“Health Fitness Equipment” Doesn’t Really Focus On Health, Does It?

“Health fitness equipment” is a tricky phrase. When you first see it, it probably makes a whole lot of sense. Health is derived from fitness and fitness is developed by using equipment, right? Well, not really… in fact, you could become really fit and never touch a piece of gym equipment for the rest of your life.

Another aspect to this phrase is the word “health.” On the whole, semantics and philosophies set aside – most people see fitness as health, and believe when they get fit – they are now healthy. As I have pointed out in previous articles, health always comes before fitness and fitness must be attained in order to maintain health. Sounds a little confusing, doesn’t it? In fact, sounds like a play on words, with a hint of nonsense thrown in for good measure I imagine. I admit there’s an air of silliness when explaining this principle, however, as silly as it may sound – it is 100% true.

Health is made up of several factors, with fitness playing its part as well. However, in order to maintain great health, you have to create health on the inside first, which will then flow outwards to your physical form. This is why the phrase “health fitness equipment” is so lop-sided. It only focuses on the equipment used in fitness workouts – that’s it. How about the phrase “health” equipment? Is there such a thing? Absolutely!

When I hear the phrase “health equipment” I think of juicers, blenders, food processors, skin brushes, Sisal gloves, etc. The only problem is when everyone else hears it – they don’t think of the same stuff! My brother used to be a telephone field technician for over 10 years, and he said he must’ve visited almost every single house and building in his area of the city where he worked. In his time there he noticed, almost every single home or apartment he stepped into had at least one piece of workout equipment in it. At the same time, he almost never saw a juicer and if he saw a blender, it either had a fine layer of dust on it or it was placed right next to the alcohol where drinks were made. That was literally the extent of the health equipment in peoples’ homes, and we wonder why disease is running rampant, as more and more of us succumb to heart disease, cancer and all rest.

Type in the phrase “health fitness equipment” into any search engine and you’ll get back a ton of sites dedicated to showing all the best stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and stair masters on the planet. Don’t get me wrong, all this stuff is cool and it has real value… but it isn’t necessary and it isn’t as important as what you put into your body first. You can put your money together and buy a great food processor or blender that you’ll use many times to create healthy, nutritious meals; instead of using a bunch of equipment at the gym you have to wait and fight for or buying a piece of equipment that ends up becoming a second closet.

It’s just as easy to go to a local park or building and climb the stairs there, rather than using a stair master in a gym with stale air. In fact, it’s probably better. You’re outside and breathing in the fresh air if you’re in the park. If you’re climbing up the stairs of a building you get to use the elevator on the way down after your workout – what can beat that?! Seriously, getting “Fit” in America has become synonymous with expensive, and it doesn’t have to be. In all honesty, the bulk of your “wellness budget” will probably go on your food – it shouldn’t be going towards the equipment you use to become and stay fit.

Legendary salesman Zig Ziglar was famous for saying, “Never settle for the ‘get-by’ when in the long run, the good costs less.” When you buy quality products, they work better and last longer and that’s the kind of value most of us look for when we’re considering a purchase. Why settle for a stationary bike in a gym, when you can buy a quality bike and go riding outside where you can see real people and real sites. Why go to a gym to walk on a treadmill when you can strap on your sneakers and walk around your neighborhood and go meet new people see great visuals in your own background.

Am I against gyms and fitness equipment? Hardly, I think everything has its place. But I also know that there are many more overweight people in America today than there are people who aren’t, and this is with an explosion in gyms, gym memberships and new fitness equipment. We’ve forgotten the reason we get fit is to be able to be more active. To be able to go do whatever activity we want to, including sexual activity as well. Too many men are falling prey to this belief that their male mojo withers away by the time they reach their 40’s… are you kidding me? If you’re eating correctly, staying active, and are physically and mentally fit – you should be ready to rock and roll whenever the moment presents itself. This goes for women as well.

If we are going to focus on phrases like “health fitness equipment,” than I believe we need to do with the proper perspective. Let’s get into “health” first, build that up and get fit in the process. There’s never been a time in history when so much has been available to us to be able to get into the best physical and mental shape, any generation before us has ever seen. Take advantage of it and get busy building up your health and fitness… in the proper order of course.

Women’s Mental Health – Types of Therapy

Hi Ladies,

Please don’t feel offended or ashamed of the terms women’s mental health, when being applied to you/us specifically. After age 40 so much is happening to us, so many changes and transitions. We don’t understand what is going on in our bodies. This means the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts of our bodies.

