Blog

Have Heart!

Hearing from your doctor that you have “heart failure” can be daunting and scary. It might make you think your heart is about to stop working and there’s nothing that can be done. What it really means, however, it that your heart isn’t working as well as it should. If you’re on the receiving end of this diagnosis – have heart, get educated and take action.

To start, there are several different types of heart failure and they require different treatments. It’s important to get a clear understanding of what type you have and what treatments apply to you. Treatments may be any combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and devices or surgical procedures.

You will likely be working with several healthcare providers that will make up your healthcare team. Members of your team may include: your primary care doctor, cardiologist, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physical and occupational therapists, dieticians, case managers and pharmacists. It’s important to develop good relationships with all members of your healthcare team. Talk to them openly and honestly. Keep them informed about symptoms or changes in your condition so that they can help you. And remember, you and your caregivers are also essential members of your healthcare team.

Good communication with your healthcare team can help you get the most out of your doctor’s visits. Knowing what questions to ask and understanding what your healthcare provider is saying can help you feel confident that you’re getting the best care.

Here are some tips for communicating with your healthcare team:

  • Be prepared: Bring a list of all medicines you’re taking to the appointment. Make a list of your current symptoms. Try to describe how you feel and any changes in your condition. Write down your concerns and questions.
  • Ask questions: Making the right decisions for you starts with asking questions. Take notes or record your conversation so that you can review the information later. It’s often helpful to bring someone with you to be an extra pair of eyes and ears and help with note taking.
  • Clarify what you hearIf the information you receive from your healthcare team is unclear, ask them to use simpler words or explain it in a different way. Then repeat what you’ve heard back to them in your own words to make sure you’ve understood correctly.

Although living with a chronic condition like heart failure can be challenging, many people learn to manage the condition and enjoy full and meaningful lives. Living your best life lies in your hands. Educate yourself, take charge of the things you can control, and lean into the support of your loved ones and healthcare team.

For a detailed list of questions to ask at your doctor’s appointments, contact Cathy Abreu at 908-528-3977 or Cathy@NavitaHealth.com

Does Your Life Need More Balance This Year?

by Greg Schweitzer, MBA, DAy

Do you wake in the morning feeling refreshed and alert, or would you like to stay in bed for another hour or two? Are you excited about the day ahead, brimming with enthusiasm and passion? It’s our birthright to be joyful and alert. If that’s not your experience, you can get there.

Here’s the deal. Our state of being and wellness is dependent upon our internal energy level. If it’s blocked, you may experience fatigue, lethargy, anxiety and depression.

So, what blocks our natural energy flow and what can we do about it? It’s simple to understand. The culprit is that there’s constriction and tension inside us due to stress and trauma. Here’s an illustration, if you crimp a garden hose, you will not get the flow that you need to water your garden. If you don’t fix the hose, your plants will suffer. Like that, chronic stress and trauma have this influence on our nervous system and energy.

Here’s the good news. While this debilitating condition is widely prevalent today, we are not victims of the past or the circumstances of our lives. We can significantly minimize the influence of stress and trauma in our life through simple self-care.

With the start of a new year, we have a perfect opportunity to redirect our focus to bring our life into BALANCE. Here are some of our basic needs: rest, stress reduction, exercise – movement, and a diet of real food. Also important, relax, smile more.

Where to start?

It’s of paramount importance that we bring peace to our overactive minds. For this, meditation is an essential today. Nothing will bring balance to your life faster and more effortlessly that calming your heart and mind with deep meditation! This brings higher consciousness, higher awareness, a simply better life.

Now, you may think that your too busy for this. Well, that’s cool. We all need and want to be productive in our lives. Activity is the basis of achievement, however “over the top” levels of activity for long periods are not sustainable. In fact, without balance, we damage our brain and nervous system, not to mention the deterioration in other systems of the body – the cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, immune… You get the idea. The outcomes from this style of living are not pretty because the influence of overwhelm and overdoing accumulates in time.

However, with balance, you will: have more energy, sleep better, and make better decisions. You will also be more creative and effective in your work and home life. People will love you more, and you will have more joy in your heart. When there’s balance in our life, we’re operating on all cylinders. The quality of our life soars. If this sounds appealing or too good to be true, please join us or do some research on healthier ways to live.

I invite you to check out our coaching options – both Wellness and Life Coaching, along with an Effortless Meditation refresher and the new Advanced Meditation Group meetings. Let’s all live a more balanced life in 2020! The world needs it, and we’d love to help.

For information about Greg Schweitzer and his Effortless Meditation classes call 610-670-6700

 

Your Immune System: Boost or Bust?

Our miraculous immune system is made up of white blood cells, antibodies, certain organs and lymph nodes. A robust and properly functioning immune system protects you from infection and disease as you go about daily life and encounter germs and bugs from pets, other people and your environment.

The primary symptom of a weak immune system is susceptibility to infection. A person with a weak immune system is likely to get infections more frequently than most people. Additionally, these illnesses might be more severe or harder to treat. Infections that people with a weak immune system often get include pneumonia, meningitis, bronchitis and skin infections.

The strength of our immune system also plays a primary role in the prevention of many chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, allergies, arthritis and cancer.

The good news is that no matter what your current state, there are lifestyle choices you can make to improve your immune system function.

Nutrition is a critical determinant of immune response and malnutrition the most common cause of immunodeficiency worldwide. Choose fresh, vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables, along with a variety of protein foods including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds.

During sleep, your immune system releases certain proteins that need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective proteins. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep. The optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. Teenagers need nine to 10 hours of sleep. School-aged children may need 10 or more hours of sleep.

Exercise can have both a positive and negative impact on immune function and striking the right balance can be a challenge for many fitness enthusiasts. Prolonged intense training depresses the immune system and can increase the risk of infection, while regular moderate-intensity exercise has more balanced effects that result in the improvement of the immune response.

Psychological stress negatively impacts the inflammatory process, wound healing, responses to infectious agents and other immune challenges. People vary in their ability to cope with stressful life events, and differences in perceptions of stress, mood and adverse life events can modify the magnitude to which stressors exert a negative influence on immune function. Good nutrition, adequate sleep, regular exercise and practices like yoga and meditation go a long way towards improving our ability to handle stress.

When working optimally, the immune system can prevent sickness when we’re exposed to germs. It’s important to understand how our choices influence our overall health and wellbeing.

For more information on how to empower yourself and improve your immune system, contact Cathy Abreu at 908-528-3977 or Cathy@NavitaHealth.com. Visit her website at NavitaHealth.com.