Thanksgiving brings a veritable cornucopia of foods to the dining table. However, that doesn’t mean that the celebration means that you have to eat unhealthy foods. Dr. Bordenave suggests making good food choices and staying away from fatty, heavy foods and those with little nutritional value. Take a look at our November newsletter; we hope you will enjoy reading it.
Anti-depressants have their evident benefits (fight depression) and have helped a lot of people over the years. However, everything has a side effect and here is a look at what they are not telling you about anti-depressants.
In today’s fast paced world people are always looking for new ways of living healthier through watching what they eat. With recent trends in 2013, Chia seeds are becoming popular for their numerous health benefits as explored in this article.
Modern medicine has evolved; but let’s face it, there are still severe limitations. Not every ailment can be cured with a magic pill or surgery. So, what is one to do in these types of situations? The answer: explore mind-body medicine. Not familiar with the terminology? Check out this primer.
Check out our latest newsletter!! Gain some insight on yoga therapy and the dangers of sleep deprivation by clicking HERE. Enjoy your weekend!
Many of us don’t realize the pressure we put on ourselves and the ones we care about. In middle school, some parents put their children on amphetamine salts, such as Adderall, so they can get them into honors courses in high school. In high school, we juggled extracurricular activities and academia so we could get into college. In college, many have to work and pull all-nighters in order to boost our G.P.A. so we could get a decent job. At work, we “willingly” agree to overtime so we could get a promotion. We are rushing through life, replacing healthy essentials with processed foods, prescription medications, caffeine, and anything else that will bring us from point A to point B faster than the next person. Where does it end? Unfortunately, it ends with a large percentage of the population dealing with serious health complications due to sleep deprivation.
Chronic sleep loss can damage our overall well-being by negatively impacting the brain. When we sleep, we are giving our brain the opportunity to repair itself, which is the key to proper learning and memory retention. When the average person begins to lose an excessive amount of sleep, it can weaken problem solving skills, creativity, and the ability to remain focused. Ultimately, those who are sleep deficient may have mood swings, problems with impulse and anger, as well as, depression and motivational issues. Ironically, many students think it is more efficient to cram information into our heads in place of getting a good night of sleep.
It only makes sense that when your doctor tells you to get plenty of rest when you are ill, to at least get an average amount to stay well, right? Your immune system also relies on sleep in order for it to function properly. We are taking away our ability to combat disease by suppressing the actions of our killer T-cells when we lose too much sleep. Recent studies have also found that maintaining a healthy sleep schedule may also fight cancer.
Chronic sleep deprivation negatively modifies our metabolism. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of the hormones that make you feel hungry (ghrelin) or full (leptin). When you don’t get enough sleep, your level of ghrelin goes up and your level of leptin goes down. This makes you feel hungrier than when you’re well-rested.” Ultimately, it has been found that there is an increased risk with becoming obese with each hour of sleep lost per night, on average.
Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, irregular heartbeat, imbalanced stress hormones, and other cardiovascular diseases. According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers at the University of Chicago claim that, “too little sleep can promote calcium buildup in the heart arteries, leading to the plaques that can then break apart and cause heart attacks and strokes.” In addition, our blood pressure decreases when we sleep; therefore, we are putting our bodies at risk of incessant high blood pressure when we force ourselves to stay awake.
Where to Begin?
While it is difficult to completely change bad sleep habits over-night, we can at least start by making simple lifestyle changes.
Reduce Caffeine Intake.
Most of us have a cup of coffee before work every morning, some of us have two, maybe even three by the end of the day. No big deal, right? Well, what about the additional cup of tea, chocolate bar, soda, or occasional energy drink? All of these products contain caffeine, which as all know, is a stimulant. While mainstream media encourages you to buy the latest energy drink, in addition to promoting alleged health benefits from drinking coffee, we tend to lose site of the term “in moderation.” A study conducted in 2002 at Duke University found that, “The effects of coffee drinking are long-lasting and exaggerate the stress response both in terms of the body’s physiological response in blood pressure elevations and stress hormone levels.” Lack of sleep is already dabbling with your hormones and blood pressure; submitting yourself to excessive amounts of caffeine can add to those health issues while taking a toll on your physical appearance and increasing anxiety levels.
Keep your Diet in Check
When we are drained from constantly rushing and working, we sometimes forget to eat properly. We end up reducing ourselves to processed meat, lack of vegetables, and items on the “healthy” menu at fast food chains. Start by reserving Sunday nights for family and friends; take the time to make a balanced home cooked meal.
Chronic sleep loss can damage our overall health-wellness by negatively impacting our weight, cardiovascular health, neurological functioning, and immune system. Most importantly, lack of restful sleep results in increased levels of inflammation, which is the underlying cause of many of our current chronic illnesses. Sleep loss education, healthy role models, and proper medical information could change the way the next generation of students and professionals maintain a healthy balance between well-being and the pressure to succeed. Relax every once in a while – Hit the snooze button.
“Caffeine’s Effects Are Long-Lasting and Compound Stress.” DukeHealth.org. Duke Medicine News and Communications, n.d. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/news/5687>.
