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Orchestrating Your Life with Music and Sounds You Choose

Posted by Dr. Brickey on August 12th, 2012

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael BrickeyAlex Doman

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Alex Doman/

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
(to download, right click download and select “save target as.”)

Alex Doman is the Founder of Advanced Brain Technologies and co author, with Don Campbell, of Healing at the Speed of Sound. 

Alex Doman gives a very comprehensive and individualized perspective on intentionally taking control of what you hear. Matching sound and music to the states and outcomes you want is practically self evident. Healing at the Speed of Sound is like have a personal trainer for what you hear, and the consequent benefits of better performance and better emotional and physical health. Because of our limited working memory, we cannot focus on all the things we would like to all the time. But, we can take some time out periodically to consider how to optimize the sounds and music in our lives.

Miller’s 1950s research on working memory found that most people can briefly remember 7 numbers, plus or minus 2. Working memory for letters and words is somewhat shorter. Legend has it that AT&T used his research to justify changing phone numbers from the first two letters of a word, plus 5 numbers, for example, Beechwood 45789, to seven numbers. Digit Span is one of eleven subtests on the Weschler (pronounced Wexler) Adult Intelligence Scale or IQ test.  The Digit Span is one of its three subtests that comprise the Working Memory Index and is thought to be largely genetic in origin.

That well chosen music or Brain Builder exercises could somewhat enhance performance on Digit Span by helping you become more focused and relaxed makes sense. If it improves cognitive functioning beyond that by improving neural integration and speech perception it is quite a breakthrough. I certainly plan to try it myself.

I chose to interview Alex Doman because of the quality and importance of his book and research. I don’t have any business relationship with him. If you are wondering what his products cost, his website indicates that CDs start at $16 and the Brain Builder program is $200 for up to five users.

His websites are www.HealingAtTheSpeedofSound.com and www.AdvancedBrain.com. Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in brain research, learning, music, sound | No Comments »

Taking Care of Your Feet

Posted by Dr. Brickey on February 14th, 2012

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael BrickeyRod Brouhard

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Dr. Brett Ryan Fink

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
(to download, right click download and select “save target as.”)

Dr. Brett Ryan Fink, is an Indianapolis orthopedist who specializes in foot care at the Indiana Orthopedic Center. Dr. Mark Mizel is a retired academician and foot an ankle specialist. They are co-authors of The Whole Foot Book, a book that is a comprehensive guide to foot care and includes both practical and technical information.

I was very impressed with Dr. Fink’s holistic, practical approach to foot care. Some of the key points were:

  • Most chronic foot problems don’t require surgery

  • Improving posture often helps a lot

  • Choosing the right shoes is very important, including the stiffness of the sole, heel height, avoiding rubbing, and ways to adapt shoes for problem feet

  • Managing foot problems is usually about making tradeoffs between stressing one area of the body versus other areas of the body

  • Transitions to markedly different shoe types or athletic demands on feet should be gradual to build tolerance and avoid stress fractures or sprains

  • For healthy feet, going barefoot is desirable as it toughens the skin and exercises all parts of the feet  

Dr. Fink’s website is www.WholeFoot.com. The website he mentioned for shoe stretchers is www.heelingtouch.com.  Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in foot pain, orthotic shoes, orthotics | No Comments »

Handling Medical Emergencies

Posted by Dr. Brickey on January 26th, 2012

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael BrickeyRod Brouhard

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Rod Brouhard

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
(to download, right click download and select “save target as.”)

 

 

How do you know when to call 911 vs. when to handle the emergency yourself? Why is it best to use a land line when calling 911? How can you help EMS workers quickly size up the situation and get the most appropriate treatment? These are a few of the questions Rod Brouhard discusses in today’s show and in his book, Life’s Little Emergencies: A Handbook for Independent Seniors and Their Caregivers.

The interview also discusses decision making about heart attacks and strokes. Mr. Brouhard has more than 20 years of experience as a paramedic with ambulance and fire crews. More recently he has been training EMS and paramedics, and administering training programs. His nitty-gritty experience results in very practical advice.

Rod Brouhard’s website is www.RodBrouhard.com“>. Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in emergencies | No Comments »

Retirement Financial Planning and Pitfalls

Posted by Dr. Brickey on October 22nd, 2011

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael BrickeyMark Singer

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest:  Mark Singer, Certified Financial Planner

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
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I thought there wasn’t much I hadn’t read about the basics of retirement finances but Mark Singer opened my eyes with his 30,000 feet perspectives. I had subscribed to the conventional buy and hold quality stocks philosophy. I didn’t realize that there are blocks of many years in which the market has been flat. We have had 21 years, 17 years, 16 years and our current 11 years and counting.

Mark’s philosophy is that buy and hold works well during a bull market, but gives flat returns in a flat market. He believes a flat market calls for tactical and alternative investments. The challenge is that tactical and alternative investments require more knowledge, closer monitoring, and more risk. Thus, it almost requires a professional investor.

Mark’s advice on checking beneficiaries and being careful with IRA rollovers, especial nonspousal rollovers, can prevent a world of hurt. His rule of thumb for how much to withdrawal from retirement savings is to average not more than 4% a year. With an 8% average return, that gives 4% for income and 4% for inflation.

I also was fascinated by how men and women have different investment psychologies, with men wanting to win the game and take care of their wives, and women wanting family security, taking care of their kids, and making sure they don’t become a “bag lady.”

 

 

 

 

Mark’s website is www.YourRetirementJourney.com. Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in financial planning, retirement, retirement planning | No Comments »

Protecting Your Parents’ Money and Retirement

Posted by Dr. Brickey on September 11th, 2011

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael BrickeyJeff Opdyke

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Jeff Opdyke

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
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Today’s show is Protecting Your Parents’ Money and Retirement, with Jeff Opdyke. Jeff is a financial columnist for The Wall St. Journal and author of six books including Protecting Parents’ Money: The Essential Guide to Helping Mom and Dad Navigate the Finances of Retirement.

You visit your parents and find a copy of Rolling Stone magazine. It has their name on the subscription label and you know they don’t know what Rolling Stone is. You realize it is time to see if mom and dad are managing their finances well and to see what their plans are for the future. How to go about it? That’s where Jeff Opdyke comes in.

Our brains are wired to use it or lose it. If we aren’t using math, doing our own taxes, following financial issues, we lose some of our ability to use these skills. In our teens and young adulthood, our brains are wired to be a little pessimistic and distrustful. That can help with survival. As we age, we develop habits of whom to trust and whom not to trust. Our brains gradually change to become more optimistic and trusting. Rapidly changing technology, financial products, and the economy can catch seniors unprepared. Health problems and medications may also dull cognitive skills. Finally, there are very skilled predators preying on seniors. All of these factors make seniors more vulnerable to financial exploitation.

The good news is that Jeff Opdyke shows us how to straightforwardly and honestly help parents, and how to coordinate the help with siblings. He also gives us a plan and resources for getting finances in order and making optimal decisions about insurance, Social Security, and healthcare. The bad news is that it can involve a lot of detective work and a lot of scut work.

One of his most important researched-based recommendations is that most people do better financially by taking starting their Social Security benefits as late as possible and, if needed, using IRA or other retirement accounts until the Social Security income starts. That is contrary to what most people do. One of his favorite sites for resources is the National Council on Aging www.ncoa.org. One of my favorites is www.Medicare.gov.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in financial planning, parents, seniors | No Comments »

Cosmetic Surgery: The State of the Art

Posted by Dr. Brickey on July 25th, 2011

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael BrickeyDr. Barry Lycka

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Dr. Barry Lycka

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
(to download, right click download and select “save target as.”)

 

Barry Lycka MD is a practicing cosmetic dermatologist in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His most recent book is Skin Works. He is the Founder of the Canadian Skin Care Foundation, a nonprofit that provides education on skin cancer, provides donated services to spousal abuse victims, and provides tattoo removal at no cost to gang members and prostitutes. He also is Founder of the Ethical Cosmetic Surgery Association.

