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Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’

Why Meditate?

October 02, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Health & Wellness

by Dorit Brauer

The regular practice of meditation and guided imagery is the most powerful form of preventative medicine. It reduces stress, which is a major cause for many diseases.
Meditation and guided imagery shows you how to achieve positive changes in your body through the power of your mind.
Every thought that enters your mind creates reality.
On a personal level you can very easily observe this fact. If you entertain positive thoughts and feel happy you are having a good day. If you are down and upset the opposite happens.
I would like to share three simple meditation exercises with you:
1. Breathe to your abdomen. When you are stressed you breathe to your chest. Abdominal breathing activates your parasympathetic nervous system and breaks the stress cycle.
2. Focus on happy memories. Feel the vibration of happiness and joy. Feel the smile on your lips. Research has shown that a happy outlook on life strengthens your immune system. And please remember that whatever you focus on you get more of.
3. Visualize yourself surrounded by bright-shining, benevolent light. The light is all around you. It protects you and shields you from all harmful influences. Through your breathing you bring this light into your body.
Let it fill you entirely and exhale everything that does not serve your highest good. The light cleanses and purifies your entire being. Make this a daily habit, so you don’t internalize negative emotions and stress which, over time, may manifest as disease in your physical body.
Scientific studies have proven that the regular practice of meditation and guided imagery has many positive benefits. These include:
• control of blood pressure with less medication
• reduction in chronic pain
• improvements in sleep
• reduction of premenstrual symptoms
• reduction of nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy
• reduction in anxiety
• and more
Please enjoy the FREE meditation video “Heal yourself & Heal the World.” at www.doritbrauer.com. You are invited to practice this meditation daily and experience a healthy, happy and relaxed life.

Habits For Health Rejuvenation

July 17, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education, Health and Wellness

Habits For Health Rejuvenation
Dr Kathleen Hartford Author Fit, Fun and Fabulous At Any Age

1. Be certain to adequately hydrate your body. Just as you cleanse the outside of your body you must also clean the inside. To ensure you are getting adequate amounts of water calculate 2/3rds of your body weight in ounces or .66 X your weight. Not everybody can reach this goal overnight however make it your target number and you will be rewarded with increased energy, vitality and health! Be certain to utilize filtered water, our tap water is filled with pollutants from industrial chemicals to pharmaceutical drugs which our purification facilities cannot remove.

2. Healthy eating in a restaurant can sometimes be a challenge, to ensure the healthiest meal follow these guidelines:
• Order a double order of vegetables or salad rather than the potatoes, pasta or bread that is offered.
• If having a soup stick to clear broth soups and avoid the hidden fats of cream based soups
• If having a large salad either bring a light dressing from home or have the dressing on the side. Simply dip each bite lightly into the dressing and you will be amazed how little you actually consume. Lemon squeezed onto a salad is often times enough flavoring to substitute as a dressing
• If out for Chinese opt for the vegetable stir-fries, when adding a protein turkey, chicken or seafood is your best choice.

3. Be aware of subtle weight gain around your mid section for both yourself and your children. This could be an indicator that you and your children are experiencing accelerated aging due to metabolic syndrome.

People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome has become increasingly common in the United States; an estimated 80 million Americans have it. This syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors that occur in a person. They include:
• Abdominal obesity (fat tissue in and around the abdomen)
• High blood fats, high triglycerides and high LDL cholesterol
• Low HDL cholesterol
• Elevated blood pressure

To ensure that you and your loved ones do not fall prey to this health destroying syndrome be certain to avoid simple sugars and processed carbohydrates. Follow this guidelines for a healthy plate; have your protein portion be the size of the palm of your hand and allow the rest of your plate to be filled with vegetables and low glycemic complex carbohydrates.

Rather than having sugar laden sweets after dinner enjoy a warm cup of caffeine free tea or a small serving of fruit or nuts, in fact dates combined with pecans are wonderful and quickly filling. They taste just like pecan pie without the calories and excess sugar!

