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FOX 5 DC - Life Hacks for Busy Parents with Amanda Mushro

Crain’s Phoenix - If I knew then…

Crain's Phoenix - If I Knew Then - By Sean Kennedy


Scottsdale, Ariz.-based The TouchPoint Solution is the creator of TouchPoint Devices, a noninvasive wearable that uses patent-pending neuroscience to relieve stress. TouchPoint Devices' BLAST technology has been successful in treating PTSD and other anxiety-related conditions.

The Mistake:

One of the biggest mistakes I made was when I was younger and working in the hospitality industry: When meeting with prospective clients, I was insecure about the fact that I was a woman and that I owned a company.

So, I often took male managers to franchise meetings and to negotiations with large tour company clients because of the stigma that came with being a woman. 

At that time it was – and to a certain degree still is – a man’s industry. So, I wanted to try and make our company fit in better. I was worried that being a woman would jeopardize our success.

Being a women-owned company is actually our strength.

The Lesson: 

Thinking forward, what I realize now is that being a woman – especially now, with The TouchPoint Solution being a women-owned company – is actually our strength. 

In such a male-dominated industry, such as manufacturing and tech with TouchPoint Devices, I’m sure men are surprised to see a woman. But I think that the atmosphere has changed, and it’s something that we now highlight. 

My business partner and I are leading our company with purpose, passion and a strong focus on ethical principles. We go into every business meeting with confidence and a sense of pride that we are a women-owned business.

Follow The TouchPoint Solution on Twitter at @IloveTouchPoint.

Photo courtesy of Vicki Mayo


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Swaay - TouchPoint Founders On Entrepreneurial Success And Stress Relief

Swaay - TouchPoint Founders On Entrepreneurial Success And Stress Relief - By Amy Corcoran

TouchPoints are a non-invasive, wearable device that uses patent-pending neuroscience technology called BLAST (bilateral alternating stimulation-tactile) to not only relieve stress and anxiety, but also improve focus, reduce cravings, improve performance, manage anger, reduce sensory overload and better enable sleep. Recent studies have found that TouchPoints can actually reduce stress by 74% in just 30 seconds, which is something that many women – entrepreneurs, execs and moms alike – can most definitely use.

They were created by Neuropsychologist Dr. Amy Serin and CEO and Child Advocate Vicki Mayo as the first product launched through their company The TouchPoint Solution.

Mayo has just participated and won the Live Pitch Competition hosted by Project Entrepreneur underwritten by UBS and the Rent the Runway Foundation. Over 600 women and their businesses applied. 200 were invited to the Weekend Intensive this past weekend in NYC. From there 12 were chosen to be part of the live pitch competition with a chance to compete for $10,000 and a spot in the Rent The Runway NY based Accelerator program in June.

1. How did you find yourself in the health field?

Amy:After spending several years in business development for Fortune 500 companies and internet start-ups such as Black and Decker, WebMD, and The Patent and License Exchange, I left to pursue my doctorate in Neuropsychology so I could focus on healing others.  I was always fascinated by neuroscience and psychology and wanted to pursue both within the context of helping others be their best selves.

Vicki: I am an entrepreneur and a philanthropist. When Dr. Serin and I had an “aha!” mommy moment on how to help our children, it laid the foundation for creating The TouchPoint Solution and ultimately TouchPoints that allow us to help thousands of people that struggle with stress and anxiety.

2. Please tell me where the idea for TouchPoints came from. What does the product do exactly?

Vicki: Amy (Dr. Serin) and I have been friends for a number of years. One day we were chatting and I shared my struggles with my daughter’s night terrors. Amy shared a new technology she was working on (which later became the TouchPoints). We tried it on my daughter and lo and behold she was able to sleep. I tried it on my husband and he too slept better; I tried it on myself before big public speaking engagements. It’s as if we had been given an amazing gift! I was sold. Being an entrepreneur I knew this was too powerful to not share with the world. Amy and I decided to launch The TouchPoint Solution on the premise of making this technology affordable and accessible to the masses. This premise is also the background behind our scholarship program. Our goal is to give away one set of TouchPoints for every two we sell. You can apply for a financial need based scholarship on our website. 

Vicki Mayo
3. What was your first step when you decided to launch a business? 

Vicki: Once we set up our legal structure and operating agreement, I hired engineers to build the first prototypes. The day we held the first pair of TouchPoints (May 2016) was surreal! The next five months were a blur of refining the prototypes, developing an app, branding and creating a logo and name, setting up a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, and setting up an e-commerce platform.

4. A lot of women avoid health/tech, do you have any thoughts as to why?

Amy: I think traditionally in male-dominated businesses, women might feel intimidated and may shy away from pursuing goals in these industries. Honestly I didn’t even think of TouchPoints as a tech business in the beginning because I was so focused on the profound and immediate effects and what that could mean on a global scale in terms of stress relief and improved productivity. 

