Tennis Champion Creates a Healthcare App

Tennis Champion Creates a Healthcare App

In 1993, it seemed that Murphy Jenson was on top of the world when he won the French Open Doubles Championship. The truth is that even drug addiction can occur to championship athletes who acquire trophies and fans. Murphy Jensen used his experience with drug abuse to create an app to help others who share the same struggle.

The Risk Factors Leading to Addiction

Jenson attended the University of Southern California on a tennis scholarship. He was feeling out of place at that school where he felt he did not measure up. He felt that by taking drugs, he would be more confident. Jensen also told the Tennis Channel that he was also not prepared for the attention that he received after winning the French Open Doubles Championship such as the parties and nightclubs. He was given a $150,000 check and had no idea what to do with it since he was all alone. Once he spent money on drinking, Jensen felt like he could not stop. His heavy drug use would lead to Jensen missing tennis matches. 

Murphy Jensen’s Treatment Strategy

Jensen first went to treatment in the mid-1990s recommended by a therapist. Because he was scared of being discovered that he was in therapy and felt he would hurt others by telling them he had a problem, Jensen did not complete the program. After the 1999 US Open in Los Angeles, Jensen underwent detox and was admitted to outpatient sober living for a year while traveling on tour. Jensen then participated in 12 step programs and life got better.

Murphy Jensen’s Relapse

Unfortunately, in 2004, Jensen relapsed. During the 2006 French Open, Jensen was feeling like he was physically and mentally dying from and without drugs and alcohol. It was through that relapse that Jensen realized that treatment needed to be his top priority. He did not know the severity of his situation and understood that he needed to be all in. Ever since June 6th, 2006, Jensen’s obsession with drugs and alcohol has never returned. His recovery program includes support group meetings 3-4 times a week and therapist checkups. Jensen has decided to dedicate his life to abstinence from drugs and alcohol as well as helping others with the same struggle.

Murphy Jensen’s Regrets

Jensen wished that if he could go back when he was still struggling with addiction, he would change his way of thinking about substance abuse and recovery. He would, at first, hate himself for his addiction and felt like it was the worst thing that could have happened to him. Instead, Jensen takes all of the hardships and struggles from his addiction and uses that to be the best person he could be. By helping others with addiction, he feels like he is showing the world how far he has come.

Murphy Jensen’s Advice for Those with Substance Abuse

Jensen believes that he got well because of his willingness, surrender, and service to helping others. He feels no shame telling his story and would prefer to do that compared to just simply giving advice. Jensen feels that he is willing to take direction and let others help him as he knows he will always need it. He also feels that the more he surrenders to his temptations, the more he wins. By living service to others, Jensen is living a life beyond his dreams.

WeConnect Health

Five years ago, Jensen and Daniella Tudor co-founded WeConnect Health which is a technology company designed to prevent relapse from substance abuse. With the app, you can schedule routines to stay on track for recovery. You will get gentle reminders, rewards for completing recovery activities, and a GPS verification for routine locations. You can also receive support from your recovery team and will better stay connected through the app. You can also earn gift cards as rewards for the tasks you complete as studies show that sticking to a routine will increase your chances of having a successful recovery.

What We Can Learn From Jensen’s Story

Jensen’s story teaches us that addiction is not new or uncommon. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that 130 people die every day from drug overdose. That addiction is a brain disease with relapse being one of the side effects. It does not make you weak or immoral if you need to seek treatment for it. Jensen also felt fear, guilt, and isolation if anyone were to discover his drug addiction. These are very familiar feelings that those with substance abuse tackle all the time and make recovery much harder to seek. 

It is also important to know that drug treatment is available and effective. Just because one method of treatment does not work does not mean another will not. Some feel they can get by on medications and others benefit from behavioral therapies and support groups. You can also do a combination of practices. The important thing is to do what is best for you and your physical and mental health. Jensen also developed a connection to peers in recovery, his therapists, his family and members of the tennis community. Hiding your drug addiction will not make it go away, but it will stay inside you and continue to grow. By following Jensen’s example, this will give you the courage to break the stigma and be able to help others accomplish everything that you have done during your recovery. 

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress-reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How Technology Addiction Interferes with Workouts

How Technology Addiction Interferes with Workouts

Technology is constantly created to help us achieve better workouts such as Fitbits and Apple Watch. The problem is that if the battery of our device dies or we leave it at home, we use that as an excuse not to work out. It is important that we do not rely too much on these devices and still find the urge to work out without them to ensure we are healthy both physically and emotionally. 

Exercise Trackers

Wearing exercise trackers are a great way to have consistent results when you work out in that you can find out the amount of steps you have taken, reminders to keep working out, breathing exercises, and checking your BPM when you breathe. Being too dependent on this technology, however, can ruin your workout. You could have forgotten to charge your device the night before and you have no battery by the time it is time to see your trainer. This may cause you to cancel your appointment with your trainer because of charging your device at last minute, causing you to go all day or week without working out depending on when you see your trainer. 

There are some devices that reward you depending on the amount of steps you have. If you depend too much on these numbers, it shows that you are not working for yourself but for the numbers. Depending too much on your device metrics may actually be misleading you. A Stanford study says that six out of seven wearable devices were good at measuring heart, but not the most accurate with energy expenditure or calories burned. Trackers also have a tendency to discourage you if you see at the end of the day that you only have a thousand steps when your goal is 10,000. This may discourage you from still trying to get those steps. It is important to stick to your goal no matter what your wearable device is telling you.

Social Media Notifications

Even though we are at the gym and focusing on our workouts, we also cannot help but bring our phones with us in case we get a social media notification. You could be completing a set, but then get interrupted when you receive a notification from your social media account or an email. You feel like you cannot put this off until the end of your workout, leaving you to lose valuable calorie burning time. 

It can also be a problem to have your phone with you at the gym if you are constantly taking selfies or videos of yourself on Instagram for verification. If you do not get the respect from followers that you are seeking, you will feel too gloom to want to continue. Everyone works out differently at different speeds and intervals. Do not compare your progress to anyone else's. One benefit of having a Fitbit is that you get notifications from your phone if someone is calling or texting you so you will not be left in the dark.

Text Messages

Having someone text you repeatedly when you are trying to exercise can provide a huge distraction, especially if the text is about something important. According to a Hiram College and Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania study, calling and texting while working out can not only ruin your progress, but can ruin your balance. If you are in the middle of a jog, you will decrease your speed if someone is texting you so that you can read the message and avoid getting hit by a car when crossing the street. The American College of Sports Medicine says that being on your phone while working out will negatively impact your workout by 45%. You could be experiencing issues with your knees, legs, or hips if you are not focused. You can also risk hurting yourself if you are texting while on a treadmill or elliptical. 

Technology at the Gym

You may feel very connected to your phone in that you do not want to miss out on what your friends say or if you get an important email from work. At the same time, your workout should be the priority you focus on for the time being. This means that you should not have your phone on you when you are going to the gym. You can put your phone in your locker and get back to it when you are done with your workout. It may help to tell your friends or family the days and times that you go to the gym so that no one is disturbing you.

The only benefit that can come of having your phone with you at the gym is listening to music. Music has a way of boosting your workout in that the speed and intensity of your music will affecting your own speed and intensity. Music can also be a good motivator to keep going as well. If you do not have an MP3 player and you need to use your phone as your only source of music, make sure to put your phone on airplane mode so that you do not receive any calls or texts for the duration of your workout. When your phone is on airplane mode, you should be able to listen to any downloaded music on your phone. Putting your technology on hold and focusing on your workout will help you exercise well and safely.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center using evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

art therapy

Selfies: An Expose of Life

As human beings, we suffer from the disease of comfortability. Perhaps it is due to being pulled from the warm liquid beds of our mother’s wombs and thrust into the cold world. Only then to know the comforts of our parents arms and then be forced to go without them all day at school. Either way, humans are attached to comfort. Physical comfort, mental comfort, emotional comfort- we are apt to avoid discomfort. In fact, some take that quite far. People are known to stay in situations that would not be considered comfortable by another; situations that might be abusive, traumatic, violent, and unhealthy. Yet because that situation is familiar, because it has become comfortable, people stay. This can also apply to the subtle and not so subtle nuances of life. The patterns which have developed in life dictate what is comfortable. Some clothes are more comfortable than others, so that dictates a “style”. Some music is easier on the ears, so that dictates musical taste. Such patterns are perpetuated and developed over an entire lifetime, creating a habituation to what is familiar. Thus, when the unfamiliar suddenly pops up, it is shocking and unsettling. For example, when you look at your face in a selfie. Hidden within this example is a great metaphor of life and recovery.

The Exposure Effect is (). Exposure refers to what becomes normalized in your perception. Looking at the mirror everyday creates a library of images that comes to define how you perceive you look- similar to the “selfie” album on your camera roll. However, those selfies are usually a flipped version of what you are used to. Rather than rely on the basic knowledge that the camera automatically flips the image, the brain reacts in crisis. Something isn’t right, something isn’t familiar, and your idea of who you are, ensured by your idea of how you look, is no longer comfortable. Due to the programming you’ve received your whole life you label this as ugliness and imperfection.

It is not far fetched to say that there is a comfort which develops in active addiction. If we were not comfortable with drinking and using drugs all day every day it is unlikely we would do it. In fact, it is the uncomfortableness of early recovery that prevents many people from achieving long term sobriety. The chaos, pain, euphoria, and isolation of addiction becomes comfortable. One day, however, we see that flipped image of our lives. Suddenly, the world is not as we knew it and everything we thought we knew about ourselves becomes absent. Even in the comforting arms of our drugs of choice, we become uncomfortable. We wonder if everyone around us has seen this all along. Most often, the answer is yes. Beneath the guise of addiction or alcoholism was a true and authentic self begging to be seen again. What has become unfamiliar to us has always been familiar to them. With selfies, the flipped version we see which disturbs us is actually what everyone else sees from their perspective. The same is said for addiction. Though a seemingly sudden and profound realization to us is ordinary to everyone else. Addiction turns things upside down. Recovery turns them right side up.