SOCIAL CHANGE & GLOBAL HEALTH

 

Public perceptions  about addiction and mental health  treatment reflect the prevailing non-medical approach to  mental and addiction ill-health.

Accessing  healthcare is a major policy problem, ergo a priority. How do we effectively   meet individual  health needs?How best to deliver quality  care? How to  raise the standard  of  continuing care?

Personally, when I left rehab 31 years ago, I relapsed within days because the re-entry process was overwhelming, escalating stress, triggered free-floating  stopped me from going to 12step meets, leaving my house and answering the phone…fortunately my relapse took me  to Payne Whitney Psychiatric Hospital.

The psychiatrist that listened to my cry for help and responded by recommending I return to 12step meetings, not take any medication, find a therapist who did not want to date me, who abused their power etc..saved my life.

I returned to 12step meetings, found a sponsor, and an empowered female psychotherapist who helped me recover phoenix-like from the ashes of  my self  self-destruction  and suicidal ideation.

I am  in longterm recovery – 30 years of continuing mind body  recovery -that began in NYC  12th October,  1988… an important act of self accountability in early recovery is to ‘be of  service’ …a few of us went regularly from our Park Avenue meeting to prisons, hospitals, and homeless shelters.

I connected with my tribe, web were committed to  a 12step programme for living; for life. I went to individual and group therapy for 3  years, in addition to    volunteering at the Manhattan Centre for Living, founded by Louise Hay and Marianne Williamson.  Fabulously altruistic  times.

We were a large recovery tribe in Manhattan, we formed 12stp study groups, sponsorship workshops and often went to upstate New York for immersive meditation retreats.

Therapists specialising in recovery began publishing books which served to enrich the foundation  for change we were embracing.

I had been  thinking about specialising in addiction counselling  and decide to return to London, and retrain. Confident that my previous “life experience” as fashion imagine editor, film and video producer would find an a creative outlet – that would come later when I wrote a book about the male archetypes, and in my private practice,  the majority of  my clients were from the fashion, design, film, theatre,  and finance industries…

The benefits of the timeless teaching of  philosophy, mythology, spirituality, and psychology continue to ground, stimulate and inspire me. I love life. It is a privilege to pass the message of recovery on to the still suffering addict….if I can recovery you can…

21st century medicine/neuroscience scientifically shows us how the brains complex circuity  systems function, moreover that the brain of the addict is not dissimilar to that of a stroke victim…

The ASAM busted the myths and introduced into  biopsychosocial model for change, relapse prevention, and recovery.

ASAM- American Society Addiction Medicine states that:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.

Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.

Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

The neurobiology of addiction encompasses more than the neurochemistry of reward.

The frontal cortex of the brain and underlying white matter connections between the frontal cortex and circuits of reward, motivation and memory are fundamental in the manifestations of altered impulse control, altered judgment.

The dysfunctional pursuit of rewards – despite cumulative adverse consequences experienced from engagement in substance use and other addictive behaviors.

A BioPsychoSocial approach (BPS)
With many differing theories all purporting to explain addiction, some sort of integrative approach was inevitable.

First articulated by George Engel in 1977, The BPS model was originally designed as an alternative to the prevailing biomedical model, which tends to reduce illness to a single source, then treat the illness with little regard for other contributing factors such as a patient’s psychological experiences or social behaviours.

A decade later, Donovan (1988) and Wallace (1990) articulated a BPS model for addictive behaviours in recognition that drinking behaviour and alcohol problems are multidimensional. Donovan recommended comprehensive assessment that could capture the biological, psychological and social aspects of the individual’s life that are affected by drinking. This information, Donovan hypothesized, would improve diagnosis and treatment.

It is important to understand the brains complex circuitry systems,  that underpin the onset and maintenance of additive behaviours, it is necessary to place these systems in the context of the individual and their surroundings.

Epigenetics and individual differences in brain architecture do not adequately explain why particular individuals initiate drug taking, develop addictions and then may or may not respond to a variety of interventions.