5. Have you encountered any issues in this field as a woman?

Amy: I think there is still bias towards men seeming more credible and as a woman there are always additional rites of passage to go through in terms of proving yourself. I’ve had many situations where if I’m with a male trainee, a third party will refer to him as the doctor and assume that I am an assistant. I’ve encountered situations where the business or scientific goals for a meeting turned out the other party being interested in pursuing a personal relationship and attempting to cross professional boundaries. I actually feel that neuropsychology and neuroscience are good fields for women and I have not felt the glass ceiling effect in this field that I felt everyday in my past career in business development.

6. Your sales numbers are impressive. To what do you attribute the fast success of your products?

Vicki: TouchPoints aren’t just about the newest and latest wearable. It’s about giving people a lifestyle tool. When you empower someone to change the story of their life, that’s a powerful thing. The far reaching effects of TouchPoints spoke for themselves. With limited product out, people were #PairingAndSharing their TouchPoints. We had numerous videos and posts go viral throughout our launch. It’s a snowball effect. Someone tries TouchPoints and loves it and they tell 10 of their friends who tell another 10 friends and before you know it we are reaching over 100,000 people per day.

7. You plan to be a $6 million company in 2017, how are you planning to do this?

Vicki: As a mentioned, we are relying heavily on word of mouth or “share of post.” TouchPoints work and as soon as people try them they feel it for themselves. We stay quite active on Social Media and we plan to continue sharing success stories.

Dr. Amy Serin
8. How do you plan to evolve the business? Where do you see it going in the next 2-3 years?

Vicki: Well it’s kind of a secret, but we have a new product launching in the next two weeks. It’s called TouchPoints Basic and it was created in response to hundreds of comments we received from people asking for a version of TouchPoints that could be used in remote areas or areas where phones/tablets were not allowed. TouchPoints Basic will be available in fun, cool colors and will offer two to three of our most used frequencies. More information can be found on our website.

9. Can you speak to the health/tech issue in today’s society? What are the biggest issues affecting women today?

Amy:I think that health tech is evolving rapidly and I think the issues of functionality and impact are important. You want to maximize impact without being invasive. There are some implant devices that require surgery that I’m not sure yield a better result than non-invasive approaches, for example. And I can see how consumers would be confused when looking at all the health/tech options because it is such a big, evolving space. The science can be overwhelming and difficult to understand so it may be hard to tease out what the real results of a product will be and how invasive it really is. I think the biggest issue affecting women who are looking to invest in health/tech products are teasing out which products are effective and how they can improve their lives. Women are amazing multi-taskers and are the glue that holds families and societies together. They need solutions to help them live in today’s world without adding more to their already busy schedules and we think TouchPoints can be a part of their overall strategy for living into their best lives.

10. How do you market your product? Is it more difficult in the health field? 

Vicki: TouchPoints is a lifestyle product, not a medical device and it is not intended to cure or treat illness or medical conditions. TouchPoints help with self-regulation. They alter the body’s stress response which helps with focus and can improve performance. We have users that tell us their sleep is better and parents tell us their children focus while doing their homework to name a few.

11. Overall, what was your biggest learning throughout your business journey?

Amy: For me, the biggest learning was how impactful social media is. There are positives and negatives to this. One positive is that businesses have to have integrity and be transparent because any problems can be broadcast immediately. This means businesses that are doing the right thing can be nimble and make immediate improvements based on feedback. The flip side is that anyone can say anything and uninformed opinions can create a false impression. I’d love to see the social media feed when scientists throughout history introduced any paradigm change, which is what we are doing. The real-time scrutiny and skepticism eventually washes out with time but in the meantime there’s a lot of misinformation that can be perpetuated by anybody at any time. 

12. Why is it important to take control of our stress levels, especially as business women?

Vicki: I don’t think people give stress and anxiety enough credit. People say all day long, I’m so stressed, I’m so anxious. They will say they are dealing with stress or managing stress, but I’m not sure they realize the actual toll it’s taking on their body. A recent study showed that 60-70% of disease comes from excessive stress and anxiety. 60-70%! That means that if there was a paradigm shift in how we thought about stress and addressed stress, we could theoretically see a huge decline in disease. It’s a domino effect. If we could reduce disease, healthcare costs would go down, people would live longer, healthier, and ultimately more productive lives.

