Friday, 20 February 2015 16:03

Stay Healthy on the Highway

It's spring break season in metro Atlanta. Many of you will hit the road for some fun and relaxation, but that doesn't mean you have to leave your healthy eating habits at home. Fast food is a temptation on every highway, but it's good to keep balance when you're away from home. There are plenty of healthy snacks that you can pack for your road trip, whether it's long or short.

For shorter trips, you can bring along non-perishable snacks like:

  • Unsalted nuts or trail mix. You can even make your own with almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. You could also include dried fruit like cranberries, blueberries or raisins. Just remember that 2 tablespoons of dried fruit will add about 15 grams of carbohydrates to your snack.
  • Half a sandwich made with 100 percent whole wheat bread and 1 to 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter or almond butter.
  • Whole fruit such as oranges, grapes, apples, bananas, tangerines or cherries.

In the car for the long haul?
Pack a cooler of healthy food, which will keep your good habits up and your chances of getting ill down. Here are some snack and meal ideas:

  • Hummus and pre-cut vegetables like baby carrots, broccoli florets, celery sticks, sugar snap peas or cherry tomatoes.
  • shutterstock 214341322Fresh fruit like berries, pre-cut melon or sliced apples.
  • Veggie or turkey sandwiches made with 100 percent whole wheat bread, lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and mustard.
  • Whole wheat wrap or pita sandwiches. Use lean deli meat, non-starchy vegetables and cheese.
  • Single servings of light yogurt mixed with berries for a yogurt parfait.
  • Plenty of water.


Kelly DeGraffenreid, MD


Family Medicine

Dr. DeGraffenreid is a board certified physician in Family Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree in Pharmacy at Purdue University, earned her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed her Family Medicine residency at Emory University. Kaiser Permanente is the state's largest nonprofit health plan serving more than 275,000 members in 26 medical facilities across metro Atlanta and Athens.

Sponsored by: Kaiser Permanente |


Friday, 20 February 2015 15:34

Pediatric Health Care from BAYADA

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, premature birth affected more than 450,000 babies in 2012. Over the years, this number has steadily increased, leaving more newborns and parents of preemies to face health challenges that require undivided attention, often in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

One of these children is Kasey D., who was born prematurely at 26 weeks. She weighed just one pound and five ounces. Kasey's parents, Jack and Mary, chose nurses from BAYADA Pediatrics to provide their daughter with the complex medical care she would need once released from the hospital.

For her first six months, Kasey had an endotracheal tube in her mouth, which allowed a variety of ventilators to breathe for her. She had difficulty thriving even with this assistance. To aid in her survival, physicians opened a direct airway through a small incision in her neck to the trachea. BAYADA clinical manager and RN Crystal Lee oversaw all aspects of Kasey's care. "All of the nurses on Kasey's team are specially trained to care for children with complex medical needs," Crystal says. "They are with Kasey 16 hours a day."

Mary and Jack look forward to the day their daughter, now 18 months old, can breathe on her own. But for now they are relieved by how well their bundle of joy is progressing. "With BAYADA, I know Kasey is safe and getting the care she needs," Mary says.



40th PediatricsBAYADA Pediatrics — The Nation's First Simulation Training

BAYADA was one of the nation's first home health care agencies to utilize a simulation training laboratory, allowing professionals to gain hands-on experience and practice high-tech and complex
care skills.

Exceptional care for your child...peace of mind for you.

BAYADA Pediatrics' professionals specialize in caring for children of all ages, from newborns to adolescents, at home and at school. The compassionate, carefully screened and experienced BAYADA Pediatric nurses manage diverse diagnoses and high-tech equipment, while the highly trained and caring BAYADA Pediatric Nurses provide assistive personal care and support services.

Bayada takes a family-centered approach and partners with families in their child's care. In working together, clients and families experience firsthand the team's shared commitment to compassion, excellence and reliability -- the core values of the BAYADA way.

Who is on the child's care team?

BAYADA Pediatric Nurses are experts in caring for children from newborns to adolescents, including those requiring complex, high-tech care. Nursing services range from short-term recovery care to ongoing nursing and high-tech care.