Several psychological traits have been associated with addiction – impulsivity, depression, anxiety, reward sensitivity and learning capacity. Such characteristics are the product of biology, personality and circumstance.

Paying attention to  healthcare  organisations  is  not enough to actually improve people’s health. Healthcare around the world is often  ineffective, or inappropriate for a patient’s condition, and can even leave patients worse off.

I want to introduce into the NHS a recovery room specific to assessing, referring, the addict in crisis who has come to  A&E for help.

Specific programme  objectives are to make available traction and peer-led  healing regimes  and  for individuals to benefit from evidence-based wellbeing practices-that empower people, restore trust and faith that they can heal their lives.

BE WELL. BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU.

 

Social Change & Global Health is a total health care initiative  inspired by timeless wisdom, informed by neuoroscience, and grounded in experiential expression.

The body is not a machine, it is a living organism that is self regulating, self organising and  self healing. Fritz Perls, one of the founders of Gestalt Therapy, believed that every organism is self-regulating, and that this self-regulation is necessary for maintaining the organism’s internal equilibrium.

Be curious. Cultivate compassionate inquiry  to engender mindbody  connections with others. We are hardwired to connect. Seek to have peace in your heart, the mind will follow.

Listen  to your   body’s needs, and you’ll find that your body gives you the balance you need to be healthy and happy.

STRESS:
From digestive  issues and  sleep disturbances  to diseases like metabolic syndrome and  more.

Overthinking, mood-swings, compulsivity,  addiction, restlessness, depression, and anxiety.

Reducing stress is possible …if you develop present moment mindfulness for  “switching off” the need for intensity, perfectionism, being in control etc..

instead you can be calm, confident and empowered. I suggest  begining the day with an intention setting “I am…” visualization:

Daily Morning Practice:
Each day is a new beginning. Your intention  can be to “be authentic, true to you, without people pleasing to feel valued and worthy.  Pause. Connect. Breathe.
Think about where you need to be and with whom you need to be.
Do you feel stressful about this day or do you feel comfortable?
Do you feel prepared for today’s events?
Are you projecting fears and expectations into this day?

Close your eyes for a few minutes. Straighten your back, open your heart chakra and the solar plexus will automatically relax.

Bring your attention to your breath. Breathe through your nose and exhale from the mouth. Slowly increase the depth of your breath by breathing from the sacral chakra, holding the breath for a few seconds and exhaling.

You will experience a felt sense of connection that instils a sense of self acceptance that everything is happening as it is supposed to…surrendering egoic needs to control people, places and things.  A cohesive mind body connection engenders feeling confident, boundaried, and empowered.

You can be the best version of you!

 

SURRENDER

 

 

“To surrender is to flow like a river into the sea of love and in losing yourself, find yourself. To surrender is to give up everything safe and secure, and in doing so find confidence and strength.

To fully surrender is to allow your heart to  open, unable to contain all the love running through you, and to let the overflow drench you and the  lover with love.”Anonymous

SOCIAL CHANGE & GLOBAL HEALTH

 

 

Elizabeth Hearn is the founder of London-based  Social Change and Global Health.   An addiction professional with over 27 years of clinical experience, with a specific  focus on prevention, raising awareness, and inspiring individual’s, and families  personal recovery.

Elizabeth  was born in the UK and is  a longterm addiction professional  whose previous career in fashion, film and broadcasting spanned four continents.

An advocate for social change,  her clinical approach emphasizes the importance of autonomy, resilience and  purpose.

She  “holds the space” all the while encouraging clients  to revisit early childhood  life experiences manifesting as adult  mental and physical health issues in the safety, permission  and potency of the present moment.

Healing  is a process. Anxiety,  stress, depression  and trauma manifest as  disconnection  from self and others that  causes  a variety  of emotional disorders. 

Social Change and global health’s  biopsychosocial  method,  is  deep process therapy that  reveal unconscious dynamics, patterns and themes  to promote thriving and transformation.

RESTORATIVE DIGITAL WELLBEING

 

Sensate in One Minute from BioSelf Technology on Vimeo.