4. Regular Exercise is the true fountain of youth. It is the one activity that will positively affect ALL of the Biomarkers Of Aging. Biomarkers of aging are measurements that indicate how quickly your body is aging of the cellular level. As we age typically lose 6.2 pounds of muscle each decade this rate of loss accelerates after the age of 45. We also lose about 30 percent of our muscle cells between the ages of 20 and 70. The loss of both muscle cells and muscle mass adversely affects so many areas of our health, including:
• Decreased blood sugar tolerance
• Declining metabolism
• Increased body fat
• Reduced aerobic capacity
• Loss of bone mineral density
Sounds like a bit of a bummer, right? Well only if you are a committed
couch potato. Studies prove that with the right exercise, individuals in their sixth, seventh, eighth and even ninth decade of life can expect improvements in strength and muscle cell size comparable to younger people doing the same amount of exercise. For women, this is especially good news in the area of osteoporosis (Bone Health is assessed in Biomarker 10). This is why so much emphasis is given to physical activity and strength training when we are committed to reversing the accelerated aging process!

5. Consider utilizing a Medical Food and specific formulations of targeted nutrients:
Imagine new generations of Medical foods that are scientifically-based for the management of specific health conditions associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), chronic fatigue syndrome, and more.

These medical foods along with an anti-inflammatory diet were shown in clinical studies to reduce Total Cholesterol by 16%, triglycerides by 45%, increase good cholesterol by 6%, improved fasting insulin by 25%. It lowered body fat by an average of 15 pounds and supported a 5 pound increase in lean muscle mass. And best of all there were NO side effects except, of course, a measurable increase in health!

Consider starting your day with one of these medical foods as your breakfast. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s a great start toward rejuvenating your health! For more information on Medical foods visit www.drkathleenhartford.com


Bodywork The Science of Yoga Nidra

February 27, 2011 By: admin Category: Health and Wellness


The Science of Yoga Nidra

Written Researched and taught by

Deanna Markesteyn LMT BA RYT

Advanced Bodywork 412-983-8688


Yoga Nidra, a Calming Yoga, is a powerful therapeutic tool empowering participants to heal past experiences and make healthy changes in their life.

‘Yoga’ means integration and ‘Nidra’ means sleep. Therefore Yoga Nidra is integrative sleep. The difference between sleep and Yoga Nidra is that the participant in Yoga Nidra is in a conscious state. The body reaches that state of bliss also known as delta sleep or deep sleep tapping into the “internal pharmacy” (Depak Chopra).  In the delta sleep state our bodies release reparative hormones. In this conscious state of sleep, Amrit Yoga Nidra, the participant has the ability to become the witness not choosing for or against what they are witnessing. In this state a person is naturally happy, there is no I like it, I do not like it. Emotions habits and past events can be released or changed without reinforcing present unhealthy nerve path ways.

Albert Einstein said “You can’t fix the problem with the mind that created the problem”. Yoga Nidra is a tool that helps people move out of the thinking mind into the feeling centers of the body, in psychological terms this would be known as moving from the conscious to the subconscious mind. Dr. Candace Pert refers to the physical body as the subconscious mind. In my twenty years of experience in the field of bodywork and massage therapy, I have found this to be true. The reason this is important when using Yoga Nidra for PTSD is that nerve pathways are constantly being regenerated and rewritten.  Yoga Nidra helps to regenerate and reprogram nerve pathways intentionally. The participate becomes active instead of reactive when faced with a life challenge or choice. Yoga Nidra helps to allow people to take action in life, instead of reactive responses that are driven by unconscious programing.

When nerve pathways are being reinforced the problem persists and can even get worse. The body does not know if the memory is from the past or in the present the body’s response, in a physiological way, acts as if the trauma is reoccurring. I like to use the example of being in love, when you are in love with someone you may relate a smell to that individual and if you smell that scent and the individual is nowhere in sight your body may feel a warm yummy response. Depak Chopra using the example of a young boy who was receiving chemo therapy the child was once exposed to the smell of the chemo ward without receiving chemo therapy his body remembered the side effects of the chemo therapy and he became physically ill as if he was receiving the chemo therapy.

Yoga Nidra is over 7000 years old; the ancient yogis developed this system without microscopes or studying cadavers. The terms used are often Sanskrit an ancient language. But there are several systems that correlate with the modern systems of the body we know today. For instance the chakra system correlates with the nervous system and the prana correlates with the endocrine system.

The first part of Yoga Nidra a Calming Yoga is the asana or poses this activity helps to relax and stimulate the biological systems helping to get the participates relaxed and releasing energy. This method also helps to balance the autonomic nervous system. When practicing Amrit Yoga you take the body into action and then relax the body, mimicking the way the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems operate in a healthy balance. This is an opportunity to practice letting go and feeling your body and getting out of the thinking centers and into the feeling centers. The asana or movements can be individualized according your ability to move.