Sponsored by: BAYADA Pediatrics | Available 24/7 | Phone: (888) 995-0788 |


Friday, 20 February 2015 15:07

Dental Hygiene and Diabetes



Quite often, we either hear or see advertisements that promote optimum physical health, but rarely do we ever hear discussions on the importance of oral health care. When we pay close attention to our bodies – yes, even our gums, teeth and tongue – we leave less room for bacteria and infection to harm us. But for those who suffer with diseases such as Type I or Type II diabetes, the body's resistance to oral infection can be lowered drastically, ultimately causing gum disease, and making it harder to control sugar levels.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) high levels of glucose, also referred to as sugar, do encourage harmful bacteria to grow. Glucose is present through our saliva and when untreated and combined with sugars found in food, plaque buildup can occur in hard to reach places. Once plaque has accumulated and settled, glucose levels are then harder to maintain and very dangerous.

Remember, gum disease often has little to no symptoms, so regular brushing (twice a day), flossing and visits to both your dentist and primary care doctor are of vital importance. Our bodies and mouths have much more of an intimate relationship than we often fathom to realize. If we are proactive in all areas of health and wellness, the more control we will have over our lives.



shutterstock 155769509Dr. Akbar
Dr. Akbar is among the top cosmetic dentists in the Marietta and Alpharetta, GA area. Her specialized training combined with the latest technology and techniques, provides her patients with compassionate care and professional expertise.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree of Science and Biology from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia, she went on to attend the Medical College of Georgia where she received her D.M.D.

From there, Dr. Akbar furthered her studies at Oklahoma University in Oklahoma City where she received a postgraduate degree in advanced education in general dentistry. She was licensed by the Georgia Board of Dentistry in 1990 and began practicing in Atlanta by 1991. She has been in private practice at her current location for the past 17 years. During that time she has completed extensive training and obtained her implant fellowship.

Dr. Akbar continuously gives back to those in need, that desire nothing more than a beautiful smile and wants everyone to share her passion for a healthy, beautiful smile!

Professional Affiliations:

  • The American Dental Association
  • The Georgia Dental Association
  • The American Academy of
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
  • The Seattle Study Club of Atlanta
  • The Dental Organization of
  • Conscious Sedation

Sponsored by: RA Dental Studio | 875 North Main Street, Suite 358 | Alpharetta, GA 30004 (Above Taco Mac) | (770) 475-4455  |  2513 Shallowford Road, Bldg 100 | Marietta, GA 30066 | (770) 977-3977 |


Thursday, 19 February 2015 21:39

BEST Breaks Down Your Body Sculpting Options

We understand there are a lot of new technologies out there to help fight fat and shape your body – and they can all be rather confusing. Let us make it clear for you! The dermatologists at BEST, which stands for Body Enhancing Solutions and Technologies, can help create a customized body contouring treatment plan for you. We offer a variety of different procedures, results, recovery time and costs, and the best part? Everything is non-invasive.

Here are just a few of the options we offer:

Exilis - The treatment is perfect for tightening and toning the face and body

CoolSculpting - A non-surgical treatment, it uses cryolipolysis to eliminate unwanted fat cells with out harming surrounding tissue. Areas include abdomen, flanks, thighs, love handles and arms.

Vanquish - Ideal in eliminating excess fat specifically around the core & thigh area.

Ultherapy - Target the contours of your face, décolleté, and neck with this treatment, or use it to create results similar to a brow lift.



"We are not a med spa. We are a board certified dermatology center located in Buckhead and committed to the intimate and sensitive nature of body sculpting."

BEST is a division of Dermatology Consultants, a 75-year-old practice in Atlanta. Our board-certified physicians are renowned leaders in the field of dermatology, recognized by several accrediting organizations. We have performed over 2400 treatments ( that is for CoolSculpting alone ) in three years and are one of the few centers in Georgia offering DualSculpting™ where we can treat two areas at the same time, reducing overall treatment times. Also, we are an Ultra Ultherapy Provider and performed more treatments than any other provider in 2014.

