everyone handles the diagnosis in their own way, but below are some ideas on how you can be a fabulous, helpful Boostier! How to Help • Everyone wants to help, but the well-intentioned offer of “Please let me know if there is anything I can do” may not be accepted. Why? Well, for one, your friend may have no clue yet what she’ll need. And women who are used to being
continued on page 3 ...
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