Entrepreneurs ‘N Fuego - Interview with Vicki Mayo

Phoenix Business Journal - Top Women Owned Businesses for 2016 with only 1 month in business

Phoenix Business Journal - Women-Owned Businesses - By Dale Brown

International Cruise & Excursions Inc. took the No. 1 ranking in the 2017 edition of the Phoenix Business Journal's Women-Owned Businesses list, extending its top-ranked streak to three years. The list was ranked by 2016 revenue and International Cruise & Excursions reported revenue of $773.7 million. Second on the list, with revenue of $550 million, was Hensley Beverage Co. Third on the list was Mach 1 Global Services Inc. with $109.14 million in revenue. A total of 115 women-owned businesses with revenue of $100,000 or more, are included in the online version of this list.

Business for Breakfast Podcast

Tech. Co - 5 Ways to Bounce Back After Sleepless Nights

Tech.Co - 5 Ways to Bounce Back After Sleepless Nights - By Tishin Donkersley

After a few sleepless nights, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been hit by a bus. This often makes your ability to perform at an optimal level diminish throughout the day. But don’t worry, we’ve found some solutions to help you bounce back after those sleepless nights of tossing and turning.

Dr. Amy Serin, neuropsychologist and co-founder of The TouchPoint Solution, suggests to start looking at your sleep environment and pre-bed habits to help shift your body into sleep mode.

“Look for the root cause of the lack of sleep and address it,” Serin said.

Technology is Adding to The Problem

Checking that last Facebook or Snapchat post before you go to bed or watching a certain type of TV show you hit the hay could be adding to your sleepless night. Serin suggests setting bedtime boundaries and turning off your smartphone well before bed to allow your brain to switch to sleep mode.

“Technology creates two problems for sleep. Bright screen lights can confuse your brain into thinking it’s daytime and interfere with your sleep cycle. [As for TV programs,] the content you watch before bed is also a factor. Suspenseful TV shows can put your body into a stressful state, which is counterproductive for sleep. I recommend not having a TV in your bedroom and to turn off your phone and avoid bright lights before bedtime and create a peaceful sleeping environment.”

To Nap or Not to Nap

Grabbing a cat nap during the day after a restless night might be ok now and again, but creating a pattern of sleepless nights, and gulping caffeine at the office followed by an afternoon nap isn’t ideal. Serin suggests getting back to your regular sleep schedule as soon as possible.

“Taking naps and staying up late the following night can disrupt circadian rhythms and create a pattern of sleep problems rather than just dealing with one restless night. If you must nap, take a nap for only 10-30 minutes during the afternoon hours to give yourself a boost without impairing your ability to fall asleep at your usual bedtime.”

Use a Sleep Hack, not a Sleeping Pill

If you have too many thoughts racing through your head, some may try to use a sleep aid to counter their busy mind and fall asleep. Serin cautions the use of this method as you may not reach the deep stages of sleep that are required to feel rested the next day. Instead she suggests these sleep hacks before you go to bed:

“Your body needs to be able to be calm enough to fall sleep. Heating the body up and then cooling it down is a great sleep hack to replace sleeping pills. If you take a hot shower and then turn the water to cooler temperatures before you get out, this change in temperature can kickstart your body’s ability to start the sleep process. Also, if you have racing thoughts in your head, try writing your thoughts down before bed. Keep a pen and pad of paper next to your bed and write down the thoughts that won’t go away and trust yourself to take care of whatever is on your mind the following day.”

Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule

While eight hours of sleep is recommended, the reality is that we aren’t prioritizing our sleep schedule. Serin suggestions to first try to develop a set time to get to bed and make it a goal for 7 to 9 hours of shut eye versus making it up on the weekend.

“Try to go to bed around the same time every night and prioritize your sleep over everything else. Don’t fall into the habit of trying to ‘catch up’ on sleep on the weekends. Some research suggests getting more than 10 hours of sleep a night can have a negative impact on performance and mood in the same way that only getting 4 or 5 hours a night can cause, so it’s best to stay within the recommended range whenever possible.”

If All Else Fails, Try to Do Something Positive

If you tried to relieve some stress during the day and still had a tough night, Serin said to expect that you might have some change in mood during the day and to try and engage in positive activities.

“Be mindful of how your brain is impaired after a night of sleeplessness. You may be irritable, less productive, more anxious, feel depressed, have more cravings and make more mistakes. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t on top of your game.


“Try to plan for a slightly earlier bedtime the next day and limit unnecessary events from your schedule. Practice healthier habits that day and try to exercise if possible. When you hop into bed at night, don’t worry about not sleeping well the night before. Remember, sleep is a natural state that your body wants you to go into, so calming down and surrendering to it is the best policy.”

Read more about avoiding sleepless nights here at Tech.Co.

CBS News - Don't let daylight saving time knock you off-kilter

CBS News - Don't let daylight saving time knock you off-kilter - By Cory Schouten

Monday mornings are scary enough already, but next Monday is poised to unleash a workforce of sluggish zombies.

