Wednesday, December 31, 2008


It's New Year's Eve. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all readers of this blog a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy New Year.

I always get excited on New Year's Eve. We are having dinner with friends this evening at Pasta Pasta and then watching the ball drop on TV. I enjoy the possibility of new experiences and although I'll turn 50 this summer, I am looking forward to the coming new year.

I have just 3 New Year's resolutions this New Year's Eve. I will no longer take the elevator in my building up and down from my practice office. I will be more mindful in all that I do. Lastly, I will show more compassion in all my interactions with others.

Happy New Year! See you all next year.

A Caffeinated Story

Starbucks was running this special over this past summer where one can sign up for a special Starbucks card and can get free extras. Being the loyal "Bucks" drinker that I am, of course, the staff at the local Starbucks here in the village enticed me to get this card.

It was great! Each time I went into a Starbucks anywhere I was offered espresso shots free with my regular grande or tall size coffee. I was enjoying being able to experience having more energy and loved the taste of the added coffee. I was doing well for quite some time. No problems. Very productive, too. I became quite familiar with the Starbucks lingo. An additional espresso shot in the coffee was called a "red eye", two shots was called a "black eye". I was walking in and asking for my coffee with this new lingo! It was fun!

Michael and I were visiting up in Toronto and he noticed my heart rate was elevated. He said he can feel it when we were sleeping. I was also experiencing some difficulty falling asleep and sometimes with waking up during the night as well. This had been a recurring problem for me ever since my diagnosis of Sarcoidosis five years ago so I attributed this insomnia to my disease acting up. Anyway, we were on vacation and I didn't care all that much about some minor sleeping issues. You think I would have even had the thought cross my mind that I was drinking so much more caffeine that I had previously? Nope. Now, those of you that know me well have sometimes witnessed this phenomenon occurring with me. I am bright and articulate, however, sometimes a bit late in catching up with myself. So, I just continued to drink my 2 or 3 cups a day of Starbucks now with the added espresso shots. Oh yes, even while up in Toronto. What was worse is that because I am known at my local Starbucks here in the village I was offered an additional shot of espresso since "I 'm making two anyway, Doc. So, I'll give you the second shot on me".

So, I went to see my regular M.D. Dr. Kolupoti for a regular physical and such and to monitor any symptoms of my Sarcoidosis. He tells me "Crew, you have Tachycardia". He tells me my resting heart rate was over 100 bpm! He asks me what I'm doing. I tell him nothing. He asks about my caffeine use and I tell him nothing different than I usually do. Then, it hit me! (I told you sometimes I am a bit late with things). OH, could it be the espresso shots?? He started to giggle. My doctor told me that each espresso shot carried with it the equivalent of 2 and a half cups of regular coffee! So, when I did my math.... I was drinking the actual caffeine equivalent of between 12 and 15 cups of coffee per day!

So, suffice it to say that I am no longer enjoying espresso shots with my morning Joe or afternoon cup. I clearly miss the energy and the wonderful taste of that espresso, but I am now back to normal heart rate and seem more like my usual energetic self, no longer frenetic!

Coffee, to me, is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Starbucks, to me, is the best cup of coffee I have ever enjoyed. This situation was a huge reminder to me of how powerful a drug caffeine is. I must be diligent and mindful in its use.

I was telling this story to a patient of mine after a therapy session. He looked at me in a very strange way after i finished my story. I was thinking that he thought of me in a weird way after I told him of my experience. But, he stated to me, "Oh, I am so glad you told me about this. I have been experiencing the same thing you had experienced." Apparently, he had gotten the card from the Starbucks promotion as well! We had a good laugh and he too made the same adjustments to his daily caffeination.

So, I sit here blogging on this New Year's Eve morning drinking my morning cup o' Bucks remembering this crazy story from this past July. No, I'm NOT drinking espresso shots now, but I miss it... hm mm... tasted so good.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Racer's tip

I have a patient who I have been treating for almost a year now. I have his permission to share this story with you. He was once a professional race car driver. He was telling me that when one is driving at such high speeds around the oval track it is important to keep your eyes on where you want the car to go. He tells me that the car will go in the direction of where one is looking. For example, he said many drivers instinctively look at the embankment of the track when they feel the car losing its stability on the track causing them to wreck into the side of the wall. He tells me that one has to avoid the tendency to look anywhere where one does not want the car to go. I found this so interesting; and quite METAPHORICAL!

There is an old axiom that states that what one fears the most one brings towards them. I wondered if this is similar to what he was explaining to me in regards to high speed driving on a track.

I believe it is also true that when one loses sight of their intention to achieve a goal or to get where they want to be a "wreck" can occur as well. We need to keep our eyes on where we wish to be rather than to lose sight of our true destination and fix our eyes on something that can only cause us harm and destruction.

Dialysis completed - DAD----(still here)

Just got a call from Mom and my sister Joanne. They said that my Dad is out of dialysis and doing OK. He is very sedated and is talking about wanting to die, but this is common after a first dialysis procedure. Amazing, his heart held out for the entire two and a half hour procedure.

They are planning on doing another dialysis procedure tomorrow to rid his body of all the toxins from his renal system not working for so long. So far, so good.

I'll see him tomorrow.

Dad at the hospital 12/30/08

I saw my Father this morning at the hospital. I had to flash my card and say I was seeing a patient to be allowed up on the units at this early hour as it was just 8am. He looked horrible. Today he is scheduled to attempt to have dialysis begun. They are not sure that his heart will be able to deal with the procedure. My Father does not wish to have a DNR order so they will attempt to resuscitate him if he goes into cardiac arrest. If this dialysis procedure is not able to occur there is nothing further that can be done for my Dad other than to keep him pain free. His kidneys are almost completely shut down.

Today, I am waiting for my Mom to call with any news. I spoke with my Father this morning and he is quite aware of the possibilities of this procedure not working well. He spoke with me regarding his possible death asking me to care for my Mom and sisters. It is quite difficult to see him in this state. I am as prepared as I think I can possibly be in the event of his death. I told him how much I love him and I still have some hope that he will be able to have dialysis and he can enjoy some quality of life once again. I found myself speaking to him as I would back when I was a hospice and home care medical social worker informing him of the need for a positive attitude and the mind and body relationship.

I have been an excellent son to him. I know this. I was hoping to hear him tell me he loves me but he did not. When I told him I loved him he said "I know you do". It's sad to me that even now he has difficulty expressing feelings such as these.

Machines to stay away from at the gym/ part 2

In our continuing saga of injury causing machines we arrive at the dreaded BUTT BLASTER (sometimes called Glute Master).
This machine causes extreme pressure on the discs of the lower spine. You can certainly feel it when executing this movement. Don't use this device to strengthen glutes. A much more effective, and certainly safer, way to strengthen glutes is by performing lunges using dumbbells or a medicine ball. As always, one has to insure proper form when executing the lunge with knees ALWAYS behind the toes.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Machines to stay away from at the gym #1

As promised, I am posting my recommendations on which machines to STAY AWAY from when training at your gym. This is the first of 4 warnings!