A discussion of women’s mental health will usually entail therapy of some sort. There is no way to avoid it. O.K.?

In this article, try to see the connections between women’s mental health and her family. She is involved and a primary member. She may have her own personal mental health problems as well as those of her children and family. Women have a tremendous burden on their shoulders–and her mental health is strained and affected, to say the least.

What is therapy?

Women’s mental health therapy is a way to help you understand yourself better and to cope better. Being in therapy does not mean you are crazy. Everyone has problems. Therapy is one way to help yourself with your problems.

Some of the problems that can be helped with therapy include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • drug or alcohol abuse
  • eating disorders
  • sleep problems
  • anger
  • grief

There are many different types of women’s mental health therapies, which work well for other’s also. One kind of therapy might work best for you, such as play therapy for small children, or family therapy for family conflicts. The kind of therapy that is best for you depends on what best meets your needs.

What types of women’s mental health therapies are there?

The more common types of therapy are:

Art Therapy. Drawing, painting, or working with clay with an art therapist can help you express things that you may not be able to put into words. Art therapists work with children, teens, and adults, including people with disabilities.

Behavioral Therapy-works well for women’s mental health issues. This type of therapy is very structured and goal oriented. It starts with what you are doing now, and then helps you change your behavior. Behavioral therapists may use techniques such as:

  • Exposure therapy or desensitization. First you learn ways to relax. Then you learn to face your fears while you practice these relaxation skills.
  • Aversive therapy. This pairs something unpleasant with a behavior to help you stop the behavior. For example, putting something that tastes bitter on a child’s thumb to help stop thumb-sucking.
  • Role-playing. This may help you be more assertive or help resolve conflicts between family members.
  • Self-monitoring, or keeping a log of your daily activities. This may help identify which behaviors are causing you problems.

Biofeedback. This type of therapy can help you learn to control body functions such as muscle tension or brain wave patterns. Biofeedback can help with tension, anxiety, and physical symptoms such as headaches.

Cognitive Therapy. This type of therapy takes the approach that how you think affects how you feel and behave. This therapy helps you recognize unhealthy ways of thinking that keep you stuck. You learn to identify automatic negative thoughts such as:

  • “I never do anything right”
  • “The world is always against me”
  • “If I don’t succeed all the time I am a failure.”

You learn how to change your thoughts and this can lead to changed behaviors. It can also improve self-esteem and confidence. Cognitive-behavioral therapy combines behavior and cognitive therapy methods.

EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing). In EMDR the therapist helps you cope with feelings and thoughts about distressing past events. You move your eyes back and forth, usually following the therapist’s hand or pen, while you recall the event. This type of therapy is considered by many to be experimental.

Women’s mental health/Family or Couples Therapy. Family therapists view the family as a system. They work with the whole family rather than just one person. The goal is for family members to openly their express feelings and to find ways to change negative family patterns.

Women’s mental health related to Couples therapy helps partners improve their ability to communicate with each other. It may help you decide what changes are needed in the relationship and in the behavior of each partner. Both partners then work to learn new behaviors. There are different forms of couples therapy.

Women’s mental health/Group Therapy. In group therapy a small number of people (6 to 10) meet regularly with a therapist. There are many types of therapy groups. Some focus on a specific problem such as anger management. Process groups do not focus on a single topic, but instead explore issues raised by members. Short-term groups are problem-focused and meet for a limited time, such as 6 to 12 weeks. Long-term groups deal with ongoing issues such as self-esteem.

Massage Therapy. Massage therapy may help to reduce anxiety and stress.

Women’s mental health and Pharmacological Therapy (Medicines). Medicines can help improve your mental well-being. They may be prescribed by a psychiatrist or your healthcare provider. Your provider will work with you to carefully select the right medicine for you. There are many kinds of psychiatric medicines.

  • Antipsychotics may help with psychosis or other conditions.
  • Mood stabilizers may be used to treat mood problems such as bipolar disorder.
  • Antidepressants may help with depression or anxiety.
  • Antianxiety medicines may be prescribed to treat anxiety disorders.

The right medicine may improve symptoms so that other kinds of treatment are more effective. Medicines may also be used alone.

Play Therapy. Play therapy allows children to act out their problems with toys and games. Play therapists help a child feel more confident and less fearful.

Psychoanalytic Therapy. This type of therapy was developed by Sigmund Freud. In this type of therapy, you work to uncover things from your past that affect your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This kind of therapy can take years. It usually involves meeting several times a week. It can be quite costly.

