This blog is addressed to those of you who have been a part of the Neuro Vitality Family in the past:

As we all know, this has been a very tough year for everyone. As the months go on, we are receiving more clarity on guidance that will allow us to return for in-person services here at the  Center. You may be aware that the Governor has stated that “everything” can open up again on June 15th. I am sad to say that that does not include our services. We are governed by the Department of Aging and they have a dictated a process that we have to comply with to ensure safe and secure opening. They are taking into account the fact we have been on-line, that we have had minimal staff and that we are concerned that all clients are able to enjoy in-person services with no concern for safety.  They are allowing for continuing on-line services to be available at least to October 1st and possibly to the end of the calendar year.

In the next 5 weeks we will be asking that all clients who are enrolled in the CBAS program and those who have been participating on-line will be asked to meet with Trent and Erin for a discussion about coming into the center for services, what it will mean to each of you, what you will need in terms of support and how we can help you join with your peers here at the center. As of July 6st, we will start to provide in person services and lunches to all of those who have met with our staff.

For all of you who are enrolled in the Parkinson’s programs with either Brenda or Mike, those services will continue in the afternoons on-line until October. For Mike’s speech clients, he will continue on-line services until October when we will be able to reevaluate the guidance from the State.

For those of you who were former clients here at the Center, we hope you will reconsider joining some on-line classes until such time as the center becomes available to all. We will be putting out monthly schedules of opportunities to join in activities in the afternoons. Classes will include light exercise, chat groups and perhaps some fun activities.

 As the situation changes and we are given new and/or differing guidance, we will keep you informed. Also, follow our Facebook page as we do post updates there on a regular basis. If any of you have questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 760-323-7676 or email me at .

We look forward to being able to see many of you in-person and to start on the road to fully opening and putting this public health emergency behind us.

Tips to Pump up Your Yoga Routine Anxiety-Free

Yoga is a practice that includes movement of the body, breathing techniques, and mental exercises. The body movements of yoga are slow and deliberate. The breathing techniques are measured and precise. Yoga involves a calming and centering of the mind in conjunction with the breathing and body movements to take full effect. Yoga exemplifies growth, challenges, and learning your own body. 

Go Deeper

Meditation and yoga go hand-in-hand, but it’s an aspect many enthusiasts overlook. Mindful meditation is more than just zoning out and letting your mind wander. The intention is to block out all other thoughts and focus solely on your true self. The daily flow of thoughts that run through your head must be set aside. It is difficult and takes practice to be successful, and as It can take decades to master advanced meditation techniques. Be patient with yourself.

It’s helpful to set up a space to encourage deeper meditation. For example, many people find it easiest to use guided meditation apps while they are home alone, in a place where they feel more open and relaxed. Consider apps like Aura or InsightTimer that you can enjoy from your phone or other devices so you can go wherever you need for some peace and quiet. Choose a spot free of distractions that you can turn into your own personal sanctuary.

You might want to add some incense, houseplants, or crystals to establish an appropriate atmosphere. Make sure you have a comfortable, supportive cushion as well. A few pieces of equipment can be a boon, too, like yoga blocks, straps, and a WristWand. Props like blocks and straps allow you to do poses with support, and a WristWand is ideal for those suffering with repetitive stress injuries.

It Only Takes a Few Minutes

Just a few minutes of yoga breathing, meditation or a simple pose can have great benefits. That’s how powerful it is. It’s okay to engage in as little as seven minutes of yoga asanas on days when time is tight. Don’t get so caught up in timelines and achievements that you don’t appreciate the opportunities you have. Remain focused on the positive, even on busy days.

Failing Is a Part of the Journey

It is impossible to grasp the entire concept of yoga and all its facets right off the bat, and even those with many years of yoga experience face challenges. Always remember that every failure is a perfect opportunity to learn and perfect your technique.

Set Goals

Yoga is about growth and discipline. The more you practice the better you get. A great way to measure your success is to consistently set goals. As you grow in skill and meet each goal you set, you gain a feeling of accomplishment along with the many benefits of advanced yoga.

While yoga is an ancient discipline, today’s technological advances make setting goals easier than ever. For instance, a fitness band like an Apple Watch or connected workout wear that tracks your movements can help you monitor your vital signs and alignment, so you can stay abreast of your progress during each workout and over time. While expensive, the benefits of new tech can outweigh the costs. There are also ways to save money on these devices, like looking for sales, coupons, and cashback offers. For example, some retailers have extended their holiday deals all year long.

Adapt and Advance

While the more advanced yoga techniques can be difficult to master, it isn’t hard to start learning yoga. Beginning yoga poses are simple, and there are many ways to adapt them to your level of skill. The key is to practice on a consistent basis and set goals that help you grow and progress.

Yoga is beneficial to every part of the human body. It can be mastered by starting with just a few minutes a day. Even a mild curiosity is enough to embark on this journey of strength and well-being, and a small step out of your comfort zone will result in a lifetime of reward.

Contributed by Sophie Letts,

Frontal Lobe Blog – End is in Sight!

The good news is everyone over 65 is eligible for vaccines in CA. The bad news is that they are not available. Okay guys we should be used to this by now. We have been living with changes in what the government tells us is good for us for many, many months. Let us hope we can learn coping skills from this experience to deal with constant change.

There are many programs that tell us to focus on the things we can control and to not fret over that which we cannot control. This pandemic has greatly reduced the sheer volume of things we can control and introduced a new level of government control into our lives. The overall fear of this disease appears to be easing our acceptance of measures by the state but regardless, there is very little that we can do to change things in the short term.

With all that is in chaos around us, let us all focus on what is most important to us. First, we need to stay healthy and not contract covid-19. We must practice the accepted guidelines like mask wearing, hand washing and social distancing. For those of us who are most vulnerable, it is wise to practice additional caution and avoid gatherings beyond our family members and to limit outings to necessities. We should be searching for ways to get vaccinated from as many sources as we can with the trust that once the numbers of vaccinated people increase, more public spaces will open and our lives will be improved. Yes, this is frustrating and annoying but keep at it until you succeed.

It is not necessary to be isolated. You can join in the on-line activities at Neuro Vitality Center, senior centers, UCR and many other sites who want you to keep your mind active and to socialize with others who are in this together. The continued lockdowns and warnings are by their nature designed to keep us apart. We thrive on being together so let us use our creativity and inventiveness to prove we can continue to grow and expand our knowledge, enjoy interacting in a virtual way and being with others in new and different manners. We may find that as the months go on and more things open us we may find returning to on-line groups and new friends made on-line will become another way for us to enjoy life to the fullest. The end of the pandemic is in sight. Let’s try to come out of this with new skills and a better ability to handle change and grow from it.

Creating a Personal Haven Through Mindful Meditation

Medical studies have shown that meditation and yoga have identifiable physical and emotional benefits. Mindful breathing, focus, and movement allow your body and your brain an opportunity to take a break from everyday stress and tension, which has increased substantially during the time of the coronavirus pandemic. Creating space and time in your life for these types of reflective, healing practices can be beneficial in a multitude of ways.

The Power of Meditation

Meditation is an integrative health practice, and as such, it has proven health benefits that transcend the better-known effects related to peace and serenity. For example, according to Insider, practicing yoga and meditation can help lower blood pressure, relax muscles, and decrease stress hormones, as well as help you sleep better, which is essential to overall health. It also helps clear your mind, allowing for greater focus in your work and creative pursuits. In some cases, meditation can help alleviate chronic pain. Perhaps most important, meditation is a solo pursuit that allows you some degree of mental “alone time,” even when you’re quarantining in a house full of people.  

Finding the Right Approach

There are many different approaches to meditation, and it may take a bit of experimentation to find the right fit. Some focus on purposeful breathing techniques or mindful presence; others are devoted to emotional centering and being relaxed in a state of calm repose. Meditation methods may be still and stoic or incorporate yoga-like movement and postures or the addition of calming scents or sounds. To learn what is most beneficial for you personally, explore, try different methods, and discover the approach that best meets your personal, mental, and emotional needs. 

Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can be practiced in concert with meditative practices, or on its own as a form of exercise. Much like meditation, there are a number of different types of yoga, including fast-paced fluid Vinyasa and the relaxation-focused Yin approach. If you’re new to the practice, start slow and work your way into more challenging poses. You may benefit from following online instructions to ensure you have the correct form. If you have physical constraints, you may benefit from chair yoga or modified poses that allow you to adapt different yoga moves to your own physical capabilities and comfort levels. Neuro Vitality Center offers several Yoga sessions which participants are free to join weekly, conducted by Brenda Crawford.

Creating a Space

Meditation and yoga are about centering, and quiet internal reflection, which are best achieved in a space free from distractions, noise, and interruption. Create a special place in your home that you can call yours and outfit it accordingly with yoga equipment, like mats, blocks, and bands. Make it a beautiful and comfortable environment and surround yourself with things that bring you joy and peace, whether it’s artwork, a particular scent, or a beautifully comfortable lounge chair. Invest in noise-canceling headphones or earbuds so you can block out any unwanted intrusions.

Making a Clean Sweep

In addition to carving out a special place in your home for quiet reflection, consider the associated benefits of living in an overall clean and decluttered environment. Getting rid of unwanted and unneeded items, letting in fresh air, and creating a sense of a fresh, purposeful new start can provide a great mental and emotional boost. Donate useful items to charity to ensure others benefit as you make room for more purposeful living. 

Self-care is often overlooked by busy people as something there simply isn’t time for. However, relaxation practices like meditation and yoga can help clear your mind, reduce stress and tension, and actually put you in a better state for taking care of other important things in your life, including work and family. Think of this activity as essential personal time and schedule it on your calendar just as you would any other important appointment. You’ll be more refreshed, focused, and ready to take on life’s challenges.

Contributed by Sophie Letts,

Frontal Lobe Blog – contributor Beverly Greer, CEO, Neuro Vitality Center

We are heading into our 8th month of staying at home, social distancing, wearing masks, and listening to experts tell us what is best for us while we continue to be isolated from our friends and, in many cases, our loved ones. We expected that if we complied with the state mandates and stayed home and restricted all our activities that in a few weeks we would be able to get back to normal life. In our case this meant going to the Center, seeing our friends, working on our therapies and getting better. But here it is November and the Center remains closed to clients and there is no end in sight. California is caught up in its colored tier system that talks about schools, businesses, churches and other group activities but our Centers and other services like ours are not even on the plan until well after the 4th tier.

So what are we to do? If we have been sitting at home and waiting for the services to open up again, we need to accept that it will be a long time before we are able to live the way we did pre-COVID-19. If we really are honest, it will probably be when an effective vaccine is available, we are vaccinated and all the staff at the Centers are vaccinated. Even then, we will probably be checked at the door and asked to restrict our activities as we slowly return to a system that allows us to feel safe from either spreading or catching this virulent virus – remember viruses are stubborn. We don’t have a cure for the common cold, we vaccinate every year for the flu but it mutates and returns. Will COVID-19 evolve into COVID-20 , 21, 22? Will there be a yearly vaccine like for the flu? Will it remain as strong and dangerous or will it become more like the seasonal flu. These are all questions that we can’t answer but they direct us to understand that we need to adapt to the changes that have occurred and do the best for us to continue working on getting better and thriving.

How do we do that? First thing to realize is that if you are reading this, you have access to the internet and that is a big bonus. Take an inventory of ways you have to join others, to get therapies, to enjoy meals, to learn new skills. It may be your cell phone, your computer, the home phone, or your tablet. The first thing is to realize you don’t need to do this alone. We have a brand-new team here at NVC ready and able to assist. Give Dr. Jay Seller (760- 323- 7676) a call and tell him you are interested in getting involved. Tell him you are tired of sitting at home and are bored with watching TV all day. Tell him the kinds of things you like to do and the goals and aims you have for your health and for your well-being. Let us see what we can do together to make our lives better.

You are reading this on our new web site to give a better indication of what you can do now that the Center is not available for in person services – check out the Events page. We are working hard to develop services that will bring you together with others to support and learn form each other. We are staying active in bodies and in minds, we are doing speech therapies, group counseling, educational programs, social programs and that is just the start.

You remember we have always said that we never give up on anyone – now it is time for us to dig deep into ourselves and not give up or give in to this virus. We will continue to thrive, to help each other and to work together to be better.

Even better, our services might be covered by your insurance. Let’s get the conversation rolling. This means you caregivers too. – Contributed by Beverly Greer, CEO, Neuro Vitality Center

A Guide to Preventing (and Managing) Anxiety Attacks

Contributing writer, Sofie Letts,

Anxiety disorders come with a myriad of unpleasant symptoms, but for many, the anxiety or panic attack is the most alarming and challenging of them all. Anxiety attacks can look and feel many different ways, but they all come down to stress, fear, or other negative emotions hitting an overwhelming breaking point.

Anxiety is a common element in many broader health issues, and the Neuro Vitality Center understands how stress plays a role in overall neurological health. The good news is, there are many extremely effective ways to prevent and manage anxiety attacks. We’re going to take a look at some of the tools you can use to cope with this anxiety symptom:

Recognize The Early Signs of Anxiety

Learn How to Recognize The Early Signs
Once an anxiety attack is in full tilt, it’s much harder (but not impossible; we’ll get to that) to get out of that state. However, in the minutes leading up to an anxiety attack there are often external triggers and internal cues that can clue you in and give you time to head the attack off at the pass.

External triggers are things that happen to or around you that spike your anxiety. This could be a fight with a family member, hearing bad news, walking into a messy room – anything that might increase the intensity of unpleasant emotions. Internal cues are things like racing thoughts, increased heart rate, or feeling fidgety.

Use a journal or mood-tracking app so you can begin to recognize these cues and triggers, and then come up with a game plan. If a messy room makes you overwhelmed, work on turning your home into a calming and happy space. If you always feel overheated before a panic attack, start doing calming exercises as soon as you notice that symptom.

Develop Coping Tools
There are several anti-anxiety coping methods that are really effective at preventing anxiety attacks. These can work in the crucial moments before an anxiety attack kicks off, but they’re most effective when practiced regularly. For example, mindfulness is a great tool that’s made all the better when you do it regularly. PsychCentral recommends spending at least ten minutes being mindful every day. Remember, mindfulness isn’t just about meditation. You can mindfully go on a walk, eat dinner, do the dishes; every single moment provides an opportunity to live in the present.

It’s also good to practice de-escalation coping skills, such as mantras, journaling and rhythmic breathing, while you’re not panicked. These are great for those moments just before an anxiety attack, but it can be hard to remember how to do them. If you’re practiced, you’ll have an easier time using the skill effectively.

When Attacks Happen Even if you get very good at seeing and reacting to the warning signs of an anxiety attack, sometimes it’s going to get away from you. Once you’re in a heightened state, tools like mantras just aren’t going to cut it. This is because, during an anxiety attack, your body is in fight or flight mode. You need to address the physical aspect of the attack before you can make headway on the mental side.

One way to do this is to do a grounding exercise, such as holding an ice cube. This can wake you up to your body and help bring you into the present moment. Vigorous exercise, such as doing jumping jacks as fast as you can, can burn off some of your excess adrenaline, lowering the intensity of your body’s response.

One shockingly effective tool is to trigger the Diver’s Response. You can do so by dunking your face into a bowl of cold water, or even just by leaning face-forward into an ice pack and holding your breath for a short period of time. There’s solid science behind how this works, and Breatheology explains it can bring your emotional intensity down in a matter of seconds.

Anxiety attacks are scary and exhausting, but you can prevent and manage them with practice. You deserve a life without anxiety. We hope these tools help you discover how to achieve it.

If you need guidance or resources for managing a neurological disorder, the Neuro Vitality Center is ready to help. 760-323-7676