LEG EXTENSION MACHINE This is the machine where one sits and extends the legs from underneath. This machine rips the knee during the extension phase. My old instructor at NYStrength Institute called this one "Satan's Throne". He claims that this machine causes multiple injuries to the knee including the ACL. If this machine is used regularly it will tear muscle from bone. Yes, it's that serious.

One can safely train the quadriceps by doing squats with proper form using a Swiss ball against a wall. This exercise actually trains the quads more effectively while protecting the knees and corresponding ligaments and tendons. Another effective and safe method of training the quads are to utilize dumbbells or a body bar during the execution of a squat using proper form (knees ALWAYS behind toes).

Update on Dad in hospital

My Father continues to experience great difficulty. He is very, very ill. He is going to begin dialysis as his kidneys are barely functioning at all. He is not eating much, has episodic pain, and is depressed and morbid at times. Michael and I have been spending a lot of time up at the hospital with him. He is very afraid of dying. He now requires a nasal-gastric tube to empty contents of his stomach as his kidneys are not able to do so. His stomach and body cannot rid itself of toxins and poisons that the kidneys are responsible for eliminating. The kidneys have been compromised by end stage Diabetes.

It is good for me to be spending time with him even as he is so ill. He holds my hand and depends on me to get things done for him whether it's getting him water or something to make him comfortable or to ask the medical personnel for information. He relies on me and I really do enjoy our time together even as he is so gravely ill. It is wonderful for me to hear him say "thank you" to me when he sees me. He continues to be narcissistic, but I would imagine it is easy to become more this way when one is so ill. I was thinking that I would have dealt so much better with a narcissistic Father who is kind as he is now rather than his usual combination of narcissism and abusive behaviors. I certainly enjoy this part of his personality so much more.

It is difficult for me to work and to be fully available to my clients, students, and patients. It is now when I have to rely on my dedication to professionalism and my leaning upon God. I know the importance of taking care of myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. I surround myself with those who love me dearly and are always there for me.

I can honestly say that I love my Father. Our relationship has been so difficult. I pray for his life to continue and that he and I may have a closer relationship before he dies. I look forward to spending more time with him and to be there whenever he needs me.

I am concerned about my sisters and my mother as his health deteriorates.

It is unknown at this time whether or not his heart is strong enough for the dialysis procedure to initiate and also to be productive. His heart is very weak and his body is very frail at this time.

I rely on God to take control of this situation. It's all in His hands.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Favorite Christmas carols and songs

Which are your favorite Christmas carols and songs? Michael and I were discussing which are our favorites. My favorite Christmas carol is "Oh, Holy Night." His is "Silent Night." My favorite Christmas song is "Baby Please Come Home(Christmas)" preferably by Bono and U2. I can't remember which is Mike's favorite Christmas song, but I DO remember that he didn't know the difference between a Christmas song and a Christmas carol! (And, this is a Regis High School and R.P.I. electrical engineering graduate!)

So, which are your favorites? Please leave them here under comments. If you do not have a blog you can leave a comment by posting anonymously. I think it is interesting to also know why we choose a particular song or carol as our personal favorite. I love "Oh, Holy Night" as it reminds me of the love of God in sending us his Son for us. I love "Baby, Please Come Home" as it reminds me of how wonderful it is to share Christmas with someone who you love so dearly and how painful it can be to be without them. I also am a HUGE U2 fan and just melt when I hear Bono's voice. This song really does his tremendous voice justice.

The 20 minute rule

Research (and less face it, just plain common sense and personal experience) tells us that it literally takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the clear message from the stomach that we have had enough to eat.

What does this really mean? Well, it actually means that if we listen to our bodies we can know when we are satiated. There will be no full and sick feeling when we eat if we follow our body's messages. But, we have to wait to receive the correct message. If we are eating out of control we will not receive this message until we already have had too much to eat.

So, eating with all five senses and really being mindful of what our brain is informing us of is the way to go. Eating slowly and mindfully will actually be more enjoyable as well. BALANCE can ONLY arrive to us if we allow the time for the natural process to occur.

This posting is as much for me today as it may be for you. We all teach what we need to learn. Every excellent teacher of any art knows this is true.

Christmas Eve

Well, it's Christmas Eve morning and I am at the office basically to get out of Michael's way while he makes the last batch of brownies and chocolate chip cookies for tonight's party at Waz and JoAnn's home.

It is interesting to me that I feel the same excitement on Christmas Eve as I did so long ago as a child. It's difficult to explain why. I'm sure many of you can relate to this Christmas Eve feeling. I feel like a child sometimes. Many of you know that this is a common thing to witness when you're around me! But, there IS just something about Christmas that makes me feel this way; Christmas Eve day especially.

I think it has to do with memories of times when I was young and I didn't know how cruel the world can be or when I thought Santa was coming this night. But, that old familiar feeling of excitement is still there.

Michael and I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. We send out our love and best wishes and intentions to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quaker prose

I came across a beautiful bit of prose from this month's Friends Journal. I'd like to share it with you.


Hurry down the block, miss the trolley
Head on, then stop, remembering
trot back home, retrieve the missing wallet
miss the trolley yet again

Catch the third one, come across
a long-lost friend------
No longer missing.

The author is Pamela Haines. To me it speaks of the Buddhist concept of synchronicity. We all have experienced how things somehow just fall into place when we are open to promptings and so called happenstance. I call it providence.

God is good even when life is difficult.

Proper form when using dumbbells

Those of you who have been training at the Mind-Body Fitness Studio know the clear benefits of resistance training using dumbbells. You are probably all quite weary of my going on about how wonderful these hand -held beauties are. Proper form is paramount in all resistance training but perhaps even more so when it comes to using dumbbells.

Dumbbells are perfect as they provide us with a way to increase strength while allowing us to utilize our own unique arc and trajectory in performing the motion. In addition, dumbbells provide opportunity to work exercises from a myriad of angles and planes. However, injuries can occur if dumbbells are not treated with the same care when it comes to form as other methods of resistance training.

The single most common injury while using dumbbells are wrist and hand injuries resulting from one bending their wrists during the lifting sequence. Wrists MUST be straight and locked during the execution of the lift. The wrist is not meant to bend while holding onto weight. Carpal tunnel injuries can also occur when training with poor form while using dumbbells.

Our Twelve year Anniversary

This Saturday, December 27th, Michael and I will be celebrating 12 years together.

I cannot even begin to express how happy I am with him. He is everything that I had ever hoped to find in a partner and more. In many ways, I hope to be more like him as years go by. Those of you who may know him get just a glimpse of how wonderful he is. I won't go on because he will be so embarrassed if I do. He is the finest person I have ever met.

Thanks, Mike for all the happiness and love you have provided me for all these years. Know that I will always and forever be dedicated to us and to you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Road Less Travelled

One of my all time favorite books is "The Road Less Travelled" by the late M. Scott Peck, M.D. It truly changed my life when I read it for the very first time so many years ago now.I especially appreciated his recipe for mental health which includes 4 precepts: responsibility, dedication to truth, delayed gratification, and balance.