We not only offer the most advanced technologies today, but we will tomorrow as well. You see, we are not beholden to any one particular machine or procedure. Instead, we are committed to providing the latest, safest and best solutions for your unique goals and body type.

Sponsored by: Dermatology Consultants | Located in Buckhead, Covington and Marietta
Phone: (404) 351-7546 | Fax: (404) 351-2993 |

logo-withURL 800px

Best logo


Thursday, 19 February 2015 19:41

Special Section: The Most Beautiful You

Think about a time you felt beautiful recently. What gave you that feeling? Did your style look exactly on trend? Was your makeup perfectly applied? Had you just left the stylist's chair with the perfect haircut?

Here's a little secret: That "beautiful" feeling wasn't because of the clothes, the makeup or the hairstyle. You felt beautiful because you felt confident, and there's nothing more gorgeous than that.
So as you read through these pages of beauty treatments, makeup tips, skin care procedures and hair products, ask yourself: Will this make me feel more confident? More like the "me" I want to be? If the answer is yes, then your days of boosted confidence and beautiful self-image are just around the corner.

A key component to freshening your face is exfoliation. Judy Van Heiningen from Roswell's Facelogic Spa says, "Most people don't realize that at any given time you have about 30 layers of dead skin cells on your face. Yuck! They exacerbate your wrinkles, make your skin look dull and absorb all the great ingredients of your expensive moisturizers and serums." She explains, "At 20 years old, nature takes care of exfoliating our skin every three weeks or so. But as we age, nature slows down the exfoliation process. So your best bet is to exfoliate your skin with a peel, microdermabrasion or enzyme mask."

Stephanie Crystal from Joseph & Friends Lifestyle Salon & Spa elaborates, "Microdermabrasion instruments spray tiny crystals onto the skin, breaking up and removing the uneven outer layer of dead skin cells. This type of skin rejuvenation is used to treat light scarring, discoloration, sun damage and stretch marks." Depending on where you go, the cost may range from about $50 to $200.

IMG 1475Innate's Chamomile Hydrating Day Serum After exfoliating, hydrate with this oil-based moisturizer made in Sandy Springs. "Pure plant oils maintain the skin's natural balance for soft and supple results without clogging pores," explains Dr. Janelle Havelka, Innate's creator.

2-Save-My-Face-PillowSave My Face pillow Avoid exacerbating facial wrinkles at night with this pillow. Its design elevates the sleeper's face from the pillow, helps keep the skin smooth and may even help you avoid neck pain when sleeping.

1-Jane-Iredale-Liquid-MineralsJane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation Support your skin care routine with this skin-friendly foundation. Aura Hair & Makeup's Erin Jubril says, "This product is amazing! It firms, has CoQ10 to repair, hyaluronic acid for hydration and Aloe vera to calm."

Beaute-Pacifique-Skincare-Vitamin-D-Body-Cream-LidiaBeaute Pacifique D-force Vitalizing Body Creme During winter, you likely didn't get much sun, which probably means you didn't get enough vitamin D either. Lidia Nistor-Reteneller, founder of local med spa Skin IQ, recommends this lotion to help. "This body lotion already has vitamin D incorporated and gets absorbed topically while taking care of your dry skin," she says.

shutterstock 80764240

New-Youth-Skin-Care-picNew Youth Skin Care Local Georgia physician Dr. Monte Slater developed this skin care line that targets the process of glycosylation and other causes of aging skin. Pick up a bottle at Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic in Buckhead.

Planet Beach Hydro-Derma Fusion Heal from the dry winter air and get your skin ready for spring with this unique treatment at Planet Beach in Dunwoody. Hop into a vibrating massage bed to enjoy a soothing massage and warm steam to hydrate and moisturize skin from head to toe. You can also top your session off with the aromatic scent of an oxygen concentrate blended from natural ingredients.

Often with age, your hair will lose pigment and may also become wiry or frizzy. In your quest to reclaim the hair you remember, Erin Jubril from Aura Hair & Makeup recommends, "Soften your hair color. Is your hair dark brown or black? Lighten it up a shade or two to diminish dark circles and erase 4-Redken's-Chromaticsfine lines and wrinkles." It won't actually take those wrinkles away, but they'll be much less noticeable. And to combat the wiry texture, she suggests a coconut-oil based color.