From the moment you wake up in the morning, to the time you go to sleep at night, SENSATE is available to you throughout the day to manage your stress and help you be the best version of yourself.

SENSATE will prepare you for anything the day throws at you – as a meditative aid first thing in the morning, or to facilitate a calm commute to work; use it to take some ‘you-time’ over lunch to reset and rejuvenate, or to prepare yourself before that big presentation. SENSATE is there to help you wind down on your way home from work, or at the end of a long day.

A personal stress coach, a pocket therapist, and a meditation master all rolled into one – SENSATE is there to help you get through the day and assist in developing a better you.

WEARABLE
Put on SENSATE and get on with daily life – leave the rest to your smart new friend.
FAST
Experience all of the heightened benefits of calming meditation without the years of practice.
SMART
More than just high-tech nagging, SENSATE is an enjoyable experience, which reduces tension and relaxes on demand.
TRIED & TESTED
This novel technology approach has been developed and used in a Harley Street clinic over the last three years with highly successful results.
UPDATABLE
Use the SENSATE app to keep up-to-date with the latest features and upgrades so that you can track your improvements.

RESTORATIVE

Nerve and brain stimulation
As a pioneering product, SENSATE is the first device to integrate two proven medical solutions into one consumer product: Vagus Nerve Stimulation to stimulate the nervous system using sound; audio-based Brainwave Synchronisation to guide brain activity – both techniques support stress reduction.

https://www.getsensate.com

 

ENERGETIC BOUNDARIES: CONNECTION & PROTECTION

 

 

“the healthier our heart rhythm is, the healthier our body is. Studies have shown that a coherent or harmonious heart, which is produced when we center on positive emotion and spiritual truths, can prevent infection, improve arrhythmia, and help heal mitral-valve prolapse, congestive heart failure, asthma, diabetes, fatigue, autoimmune disorders, anxiety, depression, AIDS, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[12]”

Cyndi Dale, Energetic Boundaries: How to Stay Protected and Connected in Work, Love, and Life

http://soundstrue-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/sample_K2117_Energetic_Boundaries.pdf

HEART TO HEART

 

MAKE 2019 THE YEAR OF THE HUG – EXPERIENCED THROUGH YOUR VAGUS NERVE
When a hug lasts 20 seconds, there is a therapeutic effect on the body and mind. The reason is that a sincere embrace produces a hormone called “oxytocin”, also known as the love hormone. This substance has many benefits in our physical and mental health, helps us, among other things, to relax, to feel safe and calm our fears and anxiety.

This wonderful tranquilizer is offered free of charge every time we have a person in our arms, who cradled a child, who cherish a dog or a cat, that we are dancing with our partner, the closer we get to someone or simply hold the shoulders of a friend.
A famous quote by psychotherapist Virginia Satir goes, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

Whether those exact numbers have been scientifically proven remains to be seen, but there is a great deal of scientific evidence related to the importance of hugs and physical contact. Here are some reasons why we should hug:

1. STIMULATES OXYTOCIN
Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic system, the brain’s emotional centre, promoting feelings of contentment, reducing anxiety and stress, and even making mammals monogamous. It is the hormone responsible for us all being here today.

You see this little gem is released during childbirth, making our mothers forget about all of the excruciating pain they endured expelling us from their bodies and making them want to still love and spend time with us.

New research from the University of California suggests that it has a similarly civilising effect on human males, making them more affectionate and better at forming relationships and social bonding.

And it dramatically increased the libido and sexual performance of test subjects. When we hug someone, oxytocin is released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for stress, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
2. CULTIVATES PATIENCE
Connections are fostered when people take the time to appreciate and acknowledge one another. A hug is one of the easiest ways to show appreciation and acknowledgement of another person.