“Importance of Sleep : Six Reasons Not to Scrimp on Sleep.” Harvard Medical School. Harvard Health Publications, Jan. 2006. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/importance_of_sleep_and_health>.
Park, Alice. “Lack of Sleep Linked to Heart Problems.” Health & Family. Time, 23 Dec. 2008. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1868406,00.html>.
“Why Is Sleep Important?” NHLBI, NIH. U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Aug. 2013. <http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why.html>.
Posted By: Axiom Health Care Marketing
You likely have seen photos or video from China showing large groups in people exercising in public places. The exercise consists of very slow, controlled movements, almost resembling a ballet or dance choreographed in slow motion. You might be surprised to find that this exercise – practiced widely by all ages, even the quite elderly – is an ancient martial art. Known as t’ai chi ch’uan, but usually referred to in English simply as tai chi, it has become one of the most popular forms of exercise among the Chinese. In recent years, its popularity has spread worldwide and tai chi is now practiced around the world.
What is Tai Chi?
“T’ai chi ch’uan” can be expressed several ways in English, including “supreme ultimate fist” “supreme ultimate boxing” or “great extremes boxing”. Not only a fighting technique, tai chi also is practiced as a demonstration art form, for health reasons, and to increase longevity. There are several forms of tai chi training, depending upon the goal of the practitioner. Traditional tai chi training involves five elements:
- Taolu – Solo exercises using hands, feet, and weapons
- Shanshou – Self-defense routines
- Tuishou – Responses and reactions to opponents’ movements
- Neigong – Breathing and meditation
- Qigong – Awareness and control of breathing and movement
The slow, controlled public exercises one sees in China are an example of qigong. Not all tai chi exercise is slow, however. The most widely practiced styles of tai chi all feature a faster set of exercises and movements in addition to their slowly paced movement routines.
The origins of tai chi are a subject of dispute, finding popular mythology at odds with the historical record. Tradition holds that the art was invented by an alchemist named Zhang San Feng sometime between 900 and 1300 A.D. However, this name does not appear in any written Chinese records until the late 1600s A.D. The earliest written source that claims Zhang San Feng originated tai chi is dated anther 200 years later. A later edition of this same source, however, asserts that the identity of the originator of tai chi is unknown. In fact, before the mid-1800s, the art form did not even have a name and was practiced by a relative handful of individuals.
Tai chi remained a rather obscure martial art until several Chinese martial arts masters began to tout its health benefits in the early 1900s. They and their students helped spread the art to a much wider circle of participants throughout China. During the 1920s the Chinese military adopted tai chi as part of its standard fitness training, although this involved the faster moving martial form of the art. Tai chi later spread into Chinese civilian life with the development of slow-movement forms of the art. Greater Chinese openness to the West beginning in the 1990s and early 2000s exposed a much wider audience to tai chi, and the practice is now more popular than ever.
Health Benefits of Tai Chi
Traditional Chinese medical practitioners have long claimed that tai chi is effective in promoting health and combating a number of chronic conditions. Modern western experimental studies have confirmed many of these claims. Not surprisingly, research has shown that tai chi helps promote greater balance and flexibility and reduce the risk of falls in elderly individuals. However, many people are startled to learn that tai chi burns more calories than surfing and almost as much as downhill skiing. A program of tai chi paired with yoga has even been shown to reduce levels of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. Other studies have shown the potential for tai chi to boost immune function in response to certain viruses.
A number of studies also have linked tai chi to pain relief. A 2008 study from Tufts University found that tai chi provided better pain relief than regular stretching exercises for elderly patients with severe osteoarthritis of the knee. A study published in the 2010 New England Journal of Medicine found that tai chi provided similar pain reliving benefits for a group of patients suffering from fibromyalgia.
Proponents of tai chi cite stress-reduction as a principal benefit of the art, and recent medical studies support their beliefs. A 2010 U.S. government review of seven large-scale studies of tai chi concluded that it “significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions.” Other studies have suggested that tai chi may help regulate production of hormones that affect mood and heart rate.
One of the most appealing aspects of tai chi is that any reasonably healthy individual can participate and share in its benefits. The extremely low impact nature of tai chi, along with its slow and controlled movements, allows people of any age and many different physical conditions to take part. As the studies cited early demonstrate, you don’t need to become a triathlete, marathoner, or “extreme” athlete to lose weight, get fit, and improve your physical and mental well-being. Practicing tai chi can help you achieve all of these goals in a way that fits your life situation.
If you are interested in learning more about tai chi or taking it up actively, it’s best to start by talking with someone experienced in the art form. In South Florida, Dr. Jorge Bordenave includes tai chi as part of a multifaceted, integrated approach to health care and maintenance that deals with the health of the body, mind, and spirit. Contact Dr. Bordenave today to find out how this ancient fighting form can help YOU return to fighting form as well.
Posted by Axiom Health Care Marketing
Posted by: Axiom Health Care Marketing
Posted by: Axiom Health Care Marketing