Redken's Chromatics Jubril says, "It will give you 100 percent gray coverage with tons of shine."

5-MONAT-REJUVENIQE-Oil-IntensiveMONAT's REJUVENIQE Oil Intensive Cynthia Douglas, a local MONAT distributor, says, "The more you use it, the more your hair benefits because it is being providing beneficial hydration, necessary cleansing and nutrition for regrowth. It is also receiving the added benefit of UV protection to preserve hair's radiance."

6-GKhair-Fast-Blow-DryGKhair's Fast Blow Dry Pat Alessi from Roswell's Salon 1580 recommends this new hair-taming formula for smooth and shiny hair. Fast Blow Dry helps reduce frizz and cuts blow-drying time in half!

The shape of your eyebrows can make or break your overall look, and you may be hanging on to bad plucking habits from decades past. Alyson Hoag, owner of Authentic Beauty, says, "As a professional makeup artist, I was taught to enhance the brow shape according to the eye and face shape." Here's how she recommends gauging your perfect brow shape:

1. Begin by placing the long end of a makeup brush against your nose. Line the brush up with the area that is in between the inside of the tear duct and the eye socket. This is where your brow should start.

shutterstock 1343432992. Next, line your brush up from your nose to the area between the outside edge of your eye and the socket. This is where your brow should end.

3. The last angle and the most important area is your arch. Too many technicians try to make the arch straight above the pupil, which unfortunately causes the arch to be straight up and gives the appearance of the "rainbow brow." To achieve the perfect arch, line your brush up to the outside of your nose and look straight ahead. Angle the brush so it is to the outside of the iris, and start your arch where the brush crosses your brow.

9-Luca-LashLuca Lash Alyson Hoag swears by this natural product to help regrow brows if you've overtweezed or if the hair has thinned due to aging. "It is derived from botanicals and contains no prostaglandins," she explains. "It was designed for lash growth but works even better on brows!"

Kevyn Aucoin Precision Brow Pencil Keeping your brows shaped and filling them in with the correct color will frame and accentuate your face. Julian Reynolds from Julian's Cosmetics + Skincare says this pencil is one of his favorite brow products.

Revision Skincare Teamine Eye Complex Alethea Tinkle, owner of Bella by Alethea MedSpa, recommends this cream to diminish dark under-eye circles, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, firm skin and even provide antioxidant benefits. Tinkle says, "It is effective on all skin types and is consistently one of our best sellers. Our patients swear by it, and it's hard to keep it on the shelves!"

8-Acute-Care-PhotoRodan + Fields Redefine Acute Care Local Rodan + Fields consultant Ashlee Dozier recommends these new strips to combat smile lines and lip wrinkles. Each strip delivers hyaluronic acid and peptides to the desired area, and the strips can be worn three nights per week for effortless change noticeable on the first morning after use. Maximum benefits are achieved after eight weeks, and the strips can be used on the eyes to combat crow's feet.

Your teeth can reveal your age as much as any wrinkle, especially after years of stains building up. If you're looking for professional whitening, Dr. Ashish Patel from Smiles on Peachtree recommends their in-office Zoom Whitening procedure, which provides dramatic results in about an hour, or take-home trays. "Patients can have custom trays done and spend 30 minutes whitening each day for five to seven days straight," Dr. Patel says. To go beyond whitening and into reshaping your smile, cosmetic bonding and porcelain veneers are available options. Bonding can repair chipped or cracked teeth, fill gaps or even change the shape of teeth themselves, and veneers cover chips, gaps and stains to create a beautiful, uniform smile.


shutterstock 160371740Let's Face It
Our faces take the brunt of the elements, meaning they might need some more intensive TLC. Try these local facial procedures to restore your skin to its former vitality, lift and glow:

  • Bella by Alethea's $300 Refresh Laser Facial reduces the appearance of wrinkles and redness, treats age spots and tightens skin. Owner Alethea Tinkle adds, "It is a pampering facial. There is no downtime, pain or peeling, but the results are dramatic!"