The world is a busy, hustle-bustle place and we’re constantly rushing to the next task. By slowing down and taking a moment to offer sincere hugs throughout the day, we’re benefiting ourselves, others, and cultivating better patience within ourselves.
3. PREVENTS DISEASE
Affection also has a direct response on the reduction of stress which prevents many diseases. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine says it has carried out more than 100 studies into touch and found evidence of significant effects, including faster growth in premature babies, reduced pain, decreased autoimmune disease symptoms, lowered glucose levels in children with diabetes, and improved immune systems in people with cancer.
4. STIMULATES THYMUS GLAND
Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.
5. COMMUNICATION WITHOUT SAYING A WORD
Almost 70 percent of communication is nonverbal. The interpretation of body language can be based on a single gesture and hugging is an excellent method of expressing yourself nonverbally to another human being or animal. Not only can they feel the love and care in your embrace, but they can actually be receptive enough to pay it forward to others based on your initiative alone.
6. SELF-ESTEEM
Hugging boosts self-esteem, especially in children. The tactile sense is all-important in infants. A baby recognizes its parents initially by touch. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still imbedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.
7. STIMULATES DOPAMINE
Everything everyone does involves protecting and triggering dopamine flow. Low dopamine levels play a role in the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson’s as well as mood disorders such as depression. Dopamine is responsible for giving us that feel-good feeling, and it’s also responsible for motivation! Hugs stimulate brains to release dopamine, the pleasure hormone. Dopamine sensors are the areas that many stimulating drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine target. The presence of a certain kinds of dopamine receptors are also associated with sensation-seeking.
8. STIMULATES SEROTONIN
Reaching out and hugging releases endorphins and serotonin into the blood vessels and the released endorphins and serotonin cause pleasure and negate pain and sadness and decrease the chances of getting heart problems, helps fight excess weight and prolongs life. Even the cuddling of pets has a soothing effect that reduces the stress levels. Hugging for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
9. PARASYMPATHETIC BALANCE
Hugs balance out the nervous system. The skin contains a network of tiny, egg-shaped pressure centres called Pacinian corpuscles that can sense touch and which are in contact with the brain through the vagus nerve.

The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.
Embrace, embrace with your heart.

LOVING KINDNESS METTA MEDITATION

Meditations are the highest ethical practice  of the conscious mind.

Loving-kindness meditation
The original name of this practice is metta bhavana, which comes from the Pali language.

Metta means ‘love’ (in a non-romantic sense), friendliness, or kindness: hence ‘loving-kindness’ for short. It is an emotion, something you feel in your heart. Bhavana means development or cultivation.

The commonest form of the practice is in five stages, each of which should last about five minutes for a beginner.

In the first stage, you feel metta for yourself. You start by becoming aware of yourself, and focusing on feelings of peace, calm, and tranquillity.

Then you let these grow in to feelings of strength and confidence, and then develop into love within your heart.

You can use an image, like golden light flooding your body, or a phrase such as ‘may I be well and happy’, which you can repeat to yourself.

These are ways of stimulating the feeling of metta for yourself.
In the second stage think of a good friend. Bring them to mind as vividly as you can, and think of their good qualities.

Feel your connection with your friend, and your liking for them, and encourage these to grow by repeating ‘may they be well; may they be happy’ quietly to yourself.

You can also use an image, such as shining light from your heart into theirs. You can use these techniques — a phrase or an image — in the next two stages as well.

Then think of someone you do not particularly like or dislike. Your feelings are ‘neutral’. This may be someone you do not know well but see around.

You reflect on their humanity, and include them in your feelings of metta.
Then think of someone you actually dislike — an “enemy”, traditionally— someone you are having difficulty with. Trying not to get caught up in any feelings of hatred, think of them positively and send your metta to them as well.

In the final stage, first of all you think of all four people together — yourself, the friend, the neutral person, and the enemy. Then extend your feelings further — to everyone around you, to everyone in your neighbourhood; in your town, your country, and so on throughout the world.

Have a sense of waves of loving-kindness spreading from your heart to everyone, to all beings everywhere. Then gradually relax out of meditation, and bring the practice to an end.

Listen to or download full guided introductions to the Metta Bhavana:

https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/browse?cat=guided_introductions&t=audio