 

 

 

As Dr. Lycka said, it is an exciting time to be a cosmetic surgeon. Every year brings innovations that are less invasive, safer, and even a little less expensive. Most of the innovations involve using lasers, heat, and even cold. That’s the good news. The bad news is that most cosmetic procedures only last anywhere from 3-6 months for Botox to a couple of years for most procedures and perhaps seven years for a traditional face lift.

 

 

 

Interestingly, most people seeking cosmetic treatments are pleased with their appearance and merely seek to tweak certain aspects of how they look. Dr. Lycka talked about how today many cosmetic surgeons employ a combination of methods. Thus he advises that when consulting with a cosmetic surgeon start with knowing the results you want and be open to a variety of ways to achieve those results.

 

 

 

Choosing a cosmetic surgeon requires some homework. One of the most important criteria is how often he or she has performed the procedures you are considering.

 

 

The recent and upcoming procedures he discussed were: mesotherapy, thermage, tumescent lipsuction, laser lipolysis, ultherapy, ultrashape, and cool sculpting. The websites Dr. Lycka mentioned are: http://www.BarryLyckaMD.com and http://www.ecsaonline.com/

 

Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in cosmetic surgery, skin care | No Comments »

Longitudinal Research on Health and Longevity: Tracking People for Eighty Years

Posted by Dr. Brickey on June 26th, 2011

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael Brickey

Dr. Leslie Martin

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Dr. Leslie Martin

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
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Dr. Howard Friedman and Dr. Leslie Martin are the current custodians of the study Lewis Terman started in the 1920s. That study followed 1500 bright boys and girls. Dr. Friedman and Dr. Martin’s book, The Longevity Project reports the latest findings from the Terman study and discusses how it compares with other studies.

I see this eighty year study as one of the most important in psychology. First, lifelong longitudinal research is very rare. Second from the beginning of the study, the quality and comprehensiveness of the data were extraordinary. The study not only used data from the individuals but also data from teachers, families and even death certificates. While cause and effect are difficult to separate, longitudinal research gives a much better opportunity to discern what are the most causal factors.

The single most important causal factor the study identified was conscientiousness. This was a combination of persistence and not taking undue risks. Contributing to the phenomenon is that conscientious people tend to have more stable careers, more stable marriages, take better care of their health, and have a sense of purpose and career and life satisfaction. You might say longevity belongs more to the conscientious tortoise than to the carefree, risk-taking hare. Happiness appears to be a byproduct of successful living rather than a cause of longevity.

It was interesting that traits such as exceptional optimism and cheerfulness, while especially helpful in some situations, negatively correlated with longevity, apparently due to less concern about and attention to risks. Divorce in childhood and in marriages was strongly negatively correlated with longevity. While being active through life was important, athleticism wasn’t a factor in longevity.

It is never wise to base all your conclusions on one study. The longevity study did, however, validate well with other longitudinal studies and with many short-term studies as well. Overall, it gives a hopeful message that you don’t have to be extraordinarily optimistic, cheerful, athletic, and popular to live a long, healthy life. Rather, having goals, persisting with those goals, being conscientious, having a network of friends, and helping others appears to be key factors in health and longevity and happiness.

Further information on their research is at www.HowardSFriedman.com. Dr. Brickey is President of the Ageless Lifestyles® Institute. His websites include http://www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in aging, health, longevity | No Comments »

Nutrition, Brains, Appetite and Weight Loss

Posted by Dr. Brickey on May 16th, 2011

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael Brickey

Dr. Larry McCleary

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Dr. Larry McCleary

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
(to download, right click download and select “save target as.”)

Nutritional advice is a tower of Babble. There are many theories that have little research to support them. The US government’s Food Pyramid and recommendations reflect more of a political process than a scientific process. The marketplace is full of hype for products and services. The answers on what really fosters wellness and longevity will ultimately come from scientific research. The strength of Dr. McCleary’s advice is that it is based in research and clinical experience.

To the extent that there is any consensus among anti-aging researchers and holistic medicine practitioners, it would be a Mediterranean diet, with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, fish and lean meats (or vegetarian protein substitutes). Dr. McCleary generally agrees with the Mediterranean diet but would minimize grains and starches, go easy on fruit juices and fruits that have high glycemic indexes, and prefer coconut oil to olive oil. Dr. McCleary developed his recommendations from a perspective of what optimizes brain functioning, what helps energy levels, and what helps with weight loss.

The closest researcher that I am aware of is Barry Sears, Ph.D., a chemist who has spent more than thirty years researching hormones, diabetes, and weight loss. Sears and McCleary agree on the importance of fish oil and that insulin is the key to weight loss. Sears advocates 30% fats, 30% protein, and 40% healthy carbohydrates. Thus, he advocates far less fat than McCleary. He believes his Zone diet can keep insulin levels stable and hormone levels in a healthy balance.

Sears believes a ketogenic diet does reduce blood insulin resistance but increases insulin resistance in the liver and increases cortisol production. Cortisol causes inflammation which Sears sees as the common denominator of most chronic diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You will recall that McCleary’s interest in ketogenic diets came from using a ketogenic diet with children who had seizures.

Sears characterizes the Atkins diet as rich in (long chain) saturated fats and Omega 6 fatty acids. McCleary tends to favor healthier fats than the typical Atkins diet. Sears sees two destructive mechanisms of an Atkins diet. First, that its (long chain) saturated fats and Omega 6 fatty acids foster inflammation. Second, that when the brain doesn’t get its glucose, the cortisol it produces breaks down muscle tissue to help produce glucose.

Sears says that people lose weight on an Atkins diet for about six months and then gain the weight back and more because of damage from cortisol production, inflammation, and hormonal changes. You can hear my podcast with Dr. Sears in the Ageless Lifestyles archives.

McCleary suggests that while the brain’s main food is glucose, it also thrives on ketones. The question is whether the glucose and ketones in McCleary’s diet would produce enough brain fuel to not prompt cortisol production and the damage cortisol can produce.

Keep in mind that high fat diets and their increased ketone production can be hard on kidneys and need more water to excrete excess ketones. Also, be alert for any signs of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Among anti-aging researchers there seems to be some shift away from high carbohydrate diets. While the jury is still out, carefully observe how your body responds to what you eat, get periodic blood tests, and be careful.

Dr. McCleary’s website is www.DrMcCleary.com. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in brain research, diets, eating, nutrition | No Comments »

Medical Tests and Over-diagnosis

Posted by Dr. Brickey on April 16th, 2011

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael Brickey

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Dr. H. Gilbert Welch

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
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I think Dr. Welch is right on—over-diagnosis is one of the biggest problems in medicine and one of the biggest threats to our health and longevity. Further, each year in the US over-diagnosis wastes tens, possibly hundreds of billions of dollars.

To review, Dr. Welch described several ways over-diagnosis happens:

1. By looking too hard for pathology we may engage in a cascade of further testing and treatment that may do more harm than good. Prostate cancer is the poster child. Early diagnosis can lead to biopsies, radiation treatment, chemotherapy, or surgery that brings the usual treatment risks and can cause impotency and urinary problems. While most men over 60 have some prostate cancer, most do not experience any symptoms and eventually die from some other cause.

For women, annual mammograms starting at age 50 also appear to do more harm than good. In a population of 1,000 to 1,500 with women who receive annual mamograms for ten years starting at age 50, one woman would avoid breast cancer, half a dozen women would be needlessly treated, a third would have at least one false alarm, and more than a hundred would be needlessly biopsied. As treatment becomes more effective, the downside of early diagnosis becomes even more pronounced.

2. A second cause of over-diagnosis comes from changing the cutoff scores, e.g., blood sugar levels for diabetes, cholesterol levels for heart disease, and bone density scores for osteoporosis. Thus with the decision of a committee, the number of people deemed to have a disease can more than double overnight. While the benefits of treatment are usually obvious for people with extreme scores, there are diminishing returns and greater risks for treatment of people with marginal scores.

3. With increasingly powerful and pervasive MRIs, CAT scans and other tests, doctors stumble onto findings that prompt more testing and possibly treatment. For example, about half of virtual colonoscopies find abnormalities in the kidney, liver, lungs or other tissue. The vast majority of these abnormalities are benign but it is hard to pass on further testing once they have been identified. In scans of other areas of the body, scans need to consider asymptomatic base rates as high as 50% for disc protrusions and 40% for damaged knee cartilage.

4. With the exception of using genetics to help determine medications for cancer treatments, at least currently DNA testing seems to either tells us what we already know or gives weak correlations that don’t indicate what we need to do differently.

The bottom line is to be cautious about testing when there are no symptoms and when there are no risk factors such as family history, lifestyle risks, exposure to diseases or toxic chemicals, or health or medication concerns.

Dr. Welch also cautions about survival rate data. A man who is diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 60 and dies and 91 of prostate cancer would have had an impressive 30 year survival rate. If his prostate cancer was diagnosed at age 87 and he died at 91 he would fail the 5 year survival criteria. Testimonials from celebrities such as Bob Dole, General Schwarzkopf, and Arnold Palmer illustrate how early detection and survival rate data can be misleading.

Further articles and information from Dr. Welch is at http://www.vaoutcomes.org/welch.php and http://www.beacon.org.  Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in health, medical diagnosis, medicine | No Comments »

Aging and Mental Health

Posted by Dr. Brickey on February 26th, 2011

Anti-Aging Psychologist, Dr. Michael Brickey

Dr. Marc Agronin

Host: Anti-Aging Psychologist Dr. Michael Brickey

Guest: Geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Marc Agronin

Broadcast and podcast on webtalkradio.net. The podcast is also on the links below
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Dr. Marc Agronin is Medical Director for Mental Health and Clinical Research at the Miami Jewish Health Systems and author of several books or geriatric psychiatry. His clinical work is in it large nursing home. Our interview focused on his most recent book, How We Age: A Doctor’s Journey into the Heart of Growing Old.

The interview with Dr. Agronin works at several levels. First, it helps us understand our own aging and view our own aging with a good dose of optimism. Second, it helps us focus on how to relate to our own family and friends who are aging, especially when they are in hospitals or nursing homes. And third, it provides a model and ideas for psychotherapists.

Dr. Agronin is especially interested in stage theories such as Eric Erickson’s and Gene Cohen’s theories. One of my principles for choosing philosophies, religious beliefs, and therapy principles, is to favor optimism and positive views. Thus, I especially like Dr. Gene Cohen’s stage theory and Dr. Marc Agronin’s views on therapy with seniors.

What does it take to be a good therapist with people who are old? There is a Yiddish word, mensch, that sums it up. A mensch is a caring person with integrity, values, and character. A therapist who is a mensch takes the time to really listen, care, never give up, and do whatever it takes to help. My role model for a mensch therapist is Dr. Agronin.

Medicine has a financial hierarchy. At the bottom of the hierarchy are family doctors, pediatricians, and psychiatrists. Their average salaries are about a third of the average salaries for neurosurgeons and cardiac surgeons. Consequently, it is not surprising that there is a shortage of psychiatrists. Most psychiatrists today focus on diagnoses and medications and leave the psychotherapy to less expensive practitioners. In nursing homes the house doctor usually takes care of medications for pain, depression, and anxiety and psychiatrists are just consulted on unsual cases and behavior problems. Dr. Marc Agronin is a role model for what psychiatry should be and can be. Fortunately, his influence spreads far beyond Miami Jewish Health Systems through his books like How We Age, his books for psychiatrists and psychotherapists, and his presentations are professional conferences.

Dr. Agronin’s website is www.MarcAgronin.com. Dr. Brickey’s other websites are www.DrBrickey.com and www.Anti-Aging-Speaker.com.

Posted in aging, geriatric psychiatry, nursing homes | No Comments »