Responsibility includes taking absolute responsibility for everything we do, say, and even think about. It means NEVER blaming others for what happens to us. It means taking complete responsibility for even the way we respond to another. When we begin to feel like a victim we are often NOT accepting responsibility for where we are. Responsibility also includes doing what we promise others and what we promise OURSELVES.

Dedication to truth means committing oneself to honesty in all we do. It means never to intend to confuse, dodge, mislead, manipulate, lie, or delude anyone ever. This includes ourselves.

Delayed gratification has to do with putting off rewards until the hard work is done. (see blog entry entitled "Eat the Frog"). It means doing the things that are not pleasant FIRST so that we can enjoy the benefits of our intended efforts. It also entails not looking for fast fixes or artificial substances to make us happy or content.

Lastly, is balance. This involves making sure we are balanced in all we do whether this is work or play, intimacy or being apart, rest or effort, what we eat, what think about, etc. If we seek balance in all we do we will always find homeostasis in our lives. When we are feeling tired, depressed, angry, or exuberant we are often out of balance. My grandmother taught me long ago that when I am very excited or very down DO NOT make big decisions.

Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy now online!

The Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy website is now up and running. Visit us at

SIH offers certification for Clinical Hypnotherapy through the American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy. In addition, SIH offers Master Clinical Hypnotherapy certification and certification as a Meditation Therapist. Classes are open to therapists as well as anyone having the intention and desire to begin a new career in Hypnosis and Clinical Hypnotherapy.

You can get additional information by visiting the website or by contacting Dr. Crew at 631/880-2531.

The mad grillers on Cedar Hill

If you are in Port Jefferson Village and it's a Sunday night around 6pm you can look about half way up on Cedar Hill and see a BBQ grill glowing on a back porch. You can smell the wafting scent of chicken, turkey or even steak in the winter air.

No matter what the weather, come rain, shine, or snow Michael and I grill on Sunday nights for our food for the week. It's a ritual we have been keeping for over 6 years now. Sometimes we get some interesting looks when we tell people we were grilling when it is snowing or raining. We just do it anyway even if it means Mike has to hold an umbrella over my head as I grill up our protein for the coming work week. There is usually a Giants or Jets game on the kitchen television. If it's baseball season maybe the Mets or Yankees will be on.

So, follow your nose and say hello to us if you are in town!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dad in the hospital UPDATE

We saw my Father yesterday over at Mather. He looked much better. He is now eating a bit more, and he seems to be looking towards wanting to go either to a rehabilitation facility or home. It is truly amazing to me how the mind and the body work together so synergistically. Once he decided he wants to get well rather than die his body follows this intention as well.

He still is having major problems as he continues to fill up with water and is also very, very weak. He could not even move his upper body up to answer the phone. He continues, of course, to be completely narcissistic and self-centered. This, I believe, may never change.

It was good to see him again. I am able now to see the part of him that is so full of anger, pain, and fear. It is also easier to become aware of this when he is not being verbally abusive. I pray for him. I pray for his physical needs as well as his emotional and spiritual needs.

Friday, December 19, 2008


It's snowing this afternoon in the village. I just walked down to "Bucks" for my Christmas blend and everyone was so clearly in the holiday spirit on Main Street and in Starbucks. It's so beautiful in the village when it snows.

I recall when I originally intended to rent office space here on Main Street almost 3 years ago. I walked down from our home and said to myself I will just go in there and find out if something is available in this building. It was snowing hard that day I walked into this building and found out that an office would be available in a couple of months and I could have it if I wanted it. I had always dreamed of living and having my psychotherapy and hypnotherapy office here in the village and now it was happening. I remember walking into the office and seeing the snow come down over Main Street out of the window. (Now it's MY window!) When I signed my lease a few weeks later, it was snowing again.

I opened up my psychotherapy practice at this location on April 2nd, 2006 and it was snowing again that day. In April! I always associate snow with my intention to rent here in the village. And, it's snowing now as I type.

What is Barack thinking?

I heard last night that Barack Obama is choosing to have Pastor Rick Warren give the invocation at his inauguration next month. WHAT?

This is the guy who asked all "Christians" in California to vote down the right for same-gender couples to marry. Does he not recall how he asked for OUR votes when he was running for President? I am so shocked by this foolish choice. I am sickened that he now is playing smarmy political games with the conservatives to improve his image. His campaign was perfectly run and then THIS? I hope this is not a sign of things to come.


I was speaking with a friend of mine yesterday. She was telling me about a particular person in her life that she refuses to forgive. She gave me sordid details of why she will not forgive this person for the heinous things they had done.

It occurred to me that she felt the need to inform me of all the details in an effort to convince me that what had happened to her that she felt this person was responsible for was certainly UNFORGIVABLE. It got me to thinking of why we often feel we have to justify our refusal to forgive someone.

I do not believe that we forgive others for THEM. I feel we CHOOSE to forgive them for ourselves. I have had the experience of refusing to forgive someone for what I believed was a terrible thing they had done to me. I clearly can remember how much energy this took away from me. I remember how much weight I was carrying around with me. Harboring feelings of anger, hatred, and resentment is an unbelievably heavy bag of bricks to have on your back. (Yes, yet another hypnotic metaphor.) How am I going to enjoy each moment of my life carrying around all that crap?

I am not suggesting that once we decide to forgive another we immediately are able to do it. I am stating that what is MOST important here is that we make a conscious choice of our true intention to forgive someone. Once we have done this, we are able to allow the healing and letting go process to begin. It is a journey and may take some time, but we can get there if that is our goal. We can be mindful of times when we were the one who was wanting to be forgiven by another. But, brick by brick anger and resentments can be put down once this choice to do so has been intended.

Once we forgive another we may still not seek to be close or even connected in any way with that person. That is our choice. All relationships end at some point either by changes that occur or by death.

I seek to not carry around with me all of the anger and resentment of unforgiving. The Buddha taught that we need to mindfully consider the true consequences of anger and resentment and then decide on whether or not we really want to hold on to it. Certainly, this is a choice we make.

Life is way too short to even have anger and unforgiving taking up space in our hearts and minds. I'd rather not have to carry around all of that heavy weight. It takes a lot of energy and effort to stay angry. I'll choose to use my energy in more productive ways.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What to do about my goatee?

I recently found out that I do NOT have a goatee according to most people. Apparently, I have a "Van Dyke"! Well, whatever I have, I have had my facial hair for the better part of the last 25 years. Rarely has anyone seen me without it. But, now there is a problem.

My goatee is turning grey. I don't wish to be one of those dyeing the facial hair kinda guys so this is not an option. I have to decide whether or not to cut it off or let it go grey. I NEVER think I look my age. I probably am deluding myself here. But, certainly as it goes greyer by the hour I am looking older and I have to adjust to this or take it off.

So, I am torn. In the past, I have taken the goatee off and gotten mostly negative comments from people. I have heard that I should grow it back as it is such a part of my personality. (I really do not even know what this means). I certainly do look much younger without the goatee. Without getting into details here I also began to grow it at a very interesting time in my life so I believe it may be very symbolic for me to get rid of it. It just got greyer!

I realize there are many more important things to be thinking about, but this is where I am this moment. What does growing older mean? Why the need to be seen as looking younger than my age? Why am I asking you?

Suggestions will be appreciated.

A (possibly) controversial posting

I am a healer. As a Doctor and psychotherapist, I have assisted so many patients and clients to heal emotional injuries from the past, make peace with past memories and relationships, improved relationships, and changed their lives. Never do I take for granted the enormity of my work and my abilities. I thank God for the opportunity I have to assist people in the ways that I do.

Now, I've never been one to shy away from controversial issues. So, here we go... Lately, I have been having discussions and debates with fellow doctors, therapists and other professionals about how they feel about other types of healing professions. I am speaking here of Reiki practitioners, energy medicine counselors, spirit releasers, past life regressions, messaging, channeling, psychics, psychic surgeons, faith healers, etc

OK. So, let's face the truth here. After all of my discussions with so many friends, colleagues and other professionals I have come to an interesting conclusion. It is that we all have a line that we feel that once it is crossed we are now in "crazyland'. Be honest with yourself here. At what point does one feel that certain segments of the healing profession are bordering on psychotic or delusional? Where is YOUR line drawn and WHY is it drawn there?

As I stated previously, I think we all have that line somewhere. Many of us have a line drawn when it comes to anything to do with God or religious healing. Others, can't buy into healers who are not licensed nor credentialed or possess a college degree. One could even make the argument that hypnosis and possibly even psychotherapy is over that line. Or what about prayer or therapeutic massage? How about chiropractic?

I have come to the conclusion that I have to admit where my line is drawn before one enters "crazyland". Instead of being skeptical and closed-minded, I can be skeptical and open-minded. I also need to be kind and honest with others who see things differently than I do. Actually, much of healing takes place inside another human being and has very little at times to do with the practitioner. In my opinion, if someone has a positive experience treating their anxiety or depression by taking 2 purple jelly beans each morning with a glass of grapefruit juice I'd advise them to keep taking it! I believe different therapies and techniques work for different people because they believe in them. I have to look at my own biases right in the eye and confront them at times. Why is it that I have strong opinions on certain types of healing modalities?

So, please leave me comments on how you see this issue. I am extremely interested in other's views on this topic that so many wish to just dodge rather than to have an opinion on. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Check out your face

I was laughing earlier today as I was walking to Starbucks for my afternoon Christmas blend. I saw someone I know here in town and they had that same face on them. It was an angry puss face. I was laughing because I remembered many years ago I was talking to a friend who told me I often held my face in an angry or annoyed position. She said that when she had initially met me she was surprised that I was a kind person as she said she always noticed my angry and serious face. I told her I didn't think I was angry. Her response was funny. She said, "well, someone needs to tell your face". I thought it was such a comical line.

I am cognizant now that I may have that puss face on. I often check it and make sure I'm not presenting myself that way. Now, I'm not saying we all need to go around like some clueless fool smiling all the time, but it really goes a long way when we have a contented face on us. I find people approach me more often, say hello, or just find me to be someone they can communicate with. I also think I, in turn, feel better overall as well when I have a contented face on me instead of my "serious scowl". Haven't I been better with that lately?

So, try it. You will see that it is quite contagious.

I don't want to be "nice"

Nice people to me are fake and manipulative. I only wish to be honest and kind. It's a huge difference to me.

I find the "nicest" people I have ever met were often harboring angry thoughts and resentment. No one would have known it. All of a sudden they BLOW! Wow, where did all of this come from? I think they often try to be so damn "nice" and neglect the importance of honesty and kindness in their interactions with others.

I love people who are honest and who can tell me what they feel and not have to worry about being "nice". They communicate truthfully with me and always try to do so with love and kindness. I can trust them and know that if they are feeling something negative about me or something I have said or done they will tell me so because they are honest and kind. AND NOT NICE!

Truly, honesty is not enough by itself. Many so called "honest" people can be quite cruel with what they say to others. They do not take into consideration any care or kindness in delivering their message to others. "Come on , I'm just being honest. Why are you so sensitive?"They are often just plain old passive-aggressive. Kindness is not enough either. Many so called "kind" people are just plain disingenuous with what they say. They are often "people- pleasers" who seek approval from others to feel good about themselves. I'd call them codependent. I am careful around them because I think more is going on here than what is on the surface.

No. The combination of kindness and honesty is what I strive for! I'd also add the caring qualities of TIMING, EMPATHY, and COMPASSION to this mix and you have the best communicator on Earth! Someone whom you can rely on! They will tell you what they feel and deliver that message in a way that is filled with love and care. You never have to guess or be concerned about what they are thinking or feeling.

I think the world needs more honesty and kindness: not more niceness. In fact, I think the world is dying of niceness.

I try to live this way. I want a person who knows me to be sure that I will tell them what I'm feeling in the kindest way possible. A person who knows me enough to be sure that when I speak with them I have thought of the kindest way possible to tell them what I feel and that I have no intention to hurt them in any way. That is what I appreciate from others and what I can provide for them. This way, we can have a relationship built on total honesty and authentic care in delivering our truths and perspectives. Being open to other's perspective and appreciating differences in perspectives is key. Lastly, admitting when you make mistakes is crucial.

Overtraining Problems

This blog entry is for all of you fellow "gym rats" out there. Overtraining is a big problem when it comes to us. We tend to over train and think we are helping ourselves sometimes when the truth is we are hurting ourselves and actually keeping ourselves from achieving our fitness goals.

Symptoms of over training are: increased number of infections, decreased performance, elevated heart rate and blood lactate levels during exercise, loss of body weight, chronic fatigue, and psychological staleness. The other thing to look for is what fitness trainers call "DOMS". "DOMS" stands for delayed onset muscle soreness. This specifically, is muscle soreness that occurs 12 to 48 hours after training. It IS the indicator that one has over trained. If one has muscle soreness after 48 hours after training one has certainly over trained those particular muscles. One should NEVER have such soreness that it limits functioning after training. My instructor, Dr. Jack Barnathan (of NYStrength, Inc.) used to tell us that one needs to feel a small bit of soreness in the belly of a muscle after training, but never to the point where one is limited in movement in any way.

Training needs to always follow a specific regimen. This includes incorporating sensible, scientific weight training methods based on periodization, varying your training methods, following sensible nutritional practices, using proper lifting form and techniques, getting proper sleep and rest, preparing yourself psychologically for training workouts, and proper stretching forms.

Resting in between sets is paramount as well. There needs to be minimally 40 seconds of rest between sets so that one can allow the ATP to return into the muscle after working it.

Lastly, and this is a big one, no single workout should ever go over 50 minutes unless after 50 minutes you are ingesting high quality carbohydrates (NOT SUGAR!). After 50 minutes, the body no longer burns body fat for fuel , and instead begins to burn glycogen found in the muscles, causing loss of muscle mass. A simple carb source of a banana or an orange can solve this problem.

Oh, one more thing. ONLY train to fatigue, NEVER TO FAILURE.

Please call for any other information or to make an appointment at the Mind-Body Fitness Studio. 631/880-2531.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Power of INTENTION

One of my favorite books of all time is "The Seat of the Soul" by Gary Zukav. Truly, my life has been changed forever after reading this book. One of the most wonderful sections of the book has to deal with one's INTENTIONS. Allow me to share my interpretation of this concept.

Zukav states that we are not static systems. We are dynamic beings who can change the way that energy flows through us by changing our consciousness. We can do this, for example, when we challenge a negative pattern, such as anger, and consciously choose to replace it with compassion, or when one challenges impatience and consciously chooses to understand and appreciate the needs of others. This creates different forms of thought, feeling and action. It changes our experience. Every experience, and every change in one's experience, reflects INTENTION. An intention is not only a desire. It is the use of your will. How things change in our lives depends upon the INTENTION that one sets into motion.

If you are not aware of all your intentions, you will be torn because both dynamics will be set in motion and oppose each other. If you are not aware of all your intentions, the strongest one will always win. You may have a conscious desire to improve your relationship, for example, and simultaneously, an unconscious intention to end it. If conflicting intentions are not balanced, and if a person is not willing or able to acknowledge that an aspect of themself stands opposed to their conscious intention, severe stress and emotional pain will result.

One's INTENTIONS need to be so focused that every single action initiates from and is consistant with this pure intention. This is how goals are achieved.

INTENTIONS set into motion processes that affect every aspect of our lives.

Sorry to get so heavy today.

go SPIN!

I have been attending a 50 minute Spin class each Saturday morning at NYSC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with a spin class I will explain exactly what I am speaking of. Classes are conducted with each participant having their own spin bicycle. A spin bike is similar to an upright exercise bike but it has a fly wheel that one needs to pedal. It can be set for a particular resistance with the turn of a knob. The class leader takes participants up hills and jumping maneuvers that mimic actual riding on a course. This is all choreographed to music that sets the mood for wherever the course is taking the participants.

I totally enjoy these classes and in a typical 50 minute session one can burn up to 600 calories! I enjoy using the pulse monitor so I can track how my heart is responding to the cardio workout. I recommend taking a spin class for everyone. One can set the resistance on the spin bikes so that one can make it as easy or as difficult as they prefer the ride to be for them.

So, go spin! You will enjoy the workout and the fun of working out with the others in the room as you spin to exhilarating music! You will feel vibrant and fully alive while improving your health and looking better in your clothing.

Monday, December 15, 2008

My Father in the hospital

Michael and I went to see my Father in the hospital Friday. He is suffering from advanced heart disease as well as renal failure. I know that he does not have much longer to live.

My Father and I have had a very, very difficult relationship. He was, and to some extent, still is abusive and mean. In all of my years doing psychotherapy I have not seen anyone who has evidenced more narcissism. I do not wish to reveal anything further about our relationship here in the blog. Those of you who know me know the full extent of this abuse. Seeing him lying in what may be his death bed was very strange for me. Here he was, this once powerful and punishing figure in my life looking so weak and frail and powerless. I can remember fearing him to such an extent that my entire life was centered around his moods and anger. Now, he is helpless and fragile and cannot hurt me or anyone any longer.

Of course, the way he has lived his life has led to his poor health. Years and years of smoking and drinking and raging coupled with lack of exercise and poor nutritional habits have led to his deterioration.

I attempt to not replicate his life in any way. I exercise regularly, eat well, do not smoke at all and do not drink to excess. I have learned to not carry anger and rage and to forgive others. I strive to be content and to enjoy others who may not agree with me.

Needless to say, I am experiencing so many different emotions and memories with my Father being so ill. I am so fortunate to have so many friends in my life whom I can share with. I know I am even more fortunate to have Michael who is the best partner anyone could ever ask for. I know that I have no regrets and I have made peace with every aspect of my relationship with my Dad. Even though he would never admit to doing anything detrimental to me, I have forgiven him already. I've even forgiven him for things he hasn't even done yet.

It was good to see my Father. I hope and pray that he will bounce back and enjoy a higher quality of life. More importantly, I wish that he could embrace the wonderful things life has to offer and to make peace within himself. I also know he and he alone has to do this.

"Eat the Frog"

An attorney friend of mine was telling me of a story of what he sees as his mantra as he works each day. He tells the story of someone who has many things to do each day, but one of them is to eat a frog sometime during the day. He states, that if the worst thing one has to do all day is to eat a frog EAT IT FIRST so the rest of the day will only get better.

This is basically a paramount truth in psychology called DELAYED GRATIFICATION. The clear message is not to put off things you really dislike to do as they will be hovering over you. Get those most unpleasant things done first. The things you really enjoy the most will be even more enjoyable once you get the hard work done first.

Wise parents teach this concept to their children as soon as a child is old enough to comprehend abstract operational thinking. Do your homework and then you can watch television. Get good grades and you and you can earn a new bike. Work hard and reap the rewards then you can relax. Children learn that they can control what happens to them by delaying gratification and not look to adults or others to have every single one of their their needs met.

Wise adults get the concept as well choosing to delay gratification by working towards the things they desire in their life. They do not look to artificial things to bring gratification instead knowing that good things come to those who have goals they pursue. They can refuse to make decisions based upon emotions and quick fixes.

I try to live by this rule as well. Now, if you will excuse me I have a few amphibians to begin chomping on.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I ate TUNA!

Now, only those of you who really know me well can truly appreciate this rare event. I haven't eaten freshwater fish for over 35 years now. I am well aware of all of the health benefits derived from eating fish, but, I have had some sort of aversion to eating it.

Michael and I went to Tiger Lily for lunch today and I had been eyeing that tuna salad for quite some time now. I asked for a small taste and I liked it. I actually ordered a wheat wrap of tuna salad and greens and I loved it!

Now, of course, I had to look deeper into this phenomenon. Why had I not eaten fish for all this time? I came to see that one of the reasons I hadn't eaten freshwater fish is that I BELIEVED I was a person who DOES NOT eat fish. It made me realize how often we all see ourselves in a static frame of reference and accept this as fact. For example, "I am an angry person", or "I am a person who never finds love", or perhaps "I don't like to exercise or workout". We need to challenge these pre-conceived ideas about ourselves. We are not inherently ANYTHING! We have the ability to adapt and change. We are constantly in a state of metamorphosis. We can modify our perspective by seeing ourselves as constantly changing and be open to trying new things and having new experiences.

OK. Now, I need to see what else about me has changed that I haven't tried to learn about myself from habit, fears, or one-dimensional thinking. Certainly, you know I'll keep you posted.

Lights OUT

Last night Michael and I were watching television unwinding from our work day when suddenly the electricity went out. Instantly, we were in absolute darkness and it was amazing how completely and utterly QUIET the house became. It was eerie, yet I found myself truly enjoying the stillness and darkness. We lit a candle and sat there just enjoying each other's companionship and conversation. It is interesting what one can hear when there is such quiet.

I have had a love affair with the quiet and stillness since I was a young boy. I believe it is a result of growing up in a chaotic home with yelling and screaming all around me. I often went off to find a place to sit alone and listen to the quiet and be comforted by the stillness all around me. I do the same thing now; every chance I get ! I still tend to shy away from places where people speak loudly and it is chaotic all around. In the quiet and stillness there is the opportunity to hear the voice of God or at least the sound of one's own voice. I find the quiet soothing and safe.

Finally, the electric came back on and life was back to normal. But, we both enjoyed the stillness and darkness of that hour.

Assertiveness Training

I have attended and been an instructor for assertiveness training workshops. I have gleaned so much knowledge, both professionally and personally from these wonderful trainings.

Assertiveness is so different from either aggressiveness or passivity. When one speaks assertively and acts assertively they take control of their own responses in interactions with others. I have been told by patients, friends, and colleagues that my definition of assertiveness is helpful so I will share it here on this blog. There are 3 ways one can respond to conflict or differences with another; passively, aggressively, or ASSERTIVELY.

To me, passivity is allowing others to speak to us in a way that is not respectful of oneself. This passive quality in interactions with others is that the passive person neglects their own truths and ability to speak their feelings to others because they are too concerned with the way they may be perceived by another. They neglect their own needs in this way. They "stuff" their own feelings so as not to offend or upset the other person. These feelings, however, do NOT just go away. Much of clinical depression is the result of feelings being stuffed and repressed leading to internalized anger. (Depression is often "anger turned inwards")

Aggressive responses do the opposite. People who are aggressive are so concerned for their own feelings that they are often disrespectful to others and not at all concerned how the other person feels after they speak to them. They care only about themselves and neglect other's feelings and are insensitive. The result is usually people not wishing to be around them and may lead to rage, loneliness, and being involved with others who may resent them as much as care about them.

Assertive folks know that they must do both. They need to respect others and be sensitive to their needs, yet know that what they feel MUST be stated. They honor their own truth as well as others. They are mindful to speak to another in a way that is easier to hear as it is spoken with honesty, sensitivity , and care for the other person. In this way, they honor themselves as well as the other person. They possess a higher probability of loving , supportive, and enduring relationships with others who truly respect them and enjoy them.

Assertiveness training helps us to be aware of how we communicate with others. Like any habit, positive or negative, it gets easier with practice and consistency. We can learn to not keep what we feel inside, yet, be respectful and listen to another's truth and perspective on a situation. We can learn to REALLY LISTEN as well not just catch our breath as we think of what to say next. Assertive people know that what they feel must be expressed and appreciate the art of timing of their responses and sensitivity to other's feelings and perspective. We can learn that we don't always have to agree with each other, but we always need to RESPECT each other.

Dr. Crew offers assertiveness training workshops as well as individual sessions at his Tonglen Psychotherapy office. Appointments can be made and information can be provided by contacting him at 880-2531.

3 new graduates from the Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy

The Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy is pleased to announce that it will graduate its first 3 graduates today. They are Carmine Angrisani, LCSW, Elyssa Yoos, LCSW, and Jeanne Crosby, LMHC. All 3 have completed the required coursework for certification and will be able to sit for the practical examination and final examination and will have achieved designation through the American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy. They will be able to utilize the letters C.H. after their other degrees!

Congrats to Carmine, Elyssa, and Jeanne on your efforts and dedication. It has been my pleasure to have taught you all in the seminar and to have worked so closely with you. Good luck on your final exam and practical!

For any readers interested in becoming a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist the Suffolk Institute will be conducting new seminar classes on both January 9th and January 16th, 2009. These are both FULL DAY seminars beginning at 7:30 am until 6pm. Both are on Fridays. Contact me to reserve a spot for these in demand seminars. Dr. Crew

Holiday and New Year's Gift Certificates- great idea!

Victor and I were chatting this morning in between sets at the fitness studio as he tried to catch his breath(and ATP!) ,and he mentioned to me about promotions for the holidays and New Year. (I was already going to do this, but we'll let him think it was HIS idea). So, here are the gift ideas for the holiday season...

1) Fitness Training Special : buy 3 /30-min. sessions for $90.( a $15. discount), 3 /45-min. sessions for $115.(a $20. discount), or 3 /60-min. sessions for $135.(a $30. discount). Individual sessions can be purchased as well at discounts!(30, 45 or 60 mins.)

2)Hypnosis Special: purchase each session for $150.($50. discount.)

3)Nutritional Consultations: normally $100./hour now $75. during this special.

Thanks, Victor for your great idea!

Give the gift of health to those you love or to yourself. You need love too, you know! What a great way to say "I love you" to loved ones or to
begin 2009 with healthy intentions!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Few of my favorite Buddhist quotes

"Do not judge yourself harshly. Without mercy for ourselves we cannot love the world."

"Even the muddiest of pools will become clear when left still and undisturbed."

" A day spent judging another is a painful day. A day spent judging yourself is a painful day. You don't have to believe your judgements; they're simply an old habit."

"Those who are AWAKE live in a state of constant amazement."

"Love in the past is only a memory. Love in the future is a fantasy. Only here and now we can truly love."

"The heart is like a garden. It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love. What seeds will you plant there?"

"Weigh the true advantages of forgiveness and resentment to the heart. Then choose."

"If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete."

"Learn to RESPOND, not REACT."

"When wishes are few the heart is happy. When desire ends, there is peace."

"Stay centered, do not overstretch. Extend from center, return to your center."

"All things are like a river. We can never step into the same river twice."

"In the end what matters most is; how well did you love, how well did you live and how well did you learn to let go?"

I don't believe in OBLIGATIONS

Yes, that's right. I refuse to do anything that I do not want to do. Now, don't get me wrong, I ABSOLUTELY believe in RESPONSIBILITIES. That is NOT the same thing as obligations. I'll explain. Obligations are, to me, another person's idea of what I should do rather than what I want to do or have agreed to do. Responsibilities are very different. Responsibilities are my keeping my word as to what I have agreed to do. Sometimes, another person's idea of my obligations coincide with my responsibilities, but, that is just happenstance. I have learned over the years that I need to really ask myself if this is something I actually want to do and if I am prepared to deal with all of the commitment my decision will entail. I need to be extremely careful as to what I agree to do making sure it's something I really want to do but NEVER what I SHOULD do. I have both personal and professional responsibilities that I take very seriously.

I do NOT believe in the concept that there is a clear RIGHT or WRONG thing to do. To me, this varies from one situation to another and each of us has a very different take on what is right for them in each situation. I believe it is one's responsibility to know one's true INTENTION in making these decisions. The intention needs to be honorable in that it attempts to do no harm to another or is in any way an attempt to deceive or manipulate another for one's own benefit.

