Hello, I’m Quinyatta!
Your Certified Health Education Specialist. Although I hold a Masters of Public Health with an emphasis in Community Health and I am in the process of earning a Doctorate in Public Health, my true superpowers come from my personal journey to health.
In 2013, I made the decision that I wanted to live. I mean really live the life that God destined me to have. I had reached the lowest point in my life and my highest weight. I was blessed to not be on any medication, but as a health educator, I knew that without a behavior modification — medication was going to be my destiny. My then 9-year presented me with a challenge. She wanted to climb Pinnacle Mountain for her 10th birthday. At my size, there was no way that I was going to climb anything. But because IamSHE and SHEisME I committed to a regular training schedule and a liquid diet. Over the course of 6-months, I dropped the initial 50 pounds.
Today, I am 175 pounds lighter. Over the next year, I plan to reach my final goal. I want to take the last mile of my journey with women who have been or are where I am….striving to achieve optimal health while maintaining curves. I do not have a desire to be skinny…I desire to be healthy…the healthiest version of me that is possible.
Join us for the Curvy Consciousness movement as we empower women of all shapes, sizes, and colors to embrace their feminine shape and take back their health. You do not have to be a size 2, 4, 6, or 8 to be healthy. Girl, embrace your curves. #SizeHealthy
Dr. Dean and Dr. Ayesha Sherzai are dedicated to educating people on the simple steps to long-term health and wellness through their work as Directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, with patients, as well as through online writing, videos, and books.
There is a tsunami of diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer’s, stroke and Parkinson’s disease permeating our culture. In our own communities and families, we all have known at least one person suffering from these illnesses and in many cases seen the fallout first-hand. There is no treatment for these diseases, and the emotional, financial and social burden is immense. These diseases are thieves, stealing time, money and ravaging the minds of our loved ones. The Sherzais see scientists and physicians working furiously to find a cure or these diseases, and in this frantic race against time somehow, the big picture is usually lost among the molecules and chemicals related to the diseases.
As Co-Directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, the Sherzais, through research and their extensive collective medical backgrounds, work to demystify the steps to achieving long-term brain health and the prevention of devastating diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Dean Sherzai, MD, PhD, is co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University. Dean trained in Neurology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, and completed fellowships in neurodegenerative diseases and dementia at the National Institutes of Health and UC San Diego. He also holds a PhD in Healthcare Leadership with a focus on community health from Andrews University.
Ayesha Sherzai, MD is a neurologist and co-director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University, where she leads the Lifestyle Program for the Prevention of Neurological Diseases. She completed a dual training in Preventative Medicine and Neurology at Loma Linda University, and a fellowship in Vascular Neurology and Epidemiology at Columbia University. She is also a trained plant-based culinary artist.
Thank you, Kellie, for choosing this book to be our current Bike ‘n Book Club study! Click here to read about The Four Pillars and download several excellent resources.
Welcome to the UAMS Mindfulness Program!
Thank you for your interest in the Mindfulness program. We encourage you to carefully consider participating in this unique and life-changing program. The courses are designed to introduce Mindfulness meditation practice as a way of reducing stress and developing greater balance, control and fuller participation in your life. Mindfulness is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life including the challenges of stress, pain, illness, and everyday demands.
We are dedicated to teaching mindfulness and supporting the growth of mindfulness-based resources in our community. We are actively seeking additional ways to share mindfulness as a healing resource for people throughout our community, and we appreciate your help and support in bringing this work to those it might not reach otherwise.
All classes are open to everyone and we hope you will join us!
Source: UAMS Mindfulness Program
Mindfulness meditation training is associated with changes in resting-state brain activity, according to new research conducted with elementary school students. The study, published in the Journal of Psychophysiology, provides new insights into why mindfulness meditation could be effective in improving symptoms of anxiety and depression.
“Our interest in the topic primarily resulted from a desire to identify alternative methods for attenuating anxiety and depression during preadolescence, a stage of development where children are particularly susceptible to internalizing symptoms due to increased social demands and a lack of psychological and neurological maturity to effectively cope with such demands,” said study author Nancy Aaron Jones an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University and director of the WAVES Emotion Lab.
“Children in this age-range have traditionally shown less responsiveness to traditional treatments such as medication and talk therapy compared to adults, and therefore we wanted to evaluate the potential of mindfulness meditation intervention in reducing neurological symptoms of anxiety in this age range and serving as a protective factor against later development of disorders.
“A second goal was to further understand the relationship between internalizing behavioral symptoms and resting-state brain activity measures in children of different age-ranges. This knowledge is valuable for understanding how the neurological mechanisms involved in anxiety and depression may fluctuate as a function of age.”
The researchers examined the impact of a mindfulness meditation training program on 66 elementary school students. The mindfulness meditation program occurred in class for 15 minutes once per day for 10 weeks.
The students completed self-reported assessments of depressive symptoms, anxiety, and mood before and after the mindfulness training program. The researchers also recorded the students’ electrical brain activity before and after the program.
Jones and her colleagues found that self-reported depression scores declined after the mindfulness meditation training program. Using electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings, the researchers also found that the program was associated with alterations in brainwave activity.
In particular, they observed increases in EEG alpha wave coherence throughout the entire cortex. The researchers also observed increases in theta, alpha, and beta power in the frontal and central areas of the brain.
“We hope that this study will shed light on the potential of mindfulness meditation to serve as a buffer against anxiety development in children by demonstrating that a daily mindfulness training program significantly altered neurophysiological characteristics that signify risk for anxiety and depression, namely frontal and central power as well as frontal and parietal coherence were increased following the training,” Jones explained to PsyPost.
“In the broader scope, we hope that parents, teachers, and superintendents concerned with the mental health of children recognize the helpfulness of short duration daily exercises for reducing stress, such as physical activity, music/art, or mindfulness meditation.”
However, two common EEG measures linked to anxiety remained largely unchanged.
“A major caveat of this study is that the participants were not formally diagnosed with anxiety or depression and therefore, we can not conclude that the same results would occur with clinical participants,” Jones said.
“In addition, we did not include a control group, which leaves open the possibility that other factors may have led to the reduced neurophysiological risk for anxiety in the preadolescent participants.”
“Additionally, the long-term effects of mindfulness are less well-understood, so future studies should evaluate the effects of mindfulness longitudinally with multiple time points at different stages of development. We feel one possibility is that mindfulness reduces anxiety by increasing cognitive control so it would be interesting to directly test that mediation factor,” Jones explained.
“We hope that this study and others will shed light on the appropriateness and effectiveness of short-duration mindfulness meditation training for school-wide implementation. In addition to lowering anxiety, mindfulness may strengthen cognitive skills that are beneficial for school performance.”
The study, “Mindfulness Meditation Intervention Alters Neurophysiological Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression in Preadolescents“, was authored by Nathaniel A. Shanok, Carol Reive, Krystal D. Mize, and Nancy Aaron Jones.
These Mindfulness Meditation videos were recorded live by Dr. Denise Compton, clinical psychologist, at the UAMS Reynolds Institute on Aging. This approach to meditation is based on the work of Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn. The series includes an introduction to Mindfulness Meditation, as well as introductions to the 7 “fundamental attitudes” that are encouraged in this practice. The videos also include introduction to a variety of meditation exercises.
These 30-minute classes are ongoing at UAMS, Reynolds Institute on Aging, 1st floor, on Wednesdays from 12-12:30PM. Parking in the adjacent lot is free and all are welcome. Please use the Contact icon on the menu above if you would like further information. Click here for directions.