Saturday, February 28, 2009

SIH- Hypnotherapy seminar attendees

Congratulations to Nella Hahn, LMSW, Andera Quatrale, LCSW, and Jennifer-Thanh L. Hoang, L.Ac. for completing their 10 hour coursework requirement to achieve their Clinical Hypnotherapy certification through the Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy. After completing their final examination they will be eligible to sit for their practical examination and will obtain certification through the American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy.

Another 10 hour seminar course is being planned for mid or late March. Call Dr. Crew for information(880-2531) or go to the SIH website to register or get additional information.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Very important questions

In Zen Buddhist thought there are Zen koans that each student is to ponder and be mindful about. They are questions that are tautological in that they have answers that only bring one back to the original question.

So, I have a few Westernized koans for you to ponder:

1) If an ambulance is in the HOV lane and the person dies on the way to a hospital does the driver have to get into the other lanes?
2) If a hearse is carrying a body do they have the right to the HOV lane?
3) Why do naked people in the locker room of my gym talk with me standing there in all their nakedness?
4) Why am I asking you?

Just trying to be entertaining on this Friday morning. Have a wonderful day. Thanks, Jenn's Mom!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Bhuddhist wisdom

"No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we truly know this, we become free"


"The Plank"- an overall core and abdominal exercise

This is a wonderful exercise that you can perform anywhere you have a few minutes of privacy. It will strenghten your back, lower abdominals, obliques, upper abdominals, glutes, abductors, and adductors. It's simple to learn and you will be able to watch and feel your progress quickly.

"The plank" is performed by raising your body off of the floor by using the back of your forearms for your upper body and your toes for your lower body(facing downward). You simply keep your body off of the floor by stabilizing it as you breathe and relax your body. Your muscles and core will have to work hard to keep your body weight from collapsing onto the floor.

Begin by establishing baseline by seeing how long you can hold yourself in place effortlessly. Each time you perform this exercise set a goal to hold yourself up for 2 seconds more. Before you know it you will be increasing your time and will amaze yourself. Each day you will notice yourself feeling tighter and stronger.

A few important things to remember... Never allow your back to "bow" as you hold yourself up. When your form becomes sloppy-STOP- you're done! It helps to visualize a favorite place or listen to music when you hold yourself up in the plank position. Keep breathing! Visualize breathing through your navel and into your entire core cage. Say the words to yourself "I am strong and calm."

If you cannot do a floor plank due to being overweight and/or very weak you can perform a modified plank by using a bench or a chair. Be sure you use something that is not going to move as you balance yourself.

Begin by performing this exercise 2 or 3 times a week and then increase it to 4 or 5 times a week. As you add time for your hold, you can actually perform the exercise less frequently as you will become more proficient in achieving results.

I have seen people, including myself, not be able to hold themselves up for 45 seconds who now can hold the plank for over 3 minutes! Go ahead, challenge yourself!

Dr. Crew's Fat Loss Challenge- update week #5

Hello blog readers. I have dropped another .6 pounds of body fat this week. This brings the grand total after 37 days of this program to 7.4 pounds of body fat dropped since starting this program.

I am very content with the progression of fat loss as I do not have a lot of fat to lose. I am continuing to eat one meal per week as a "free meal" and I do not limit myself for this meal. I am eating cleanly the rest of the week. I continue to exercise and weight train and have not lost any muscle weight since this program's inception. I eat fruits and vegetables each day and drink plenty of water. I make sure that I eat at least 4 or 5 small meals each day complete with protein and healthy carbohydrates.

I am beginning to see a pattern here as I become increasingly mindful of my hunger and my body's response to food. I see that I become hungry about 3-4 hours after eating a meal if I have eaten cleanly. If I have eaten too much I do not become hungry this way and I certainly can feel the difference. It is clearly true that one can listen to one's body when it comes to feeling hungry.

I am now reframing minor hunger seeing this as my body efficiently burning fat as I feel a small pang of hunger before I feed the hunger request.

Drop me a line and inform me of how you're doing!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Fair Fighting"

In all relationships, if both partners are completely honest, there will be disagreements and differences. We need to accept that this is a natural and organic byproduct of two souls coming together from two very different cultures, upbringings, personalities and life experiences. It is virtually impossible for two people to view the world the exact same way. Even if we were to find someone who saw everything exactly as we do would that REALLY be what we desire?

So, we accept the truth that we are different and see things differently. But, we have to do well together. I believe that the way to accomplish this often difficult feat is for both partners to be completely honest and completely kind in all interactions especially when there is a disagreement.

I have come up with a list of what I would consider "fair fighting rules" that both partners need to agree to and adhere to. These are merely suggestions and I believe that each couple needs to come up with their own set of rules for their own relationship. Please feel free to borrow mine(ours!).