  • Julian Reynolds from Julian's Cosmetics + Skincare recommends a Caudalie Vinexpert Firming Facial. This $125 procedure, Reynolds says, will lift and sculpt contours of the face and neck while boosting skin's collagen and elastin production.

  • Fillers are always an option to quickly refresh your look. Dr. Linda Kelley from Cobb Wellness & Aesthetics recommends the ArqueDerma Restoration Lift, which uses hyaluronic acid fillers to reduce jowls, improve marionette lines, lift the brows and more. The procedure is a splurge, costing anywhere from $2,400 to $3,000.

  • Warm things up with a ThermiRF treatment from the Maloney Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. This non-surgical procedure helps boost collagen production by heating the underlying skin support tissues. This also helps eliminate fat and tighten skin and can be performed in Dr. Maloney's office. For a more dramatic result, Dr. Maloney can also provide targeted liposuction to the treatment area.

Before choosing any one procedure, be sure you're with the right provider. Dr. Seth Yellin from Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery says, "After 20 years as a facial plastic surgeon and educator, the best advice I can give is to partner with a facial plastic surgeon who is skilled and experienced and whose aesthetic vision you trust."


shutterstock 116064943It's All In Your Head
Ellen Langer, a psychologist and current professor of psychology at Harvard University, has conducted a few small-scale studies specifically about the mind's effects on aging. In one, conducted in 1981, she took eight men in their 70s and set them up to live for just five days in a temporary home. The catch? The home was designed to remind them of 20 years before. Movies, magazines, even their conversation topics were all meant to evoke the past and get the subjects to act like their younger selves. At the end of the week, the men's bodies had responded as if they truly were younger: they were more coordinated, sat taller and even experienced improved eyesight.

When the experiment was recreated in 2010, attempting to bring subjects back to their 1975 selves, the subjects experienced similar changes – one who struggled to dress himself at the beginning of the week was hosting a dinner party on the experiment's final evening. So if you're feeling like the years are starting to catch up with you, remember that some of it may just be in your head!

Better Bra
Ladies, it's time to put your best bust forward. According to Molly Hopkins and Cynthia Decker from Livi Rae Lingerie, 85 percent of women are wearing a bra that's the wrong size. Here, these bra fit experts share three ways to tell if your bra really fits:

  • Shoulder straps should be loose and comfortable, not digging into your shoulders.
  • If your breast tissue is spilling over the top of the bra, it means that your cup is too small.
  • The band holds 90 percent of your bra support, so it should be snug to avoid putting stress on your shoulders and back.
  • If your bra isn't cutting it, Try Livi Rae Lingerie's "Virtual Fit" option online to find a better one.

We know real estate is all about location, location, location, but did you know that your body size is often about perception, perception, perception? The key is posture. If you walk with rounded shoulders, an unsupported back, and a loose core, any extra weight you're carrying will be accentuated. Try "losing" a few pounds today through proper posture!

"When you are standing, it is best to keep your shoulders back but relaxed to help keep the proper curve in your low back. One method to achieve this is by standing against a wall. You want your head, shoulder blades, buttocks and heels to touch the wall," says Dr. Marly N. Dows-Martinez from Resurgens Orthopaedics. "This not only helps promote the normal spinal alignment but also helps make you look taller and more confident."

Weight Loss
There's no substitute for eating healthy, whole foods and breaking a sweat on a regular basis. But if you're doing all the right things and still want some extra help toning and tightening, many new technologies can help. BEST, a Buckhead dermatology center, specializes in non-surgical options such as Exilis, CoolSculpting, Ultherapy and more to help you achieve your goals.

Another popular, non-surgical option is Vanquish, which uses radiofrequency to get rid of fat cells. "If you have a stubborn muffin top or love handles, Vanquish may be just the ticket," says Carolyn Morey, practice manager for Prima Center for Plastic Surgery in Duluth. Their board-certified plastic surgeons conduct four to six painless weekly sessions with Vanquish patients for maximum results.


