Blog Articles

Many Roads: A Brief View of Our Diverse yet Common Roads of Transcendence

On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, My Mind My Health hosted by Dr. Vernon Barksdale for Voice America satellite radio airs episode 12 entitled, “Many Roads: A Brief View of Our Diverse yet Common Roads of Transcendence” with special guests.

Our 13-week series began with the discussion of the medical facts that support the power of mind within the body and as interface with our spiritual existence.  Across cultures and centuries, medicine and man’s spirituality have been one, separated by devotion to science or to faith.   Now, as new partners, they bring optimal wellness.  So let’s look at some of the different spiritual and cultural strengths of east and west, of mind and heart, when it comes to promoting wellness.  What can these different and diverse cultures offer to promote our wellness?  What do they have in common?  We have heard from some thought leaders.  Now, let’s hear from people who are searching and finding answers they are putting to use for daily well-being as well as for helping others overcome health challenges.  We have some young and exciting people to learn from today.  We’ll also return some of our prior guests to join our discussion.

Guests for this Episode
Tehmina Choudhary was born in Pakistan and raised a Muslim.  She has been able to see the one God shining through the ritual of the Hindu Temple or Mosque.  She has been a member of the Sant Nirankari Mission, The Universal Brother, since 2005. This mission teaches that, no matter which religion you practice, you realize there is only one God. The mission is known for its universal brotherhood, where people of different religions can gather and share their faith. Tehmina is a 3rd year medical student.

Vivek Sahajwani, a native of India, is also a member of the Sant Nirankari and had a unique exposure to spiritual healers in India. This experience gives a broader view of health challenges. His spiritual journey has brought him to Sant Nirankari, where he has found universal acceptance of all faiths through the fundamental belief in one God. He is a 4th year medical student with a goal to build a hospital in India.

We also welcome back former guests Chana Carro & Dr. Padma Aking.

Bridging the Taboo – A Cultural View of Psychiatry: India to America

On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, My Mind My Health hosted by Dr. Vernon Barksdale for Voice America satellite radio airs episode 11 entitled, “Bridging the Taboo – A Cultural View of Psychiatry: India to America” with special guests Dr. Padma Aking.

From classical Indian dance to practicing psychiatrist, Dr. Padma Aking brings a unique perspective on mental health.  She has a successful psychiatric practice in Phoenix, as well as an understanding of mental health challenges in eastern and western cultures. Are there ways of looking at and formulating treatment that differ due to eastern philosophies? What is the impact of western values on how mental illness is understood in India? What can we learn from eastern ways of life that may help us overcome mental and other health challenges in the west?  How can the east benefit from what we have developed in psychiatric medicine in the west?  What do we have in common and where are we still far apart?  Perhaps east and west have the best balance via mutual respect and shared values.

About Dr. Aking
Dr. Padma Aking is a practicing psychiatrist in Phoenix, AZ.  She was born in Hyderabad, India, and moved to the US a couple of decades ago.  Aking is also an Indian classical dancer and used this dance forum recently to present “Mind Matters,” a unique representation of psychiatric illnesses, in an effort to reduce stigma and increase mental health awareness. This is an innovative approach designed to start conversations about mental illnesses in a more acceptable way, especially in the East Indian population, where psychiatric illnesses are still viewed as taboo.

Feeding the Mind: Food & Supplements—What is the Right Balance?

On Tuesday, May 31, 2011, My Mind My Health hosted by Dr. Vernon Barksdale for Voice America satellite radio airs episode 10 entitled, “Feeding the Mind: Food & Supplements—What is the Right Balance?” with special guests Dr Marc Lemay and Dr. Stuart Menn.

We can’t talk about wellness of mind and body without talking about nutritional support for the body and the brain.  When you get right down to the building blocks of who we are, one of the keystones of our wellness is what we put in our bodies.  We’ve been talking about the different abilities of mind to activate our immune system, conquer stress or interface with our transcendent self.  Mind and body should get the best “food for thought.”  Our guests represent the cutting edge of nutrition research and applied science in supplementation that must meet the standards of several world health agencies besides the US FDA.  How much supplementation is enough?  What type is best?  Who’s ensuring the purity and bioavailability?  Can they be safely used with conventional medication?  Why not just eat organic foods in adequate quantity and variety – if you can afford it?  Is there a way to know what you need specifically?  Can supplements slow the aging process? This is important information … after all, you are what you eat!

About The Guests
Marc Lemay, PhD, CCTI is senior scientist and clinical researcher at the Nutrilite Health Institute.  His specialty is research and development of new products for global markets.  He designed a controlled clinical trial and consumer use study of ClearGuard, the first dietary supplement shown to be equivalent to a prescription drug for allergy symptom relief.  He has been a frequent speaker on nutrition and health for international organizations.  He is a thought leader in the science of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, and on the future of food supplementation.

Stuart Menn, MD, is a practicing sleep medicine physician and clinical researcher who has made nutrition and supplementation important parts of his medical practice.  His work in sleep medicine, and in obesity as a frequent cause of sleep ailments, required a new approach to diet and supplementation.  His patients have enhanced wellness through replenishment of their nutritional deficiencies.

The Family Gets Sick Together–The Family Gets Well Together

On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, My Mind My Health hosted by Dr. Vernon Barksdale for Voice America satellite radio airs episode 9 entitled, “The Family Gets Sick Together–The Family Gets Well Together” with very special guest Chana Carro.

Two weeks ago, guest Chana Carro discussed some of the background issues and reasons for the incorporation of a spiritual power in the 12 step programs of AA.  This week, she’ll be sharing some of her insights on how the disease of addiction causes spiritual detriment to the individual and their family or loved ones. Many traumas happen during the course of the dis-ease of addiction. Perhaps the greatest tragedy and oft-untreated outcome of addiction is the people exposed to the destructive behaviors of the addict.  Why do people subject themselves to such trauma over years of abuse?  What makes healthy boundaries so hard to maintain?  How often is family survival at the expense of losing the addict?  We’ll be talking about these and other questions with Chana on our next show.

About Ms. Carro
Chana Carro is a Diplomat in Clinical Social Work, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor with 24 years’ experience in the treatment of addiction.  Chana has a master’s degree in Social Work.  She is the former Executive Director of Outpatient Services at Seafield Center in Westhampton Beach, NY.  Chana’s post-graduate studies in the Anthropology Department at Arizona State University explored spirituality and addiction, with a special emphasis on addiction in the Jewish Community.  Chana was Associate Faculty at ASU and ASU West and has taught in the Graduate School of Social Work where she developed a specialty course entitled Faith Based Intervention in Social Work Practice.  She is particularly sensitive to the impact of addiction on the whole family system and her research has included work in the Religious Studies Department exploring spirituality as it is expressed in the Twelve Step model of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Hope, Empowerment and Spirituality: Wellness through Recovery Pathways

On Tuesday, May 17, 2011, My Mind My Health hosted by Dr. Vernon Barksdale for Voice America satellite radio airs episode 8 entitled, “Hope, Empowerment and Spirituality: Wellness Through Recovery Pathways” with special guests from Recovery Innovations International

This week we turn our sights on mental health challenges and strategies to return wellness. We have been redefining the concept of wellness in this series, expanding its scope and strategies for achievement.  Are you getting the message that we are wholly capable of wellness?  Perhaps we should do a 180 and see ill health and many other challenges as imbalances in our “wellness” system.  Is there a way to apply wellness concepts to other areas of our lives?  It’s time to discuss how this works with people actively pursuing their personal recovery of wellness.  Our guests are not professionals but everyday people living the process and finding success through the 5 Recovery Pathways to accomplish their goals, reconnect to themselves and others and develop a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in life.

About Recovery Innovations International
Peer support staff of Recovery Innovations International; “A community of people on their journey to wellness.”  They ascribe to the 9 dimensions of wellness that include social, intellectual, spiritual and occupational dimensions.  Meet Kathy, Yvette, Rebecca, Julie and Mary Jane on the show, and find their organization at