The second part of  Amrit Yoga Nidra a Calming Yoga is a deep meditation. The meditation is a guided meditation. The facilitator uses techniques and tools like breathing, imagery, sound and vibration. The participant uses a mantra, an intention, in this deep conscious state. The intention aids the participant in reprograming the old patterns of thinking, acting and feeling.

I have personally experienced and witnessed incredible responses to Yoga Nidra. The least it can do is quiet mind, relax body, trigger the relaxation response and help participants to sleep deeply.

Classes at Marshall Municipal Building Tuesdays at 7:00 pm until March 29


Breast Cancer Awareness

October 16, 2010 By: admin Category: Health & Wellness

Know the Facts: Breast Cancer
Information obtained from  Magee

The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for breast cancer in the United States are for 2010:

  • About 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer in women
  • About 54,010 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be found (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer).
  • About 39,840 deaths from breast cancer (women)

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

The chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer some time during her life is a little less 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 35. Breast cancer death rates have been going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and better treatment. Right now there are more than 2½ million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

Who is at Risk for Breast Cancer?

All women are at risk, but there are a number of risk factors which increase your chances of developing breast cancer:

  • age
    The number one risk factor for developing breast cancer is age. The older you are, the greater the risk of developing the disease. Four out of five breast cancers are diagnosed in women over fifty.
  • family history of cancer - genetic inheritance
    Having a family history of cancer means having first degree relatives (mother, sister, daughter) who had breast cancer, particularly before menopause. Two or more other close relatives such as aunts or cousins with a history of breast cancer, especially if the cancer was detected at a young age, may also increase your risk.
  • Ashkenazi Jewish descent
    Some individuals of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish heritage have been found to have an inherited characteristic that may lead to breast or ovarian cancer.
  • certain breast changes
    Having a diagnosis of atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) or having had two or more breast biopsies for other benign conditions may increase a woman’s risk.
  • beginning your menstrual periods at an early age
  • going through menopause at a late age

Screening Tests

The program uses tests to screen for early-stage disease in people who show no symptoms. Breast cancer screening tests conducted may include:

  • screening mammogram
    A screening mammogram is the best tool available for finding breast cancer early, before symptoms appear. Mammograms can often detect breast cancer before it can be felt. Also, a mammogram can show small deposits of calcium in the breast. Although most calcium deposits are benign, a cluster of very tiny specks of calcium (called microcalcifications) may be an early sign of cancer.
  • clinical breast exam
    A thorough physical examination of the breasts done by a breast cancer specialist, either a doctor or nurse practitioner.
  • GAIL model risk assessment
    Scientists at the
    National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP), have developed a breast cancer risk assessment tool that allows a health professional to project a woman’s individualized estimate of risk for invasive breast cancer over a five-year period, and over her lifetime to age 90. This calculated score can then be used as a guide for breast cancer prevention and surveillance options.
  • fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy
    Fluid and/or tissue cells are drawn (aspirated) from a lump, through a thin needle and into a syringe. The specimen is sent to the
    pathology lab for analysis.

Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

October 01, 2010 By: Anna Marie Category: Health & Wellness

As a woman you may experience the classic chest pains associated with heart attacks in men. It is more likely you will have less obvious warnings.

Seek help fast—call 9-1-1—with more than one of these symptoms:

- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the abdomen, back, jaw or throat
- A general sensation of uneasiness-just feeling sick
- Unexplained anxiety
- Palpitations, cold sweat or paleness
- Chest discomfort, lasting more than a few minutes or recurring
- Chest discomfort, with light headedness
- Fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath


October 01, 2010 By: Anna Marie Category: Health & Wellness

TELL A FRIEND about the importance of mammography.  It just may save her life.  The American Cancer Society’s screening guidelines:

1.  Have a mammogram each year beginning at age 40. 
2. Get an annual breast exam from your health professional – every three years for women in their 20s and 30s, every year for women 40 and older.
3.  Know how your breasts normally feel and report any changes promptly to your health care provider. Breast self-exams are an option for women in their 20s.

Women at increased risk should talk to their doctors about the benefits and limitations of early mammography or more frequent exams. This program is an excellent activity for women’s groups

Call 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit www.cancer.org for more information.