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Maggie DeMellier

Maggie DeMellier

Maggie DeMellier has been Health Journeys go-to customer service representative and marketing associate since March 2012. She worked as a surgical technician and pharmacy technician before she earned a BA in Mass Media Communication at The University of Akron. She operates a freelance writing business, specializing in medical ads, news articles, police blotters, features and business writing.  She was a teacher at a career college for six years, and earned a MA in Forensic Psychology in 2010. Maggie is the co-author of Parenting by Law or Grace, published by Synchronisity Press, in 2004.

"Shirley is a psychotherapist who specializes in self-esteem and anxiety related issues, and is an award-winning (2003 Milton H. Erickson Award for Scientific Excellence) expert at helping people examine their patterns and change their behavior, thanks to the removed, safe perspective of a light, hypnotic trance state."—Belleruth Naparstek

Creating Satisfying Relationships
By Dr. Shirley McNeal

I am a psychologist who has been in private practice for more than forty years. During this period of time I have spoken with many individuals, both men and women, who want to understand their relationship issues in order to increase the possibility of finding partners who will be the right match for them.

Much has been written about love at first sight and finding your heart's desire, and we know about the laws of attraction and what brings people together in the beginning. However, after the initial infatuation wanes, what enables the relationship to continue in a satisfying and healthy manner? What keeps love alive and allows relationships to last?

The great thing about giving yourself a gift is that you don't have to wait for a holiday to enjoy it. The really great thing about giving yourself a gift before the hectic holiday season is that an act of self-kindness can help access the creative, giving spirit in you and make it more fun to give gifts to others.

From a simple walk in the park to a mini-shopping trip just for you, there are many ways to reward yourself, and provide a well-deserved treat for body and soul. When you are feeling appreciated and rewarded, it's amazing how easily you can think of the perfect gift for someone, food to serve, outfit to wear and even find more time to savor the real meaning of the season.

Because you have been so good to us this year, Health Journeys is rewarding you by granting your requests for more aromatherapy products. Check out the aromatherapy goodies in our online store, just in time for holiday gift giving and self-giving.

The theme for National Family Caregivers Month is Respite: Care for Caregivers. It's a universal theme. Each of us has been a caregiver, needed a caregiver or loved someone who was a caregiver at some time in our lives.

When I think of family caregivers, what pops to mind is what I call the oxygen mask speech. Before taking off for a flight on a commercial airplane, passengers are given instructions by a flight attendant who tells them that if the air pressure in the cabin changes for any reason, an oxygen mask will be released to each person.

Passengers who are flying with small children or people who would need assistance in putting on the masks are told that it's important for them to put on their own masks before assisting the other person.

Because the pancreas is the organ responsible for insulin production, the best way to be kind to your pancreas is to follow the recommendations for treating or preventing diabetes.

During American Diabetes Awareness Month, we are urged to eat right, move more, sit less and above all—be aware of how our daily choices directly and indirectly affect our over-all health, whether we have diabetes, care for someone who has diabetes or simply wish to prevent it.

To stay abreast of the most recent information about diabetes, read the American Diabetes Association's 2015 Fact Sheet.


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Since 1992, the month of November has been designated to raise awareness of hospice and palliative care and provide information about important care issues for people coping with serious illness. This year's theme is Hospice.Helps.Everyone.

This November, hospices across the country are reaching out to raise awareness and dispel myths about hospice and palliative care. For example, some people believe that hospice is a place, but 70 percent of hospice care takes place for patients who are in their own homes.

Are you a lark, who prefers an early-morning schedule; an owl who likes to stay up late and sleep in or a hummingbird, who can more easily adapt to either situation?

"One in ten of us is an up-at-dawn, raring-to-go early bird, or lark. About two in ten are owls, who enjoy staying up long past midnight. The rest of us, those in the middle, whom we call hummingbirds, may be ready for action both early and late. Some hummingbirds are more larkish, and others, more owlish," according to The Body Clock Guide to Better Health: How to Use Your Body's Natural Clock to Fight Illness and Achieve Maximum Health by Michael Smolensky and Lynne Lamberg.

To find out more about determining which bird you are, read an excerpt from the book: Are You a Lark, an Owl or a Hummingbird?

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. To find out more, go to How the American Cancer Society Fights Breast Cancer.

To learn more about prevention of breast cancer, read Andrew Weil's Six Ways to Minimize Your Risk of Breast Cancer.

Here at Health Journeys, we often hear from cancer patients who ask for assistance in choosing the resources that would work best for their situations. We also hear from people who tell us how guided imagery helped them through their surgery or assisted them during treatment and are seeking resources for other issues, such as self-confidence, weight loss or sports performance.

“Domestic violence impacts women, men, and children of every age, background, and belief. During National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we reaffirm our dedication to forging an America where no one suffers the hurt and hardship that domestic violence causes -- and we recommit to doing everything in our power to uphold the basic human right to be free from violence and abuse.”—Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, 2015

During October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) urges us to wear and feature the color purple as a way to tell others why ending domestic violence is important to us. We are invited to join the NNEDV's National #PurpleThursday thunderclap on October 22.

The flu and winter cold season is expected to come early this year and stay late, according to the CDC's research from Australia and New Zealand. Talk about an unwelcome guest!

For tips on preventing and treating flu, read the CDC's What You Should Know for the 2015-2016 Influenza Season.

It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Given the escalating cost of today's pound of cure, we would all be wise to arm ourselves with whatever holistic preventive measures we have, while making use of what medical science has to offer in the way of prevention, including a flu shot.

“In your heart is the future of our planet. You can make a difference through passion, compassion and love.”—Emmett Miller, from Healing Our Planet

One of the best ways you can take part in healing the planet is to develop a deep appreciation for it, as a living entity. If you love something, it is difficult to consciously do anything to harm it. If you have not initiated a relationship with our living planet, try it and see for yourself the wonder that surrounds and supports us at all times.

One exercise you can try involves just looking at the sky. When you go outside, look at the sky and slowly turn around in a complete circle, noticing that it is always there, all around you. Some days it is bright blue. Other days it is gray, with bits of orange or yellow peeking through, and sometimes it is pale blue, with fluffy clouds. Once in a while, it displays colors and patterns, like a moveable painting, but it is always there, all around you and above you. Once you do this, you might find yourself noticing the sky a lot more often, and you will not be as likely to miss the gift of a fire-y sunset display or a star-studded night sky.