Anita Kemp Ph.D. Blog

Ideas for a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Mind Over Body

Please take a look at Jo Marchant’s Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body. There are many wonderful chapters on the power of the mind that can benefit everyone. Did you know that hypnosis is the only effective treatment for IBS? Did you know that even if someone is told that they are taking a placebo pill, it still works? If you are given a placebo painkiller that looks identical, at least 95% of people have a positive response. Hypnosis for pain relief influences the area of the brain involved in pain perception. It creates a real effect. I’ll let you read the rest.

August 8, 2016 Posted by | health | , | Leave a comment

Common Medications That May Be Linked to Dementia

The July/August Scientific American Mind has two very interesting articles concerning common medications and a possible link with dementia. Do you take a proton-pump inhibitor? These are medications such as Nexium and Prilosec. A study of 73,679 elder individuals found that dementia was found more often in those taking these drugs. This study was published in JAMA Neurology in February. There is an association not a causation.

The other class of drugs to be wary of are statins which are used to lower cholesterol and becoming very common. Neurological effects can be produced by these drugs. Apparently some people are more susceptible than others for unknown reason. Some people develop ALS type symptoms with muscle wasting and may also be related to dementia. Some more common side effects are fatigue, cognition problems, poor sleep, peripheral neuropathy.

So be aware and look into healthy diet and exercise instead.

June 19, 2016 Posted by | health | Leave a comment

The Placebo Impact

There is so much information on the positive benefits of placebos. Here is some more. When Diazepam for anxiety is given without the patient knowing that he/she received it, there is no impact at all. This indicates that most if not all of the impact of drugs like Valium and Ativan is due to the placebo effect. This is good news. It means that we ourselves create the change in our bodies and receive relaxation from the belief that this should be happening. This indicates that relaxation training can be as successful as drugs.

Even more good news! For chronic pain, a study found that an intravenous injection of a saline solution and telling the patient that they are receiving a painkiller is as potent as 6-8 mg of morphine and this hold true for other pain killers as well. So what is causing the pain relief? Our own brain/body. This has also been studied with brain imaging and finding impact on the brain from expectation alone.

Check out this new book by Jo Marchant CURE: A JOURNEY INTO THE SCIENCE OF MIND OVER BODY.

March 28, 2016 Posted by | Emotional Well Being | Leave a comment

Gut Microbes and Your Moods

Absolutely read David Perlmutter’s new book BRAIN MAKER. He is a neurologist who has worked with and studied various mental health conditions such as ADHD, Autism, Depression and Dementia from the point of view of healthy diet and keeping the microbes in the body happy. There is fascinating information here that can benefit everyone. The gut bacteria are involved in producing 80-90% of your serotonin and have their own immune system which is 70-80% of your total immune system. If you need more incentive to read this book – certain gut bacteria are related to weight loss and others to weight gain. After you find out about the critical importance of the microbiome, he offers help on how to maintain healthy bacteria. Some of this you certainly already know – like yogurt- and other ideas may be new to you – like foods rich in prebiotics. Happy reading and happy health.

October 19, 2015 Posted by | Emotional Well Being | | Leave a comment

Infection and Depression

There is a lot of new information about all the problems that chronic inflammation causes. One of the latest is that it can cause depression. Check out the article “Can Infection Give You the Blues” in Scientific American Mind May/June 2015. The general thesis is that stress can activate the immune system to be always on and this then causes inflammation. Inflammation causes the felling of depression. When you first get sick, you actually have symptoms like depression. You have low motivation, feel tired, lose your appetite, have trouble concentrating and tend to want to be by yourself. If this illness continues in the form of inflammation, then actual depression can set in. The usual psychological treatments are still good. And new treatments are being added. The Scientific American Mind article notes that diet and anti-inflammatory medications may be of help.

July 18, 2015 Posted by | Depression | Leave a comment

Mindfulness Benefits

Research continues to find benefits for mindfulness based meditation and these can not be ignored. Mindfulness is associated with positive emotion, improved resilience to stress, increased immune functioning, improved cognitive performance and overall reduction in anxiety, depression and improved longevity. How can you ignore the benefits? The amount of time required for benefit seems minimal compared to the amount of time we might spend texting/e-mailing or watching television/movies. Positive results are found for even 20 minutes a day for 10 weeks with improvement being maintained after this for months. Take a look at material available from Jon Kabat-Zinn who has one version of mindfulness called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and look into the research of Richard Davidson Ph.D. Invest in your health and it is fun as well.

February 4, 2015 Posted by | Emotional Well Being | , , | Leave a comment


Get ready for the holidays and jump start your weight management to be able to handle the holiday foods. This is a 4 session class that covers Tapping/Acupressure for weight loss and cravings as well as self-sabotage; Hypnosis for motivation for healthy exercise; Mindful Eating to practice enjoying smaller portions and Imagery to feel good about your body and Self.

The psychological issues are the ones that block women from maintaining weight loss and being successful. These tools provide an important part of the answer. Don’t try another fad diet. Eating healthy along with exercise is the key and these psychological tools make it much easier. RSVP at 530-222-5253 or

October 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thew News Is In: We Can Eat Fat Again

You may want to check out the TIME article June 13, 2014 about eating fat. Apparently there is no significant evidence that saturated fat increases cardiovascular disease. And although saturated fat raises LDL, it also raises the HDL. So it makes no difference. You can eat butter and cheese again.  Yes, it is better to eat polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat because they actually benefit the cardiovascular system. So keep the olive oil and salmon.

Next the impact on weight needs to be considered. The results seem to be in that a low fat, low calorie diet does not work. In fact, this makes our cells more resistant to insulin and the result is weight gain. What can you do? For weight loss, the Mediterranean diet and a low carb diet both work. But don’t skip the satisfying taste of butter, cheese and eggs. 


July 15, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Young Kids, Old Bodies

This is the title of a TIME (March 3, 2014) article about children having high blood pressure, fatty liver disease and diabetes. 32% of children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese and developing diseases that used to be only seen in adults. Due to this, they will have lowered life expectancy. This is a must read article if you have children or grandchildren in your life. Overweight children may develop fatty liver, cirrhosis of liver, sleep apnea, heart disease, kidney damage and diabetes. It is not just obese children that are risk – even overweight children are. The solution is as always health diet and exercise. Don’t let children in your life die young and disabled.

March 16, 2014 Posted by | weight management | Leave a comment

Is exercise your New Year’s Resolution?

Here we are in February already. You have had a chance to see if your new exercise routine is going to fly. If you need a motivation boost, consider this. Exercise helps improve mood, boosts self-confidence, reduces anxiety and improves sleep. Do you need more benefits? You will look great and have more energy. Long run there is great benefit for your heart and brain. It is the best way to ensure against dementia in the later years.

Exercise is as good as antidepressants for mild to moderate depression. Shorter and gentler workouts are better for anxiety. Even a 10 minute workout enhances energy and reduces tension. Gentle aerobic exercise reduces anxiety levels for up to three hours at a time.

Do you need more support? Consider hypnosis or energy psychology (tapping). Check out my web site for an online weight management class.

If you are a woman between the ages of 60-70, I am offering a support group for women who want to explore and live their life more fully and bring out their wisdom self in a joyful manner. Give me a call 530-222-5253.



February 3, 2014 Posted by | weight management | Leave a comment