Psychodynamic Therapy. This type of therapy helps you bring your true feelings to the surface. If you repress (purposely forget) or deny painful thoughts, feelings, and memories, they can still affect your life. Once you are aware of these repressed thoughts, feelings, and memories they become less painful.

Psychoeducational Therapy. This type of therapy involves the therapist teaching instead of the client talking. You may learn about disorders, treatment options, and how to cope with symptoms. Therapists may provide you with useful information or may help you learn different skills. They work with individuals and groups.

Relaxation Therapies. Learning ways to relax can help to reduce anxiety and stress. Yoga and meditation may also be helpful.

Your guide to empowerment and good health!

How Broken is the Mental Health Delivery System?

Most psychotherapists agree that the mental health delivery system is broken. Where two or more psychotherapists are gathered together, complaints abound. While this article addresses the broken mechanics is the mental health delivery system, it does not even begin to address the mishandling of individual cases.

People, in general, and psychotherapists, in particular, are afraid to “buck the system.” Fear masquerades in a variety of acting out, defensive behaviors, such as anger, denial, criticism, withdrawal and aggression.

This is especially true when discussing the managed care system. Most psychotherapists in the US have chosen to practice as in-network providers for the insurance companies. That means that the therapists have agreed to a discounted fee, in hopes of receiving more referrals, because they are in-network. It also means the therapist usually must have their services authorized prior to seeing the clients.

After all, our present mental health delivery system, which has been around since the early 1980s, has developed inbred power, not only in individuals but in the system itself. I can remember the anger of my clients 25 years ago, when the found their insurance company dictating the amount and kinds of service they could receive, but within five years, as a nation we accepted the managed care concept without a fight.

Therefore, I am challenging a very large, money-hungry system, established to feed on itself, but not adequately supply services that meet the needs of its members or the realistic needs of the health care providers.

So I challenge anyone to deny that our present mental health delivery system is fragile and broken. Here are eight reasons why;

  1. Diagnosis is made by professionals who are not in intimate touch with those individuals who come for help. Insurance companies and third party payers demand a medical diagnosis before they will reimburse for a claim, starting with the first visit. It is unrealistic that under the present delivery system today that most psychotherapists can positively and accurately determine the diagnosis code required.
  2. The diagnosis criteria often change from one edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual(DSM) to the next Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the psychotherapists diagnostic bible. For instance, a common presenting problem is identity disorder. Yet identity disorder is no longer listed in the DSM, so therapists may have to “fudge” a bit on the diagnosis…if they want to get reimbursed. Further complicating the situation is the fact that not all DSM diagnoses are reimbursible. Because many insurance companies will not reimburse for autistic spectrum disorders, therapists become creative.
  3. Thousands of individuals who need therapy are not receiving it. In these economic times, small businesses are dropping health insurance as a benefit. Because of the high cost of insurance for even large corporations, many are increasing the cost of insurance to their employees, and many benefit packages have very high deductibles and larger co-payments due at the time of visits.
  4. All therapists are not created equal, when it comes to their skills. I recommend that the terminal degree for all psychotherapists (except hypnotherapists) would be a Ph.D., not necessarily in psychology. Many agencies use B.A. degreed graduates or even interns “to do therapy,” because they are supervised by licensed clinicians.
  5. Costs of our present mental health delivery system are often prohibitive, while third party payers often offer fewer benefits with higher deductibles for mental health. Mental health still appears in all practicality to be exempt from the Parity Law. My personal clients generally have seen higher co-payments for specialists (mental health is a specialty), while being given unlimited visits. What my clients do not realize is that some of them are paying almost my entire fee, leaving the insurance companies responsible for $10 or $15 per session in many cases.
  6. Managed Care companies often outsource their customer service to India, Argentina or the Philippines, and benefits are quoted inaccurately by people struggling with basic language skills.
  7. Some of the largest managed care companies simply require a completed computerized form to obtain an authorization for service. Upon submission of the form, initial visits or additional visits are granted automatically without any human review. I assume that there is a pre-set criteria, set by the company, that must be met for this to happen. In some cases immediate authorization is not given but forwarded for further evaluation by a live body.
  8. Most important of all, mental health care is not directed by the client and the health care professional. Until 2010, therapists could see individuals for a specific, often limited number of sessions based upon their insurance benefit package and/or the authorization from the insurance companies. Furthermore, many therapists feel that therapy is something that is done to the client, rather than building a partnership for brief therapy treatment planning.

If this does not mean the mental health system is broken, what does?