Resources: Beautiful You

shutterstock 166553285Here's your complete guide to this issue's beauty resources. Turn to each page to find great deals and the right beauty solutions for you!

  • Advanced Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine of Buckhead
  • Aesthetic Body Sculpture Clinic
  • Anderson Hair Sciences Center
  • Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry
  • Atlanta Institute for Facial Aesthetic Surgery
  • Atlanta Smiles and Wellness
  • Aura Hair & Makeup
  • Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery
  • Carter Barnes Hair Artisans
  • Cobb Wellness and Aesthetics
  • Concourse Athletic Club
  • Dance Tonight Atlanta
  • Dermani Medspa
  • Dermatology Specialists of Atlanta
  • Dermatology Center of Atlanta
  • Dermatology Consultants
  • Facelogic Spa
  • Fountain of Youth MD
  • Gardner Dermatology & Med Spa
  • Golsen Family Dentistry
  • Harley Anti-Aging Institute
  • House of Payne Personal Training
  • Innate Organic Body
  • Institut' DERMed
  • Jeju Sauna
  • Kimball Bridge Dental Commons
  • Midtown Athletic Club at Windy Hill
  • Monat
  • Natural Health Solutions
  • Nerium
  • Nirvana MedSpa and Laser Centre
  • North Atlanta Dermatology
  • North Atlanta Hair Restoration
  • Northside Vascular Surgery
  • Planet Beach
  • Prima Center for Plastic Surgery
  • Pure Aesthetics & Skin Care
  • R.A. Dental Studio
  • Skin IQ MedSpa & Store
  • Smiles on Peachtree
  • Southern Plastic Surgery
  • The Arches Threading Lounge
  • Trualliance Fitness
  • Vein Atlanta
  • VeinInnovations
  • Vinings Surgery Center


Thursday, 19 February 2015 19:27

Anxiety in Teens and Adults

By Karon Warren

In today's busy world, everyone deals with stress. Family, work, friends, life – these all contribute to the organized chaos we face on a daily basis. And when it comes to coping with those stressors, we all experience some level of anxiety. Maybe we lose some sleep, our minds race with worry, or we don't finish dinner because our stomachs are in knots.

But for some people – approximately 40 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Mental Health – anxiety is more than just temporary, reasonable worry. Sometimes worry spirals into trembling hands, a racing heart, nausea, trouble catching a breath and more. If that sounds like you or someone you know, an anxiety disorder may be the culprit.

More Than Worry
When dealing with possible anxiety disorders, it's crucial to know exactly how anxiety is defined. "Anxiety can be described as a feeling of dread, impending doom or excessive worry," says Shannon O'Brien, MS, LAPC, NCC, of The Anxiety & Stress Management Institute in Marietta. "Anxiety, at its core, is a natural and normal bodily response to a potential threat." A potential threat could be something as simple as public speaking or a fear of spiders, but for someone with an anxiety disorder, the natural response to those situations escalates to uncontrollable heights. Sometimes an anxiety response can be provoked by something not typically threatening at all, such as a trip to the grocery store or sitting in a classroom.

quote-1Symptoms of anxiety include physical responses like trembling hands, sweating, tense muscles, shortness of breath and increased heart rate, among others. Mental responses could include feeling nervous, fear, dread and panic. People without anxiety disorders can often reason their way through these feelings, and the symptoms resolve within a short period of time. For those suffering from anxiety disorders, however, these and other symptoms can become crippling.

"When [anxiety] starts to dominate your life, that's when it becomes an anxiety disorder," says Dr. Nadine Kaslow, chief psychologist at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Essentially, anxiety becomes a disorder when a person has difficulty concentrating, starts to isolate himself, avoids certain situations and can't sleep, among other interfering behaviors.

"In order to warrant a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder, symptoms of anxiety must be present for at least six months," O'Brien says. Diagnosis may come in several classifications: generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, social anxiety disorder and illness anxiety disorder, among others, O'Brien adds. The root cause of these disorders is not always clear. According to Dr. Angelo Sambunaris of The Institute for Advanced Medical Research, "Scientists currently think that, like heart disease or Type 1 diabetes, mental illnesses probably result from a combination of genetic, environmental, psychological and developmental factors." That means a solution may not be one simple fix.