That’s because sleep-deprived Americans will lose an hour of slumber after setting their clocks forward early Sunday in the annual “spring forward” ritual of daylight saving time (DST).

Sleep experts say workers would be wise to use the occasion to improve sleep habits, including by watching their diet, exercising and keeping cell phones out of the bedroom. And those with existing sleep problems or other risk factors should devise a plan to slowly adjust to the time change.

DST is one rite of spring that can be deadly: A 2014 study by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center found a 24 percent increase in heart attacks on the Monday after springing forward. The instances of heart attacks dropped to a more typical rate on Tuesday, once people returned to their routines.

The “spring forward” is arguably the worst day for work-sleep balance for Americans, but the other 364 aren’t much better. Nearly half of all workers (47 percent) say thinking about work keeps them up at night, and 60 percent say a lack of sleep has harmed their work, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder.

What do those negative workplace impacts look like? Think lower productivity, more mistakes, job resentment and a heightened tendency of workers to snap at colleagues. Adding insult to injury: 65 percent of respondents said they’ve had dreams (or nightmares) about work. Just 17 percent of those surveyed said they got the doctor-recommended eight hours of sleep per night.

Some workers are more vulnerable than others to the time change, including older workers, those with existing sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, and those with rotating shifts, said Dr. Aparajitha Verma, a sleep neurologist at Houston Methodist Hospital.

The spring change is particularly vexing because for most folks it’s easier to sleep in another hour in the morning than it is to go to sleep an hour earlier at night.

“Someone who’s otherwise young and healthy can pretty much recover from a time change rather quickly,” Verma added.

Sleep quality has far-reaching implications for health, with a lack thereof being a risk factor for diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and weight gain, said Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a professor at Keck School of Medicine at USC.

Combine the longstanding risks with a years-long trend toward fewer sleep hours for most Americans, and you’ve got a scary formula.  

“When we talk about the clinical manifestations of having no sleep, you tell me the organ, and I’ll tell you what the problems are going to be,” Dasgupta said.

Some companies, particularly in the tech and medical fields, have taken aim at the problem by offering napping facilities at the workplace, Dasgupta noted.

A mindset change could help, too.

People don’t brag about skipping the gym or overeating, but they do tend to brag about being too busy for sleep, said Dr. Amy Serin, a neuropsychologist in Arizona.

Instead, they should treat adequate sleep as “a badge of honor.”

“Sleep is an interesting thing because it really is the key to everything else,” Serin said. “Forget about sleep deprivation. Even a few nights of lack of sleep can really take a toll on your immune system, your productivity, attention, your mood and anxiety level.”

Finding a balance between work and sleep sometimes requires proactive steps: “When someone lays their head down at night, if their mind doesn’t shut off, that’s a problem,” she said. “You need to create ways to self-regulate so it does.”

Among the practical tips she recommends: Eliminate artificial light a few hours before sleep, avoid certain dream-provoking entertainment (think crime shows) before bed and exercise during the day but not right before sleep.  

“Even an extra 20 minutes, half an hour a night, is huge in our modern day,” Serin said. “That would add up to a lifetime of better health, less anxiety, more happiness and better productivity.”

The best way to prepare for DST is gradually -- adjusting dinner time and bedtime before the change, said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of Duke University’s Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine Program and a sleep health consultant for Mattress Firm. Otherwise, avoid TVs and devices late at night, and allow for plenty of natural light to filter through your home’s windows in the morning. 

Another tip: Capitalize on longer evenings -- one of the key advantages of DST, said Dr. Charlene McEvoy, a sleep medicine specialist at the Regions Hospital Sleep Health Center in Maplewood, Minnesota. “Enjoy the natural lighting outside or indoors with your curtains open,” McEvoy said. “Sunlight helps naturally reset your body clock.”

Ultimately, for most people, getting better sleep comes down to “stimulus control,” Dasgupta said: “If you aren’t ready to fall asleep, don’t go to bed.”

Still anticipate trouble falling asleep early on Sunday night? Certain scents, such as vanilla and lavender, can be great sleep aides, said Dr. Param Dedhia, director of sleep medicine at the Canyon Ranch wellness resort in Tucson, Arizona.

Dedhia also suggests sleepers avoid heavy foods such as pasta close to bedtime and skip the alcoholic nightcap. Instead, pour yourself a glass of tart cherry juice.

New "TouchPoints" for Anxiety - Dr. Amy Serin

Coffee with America - Reduce Stress In Seconds With TouchPoints

Good Morning Arizona - Dr. Amy Serin Explaining TouchPoints

Autism Live - Dr. Serin and TouchPoints

Dr. Amy Serin, co-founder of the TouchPoint Solution, and creator of TouchPoints, appeared on Autism Live this week to talk about reducing stress with BLAST technology. Watch here: