Gain (health) without the pain
Some say "no pain, no gain."
I say: if it hurts, you're probably not doing it right.
If you're exercising and it hurts, that can mean serious trouble.
If you're experiencing emotional pain in you're life, that can also mean serious trouble.
You may know some of these common effects of stress building up in your body and in your life:
These are good to know. They are some of the more apparent results of a stressed out life.
But here are some you may not associate with stress:
Now, am I saying that just about everything is caused by stress? Nope.
But living a high stress life with little outlet and ability to positively deal with stressful situations sets us up for failure.
Our health is compromised, our relationships are strained and our general outlook on life is worse.
Many of the above symptoms can be caused by a variety of factors, whether or not stress is present, so be sure to get a full check up and discuss any lab work that would be helpful for you and your doctor to best understand your health issues.
A lot can be learned from simple blood tests and saliva tests (yep, pretty much just spitting in a test tube)- it's important to not overlook any potentially serious medical condition when working on balancing your physical and emotional health.
I am here to answer any questions you have about this topic- you can comment on this article or email me directly.
To your good health,
More articles on stress and you:
Stress: what is it good for?
From overwhelmed to overjoyed
Stress vs. Well-Being: how do you measure up?
Know what I love about HeartMath?
Ok, so that's not very helpful.
Let me explain.
HeartMath really addresses the root of my patients' stress-related issues.
I feel that this particular type of biofeedback, which uses guided intervention in heart rate variability patterning, gets to the bottom of issues which are so prevalent in our society (feeling stressed out, exhausted, nervous wrecks, overwhelmed, constant fatigue, the list goes on and on).
So here's the whirl-wind intro, though you're always welcome to call for a complimentary 15 minute introductory consult... you can meet me and talk further about how I can help you achieve a better state of health.
First, why would someone use HeartMath? Well, one of the most common reasons is a stress-related condition, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, hypertension, attention disorders and chronic pain.
Take a look at the many ways stress ruins your body and mind
If the image above is a little blurry, here's the original
Yes, in general, stress is bad. A little is ok, but most of us have waaaay more than a little stress in our lives.
So how does HeartMath work? What is it doing?
It's harnessing your innate heart-brain connection, and using that internal power for good (relaxation and restoration) instead of evil (panic attacks and out of control emotions).
It is optimizing the communication between your nervous, cognitive hormone and immune systems to balance out any mis-signaling.
Through this process you will learn to identify and remove all internal signals that, perhaps subconsciously, are working against you instead of for you.
The end result?
Common effects are increased happiness, more positive outlook on life, little or no stress reaction from what was before stress-inducing issues (work, relationships, finances), a full release from prior feelings of overwhelm and burnout and the ability to finally overcome a physical or hormonal issue (like those listed in the graphic above) just to name a few.
This technique is simple, powerful, and transformative. Everyone should give it a try.
How does this whole process work?
You can learn from the decades of research and look up conditions and information important to you on the HeartMath website. They offer biofeedback devices to anyone, though working with a healthcare professional such as myself ensures proper monitoring, assistance and its optimal placement within a comprehensive wellness approach.
I use HeartMath biofeedback during office visits and program check-ins for those who could benefit from its use as well as offer shorter stand-alone sessions.
To best learn and implement the biofeedback techniques in your everyday life above and beyond the few times I guide you through the process.
Most patients benefit from an initial round of 4-6 sessions which will be part of an all-inclusive integrative plan where all your healthcare issues are addressed and attended to.
My current weight loss and stress reduction program, 'slim down & happy up,' includes HeartMath sessions during as many of the bi-monthly check-ins as you'd like.
That means up to 6 HeartMath sessions are automatically included in the program, no extra cost at all!
The next 'slim down & happy up' program will run 3 months, starting September 9th.
Registration begins on our next session Monday, August 19th, check out the full details here.
To your good health,
Do you deal with stress, anxiety and tension in your body day in and day out? Many do. Some are able to not let stressful events, people and situation get to them, but most of us end up feeling emotionally drained at the end of a work day.
Several years ago I was introduced to HeartMath, a type of biofeedback which teaches users to reconnect with their body and emotions through use of heart rate patterns. The effects are usually immediate and profound. Simple techniques are learned and practiced for as little as a minute or two a day. Doing this allows for reintegration of the underlying physiology of the cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous system. It balances you from the ground up. And living from a place of balance is what we could all use a little more of.
Some of the many health and emotional issues which can be addressed at their foundation by HeartMath: hypertension, stress/anxiety, depression, pain management, anger and emotional volatility, fatigue or feeling burned out, assistance in optimal weight management, better immune system response, and moving beyond a sense of overwhelm and inability to time manage.
Look for our announcements later the month as we will soon begin offering HeartMath training sessions, either as part of an office visit with Dr. Angela, or as a stand alone appointment. A short series of training is recommended, with daily practice done between weekly appointments. We are excited to be offering this simple, easy tool which addresses some of the most hidden and hard to treat illnesses.
After seeing the profound effects using HeartMath on patients and myself, I can't wait to being HeartMath sessions here at Rose City Health Clinic.
To your good health,
There are over 300,000 people in the US who suffer a stroke each year, especially those with a personal and/or family history of heart disease, diabetes and clotting disorders.