A Therapeutic Approach
When struggling with anxiety, it's important first to see your primary care physician to determine if the anxiety is a result of a physical condition such as heart disease, diabetes or even a thyroid problem. Once those possible causes are ruled out, the next common step is therapy, which involves talking with a trained professional to resolve specific problems that trigger anxiety. Dr. Thomas Burns, board-certified clinical psychologist with Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, explains that therapy helps you examine fears or cognitive distortions that may be triggering your anxiety. Together with the therapist, you work to resolve or eliminate those thoughts.

Hypnosis is another treatment that can help alleviate anxiety. "The reason it works well is because [anxiety issues] are brought on by the subconscious mind," says Valerie Cobbin, master hypnotherapist with Brighter Tomorrow Hypnotherapy in Atlanta. "I reprogram the subconscious to deal with those issues to eliminate the anxiety."

Cope with Combinations
Medications also can be effective in treating anxiety, particularly when symptoms such as nausea or panic are so bad that you cannot get to the root of the problem. Dr. Dave Davis, medical director of Piedmont Psychiatric Clinic in Atlanta, says, "If [anxiety symptoms] get really bad, I give medicine to decrease symptoms while working on coping skills." He adds, "You should never just treat with medicine," instead advising a combination of any necessary medication with other available therapies.

Also, O'Brien recommends examining your lifestyle to see if changes are warranted, such as cutting out caffeine and exercising regularly. While diet and exercise improvements alone will not fully address an anxiety disorder, they can give an even better chance for overall success when combined with medication and therapy.


Strong Support
Along with effective treatments, people struggling with anxiety need a strong support system. If you're parenting one of the eight percent of American teens struggling with anxiety, learn how to approach their condition constructively. "Don't be negative or see anxiety as a weakness," Burns says, because it truly isn't. Kaslow clarifies, "It's a neurochemical issue." Unfortunately, only 18 percent of anxious teens receive mental health care, but that seems to be changing. Dr. Sambunaris says, "As science has advanced and we better understand these diseases and treatments, parents are getting help for their children more quickly."

This compassionate approach will make you a great support for anyone in your life struggling with anxiety, and if you yourself are looking for that support, don't stop until you find it. Whether it's from a therapist, a family member, a friend or a partner, you deserve a support system that can sympathize with your situation and stand alongside you as you work through it.

Don't hesitate to get help if anxiety is interfering with your day-to-day life. "A person might seek help at any stage of experiencing anxiety," O'Brien encourages, and these days, more and more people are doing just that. "Mental illness is slowly shedding its stigma, which means more people are getting the treatment they need," O'Brien says. And with a diagnosis and treatment plan in place, you are well on your way to successfully overcoming anxiety.


Editorial Resources

Thomas Burns, PsyD, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta –

Valerie Cobbin, Brighter Tomorrow Hypnotherapy –

Dave Davis, MD, Piedmont Psychiatric Clinic –

Nadine Kaslow, PhD, Grady Memorial Hospital –

National Institute of Mental Health –

Shannon O'Brien, MS, LAPC, NCC, The Anxiety & Stress Management Institute –

Angelo Sambunaris, MD, Institute for Advanced Medical Research –


Thursday, 19 February 2015 19:07

Molly’s Mojo

By Nicole Letts

Intimidation is not a word or a concept that entrepreneur Molly Mathis finds daunting. On the contrary, intimidation is what keeps Mathis in business. Mathis is the mastermind behind Mojo Active Adventures, a boutique adventure travel company that helps women change their feelings of intimidation about fitness, travel, friendship – you name it – to feelings of empowerment. Mojo Active Adventures achieves that empowerment through outdoor excursions and fitness-focused trips for the female adventure seeker. "We take the intimidation factor out of the equation by offering a safe, supportive and fun environment in which to sample new outdoor activities," Mathis says.