1) Keep all disagreements ONLY about what it is that you are actually disagreeing about not other topics of disagreement or situations.
2) Do not allow or engage in personal insults and name calling. This causes contempt and anger to fester. You can't really take it back. It will really always be there. And it hurts for a long time.
3) When one partner wants to stop discussing a particular topic it needs to be dropped for the time being.
4) REALLY LISTEN to your partner's thoughts and feelings rather than to be more concerned with your own point of view. When you are interrupting; you can't be listening. Take turns expressing your views.5) Watch your tone and body language. It communicates more than your actual words.
6) Agree to disagree. If you are beginning to repeat yourself and your partner is doing the same thing then it's obvious that this conversation cannot move further at this point in time. Stop beating the dead horse. When we repeat ourselves over and over and over, it becomes redunDUNdant! Plus, we're now "nagging".
7) Accept that it may be that you may not ever agree on a particular subject. Sometimes, it's best to drop it and accept these differences.
8) Express love even when you feel anger and frustration. The foundation of your relationship is more important than having to be right.
9) Agree as to when and if you are both fully prepared to have a conversation where you disagree. Many fights get out of hand due to the fact that one or both partners really doesn't want to talk at that time.
10) Drop the defensiveness and try and see how what you said or did that may have contributed to the problem.
11) Use softer language and avoid superlative statements and words like "always" or "never".
12) End arguments and disagreements in a loving and kind way rather than to walk away or not agree to continue at another time.
13) Avoid any use of sarcasm. It hurts.
14) Understand what a COMPROMISE is. The true definition is when BOTH parties give up something they want so that they can be better together.
15) Keep fights and disagreements private. Never have one in front of children or family members. Keep relationship fights out of your conversations with friends. Keep them for discussion with your therapist. You can share with friends and family that you and your partner had a problem, but never allow yourself to tell the details to others. It will almost always come back to bite you!
16) Be sure of your INTENTIONS when you speak. Do not use words to intentionally hurt or harm your partner. When you seek to hurt them, you are actually hurting yourself as well. You're a TEAM!
17) Don't make any major decisions about the relationship while you are angry. One cannot think and make these decisions when one is full of emotion.
18) Take a break and just sit silently and hold hands. It changes everything and puts things in true perspective.
19) A wonderful question: "What can I do to make you feel better?"
20) Drop all demands. Use language that communicates what you want, not insist upon. You're NOT a dictator.These "rules" have served Michael and I well going on 17 years now. While I am not saying that they are easy to do, I will tell you that the intention to keep them goes a long way in promoting a healthy and enduring and loving relationship.

Four Core Beliefs that lean people have about food- #4


"When I feed myself nourishing food on a consistent schedule, it stokes my metabolic furnace"

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I read this past weekend that it is estimated that over 300,000 people have been murdered in Darfur, Sudan due to ethnic "cleansing". This is unfathomable. What's even more unbelievable is how the great nations of the world are choosing to ignore or just give lip service to this important issue.

I believe it is simply due to the fact that this region of the world possesses nothing of interest to the world other than the genocide that is occurring there. There is no oil or natural resources that would pique an interest in this sad and terrible situation.

We can all help raise awareness of this horrific episode in human history. Go to: and become aware of what is happening and how you can help in this sad chapter of human tragedy.

Four Core Beliefs that lean people have about food- #3


"Nutritious foods contain everything I need for perfect health."

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Blue Zones

I was reading an article this past weekend about a book called "The Blue Zones" by Dan Buettner. The author is a sociologist who began to study places in the world where people live much longer than in the rest of the world. Many of these people lived with a high quality of life way into their 100's.

The author found that there were similar characteristics to these people and the places where they lived so long. He found that they laughed much and took life less seriously than others, enjoyed work but did not over do the work, had a sense of community, were compassionate to others, and never ate more food than necessary. They got plenty of exercise and did not engage in drug use or tobacco use.

For more information you can visit

A Relaxing and Exciting Weekend

Michael and I went into NYC on Saturday for dinner and to see Kathy Griffin at Wamu Theatre. Wow. She was good. I was almost embarrassed to laugh so hard at her gossipy and raunchy humor! Michael loves her and I had gotten him tickets to see her in concert for Christmas. We ate at a restaurant on 42nd and 2nd Avenue called "Cibo". It was excellent!

Yesterday we were just enjoying spending time around the house relaxing and watching the Oscars. I have to go and see this "Slumdog Millionaire". We saw Mom and my sisters on Saturday, and Mom was quite upset as she just got back my Dad's ashes from his cremation. She said it finalized everything for her, yet she was glad to have him "home" now. Michael is teaching Mom and my sister Joanne how to get e mail and use the Internet. They have weekly lessons each Saturday!

I am feeling so sports deprived. The Jets and Giants are over for the season and the Mets and Yankees haven't began yet so I am certainly going through sports withdrawal. I'm thankful the NCAA basketball tournament will be beginning soon!

Four Core Beliefs that lean people have about food-#2


"Food is fuel. I will be as energetic as the fuel I put into my bodily engine."

Friday, February 20, 2009


"To meditate is to make a complete break with how we normally operate, for it is a state free of cares and concerns, in which there is no competition, no desire to possess or grasp at anything, no intense and anxious struggle, and no hunger to achieve. It is an ambitionless state where there is neither acceptance nor rejection, neither hope nor fear, a state in which we slowly begin to release all those emotions and concepts that have kept us imprisoned in the state of natural simplicity."
Sogyal Rinpoche from "Glimpse After Glimpse"
Daily Reflections on Living and Dying

Congrats to Elyssa Yoos, LCSW, C.Ht.!

The Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy is pleased to announce that Elyssa Yoos, LCSW, C.Ht., is the first graduate of SIH to have completed all of the requirements for certification as a member of the American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy. Today she completed her practical examination here at the Institute.