To me, life is full of enough things that I need to do to survive. Why add to that list things I don't want to do? Sometimes, I will decide to do something because I do not wish to deal with the consequences of NOT doing it. But, to me this means I have made a decision to do this thing rather than to feel compelled by what someone else thinks is the right thing to do. If I am prepared to deal with the consequences of my decisions then I feel OK with that.

Nutritional Consultations

Besides being a Licensed Psychotherapist, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Licensed Master Fitness Trainer, I am a Certified Nutritionist and Sports Performance Nutritionist certified through the I.S.S.A. (International Sports Science Association.) I am available for nutritional consultations by the hour at very reasonable rates. Make an appointment to review your nutritional habits and let's work together towards a more enjoyable lifestyle and the utilization of an eating plan that incorporates balanced nutrition and enjoyment of food.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Stern Warning

Warning, warning. Attention all those trying to eat and live healthy and lose weight..... Do not, I repeat, DO NOT try the white hot chocolate at Dunkin Donuts. Like many other addictive substances, it has been known to cause dependency after one dose. Thank You.

The Rain

It's raining this morning and I love it. I know sometimes people dislike the rain and it does sometimes wreak havoc with our plans. I love the smell of rain. I love the metaphoric "washing away" that the rain is responsible for. I enjoy the sounds of cars on the wet pavement on Main Street outside my office window. It's soothing and reminds me of a wave at the beach. I know the Earth is being replenished with water and I notice the balance of the Earth and the intelligence of God to create such a wonderful system of life.

Second (somewhat) negative comment on blog

I have to post my second complaint on my blog. I don't think it's really that bad as I have posted 55 of 56 blog entries that are upbeat and positive. Anyway, you all know how I strive for balance so it is about time to post a second one.

What's up with people and their use of perfumes and colognes? Sometimes I can't even catch my breath 2 minutes after they walk into a room. Listen...if I can smell your sprayed scent from 100 feet away it's really just too much. It's bad enough when it is a rather pleasant smelling fragrance, but some of these are reminiscent of bug spray.

With my illness (Sarcoidosis) I have to endure, it is especially difficult for me when I am near these strong odors as it triggers a painful reaction from my overactive immune system. But, I am sure many people dislike these "fragrance warriors" overuse of the product. I have had a "fragrance warrior" come and sit on my couch during session and had the next two patients after them have difficulties with their allergic reaction to what was left on my furniture!

I have noticed lately this becoming more common in the gyms. I think people are somewhat self conscious about their perspiring when they work out so they take a "bath" with the spray bottle before going to the gym so no one will smell them. Really, really bad idea. Eventually, we smell your perspiration mixed in with your cologne or perfume. It's so much worse than just your sweat. I think it would be better to maybe just take a shower before bed so that in the morning you won't have to worry about this situation.

If you're wondering about your own "warrior" habits maybe cut down and give us a break. It will save you money as well!

My old girlfriend (yes, it's true), told me once that perfume or cologne should be sprayed in the air and then one walks into the mist! I think that the only people that should be able to smell you are those within 2 feet of you. That is MY theory.

BREAKING NEWS: Dr. Crew HATES vegetables!

OK. Before the scandal breaks let me set the record straight before I'm accused of being the worst type of hypocrite. I really do not actually hate vegetables I just basically don't like them.(Hate is such a strong word, anyway). But, I EAT THEM EVERY DAY!!!! In fact, I eat them too often for my liking. I eat as many veggies as I can each day because I know how great they are for my health and well being. Usually, I end up (almost) enjoying them. Certainly, I enjoy them mostly when I'm done eating them. Michael makes sure he makes my dinner and lunch "to go" full of fresh veggies so I really have it easy when it comes to having them ready for me.

I LOVE fruit, though. I have no problem eating at least 5 or 6 servings each day. I have to honestly admit that if I weren't attempting to eat as healthy as I do I probably would NEVER eat a vegetable at all. Well, maybe french fries. (LOL)

So, do as I do! Eat those wonderful (yeah, right) veggies and you will look and feel better.

I feel better now after coming out of the closet on this issue. It was difficult to live a lie, and now I feel like a released prisoner set free. Excuse me, I have a salad to eat. Mmmm... can't wait.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hypnotic age regression/progression techniques

Most of my work utilizing hypnosis and hypnotherapy is a client remaining motionless as I "rock" them into a trance using progressive relaxation techniques. I use metaphorical or direct suggestive material gleaned from a diagnostic "trance", productive interview techniques, and their stated intentions. The client is receptive and passive in the trance process. Hypnotherapy is a very effective method to assist clients to develop increased subconscious awareness to habitual patterns of thinking or behavioral patterns.

Age regression/progression hypnotherapy is interactive with clients. Once a client is induced into a trance they are then brought up into increased consciousness and asked to go back to a memory or in the case of age progression project themselves forward in time to an event they foresee. It is a highly beneficial technique for clients to experience. I have had many clients experience monumental growth-enhancing moments in this work. Many clients are able to recall memories they have repressed and need to process. This technique opens up the subconscious mind to channels that had been closed off WHEN they are prepared to do so in a safe milieu.

These techniques are difficult to learn but are a very worthwhile endeavor to become accomplished in. I teach these skills and techniques here at the Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy and offer certification through the American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy. A new class is beginning on January 9th, 2009. This seminar is an all day event beginning at 7:30am and ending at 6pm. All attendees will have completed all coursework required for ABCH certification. Call me to enroll for this seminar.

If you are interested in beginning hypnotherapy for a particular issue please contact me at 880-2531 and I would be very happy to provide information and perhaps set up an appointment to work together with you. Hypnotherapy is highly effective for a variety of issues including, but not limited to, smoking cessation, weight loss, stress and anxiety, phobias, and extinction of unwanted habits.

The ever-present blinking Port Jefferson Village tower light

I grew up in Selden. From high atop a hill close to my childhood home I could see the blinking light from the (former LILCO, now) LIPA smokestack on the harbor. The light always seemed to mesmerize me and I often went up to the hill and meditated and prayed watching the blinking of the tower light. It was always there. No matter what was going on in my life it was there. It somehow centered me. It was something I was able to rely on when everything all around me was falling apart. It was calming. It was reassuring to a kid who had to deal with and survive constant chaos and upheaval. I moved away to university and forgot about the Port Jefferson blinking tower light.

I have lived in many, many different towns near here all through my young adult years. Whenever I went to Port Jefferson I would see the blinking light from the tower and would be reminded of my youth. Sometimes, I would forget about it and I would not see it, or maybe just not notice it, for a while. But, it was always there.

When we bought our home in Port Jefferson Village in 2002 we were so very busy moving in and getting the house ready for us to live in. One night soon after we were moved in I was sitting on the couch in our living room and looked out the window and I saw it again. The blinking tower harbor light! I hadn't noticed it, but there it was. I could see it from almost every room in our home. I instantly felt a sense of calm and tranquility enter into my consciousness. I was filled with memories of the light and how many millions of times I sat looking at it as if in a trance.

I now view the blinking harbor light each day. I can see it through the windows of our home in the scorching heat, driving rain or snowy blizzard. I no longer feel sad or fearful when I see it. I now see it as a constant reminder of where I came from and who I am today. It is a symbol to me of how everything changes all around us, yet, some things are there whether or not we care to notice them. My life today is filled with love and security. Once it was not. But, the tower light continues to blink.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Beware the circuit training machines at your gym!

It is a very common habit for many people who are new to weight training to immediately begin working out on the circuit machines at their local gyms. They are not educated as to the dangers of day after day training on these machines and usually train on them 3 days a week.

These machines are dangerous to train on each day because they are locked into a certain arc and plane that is common for MOST people. There is no individuality on these machines and if the arc and plane isn't perfect for the person using them damage is being done to tendons and ligaments as well as muscles themselves. In addition, some of these machines were designed and manufactured long ago when less was known about muscles and injuries. Many gyms still use these "dinosaurs" because newer machines cost so much more. It is also easier for gyms to purchase these machines as they are less expensive than newly designed machines. Many gyms buy used equipment from gyms that didn't make it at a reduced price.

Some machines are not even made anymore due to the injuries that have been linked to their use. There are some franchises that now refuse to utilize machines such as the seated leg extension machine due to their causing knee injuries. (My instuctor for my Master Trainer's certification called the seated leg extension machine "Satan's Throne"!)

So, what to do? I would suggest training on these machines no more than once a week to avoid injuries caused over time by repetitive and incorrect movements caused by the arc you are forced to comply with when using them. Dumbbells and pulley machines, my personal favorites, will never hurt you as long as one's form and technique is safe. Dumbbells and pulley machines do not lock the user into a prescibed arc. The natural arc each of us has in lifting is created in each repetition when using pulleys and free weights. These machines and equipment are safe and are actually more efficient than the circuit machines.

My OLDEST(and oldest) friend WAZ(Carmine)

I met Carmine when I was just 22 years old. I had just gotten my Bachelor's degree in Social Work and Psychology and had returned to Long Island from Pennsylvania. I went to a gym each morning in Stony Brook and he was there as well. I would think to myself that he acted as if he were the mayor of the gym. I could hear his booming voice and crazy laugh all over the gym no matter how far away he was from me. I have to admit that I found him quite irritating with his big mouth so early in the morning! (I have a habit of not wanting to chat and be disturbed when I train. I prefer silence as I'm very focused; perhaps too much so.) I laugh now as I can remember wanting to avoid him at all costs. I knew it was just a matter of time before he chatted me up as he did this to everyone. How can someone be so talkative and loud at 5am?

Eventually, we met during the Nautilus circuit. (Now you really know how long ago this was). He quickly became someone I shared things with and we became quite close. He and I have been through many things together and I have grown to see him as part of my "chosen family". Over the past 26 years now we have remained dear friends despite our 17 year age difference.

I think it started out that he was sort of an older brother or father figure to me and I relied on him very much initially. Not having a Father figure in my life he filled this place for me quite well. I laugh now as it sometimes seems as if I am HIS older brother. Those of you who may know him can vouch for this!

Waz (as friends call him) is a loving, kind, thoughtful and honest person who has taught me so much about life. He is 66 years old now and he is basically the same person I have always known. He is fun to be around and sometimes as irritating as when I met him 26 years ago. I have NEVER seen him lose his temper or act in an unkind way towards anyone. He amazes me. I can talk with him about anything and he is always there for me in any situation. He loves me just as I am.

I was pleased when I was asked to be his best man at his wedding to JoAnn his wonderful wife. I am so very fortunate to have him in my life and I cherish our friendship and I love him so much.

So Waz, thanks for being a Dad to me. Thanks for being an older brother to me. Thanks mostly for being a wonderful friend to me for all these years. Always know that I will always be there for you at any time and I will never let you down.

Clinical Psychotherapy supervision for "R" designation

I am offering clinical psychotherapy supervision for licensed psychotherapists who are working towards their "R" designation for insurance reimbursement. I also offer supervision for certified clinical hypnotherapists and meditation therapists looking to enhance their skills and effectiveness in their practice. Lastly, I also offer supervision to certified fitness trainers preparing for their Master's level certification.

Please call me at 880-2531 for rates and information.

Power Protein Oatmeal

I had a problem with breakfast. I really do not like to eat hot food in the morning with the exception of oatmeal or cereal. But, how was I to ingest protein in the morning by eating just oatmeal? I discovered power protein oatmeal. I use either cooked oatmeal or instant if I 'm being lazy and add vanilla flavored whey protein to the mix, add boiling water, and I have a hearty low glycemic and protein packed first meal of the day. I sometimes add pecans , walnuts, or almonds to the mix. Other times, I'll use bananas and other fruit.

I'm not an egg eater in the mornings so this breakfast ensures proper protein intake and it actually tastes great.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Baseball and the backup plan

I started to play baseball when I was just 2 or 3 years old. I was in Little League and stood out from other kids my age. I played on local travel teams and caught the attention of many people. In high school, I was being scouted for college teams and ended up being offered scholarships to attend these schools. I was all Suffolk, then all Long Island in being noted as athletes to watch. I played third base and also pitched. In college I could throw a fastball over 88 mph regularly. When I played third base I was known to not allow a ball to get by me sometimes throwing my body at the ball like a maniac! I hit for a very high average priding myself as someone who very rarely struck out and usually hit screaming line drives through the infield with the ball just barely off the infield grass. I hit for occasional power, and was always able to move runners over into scoring position at will. I was as fast as lightning on the base paths, and I was a smart player because I studied the game so well. All this while weighing just 140 lbs. and being 5 foot 5 inches in height. I certainly had many knowledgeable people telling me I could possibly make the major leagues. I ate, breathed, and lived to play baseball sometimes not studying for my classes as I'd rather be playing or watching ball. Or, I'd be at the gym trying to get stronger, faster, or quicker. I had a dream as I was determined to make it my reality.

Well, I stupidly became involved with alcohol and other drugs and my ability to play at the level I had competed at fell off. My grades also dropped and I was becoming depressed. I lost my scholarship. This lasted for a year or so, but, I had lost my edge and subsequently my opportunity as well.

Luckily for me I had a back up plan. I had become very interested in psychology and sociology and thought I would want to be a psychotherapist. I put all my effort into my studies and my desire to be excellent at what I had now identified as my goal. I changed my college major to Social Work and Psychology from Physical Education. I continued to play ball on the university team but there was no discounting the fact that I was certainly not the player I had once been. This was a valuable lesson for me to learn even at this young age.

I have shared this story with many others as the years have gone by. Opportunity knocks and one has to be fully prepared to answer the door and dedicate oneself to this chance. When one becomes less focused and lethargic the opportunity may be gone forever. The back up plan is something we all have to have in place. We can learn from lost opportunities and make the most of second chances.