Through her business model, explorers embark on personalized trips organized by Mathis herself. "I personally plan each trip to ensure it meets our extremely high standards. By working closely with experts in each destination, we leverage local knowledge to ensure our guests have special access to the best activities." With Mathis' attention to detail, extensive knowledge in the field and her own empowered attitude, each trip is better than the last. Mojo Adventure participants have gone rappelling, white-water rafting, zip lining and more across the globe.

Before you say, "I could never do something like that," consider that Mathis was once in your very shoes. She spent years working a regular 9-to-5 as an advertising executive. When she stepped away from the advertising world to have her two kids, Mathis experienced the common desire to lose the weight that hangs around after pregnancy. That was when something clicked. Instead of being intimidated at the thought of hitting the gym, Mathis dove in headfirst. She explains, "I started working out with a trainer, began incorporating more strength work and variety into my fitness routine and connected with an awesome group of ladies. It eventually inspired me to get my training certification." Her kids are now ages 12 and 15, and Mathis, 43, is an ISSA certified trainer. She has specialties in boot camp instruction, speed and agility coaching and youth conditioning. She also teaches indoor cycling at Flywheel Sports. Now she guides other women to finding their own fitness activities that excite and inspire them. According to Mathis, Mojo Active Adventures seeks "active adult women who have a basic level of fitness and have a desire to get off the treadmill and try new things." So there's no prior experience needed to try an adventurous trip like this – all you need is the guts to do it.

MOLLY-GROUPWhen organizing her trips, Mathis focuses on destinations that truly go off of the beaten path. She says, "We look for that perfect blend of activities that offer a unique combination of physical and mental challenges with plenty of 'wow' factor." Trips planned for 2015 include San Juan, Puerto Rico as well as Colorado Springs, Colorado. Each trip aims to take wanderers on explorations they've never experienced before. "The caving adventure in Puerto Rico, for example, is ranked among National Geographic's Top 50 Journeys of a Lifetime. You simply have to take a ride into the rainforest to get to something like that," Mathis asserts. In essence, it's that first-time, exhilarating experience trip after trip that helps the Mojo Adventure participants stay excited about fitness. But of course, it's not just the thrills that make Mojo tours a must-have experience; it's equally about taking time to relax. "These trips are not about roughing it," Mathis assures. "We stay at nice places and enjoy well-earned rewards like spa services and wine tastings." The cost, which varies based on each trip's length and locale, covers all those extras up front to ensure a fun time for everyone.

Mathis has her sights set on Iceland for 2016, but next on the horizon for Mojo Active Adventures is helping expand their participants' fitness opportunities when the trips are over. "We are looking into enhancing some of our partnerships with area retailers and outfitters by offering 'Mini-Mojo' events in and around the Atlanta area. If someone learns, for example, that they really enjoy stand-up paddleboarding on a full-length trip, they have a path to explore that further when they get back home."

And that home portion is key since, of course, every workout can't be a trip through the rainforest. Mathis knows that an exciting, healthy getaway is only the beginning of a lifestyle of fitness, which she herself maintains. "When it comes to working out, I'm always mixing things up to keep it fun and get the best results." And while she doesn't stick to a diet regimen, Mathis does say that it's important to be cognizant of what's fueling your body. "I do believe in keeping it simple with basic, whole foods. As a trainer, I tell clients that 80 percent of success has to do with what you put in your mouth. Don't get me wrong, though – I'm all about healthy indulgences too."

When asked how she stays motivated, Mathis explains, "Honestly, it's a part of who I am. For sure, there are days when I'm feeling less than motivated or struggling to make it happen. However, find activities you love to do, surround yourself with others who share your interests and encourage you, and just make it a non-negotiable part of your day."

Another non-negotiable for Mathis: appreciating how far she's come and what she's built. Mathis acknowledges, "Starting this business has honestly been more fun than I could have imagined. To have the opportunity to meet so many incredible women, have an impact on their overall well-being and help create lasting memories and experiences is an unbelievable feeling." And those positive feelings are what make Molly Mathis and Mojo Active Adventures so successful; they spill over and give other women confidence, support and a whole lot of mojo.

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