Congratulations, Elyssa! I am conducting a seminar here at SIH this Friday, February 27th, 2009. If you are interested in attending this seminar contact me as soon as possible to reserve a spot in the all day seminar. I can be reached at 880-2531. Dr. Crew

Four Core Beliefs that lean people have about food- #1


"Food is construction material for the body. I will become what I eat, as food literally becomes the cells, organs, and tissues of my body."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Gift of Faith

One of my very favorite shops here in the village is A Gift of Faith right on Main Street just two doors south of Starbucks. Here you will find religious gifts, wall plaques, books, jewelery, inspirational and spiritual gifts and so many other items. Stella and her husband Dan are good friends of mine and you will always feel welcome by their warm and friendly manner.

My office, fitness studio, and our home are all furnished with plaques and other items purchased at this wonderful shop. It is a unique and spiritual experience to drop by the store.

A Gift of Faith is located at 211 Main Street in Port Jefferson Village. The phone number is 331-4201. Their website is: If you drop in be sure to say hello to Stella and Dan and be sure to tell them Dr. Crew sent you and they will provide you with a 10% discount for mentioning this blog!

Stella also wanted me to inform all readers that she has a wonderful selection of Communion items in the shop right now!

The story of the Tarbaby

When I was a widdle kid, my Grandmother used to read me bedtime stories. One of the stories I remember well is the story of the Tarbaby from Uncle Remus' tales (Song of the South). For those of you who are not familiar with the story or those of you who may have forgotten the story, I will review it quickly here.

Brer Rabbit is always being chased by Brer Fox, but Brer Fox can never seem to capture him. So, Brer Fox comes up with the idea that he will set up a figure made completely of tar. He knows that Brer Rabbit is friendly and will take exception to not being spoken to when he greets the tarbaby. Brer Fox knows that Brer Rabbit will likely come into physical contact with the tarbaby and get stuck in the tar making it easy for him to finally capture Brer Rabbit.

So, along comes Brer Rabbit and greets the tarbaby when he sees him along the road. Of course, the tarbaby does not answer him back. Brer Rabbit becomes frustrated and eventually asks, "Are you deaf or just plain old rude?". (On an aside, here. I used this question once when I was working at the hospital and a particular nurse never said hello to me when I greeted her! Ha ha, thanks, Brer Rabbit!)

So back to our story... Brer Rabbit eventually makes physical contact with the tarbaby getting completely stuck in the morass. The more he struggles and fights, the deeper he gets in the tar. Then, here comes Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit sees the plan has worked and he is stuck. (For those of you who are now very concerned about Brer Rabbit and fear he will meet his demise, read the rest of the story and find out how he cleverly gets Brer Fox to let him go.)

But, I digress. Those of you who know me and interact with me know how much I love metaphorical stories and anecdotal tales that teach us so much of how the world works. I was thinking about this story and seeing how true it is that when we become defensive and argue with another we begin to get stuck in their "tar". Their tar is their problem. When we can view it clearly that we do not have to become involved in their "tar", we can prevent ourselves from becoming stuck in their morass. We can mindfully see the tar clearly and we can see what will happen to us if we become engaged with it.

It's a wonderful metaphor for hypnotherapy and you can be assured that I am already working on writing a script for use in my practice.

For those of you who cannot locate this story and are dying to find out how Brer Rabbit escapes contact me and I'll fill you in.

Dr. Crew's Fat Loss Challenge- update week #4

This morning I found out I have dropped another .4 lbs. of body fat this week bringing my total thus far to a grand total of 6.8 pounds of fat lost over the past 30 days! I am very pleased with my progress thus far. I feel great and I have all of my intentions in full effect to achieve my goals.

Please leave me a comment or contact me to let me know of your progress as well. 880-2531 Dr. Crew

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The (wonderful) Free Motion Circuit

I train at the NYSC here in town. I LOVE their Free Motion circuit training machines called "Ground Zero". Unlike circuit machines at most gyms, these machines are not designed in a fixed range of motion. They do not use metal in performing a repetition. The weights are lifted by the use of a pulley system which allows the user to use their own unique range of motion to complete the exercise.

This circuit is terrific! It provides users with the convenience of circuit training by easily setting a desired weight quickly by the use of a pin while still allowing the unique range of motion each of us has during execution of an exercise. This usually is only achieved by using dumbbells or free weights!

I love convenience, but what I love most is efficiency and proficiency! These machines are top of the line!

Mistaking Kindness for Weakness

I realize that I am perceived as a very kind person by many people. I am very content that I am seen this way. (Well, I intend to be, anyway!) I have always been amazed that so many people equate kindness for weakness.

Because I am viewed by many others as a kind man they often believe that they can manipulate or "work" me for their own ends. They seem to believe that kind people are pushovers and they can get what they want from them often from intimidation. It does not take very long for them to come to the realization that they do not get very far with me. I will not change what I know is true or do anything I do not want to do no matter what someone's intentions are. I have no problem being kind and honest as I inform them that I will not do what they ask or in any way compromise who I am.

I wonder why it is so often thought that kind people who wish to treat others with respect and dignity are so often looked on as "easy marks" by those who think they can use them or manipulate them. Perhaps they believe that people who present themselves as kind are unwilling to confront another person or will seek to please others by doing what the other wishes so not to upset them.

I feel that the best combination is a person who seeks to be kind, honest, and is not fearful of another's attempt to manipulate them.

I strive to be kind and strong.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Li and Chi

I have a wonderful friend named Jennifer who is a licensed acupuncturist and Doctor of Chinese Medicine. She is of Chinese descent. She told me of a well known Chinese saying which is. "The Li is always followed by the Chi."

While she informs me that it is a difficult concept to translate completely into the English language it basically means that the "Li" is similar to one's true intentions, and the "Chi" refers to one's passion and life force. So, very roughly translated it is that one's true intentions are then immediately followed by their passion and drive towards accomplishing what their true desire is.

I believe this is entirely accurate. When we can identify our true intentions we can then naturally and organically feel and experience the flow of our passion and energy towards this intention. It no longer feels like a tremendous effort. We just flow. Therein lies the Bhuddhist concept of "Doing by Non-doing."

To any of of you readers who are attending or are thinking of attending the Certification for Clinical Hypnotherapy seminar on February 27, 2009, Jennifer will be attending this seminar along with you. What an asset she will be for this particular class!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The true measure of a Man (or Woman)

Abraham Lincoln stated that the true measure of a person is how they respond to achieving great wealth or great power. We have all seen evidence of how these forms of power can corrupt an individual.

I would state that often the pursuit of these forms of power are also a measure of a human being by what they do and and how they treat others to achieve these forms of power.

I think many of us would like to believe that we would not change if we were to possess great power or great wealth. But, I agree with good ole Abe. The true measure is what happens after this power is obtained.

Angry, while loving another

I was meditating the other day and became aware of the fact that so many people are unable or haven't learned how to love another person while feeling angry at them or feeling frustrated with another. Some others are aware of their feelings of anger or frustration, but do not communicate their unconditional love for the other person by neither their words nor actions.

So many personality disorders and other psychological disorders, I believe, are born from one experiencing a withdrawal of love and positive regard form one's parents when the parent is annoyed or angered by a child's actions. This child begins to see the world in this way and many maladaptive schema patterns are shaped often manifesting in inappropriate views of relationships. These same children are often unable to feel love and anger towards others or for themselves. Many times, they then continue this pattern teaching their own children these schemas.

When we can experience these ambivalent feelings and can accept them we are grow as individuals. We can learn to be annoyed or perhaps angered by what someone DID rather than how we see this person as a fellow human being. We can learn how to express these angry feelings in a loving and caring way. We can also learn to love ourselves and treat ourselves with loving care even when we fall short of our desired goals and not resort to self destructive behavior patterns.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


"Not getting what you desire and getting what you desire can both be disappointing."


Pain and perception

Yesterday I was treating one of my newer patients who experiences chronic pain due to a severe injury years ago. We were discussing how perception of one's pain greatly influences one's awareness of the actual pain itself.

He was telling me that when he and his wife have to travel by car to go somewhere he insists on being the driver. He tells me that as a passenger his pain is unbearable, but when he is the driver he almost forgets about his pain as he is concentrating on his driving. He agreed that his pain is actually no less when he is the driver or the passenger, yet, his perception of this pain is clearly different.

I, and I'm sure many of you, have had this same experience. It is so often what we allow ourselves to be aware of which has the most influence on our own perceptions. As in my patient's case it is not that the pain or problem is any different, but, WE are different in our perceptions of this particular pain or problem. This is an example of a reframing technique that I have learned from studying NLP. It is so often true that we have a great influence on how we perceive any situation based upon what we focus on.

Norman Cousins studied this phenomenon by conducting experiments where subjects who were experiencing chronic and often severe physical pain were asked to watch television comedy shows. They were asked to rate their pain from a scale of 1-10 before watching the comedies and then immediately after. He found that on average these subjects received 2 hours of pain relief correlating to just 10 minutes of actual enjoyment of the comedy show. This, to me, is fascinating!

So often I see this same phenomenon occurring in my practice. If one sees themselves as a victim, one will subconsciously set themselves up as a victim in their relationships with others due to their focus of this perception of themselves. They are often not able, or unwilling, to see themselves differently by reframing this schematic perception of themselves and others.

I find it helpful to be mindful of my own schemas and how my perceptions can impact the way I view the world and my relationship to others. We need to take absolute responsibility for not just how we act or think, but also of what we choose to focus on.

****************OK. Bonus question here----Can anyone guess which two television programs Cousins used in his study? (Now , you graduates of Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy are NOT permitted to play!) Please leave your answer in the comments section on this blog entry.

Dr. Crew's fat loss challenge-update week #3

I have lost .6 lbs. of fat this week. I am quite pleased with this progress as I do not have all that much more to lose. As of today, I have lost a grand total of 6.4 pounds of body fat in the 24 days on this program. I feel well, and my clothes fit well.

I have incorporated a "free meal" into my week so that I can look forward to rewarding myself with a meal that I can eat basically whatever I want for one meal. I find that I can stay on track on this program easier if I know I can have that meal after eating cleanly all week.

I continue to work out regularly and am making sure each day is filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. I am diligent in hydrating myself efficiently.

