By Rebekah Frizzelle Owens, LMT, BCMT, CIMI, CPMT
“Touch seems to be as essential as sunlight ... In the absence of touching and being touched, people of all ages can sicken and grow touch starved.”
~ Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
What is the first thing you do when a child is crying? You pat his back or hug him. What about when you bang your knee on a coffee table? You rub it. When a family member is sad or upset? You give her a hug or just hold her tight. The common theme here is touch; you touch someone to make them feel better, to help them heal. Did you know that rubbing someone’s back when they are upset is a kind of therapeutic touch or an informal massage? How many of us rub or child’s back when we get him ready for bed? We are massaging him!
Therapeutic touch and massage “goes beyond the routine and bonds one human being to another” (1). It is gentle, patient, conscious, and says, “I’m here, I care, you are important to me. It is an easy, natural way to care for someone.
By Kat Farber, LMT, BCMT, CA
Sleep quality is an imperative function for our health and wellness. One that we often overlook or take for granted until we are denied it. Its significance can be underestimated; seen as “inefficient.” In a culture of multi-tasking, we do not consider the dreaming and internal body functions that occur during sleep to be important enough to warrant our effort and respect. We even demean sleep to being an “inefficient” use of time, while attempting to minimize it to its smallest impact possible. Research shows us that sleep deprivation and fragmentation can have serious impacts on our overall health including short term memory, reaction time, and degraded mood. (Bonnett, 2003)
Massage therapy has been proven to increase sleep quality in many different populations, including severely ill, children, and adults. While I’m sure we would all love to have a personal massage therapist come to our homes and massage us to sleep each evening, a more realistic opportunity exists for everyone to learn some basic self-massage care techniques.
Foods to help you sleep better, foods to avoid and foods to consume prior to bed
By Elizabeth Parker, PhD, RD
Did you know 1 in 3 American adults get less than 7 hours of sleep per night? The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Getting less than 7 hours is associated with poorer overall general health, and can negatively affect cognitive functioning, mood, glucose metabolism, appetite regulation and immune function (Halson 2014). As if that wasn’t bad enough, did you know that not getting enough sleep can also influence our food choices and cause you to eat more? According to a 2014 review (Chaput 2014), not getting enough sleep has been shown to increase snacking and the number of meals consumed per day. Unfortunately, we don’t tend to reach for fruits and vegetables when we are tired, and the increase in food intake tends to be from high calorie, highly processed foods lacking many of the nutrients our bodies need.
By Kevin W. Chen, PhD, MPH
As part of traditional Chinese medicine practice, Qigong refers to the mind-body exercises that integrate breathing, mind, and body adjustments into one. Although not all Qigong forms were created for healing purposes, there are many documented health benefits from different Qigong practices, and heart health is one of the well-studied areas. In this short blog, I would like to summarize the known benefits of Qigong practice for heart health based on scientific literature.
From the Kitchen of Termeh Feinberg, PhD, MPH
Store in the refrigerator and use within one week.
Hawthorn + Other Herbs Tea
Feel free to drink chilled, and use within 2 days.
By Termeh Feinberg, PhD, MPH
Affecting more than one in three U.S. adults(1), almost all of us have a friend or loved one who has faced the prospect of troubling and potentially life-threatening heart issues. When it comes to heart health, consistent efforts in prevention may go a long way. Clearly, a healthy lifestyle including exercise and a Mind-Body balance are beneficial for preventing and often treating a variety of chronic conditions, and a recent review of twelve studies found that adding a Mind-body component reduced the occurrence of cardiac events, atherosclerosis, and lowered systolic blood pressure(2). Additionally, consumption of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pigments (such as resveratrol, anthocyanins, and pigment precursors part of broad classes of flavonols and flavonoids) found in red-blue-purple foods likely prevent heart disease and other, related chronic conditions(3-5); colorful fruits and vegetables(6), as well as the DASH(7) and Mediterranean(8 9) diets, could potentially maintain heart health over time. However, existing research on phytonutrient-dense foods, including herbs, remains relatively sparse.
Compiled by Rebekah Owens
These yummy recipes are perfect for the cold days and nights ahead. And since they are all crockpot recipes, they are “fix it and forget it.” Just throw it together and refrigerate it the night before, then start it before you leave the house in the morning. You’ll come home to a hot, filling soup to warm you up – body and soul!
Crockpot Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup
By Chelsea’s Messy Apron: http://www.chelseasmessyapron.com/crockpot-green-chicken-chile-enchilada-soup-video/
An easy dump soup with lots of spices and diced fire roasted green chiles to keep you warm this winter!
By Michelle Peralta
It’s a new year and a new you! Many people make the mistake of having big goals without the proper stepping stones to reach them. Sometimes we do not know where to start or who to ask. Other times we can be so overwhelmed with the vast number of options available to us. Here is a list of phone apps tested by our team and friends that can provide you support as you live a healthier 2017 and beyond.
By Brian Morrison, DC
Don’t just sit there! “Sitting is the new smoking,” wrote Dr. James Levine in his book, Get Up!: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It. In an L.A. Times interview, he proclaims: “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death.”
I am frequently asked by patients which chair I recommend for their office or cubical. My reply? “The one you get out of!”
By Rebekah Owens
In Baltimore City, like much of the world, today’s youth are in general physically inactive, have poor nutrition and have high levels of chronic stress. But we are making a difference! In a partnership with the Institute for Integrative Health, Real Food Farm and YouthWorks, “Mission Thrive Summer” was created to help improve the lives of Baltimore high school students. This program was held on an urban farm and adjacent school, and included farming, nutrition education, cooking, physical activity, yoga, mindfulness, leadership development and employment. We conducted an outcomes evaluation the program and found out that it had a meaningful impact on the health and wellness of the participants.
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From the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School: