Monthly Archives

March 2019

Beyond Pros & Cons: How to Think About Making a Difficult Decision

By Decision Making, Feature

Beyond Pros & Cons:
How to Think About Making A Difficult Decision

My research into (and love) of decision-making began when I was a graduate student working on a breast cancer study at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. For patients who didn’t have a clear “best choice,” the doctors would outline treatment options and say something along the lines of “We think that you could do Option A or Option B and have the same survival rate. We support you either way, but the decision is yours.” This was empowering for some people and extremely stressful for others. 

These types of difficult, and deeply personal, decisions are not limited only to the medical world. We encounter them in many different areas of our lives. Should I take Job A or Job B? Should we move or stay where we are? Should I go to College A or College B? And just like the patients in our study, some people find this empowering and others find it overwhelming and stressful.

Part of what makes these types of decisions difficult is not having process that works (i.e., getting to a decision that you can live with and feel good about). Most of us learn to make decisions using tools (like pros & cons) and when those methods don’t get you a final decision, then what? In working to answer that “then what?” I spent years using qualitative and quantitative ways of understanding how and why people made decisions and—most importantly—how to support someone making a difficult decision. That work resulted in the five step structured approach called Decide For Yourself.

If you are struggling with a decision, here are seven general decision-making tips to consider:

1. A deadline helps. If you don’t have an external one, give yourself an internal deadline and stick with it.

2. Try not to censor yourself. Make a decision based on what is important to you, not what others think you should do.

3. Stop researching at some point. We will always have to deal with uncertainty and imperfect information—no matter how much research we’ve done.

4. Make one decision at a time. Sometimes decisions can get jumbled together like a bowl of spaghetti, it helps to pull them apart and tackle them individually.

5. Use an analytical approach and then check your gut instinct. We’re partial to the Decide For Yourself process, but research shows that going through any analytical process informs your gut instinct and makes it more reliable.

6. Be clear on the trade-offs. Accept those you can’t do anything about and mitigate those you can.

7. Once you decide, dive in with both feet. Don’t torture yourself with what-ifs —research shows that once you commit to a decision and make it yours, it builds positive momentum.

Maria Carson Breber, Founder of Decide LLC

Maria Carson Breber developed her proprietary decision-making method, Decide for Yourself, based on 25 years of experience and research. She started Decide LLC to share her decision-making method with people and businesses everywhere.

Beyond the Obvious – Understanding the Source of Pain

By Feature, Musculoskeletal Health

Beyond the Obvious:
Understanding the Source of Pain

Have you ever treated pain in your joints, only to have it return a few weeks or months later?

Knee pain for example. The usual RICE treatment–rest, ice, compress, elevate–will help the knee heal, and hands-on therapy can accelerate healing. But what if the knee problem isn’t THE PROBLEM. What if something else is going wrong in the leg that compromises the function of the knee? In this case the knee pain will eventually come back, usually accompanied by further injury.

This too often is the case, and with knees it is easy to see why. Think about each joint in your leg. Your ankles and hips are made to move in all directions, while your knees only bend in one direction. Most compensated walking strategies involve lateral (side to side) motion in the leg, and because the knees do not bend sideways they tend to be the first joint to feel the strain. Imagine if you walked unknowingly with a small lateral strain on your knee. How long would it take before you became sensitive to the tissue damage?  How much damage might you generate before seeking help? Would treating just the knee solve your problem?

Because the human body is so adaptable, it can be easy to compensate the normal function of your body. For example, all it takes to drive the knee a little sideways is a stiff big toe or weakness in the hip. 

At Comprehensive Wellness we look for these underlying issues when we perform whole body biomechanical exams. Our exams include evaluation of posture, gait, movement, joints and soft tissue quality. By understanding why you move the way you do, we can formulate a holistic healing plan that addresses both the pain you currently have and the root causes or drivers of your pain.

Successful treatment programs typically integrate a variety of methods such as manual therapy techniques, joint rehabilitation, restoration of foundational body skills, and habituation of better movement patterns. It may sound like a lot, but we’re able to focus where you’ll target your work. Most of our patients regularly practice only 4-8 exercises and aim to keep just one body skill top of mind throughout each day. Even the most time-constrained professionals and busiest of moms have been able to integrate this type of programming into their life.

Learn more about our Kinesiology/Movement program.

Jeremiah Dees, Kinesiology and Movement Specialist

Jeremiah Dees, CSCS, is a movement specialist with over 18 years of experience specializing in kinesiology. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley where he studied Human Biodynamics and Integrative Biology, while concurrently rowing on the national champion crew team.

Learn more about Jeremiah.


By Behavioral Health, Events

Saturday, May 4

Cost: $95

Are you trying to increase energy, prevent or manage diabetes, reduce blood pressure, or lose weight? Newest research shows that better sleep is a critical step in all of these goals. There are many things you can do to improve your sleep. Medication can be avoided or stopped. 

Join us for this informative class, where you will go home with the following tools to sleeping well: 

• Insomnia basics

• Lifestyle practices to support sleeping well

• Cognitive restructuring: ways to improve thought patterns

• The relaxation response 

• Forming long-term patterns in behavioral techniques

Rebecca Berke, BCH, is a board certified Hypnotherapist and Mindfulness Educator and Coach. She has the latest Cognitive Behavioral  Therapy for Insomnia training and has actively been teaching better sleep for all individuals. 

Patricia Geraghty FNP-BC, WHNP, is a nurse practitioner with over 20 years of experience.  She is a fun and engaging speaker, recoginized for her contributions to women’s health. She speaks nationally on sleep and health.

Sign up today and gain the benefits of more energy, improved concentration, and better health.

Sign Up Today

Banana Coconut Chia Pudding Parfait

By Recipes


Part 1: Chia Pudding:

1 medium ripe banana
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
2 medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds

Part 2: Parfaits:

1 medium ripe banana, sliced
Old fashioned rolled oats
Chopped walnuts
Unsweetened shredded coconut


Combine banana, coconut, dates, vanilla, cinnamon and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the chia seeds.

Place mixture in a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Did you know?

Bananas are a great fruit to have as a snack or with meals. They are rich in potassium and magnesium that is beneficial for heart health.

They are also loaded with antioxidants & vitamins.

Did you know that bananas are great for vegans?

They are a great substitute for eggs. One banana is equivalent to one egg, so the next time you need to add an egg to muffins or pancake, try using a banana.