Let me know of your progress on the program!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Relinquishing Control / Taoist doctrine

The Master does his job; and then stops.
He(She) understands that the universe is forever out of control;
and that trying to dominate events;
goes against the current of the Tao.

Trying to control the future
is like trying to take the Master carpenter's place.
When you handle the Master's tools;
chances are you'll cut your hand.

Stephen Mitchell

OK, I'll admit it. I watch American Idol.

It's time. It's time for me to stop living this lie. While I'm not proud of it, I "ll admit I watch American Idol. In fact, Mike and I have never, ever missed an episode since the show began.

Now, call me any name you may wish to, but I have to say that I look forward to the new season every year. I look forward to it almost as much as I do the new baseball season! (Those of you who know me well know this is quite a statement for me to make).

I find myself anticipating watching the show each Tuesday and Wednesday (and sometimes Thursday) evenings after a long day at the office and the fitness studio. When one looks forward to something this much one must be a fanatic or at least a huge fan.

So, this new season just began, but already I have some favorites. I'll keep you all posted as to whom I am rooting for as I know you are all waiting with baited breath to see my picks.

I think I enjoy, perhaps eerily, the fact that some of these contestants can't sing a lick yet are under the absolute delusion that they will win the coveted title of this year's American Idol. I also am clearly intrigued that the finalists usually end up with a recording career. I enjoy watching Simon come up with clever and amusing ways of speaking his truth. Whatever the reasons, and they are many, I truly enjoy the show. I think I may like it even more than "So You Think You Can Dance", but that's certainly another blog entry!

So, one day I hope to be proud of my watching American Idol. But, for now, I think I am making progress by simply admitting this fact to myself and to all of you. A long journey begins with the first step.

So, come on those of you who are living closeted watching AI behind locked doors in your homes each week. Come out!

It is my hope, no, it's my DREAM, that all of us, one day, can stand together, heads held high, hand in hand, and proudly say, "I am a American Idol watching American". Until then, we fight on, and of course, keep watching.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

My good friend and fellow therapist, Scott Burzon, has been experiencing tremendous results using EFT in his practice. I know him to be a very qualified and thorough therapist and I was intrigued to learn more about this treatment modality. Scott and I got together and he taught me the the basics and techniques of EFT. (Emotional Freedom Technique or Energy Field Therapy)

Let me surmise EFT for you in a nutshell. Our bodies have a profound electrical nature. Any beginning course in anatomy covers this fact. Shuffle your feet across a carpet and then touch an item made of metal. Sometimes you can even see the static electricity that is discharged from your fingertips. This wouldn't be possible unless your body had an electrical nature to it. If you touch a hot stove you will feel the pain instantly because it is electrically transmitted along the nerves to your brain. This pain travels at the speed of electricity and that is why you feel the pain so quickly. Electrical messages are constantly sent through our bodies to keep it informed of what is going on. Without this energy flow you would not be able to see, taste, hear, feel, or smell.

Another obvious bit of evidence regarding the existence of electricity in the body is the electroencephalograph(EEG) and electrocardiograph(EKG). Our electrical systems are vital to our physical health. What can be more obvious? When the energy stops flowing...we die.

In fact, civilizations have known about this for millenniums. About 5,000 years ago, the Chinese discovered a complex system of energy circuits that run throughout the body. These circuits, called meridians, are the centerpieces of Eastern health practices and form the basis for modern day acupuncture, acupressure, and a wide variety of other healing techniques.

This energy courses through our bodies and is invisible to the eye. It cannot be seen even with high-tech equipment. By analogy, we cannot see the energy flowing through a television set either. You know it's there, however, by its effects. The sounds and pictures are evidence that the energy flow exists.

In the same way, EFT gives you striking evidence that the energy flows within your body because it provides the effects that let you know it is there. By simply tapping on or near the end points of your energy system meridians you can experience profound changes in your emotional and physical health. These changes would not occur if there was no energy system.

I have been utilizing EFT with some clients and also on myself and friends and I have seen some very clear evidence of how EFT can be beneficial in treatment of anxiety,anger, phobias, chronic pain, trauma, and physical ailments.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The differences between physical and emotional hunger

There are some very distinct differences between physical hunger and emotional hunger.

* Physical hunger builds up gradually, starting with a tiny grumble in the stomach, growing to full-grown hunger pangs. Emotional hunger develops suddenly.

* With physical hunger, you can wait if you have to. Emotional hunger seems to demand immediate satisfaction.

* Physical hunger usually appears about 3 hours after the last meal or snack. Emotional hunger can happen anytime.

* Physical hunger is usually a desire for food. Emotional hunger is a desire for a specific food.

* After eating, physical hunger goes away. After emotional eating, the hunger can sometimes persist.

* After eating for physical hunger, you get a sense of satisfaction. After eating from emotional hunger, you feel guilt and shame.

New date set for certification for Clinical Hypnotherapy

The Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy is pleased to announce that the next full day seminar which will suffice for the 10 hours of coursework required for certification through the American Board of Clinical Hypnotherapy has been set. The all day seminar will be on Friday, February 27th, 2009. The location is the Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy, 414 Main Street, Suite 204, Port Jefferson Village, NY 11777. The seminar will begin promptly at 7:30 am and end at 6pm.

Please contact Dr. Crew at (631) 880-2531 or go to the SIH website to register at

Three more SIH graduates!

I am pleased to announce that the following students all completed their coursework and are on their way to obtaining their certification as Clinical Hypnotherapists. They are: Ron I. Cohen, LCSW, Kim Dorrien, LCSW, and Mary Gneisser, LCSW. All attended the full day seminar on February 6th, 2009 at the Suffolk Institute for Hypnotherapy.

Congratulations to all three of you for your dedication and diligence in completing the 10 hour seminar program. Good luck on your preparation for your final examination and practical.

Dr. Crew

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The 8 biggest fat loss myths - # 8


Insulin is a hormone your pancreas releases that's best known for regulating blood sugar and transporting glucose into your cells. Insulin also plays a role in the body fat loss picture because high insulin levels prevent your body from releasing fat. This may sound like insulin is bad news.

Insulin does not necessarily cause obesity, although controlling insulin should be a goal of any body fat reducing nutrition program. Gerald Reaven, the Stanford diabetes researcher who literally wrote the book on metabolic syndrome, said that insulin does not make you gain weight and neither does insulin resistance. In fact, he says, the notice is "almost ludicrous."

There is a close relationship between excess body fat, insulin, and metabolic syndrome, and losing weight will certainly improve your health. It's the surplus calories, however, that actually creates fat gain, and it will always take a caloric deficit to lose it.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Balance of what we allow ourselves to take in

I have a patient who has a very demanding and stressful job. He deals with illness, disease, medical emergencies, pathology, and death each day. He initially came to therapy presenting with signs/symptoms of depression and anxiety.

I began to see that he was "out of balance" (my terminology) with what he allows into his conscious and subconscious mind each day. When he came home from work he would watch violent television shows, watch the news each night, and dread the next day at work. I suggested to him that he bring more beauty and kindness into his life each day to balance and counteract the amount of negativity he was exposed to on a daily basis. We researched what it is that brings joy and gentleness to his life that he had been neglecting. He stated that he loved watching animal shows on television, reading novels, and being in nature. We set up the mutual goal of him bringing these beautiful things into his life on a regular basis.

The results were absolutely amazing! He almost completely gave up the habit of watching the news each night and took walks with his wife and read each day. His depression lifted and he enjoyed a better relationship with his wife, children, and no longer dreaded going to work each day.

I always say it's about balance. To me, life can be painful and difficult on its own. We do not have to introduce additional pain and negativity into our lives. We control the scales.

I have utilized this truth about balance in my own life. For quite a number of years in my professional life I worked with patients that were dying or very ill on both hospice and home care programs. I began to feel sad often due to my being out of balance to what I was exposing myself to. I began to look inside and realize just what it is that I needed. I began to listen to classical music, jazz, and watch television shows depicting the more beautiful and joyous things life has to offer. I received a lifting of my sadness and an improvement in all areas of my life. Even now, I am aware to look inside and see what exactly I need to bring balance back to my mind. Each day, I deal with anger, rage, depression, anxiety, pathology, and dysfunction in my practice. When I am balanced, I am a more effective psychotherapist, trainer, and hypnotherapist. I am more available to whom I need to be giving my undivided attention to at that moment.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The 8 biggest fat loss myths -#7


There's a big difference between the health benefits and body composition benefits you can get from eating certain foods. This is called the health-body fat paradox.

High body fat usually comes with a cluster of other health problems, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and high triglycerides. The first part of the health-body fat paradox is that you can actually be healthy while having unwanted excess body fat, and you can be lean while experiencing major health problems. The ideal is lean and healthy, not one or the other.

The second part of the paradox is that you could eat white sugar, white flour, or virtually any other junk food you can think of, and if you consume only small amounts so that you remain in a calorie deficit, you'll still lose body fat. Conversely, you can be a clean-eating fanatic and cut all of the refined foods out of your diet, and while you will get health benefits from that, if you are in a calorie surplus, you'll still gain body fat.

Weight gain or loss is dictated primarily by calorie QUANTITY. Health is determined by calorie QUALITY. The ideal is the right combination of calorie quantity and calorie quality, not one or the other.

When you understand the health-body fat paradox, you'll be able to strike the right balance between calorie quality and calorie quantity. You'll also understand when a recommendation is made for health purposes as compared to weight loss purposes. They usually overlap, but they're not always the same.

New Insurances now accepted for psychotherapy

This office is pleased to announce that the following insurances are now accepted for payment for psychotherapy sessions with Dr. Crew:

Empire Plan
Value Options
United Health Care
United Behavioral Health
Island Group Administration
Aetna Health Plans

Many other insurance companies will reimburse their members for sessions paid for utilizing the out of network feature.

Thank You.

A bit of wisdom from Jack Kornfield

"Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow come and go like the wind. To be truly content, rest like a great tree in the midst of them all."
Jack Kornfield
from "Buddha's Little Instruction Book"

Dr. Crew's Fat Loss Challenge- update week #2

Well, readers...I promised to honestly report my progress each and every Thursday. I 'll give you the good news first. Over the past 17 days on this program I have lost a total of 5.8 pounds. The not so good news is that according to the scale I gained 2.4 lbs. this week. I am keeping it all in perspective. Well, I am trying to. Losing that much weight in the first week was clearly an anomaly so I am comfortable with the amount I have lost overall thus far. This, like so many other things in life, is a process. I will continue to take each day at a time and work the program. This approach has served me well in every other area of my life.

Now, I have to look very closely at exactly what I am eating and how I can make improvements on the quality of my calories. (and the quantity, perhaps). This situation reminds me of some basic truths once again. First, that the number on the scale is never the complete picture. There is the possibility of water retention weight gain and muscle gain factors to consider. Secondly, a true commitment to a process does not waver when a small setback occurs. Lastly, the "big picture" is most important when one sets goals. The big picture here is 100 days on program and evaluation of results only at that time. Commitment does not change due to a number on the scale.

I feel well and people who know me well tell me I look leaner. Michael says I look "hot", and this is always so very important to me. (Well, he's biased though!) Ha!

Well, I can tell you all that I believe next Thursday will be very different from today. Let's wait and see.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stress and our immune system

Most health care professionals would agree that stress increases your risk for illness and this is particularly true for severe long-term stressers such as caring for a loved one with a chronic medical illness or a past trauma.

However, we still have a relatively limited understanding of exactly how stress contributes to the risk for illness. In the August 15th issue of Biological Psychiatry, researchers shed new light one particular link between stress and illness by describing a mechanism through which stress alters immune function.

Although cortisol levels are similar to others, it has been found that white blood cells suffer genetic damage when under stress. The body is unable to respond to immune threats, and a systematic inflammation tends to occur.

Thus, the current findings might help to explain why caregivers would seem to be in a chronic pro-inflammatory state, a condition of immunologic activation. This activated state could contribute to the risk for a number of medical illnesses, such as depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

The conclusion? Stress is not just damaging for your mood, but your physical, emotional, and immune health. We need to create balance through exercise, massage, meditation, and healthy relationships with others. In these ways, we care for ourselves.

My patients have heard me go on and on about my clear belief that we accept that life is often stressful and difficult. It is, however, OUR responsibility to decide on how much stress we choose to carry around on us and in us. We need to be responsible for how we RESPOND to life's stress. This response is ALWAYS IN OUR CONTROL. If we blame our amount of stress entirely on external factors we will continue to be as stressed as what happens to us. We will have no control. In this scenario, we see ourselves as victims.

Why doesn't Dr. Crew take notes during sessions?

Yesterday I saw a new patient for the first time. He had been in to see many therapists over the course of his life. He asked me a question that I have been asked numerous times over the past almost 27 years doing therapy. He asked me, "Why don't you take notes during the session?" I thought since this is a common question asked of me by patients and colleagues alike I would address this in the blog.

Like most graduate students I was taught that taking notes during treatment sessions was protocol. I worked at clinics and other treatment centers and did just that. I had a number of patients find it difficult to engage in therapy while I was taking notes about what they were telling me. I found it to be very difficult to really listen to what I was hearing and take notes at the same time. Perhaps it was due to my dyslexia that this was more problematic for me than for for other therapists.

I, like many therapists, have always been involved in my own therapy and have been to a number of clinicians over the years. I always found it annoying and irritating when I am telling a therapist how I feel or describing a situation and they are writing as I speak. I can tell when they are really "half listening" to me as they write down their notes.

I am a student of mindfulness and a true believer that one cannot do an excellent job at more than one thing at a time. (Sorry to you believers in the myth of multi-tasking being effective, at best it's just adequate.) I decided then that I would no longer take notes during a treatment session with a patient. I came to feel that meeting with a therapist is no different than any other relationship between two people. No one takes notes when meeting a person for the first time and refers to them as they meet each subsequent time! Doing therapy, to me, is about the relationship that develops over time between a patient and myself. The relationship often fuels our work together based on our mutual care for each other, respect for each other, mutual trust, and the agreement on what we are desiring and intending to accomplish together. Taking notes during a session inhibits me from truly hearing what someone is telling me; not just with their words, but with their eyes, their body language, and the connection we share together. These important observations cannot be communicated effectively when I am writing. Moreover, I cannot use these same communication skills aforementioned when I am writing.

Sometimes, because I do not take notes during a treatment session, I may not recall exactly what someone had said during a session. Again, I feel this is a natural thing that occurs between two people when they interact. If I forget something or become a bit confused about a particular fact, then so be it. It happens. After a while, I tend to recall almost every detail of what a patient has told me just from being very present and truly listening to what they are communicating to me. I get much more from truly listening rather than to take notes and miss a portion of what they say. I write notes from each session after the patient leaves the office and review them prior to our next session. (Again, I can be fully present as I write the notes as well.)

A therapeutic relationship is an organic and living thing that occurs when one feels understood and cared for by one's therapist. It does not feel organic in any way for me to be writing as someone is sharing often difficult or intimate details or feelings with me. If any of you know me well, you are well aware that if I don't feel natural doing something I will stop doing it. And, I have.

The 8 biggest fat loss myths- #6


Much of what I blogged about dietary fat applies to carbs as well. If you choose, you can eat a fairly generous proportion of your calories from carbs and still lose weight, as long as you stay in a calorie deficit.