The aftermath is uncertain and often ranges from paralysis to difficulty speaking and other far-reaching effects. Since the damage is already done by the time someone knows they have a stroke, prevention is key for this potentially devastating disease.
Research published last week in the British Medical Journal found that those who ate fish 2-4 times a week had a 6% less chance of a stroke, and those who ate fish 5 times a week had a 12% less chance of having a stroke.
Fish has been long recognized as an "anti-inflammatory" food, meaning that it reduces, rather than stimulates an aggravation of your immune system when you eat it. Just remember, that there is a wide diversity of fish out there, and be cautious in your choices.
Wild-caught Alaskan salmon, for example, has higher amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids and bioflavonoids than farmed Atlantic salmon- which is "pinked up" by artificial dye to look as healthy and fresh as its wild counterpart.
And when considering species of fish and fishing practices, over fishing and other environmental concerns (not to mention heavy metal content such as Mercury), it can at first be difficult to find a healthy source of fish that you feel good purchasing. Take a look at Environmental Working Group's Safe Fish List and this Sustainable Seafood Shopping Guide for pointers, recommendations and further reading.
Here's to your good health.
The End To Deadly Allergic Reactions?
Asthma inhalers may soon be less relied upon.
New research from Northwestern Medicine shows promising benefits for the tens of thousands who experience life-threatening allergic reactions each year. By introducing specifically modified immune system cells, it gives the body a new signal, which turns off the anaphylactic reaction.
Using mice who were designed to have deadly allergic reactions to peanuts, the researchers attached peanut proteins to white blood cells which are normally a part of allergic reactions. Introducing these modified white blood cells prompts the body to create a tolerance, instead of a severe allergic reaction, to peanuts.
This "fooling of the immune system" treatment has also been applied to asthma and autoimmune disease research, such as Type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis. All of these medical conditions have been shown to be reduced in severity by this immunological application (more info here).
So what does that mean for us who have experienced or who know they are susceptible to anaphylactic reactions because of severe allergies? Since this research has shown to provide such beneficial applications, it won't be long before human clinical trials are begun.
One day in the near future, this may be a treatment option given to patients suffering from severe allergies (and perhaps moderate or mild allergies). The treatment feel something like a vaccine or allergy shots (which in its current form contains hundreds of shots to provide its benefit). The white blood cells will be taken from a blood sample, allergic proteins will be attached, then reintroduced to the patient. Who knows? A few sticks then perhaps the occasional booster shot may provide permanent relief from severe allergies!
Thanks for reading, please as always feel free to send me a line. Comments and questions are always welso
Watch, wait, hydrate- key points of fever management.
Fevers- a bane for busy parents rushing to get the kids off to school, and themselves to work. Worry-making in their speed and intensity, many turn to the medicine cabinet to see what can take the fever away fastest. Fevers are also a conundrum for those parents wanting to take a more natural approach to their family's medical care: to Asprin or not to Asprin?Well, I'm just a bit behind the times, but earlier in January (1/11/2011), there appeared in NY Times titled, "Lifting a Veil of Fear to See a Few Benefits of Fever." While much of the article was relegated to describing the quagmire of antipyretics (anti-fever meds), figuring out effective doses with what has on hand for the immediate situation of a sick child, there was also a pleasing amount of updated information dispelling the fever-as-boogey-man perspective that is so pervasive.
Towards the end of the article,I was pleased to see a quote by Dr. Janet Serwint, professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins, who said, “I personally think there should be much more education about this at well visits,” going on to say that she believes parents should learn about “the helpfulness of fever — how fever actually is a well-orchestrated healthy response of our body.”
Finally, some vindication for our doctors since time immoral who have praised and made use of the fever response in acute illnesses! These ideas are anything but new. These concepts were known all the way back in Hippocrates' time, who proclaimed, "Give me a fever, and I can cure the child." The fever was a necessary part of the process, not a negative side effect to be stamped out as quickly as possible.
The fever process is carefully regulated by an important, central part of the brain (hypothalamus), which is told via our immune system that there are pathogens on board. This causes our brain to re-set our temperature, first causing the sensation of chills (brain says, "we're too cold"), then as the immune system deals with the illness, the hypothalamus eases up and a fever develops then breaks ("we need more heat," then "ok, enough heat; we're done with the fever thing, time to sweat it all out").
Without the fever process, our immune defense is crippled in dealing with otherwise relatively benign illnesses. Without proper and complete immune responses, our body is less able to respond quickly and efficiently to the next round of similar bug going around later that year, or the next since it was never able to properly learn how to deal with the illness the first time around.
On the cautionary side (we are, after all, dealing with people here, particularly children), there is the concern about high fevers (over 104-105 degrees fahrenheit) inducing seizures. These cases should soon find themselves in urgent care, although epilepsy and subsequent brain damage has been dispelled as possible effects from high fevers. Again, the hypothalamus which tells the body to heat up has its own internal system that puts the breaks on the fever process before we enter danger zone.
So, the next time you come down with a fever, consider all the sides and potential self-treatments (contact your local Naturopathic Doctor for more information!), and for many benign acute illnesses (those things going around every year), rest and chicken soup may be just what the doctor (who has the most up-to-date and comprehensive knowledge on treatments) ordered!
Thank you for reading. I appreciate all those comments and suggestions I have received thus far. I always welcome your responses.