So, why are low-carb diets so popular? It's probably because they work quite well for most people. Low-carb diets help to control calories automatically and they tend to be better at controlling appetite. If the low-carb diet is also high in protein, this may be a further advantage because one spends more calories digesting protein.

Again, it will always come down to whether or not you are in a caloric deficit as to your body weight changing. If one ingests more calories from protein sources than they are burning during the day, one will gain weight. It's not the carbs, it's the calories!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"Suffering Is Optional"

The full quote is , "Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional." The author is unknown.

Most of my life I really didn't fully comprehend this statement. Now, I think I do truly understand it. I believe life is full of, as the Buddha states, the "ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows." There will certainly be so many times in our lives that we are aware of how painful life can be. This is NOT suffering. We suffer only when we are attached to the mistaken belief that life should be free of pain. Once we accept that life can be painful, we cease suffering knowing that all pain has a beginning, middle, and an end. We suffer when we feel we are being punished for something we may feel guilty about or somehow feel that pain should never come to us. Pain comes and visits all of us. So does joy and so does pleasure. It's interesting that we do not complain when things go well for us and we experience pleasure for a certain length of time.

Non-attachment and "letting go" of our prescribed beliefs about how life SHOULD be will help us move towards true enlightenment through acceptance of how things are at this moment.

Who actually taught us that life was NOT supposed to be painful anyway? It's an interesting question.

The 8 biggest fat loss myths-#5


At the peak of the low-fat diet movement, it seemed like almost every food package had the words "no fat" or "low fat" emblazoned in bold print. Why are so many people afraid of dietary fat? One simple answer is plausibility. It seems completely reasonable to assume that fat in your food will become stored as fat on your body. It sounds believable, but it's a fallacy.

Dietary fat is the most calorie-dense macronutrient, with nine calories per gram, as compared to four calories per gram in carbohydrate or protein. This can be a problem if you're not careful. However, this still doesn't mean that eating fat causes you to gain fat. You can actually eat a large percentage of your calories from dietary fat, but if you're in a caloric deficit you will still lose weight. Notice how this brings us back to the calories-in versus calories-out principle. Everything comes full circle to calories.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Meditation on Death

Even the Buddha died. His death was a teaching, to shock the naive,the indolent, and the complacent, to wake us up to the truth that everything is impermanent and that death is an inescapable fact of life. As he was approaching his death, Buddha said;

Of all footprints,
That of the elephant is supreme,
Of all mindfulness meditations,
That on death is supreme.

The Buddha taught many lessons, but death and meditating on death was his most common topic and theme.

I believe we all need to make peace with the fact that we are going to die. I truly feel that those who do not make peace with this fact are often suffering with anxiety or living a life without really taking risks and enjoying each moment. I know that meditating on one's death isn't something we in our Western culture are used to. (Even many avid readers of this blog bypassed this entry!) We tend to deny the reality of our death and believe on some level that we are eternal. People who talk of their death and of other's death are considered weird or morbid. I think that when we come to terms with our own demise we can be alive in each moment while we are living.

Why I am a stickler for FORM during training sessions

I was training someone at the studio the other day and she was becoming annoyed with me that I was asking her to use perfect form when executing a movement during a set of repetitions. I was also asking her to use proper breathing during the lifts as well. She wondered why I was being so difficult.

Unlike so many other things that we do, weight training requires exact form so that one will not become injured. When a lift is done incorrectly over and over it causes injury from the repetitive motion. What's more, doing a lift without correct form repetitively will create a habit in training that will be difficult to break increasing the chance for injury later on. Some of these injuries take time to fully develop and over the course of time can become permanent or require surgery to correct.

I was thinking yesterday of how my training a client at the studio is so different from the way I do therapy at my office. I have always believed that there are many ways to find contentment and truth in our lives and have never felt that what I believe is always applicable to another's life. What works for one person may or may not fit well to another. I have rarely ever told a patient in therapy that their choices are wrong for them. It is certainly not my style to do so. However, when it comes to weight training and strength training there is a right or wrong way to do so. I feel it is my responsibility to make sure that at least when someone is training at the Mind-Body Fitness Studio they are learning safe and healthy techniques and form to prevent injuries.

I have seen too many examples of people I know very well from the local gyms who are now impaired or in constant pain all born from improper weight training form. Many times I will start a new client at my studio and I can see the results of what they thought was the right way to use weights and their impairments in functioning and mobility of movement. I believe a gym can never be too clean, too safe, or a trainer too mindful or too knowledgeable.

Now you know why I am being so difficult.

The 8 biggest fat loss myths- #4


Scientists state that severe mutations in the obesity gene are rare in humans and have raised doubts that genetics could be a direct cause of the current the obesity epidemic. Dr. Claude Bouchard of the Human Genomics Laboratory in Baton Rouge, Louisiana suggests the following contributing factors as causes of obesity: physical environment, social environment, behavior, and biology(genetics). Dr. Bouchard states that, "The obesity epidemic that we are facing today has developed over the past fifty years and can't be explained by changes in our genome." Therefore, claiming that genetics are more influential than behavior or lifestyle is completely false.

Body fat is a complex problem with numerous causes and genetics are only one part. Although many people prefer to pin all the blame on something outside of their control, current evidence says that the condition that your body is in today is primarily a product of your own lifestyle, social influences, behavior, choices, and mind-set and NOT on genetics.