Wellness

Your Part in Our Recovery

by Cathy Abreau, RN, BSN

As the weeks have turned into months, have turned into the foreseeable future, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect us all on increasingly deeper levels. Along with its high infectivity and fatality rates, this virus has caused mass hysteria, tremendous economic burden and catastrophic financial losses.

I don’t know about you, but every so often, I’m overcome by a wave of helplessness. I feel like a drop of water in an ocean of heartache and loss – Powerless to effect positive change to help all  who are suffering. Recently, however, I’ve felt a glimmer of hope about my role during this challenging time. This is what I’d like to share with you now, and invite you to consider for yourself as your part in our recovery.

When reflecting on what will surely be an unforgettable era of our human history, there’s a part of me that’s grateful and humbled to be alive during this time. We, you and I, are alive here and now for a reason. With this calling comes responsibility. Responsibility to ourselves, to our loved-ones and to our fellow human beings.

It’s really quite simple: My responsibility, and yours, is to do all we can to come out whole at the other end of this pandemic. And to help everyone we can do the same. We all have unique and special talents to apply to this work – whether you’re back at work, working from home, unemployed or just plain stuck at home – your actions, thoughts and intentions matter.

So, I urge you to hang in there. Call a friend, write a letter, say a prayer, help a neighbor, make responsible choices, and stay as hopeful and positive as possible in your interactions with others. Do your personal best to contribute to the new beginning we need to create – New ways of connecting, doing business and creating meaningful lives. I look forward to seeing you all at the other end.

“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”     – Mother Teresa 

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

Your Part In Our Recovery

by Cathy Abreau, RN, BSN
As the weeks have turned into months, have turned into the foreseeable future, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect us all on increasingly deeper levels. Along with its high infectivity and fatality rates, this virus has caused mass hysteria, tremendous economic burden and catastrophic financial losses.
I don’t know about you, but every so often, I’m overcome by a wave of helplessness. I feel like a drop of water in an ocean of heartache and loss – Powerless to effect positive change to help all who are suffering. Recently, however, I’ve felt a glimmer of hope about my role during this challenging time. This is what I’d like to share with you now, and invite you to consider for yourself as your part in our recovery.
When reflecting on what will surely be an unforgettable era of our human history, there’s a part of me that’s grateful and humbled to be alive during this time. We, you and I, are alive here and now for a reason. With this calling comes responsibility. Responsibility to ourselves, to our loved-ones and to our fellow human beings.
It’s really quite simple: My responsibility, and yours, is to do all we can to come out whole at the other end of this pandemic. And to help everyone we can do the same. We all have unique and special talents to apply to this work – whether you’re back at work, working from home, unemployed or just plain stuck at home – your actions, thoughts and intentions matter.
So, I urge you to hang in there. Call a friend, write a letter, say a prayer, help a neighbor, make responsible choices, and stay as hopeful and positive as possible in your interactions with others. Do your personal best to contribute to the new beginning we need to create – New ways of connecting, doing business and creating meaningful lives. I look forward to seeing you all at the other end.
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”          
   – Mother Teresa   
For more information on how to empower yourself, contact Cathy Abreu at 908-528-3977 or Cathy@NavitaHealth.com. Visit her website at NavitaHealth.com.

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.

 

What Your Brain Needs You to Do

by Meg Deak

Do you get laser focused on the things you need to do,
and then get that wired/tired feeling?

Are you so intent on what you’re doing,
you have trouble seeing the forest for the trees?

Is it hard to get to sleep?

When you are focused – paying attention, thinking, planning, even worrying – your brain is processing in a brainwave state known as Beta. The electrical activity of Beta ranges from 12 to 38 HZ, or cycles per second, which is pretty fast.

Now focusing is a really great thing, especially in our ADHD world. The trouble comes when we get stuck in that gear. We can’t or won’t stop thinking. Too much of a good thing is too much. When our brains are processing fast, it takes a lot of energy. When something revs up for a long time, it’s likely to burn out.

Your brain needs to slow down, take mini-breaks.

treeAlpha Is the next level of processing, or awareness. Slowing down the brain’s electrical activity to between 8 and 12 HZ, opens your awareness and takes it inside. It’s like widening a lens that has been focused on an ant, walking up a tree. You open up to take in the whole tree, and then become aware of the forest.

Notice the crossover around 12 HZ – at the high end of Alpha and the low end of Beta. There’s the sweet-spot, where we get into a relaxed, focused state. Imagine being able to see the big picture in a usually stressful planning meeting.

Next, we move down into Theta, 3 to 8 HZ, which is a story all its own and best saved for another time. Hint: think learning, creativity and psychological health.  

Delta is the deep, sleep-through-a-thunder-storm kind of sleep. Its slow brainwave activity of .5 to 3 HZ is the state where the body heals and repairs itself. Large quantities of DHEA, the growth hormone, are released; it’s natural anti-aging.

So, what does your brain need you to do?

Let it slow down:

  • Take a mini-break every 90 minutes, where you get up and walk around, look out a window.
  • Close your eyes and gently hum on one long tone.
  • Turn off the music, TV, computer, phone for at least ½ hour. How long can you live in the silence? An hour? How about 2?
  • Learn to meditate

If you have trouble meditating, or find yourself unable to slow things down, try ourvibroacoustic-005 Vibroacoustic Sound Chair with Brainwave Entrainment. Our system uses specialized audio recordings with a uniquely-designed sound/light system and vibro-acoustic chair to help change your brainwaves.  These changes allow you to reach deeper states of relaxation and awareness.

Increase your brain’s efficiency, manage stress, sleep better, remember what it feels like to be deeply relaxed – these are all within reach. Call Meg at 610-504-4830 to see how we can help.

 

Natural Help for Parkinson’s & Other Neurological Problems

 

HS_13by Gale Maleskey, MS, RD

 

If you are seeing a neurologist for peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, stroke-related damage, migraine headaches, epilepsy, or a movement disorder such as Parkinson’s disease, you should know that good nutrition and certain nutritional supplements are proven to help these problems.

They can:

  • reduce pain
  • slow the progression of nerve damage
  • help you reduce your drug dosage
  • remove toxins from your body that may be contributing
  • to your health problems

 I have helped a number of people with neurological problems, working with them and their doctors to safely combine their medical care with natural, nutrition-based treatments.

If you have peripheral neuropathy, for instance, consider taking alpha lipoic acid, a nutritional supplement that can work as well as the drug Neurontin–without the side effects. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, folate and Coenzyme Q10, which can help relieve some forms of neuropathy. And if you’re taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, you need to be aware that these drugs greatly increase your risk for developing neuropathy, and can also cause muscle weakness and mood changes. Getting your cholesterol down with a healthy, plant-based diet can help you lower your dosage of statin drugs and reduce your risk for developing these troubling symptoms.

People with MS often do better when they start on an anti-inflammatory diet, getting more omega-3 fats and fewer omega-6 and saturated fats. They also benefit from other nutrients: vitamins D, E and B12, n-acetyl-cysteine, phosphatidylserine, CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid.

People with Parkinson’s disease often have had exposure to toxic chemicals, such as solvents, herbicides or pesticides, and may benefit from an evaluation to reduce ongoing environmental toxin exposure. They also often improve by following a detoxifying diet and supplements to help their bodies break down and remove brain and nerve-damaging toxins.

People who’ve had a stroke, who have high blood pressure, or who are at risk for having stroke because of clotting problems can reduce their blood pressure with a diet high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin D, getting more omega-3 fats, and cutting back on sodium and saturated fats. This kind of diet can also help restore normal heartbeat in some people who have heart arrhythmia problems.

People with migraines and epilepsy sometimes find that they are reacting to certain foods or food additives.  A little detective work can help pinpoint these foods, but sometimes people need to get food allergy testing to figure out what is going on. I’ve found people often improve once they stop eating foods, or, especially, food additives like sulfites and MSG–and aspartame−that are making them sick.

Parkinson’s Patients & Care Givers are welcome to enjoy a relaxing day in a peaceful surrounding where they will discover simple, natural ways to improve their balance, reduce tremors, ease muscle tension, increase liver and brain function and much more!

Parkinson’s Retreat

Patients & Care Givers

Saturday, March 18, 2017

9:15 am – 4:30 pm

Lunch and light refreshments will be served

$35, to register call:

Dr. Tom Wachtmann 610-841-3395

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA 18031

www.TwinPondsCenter.com

Massage, the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine

Massage, the ultimate mind body medicine isn’t just for the wealthy any more. . . and it isn’t a rare occasion when someone enjoys a massage.  Now-a-days, many people are taking regular trips for a massage to a spa, chiropractic office, alternative health centers, and even a hospital. Is this a sign that people are becoming proactive with their health?  Let’s hope so!

People of all ages are scheduling a massage on a regular basis because they have learned that it isn’t just a mental sensation that makes them feel better, but a very deep healing process. Something many of us don’t realize is that a massage also involves giving us a sense of being cared for, comfort, empowerment, and adds to the healing process by creating a deep connection with another human being, the massage therapist.  These are all so important for our over-all health.

          We have all heard that newborns need touching or they will die.  It seems that we humans never stop needing to be touched and a massage is the “ultimate touch.”

        Physical contact is more precious than ever in our world where so much of our interaction is virtual (Facebook, e-mails, and texts).

Most people don’t realize that our skin is our body’s largest organ, and when its sensory receptors are stimulated, the hormone oxytocin, the one that makes you feel good, is released. At the same time, cortisol, the stress hormone, is reduced.

We just don’t realize how stressed we are until we have relaxed enough to feel the difference.  That gives us a clue as to how deeply a massage can affect us. Since the skin is the largest “organ” in the body, it is amazing what benefits we experience when it is massaged or even when we are touched.

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine and is increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations. Check the website, TwinPondsCenter.com, one of the largest complementary and alternative health centers in the country, to learn the many types of massages available.

It is the touch of massage that has become the ultimate mind-body medicine. If you’re into “preventative medicine,” this is a great avenue to take; however, once the body has gotten off balance, some studies have found massage to be helpful for:

  • Digestive disorders
  • Anxiety
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia related to stress
  • Myofascial pain syndrome
  • Paresthesias and nerve pain
  • Soft tissue strains or injuries
  • Sports injuries
  • Temporomandibular joint pain
  • Happiness
  • Lowered blood pressure & heart rate
  • Boosted immune function
  • Relief from pain
  • Stress release  (cortisol hormone level drops)
  • Release of muscle tightness

Because there are many different types of massage for specific conditions or diseases, it is recommended that you talk with a few experienced practitioners to be confident the one you choose is the right one for you. 

Despite the fact that massage is called the Ultimate Mind Body Medicine, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care.  Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

For more information and help in finding the right practitioner for you, please call 610-395-3355.

 

 

How You Can Live A Healthy Lifestyle

We are asked constantly “How can I live a healthy lifestyle?”

It’s about choosing new, healthy habits in your daily routine. I know, easier said than done.  Don’t be hard on yourself.  Start with taking small steps to change patterns. Most importantly, if you fall off track, which we all do once in awhile, just get back into it.

With the daily stresses most of us find ourselves dealing with, fast foods on every corner, the constantly pushing of fattening and tempting comfort foods, it’s no wonder we’re gaining so much weight and having health issues.

“How can I mentally and physically get on the right track?”

  1. Understand how you can benefit from a healthy lifestyle.
  2. Breaking bad habits can lead you to a better quality of life.
  3. Making healthy changes will reduce the risks of many health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
  4. Get up and move!

Reasons why people find it hard to live a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Stress:  How many times have you heard “stress eater”?  Well it exists. Most people gain weight and don’t exercise due to the stresses in their life. Some great stress reducers: Yoga and Meditation
  2. Too Busy: Rushing around, never the time? That quick meal at a chain seems an easier solution. You’ll have to find the time to do this! You will need to create a plan and do your best to stick with it. Use a calendar or journal to help you. Go to the grocery store once a week with a well planned out list.
  3. Difficulty already with movement: Most individuals that are already overweight don’t think they are able to exercise enough to make a difference, so they just give up. Start slow.Starting off with a nice walk in the morning or early evening is a great way to start the body moving.
  4. The “I can’t do it” mentality:  There will be ups and downs, but don’t give up. You have what it takes and just because you attempted a diet or exercise program in the past determines your success this time around.Read a daily quote or find your inspiration from a friend or someone you know who has been there.  Ask them questions on how they did it!  Also, the practitioners at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center are available to support, motivate, and guide you.

People make changes every day,today should be your day! Learn more at our website www.twinpondscenter.com

 

What to expect during a Carotid Ultrasound

What to expect during a Carotid Ultrasound and the beneifts of the test.

Carotid ultrasound is a painless and safe procedure that tests the structure and functioning of the carotid arteries in your neck and cardiovascular system.

Every person has two carotid arteries that are located on each side of the neck and they help to deliver blood from the heart to the brain. During a carotid ultrasound, sound waves are used to test if these arteries are blocked or narrowed since that can determine your risk of suffering a stroke or heart attack.  Results from a carotid ultrasound essentially, help you decide your course of treatment action to reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.

The need for Carotid Ultrasound

If you fear an increased risk of stroke or heart attack, you must undergo a carotid ultrasound to test for narrowed or blocked carotid arteries. Carotid arteries may be narrowed or blocked by plaque, calcium, fat or cholesterol buildup if these substances exist in excess in your bloodstream. It is highly recommended that you have a carotid ultrasound if you have certain conditions that heighten the risk of stroke or heart attack. These conditions include:

· Diabetes

· High blood pressure

· High cholesterol

· Recent stroke or transient ischemic attack

· Family history of heart disease or stroke

· Abnormal sound in bruit or carotid arteries

Carotid ultrasound, also known as Doppler ultrasound, can be combined with other tests to check for blocked or narrowed blood vessels in other parts of the body.

What to expect from a Carotid Ultrasound

When you go for your carotid ultrasound, a sonographer will use a transducer (a small, hand-held device) that produces sound waves and records the echo when the waves bounce off blood cells, organs and tissues. Thereafter, these echoed sound waves will be translated into a live action image or a graph by a computer. The procedure is painless and safe and takes about thirty minutes to complete.

Before the procedure begins, the sonographer will apply a warm gel on your skin that will eliminate the formation of air pockets between the transducer and your skin. Finally, the sonographer will press his transducer on the side of your neck to emit sound waves and record the echo.

The results of Carotid Ultrasound

After you undergo the carotid ultrasound, a radiologist will examine and interpret the results if there is a risk. The test will surely explain everything you need to know, including the different ways in which your condition can affect your health. If the test shows that you are at high risk of a stroke,  recommendations such as the following will be made:

· Eat a healthy diet that has a balanced quantity of whole grain breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables

· Limit your intake of saturated fat

· Incorporate exercise in your daily routine

· Maintain a healthy weight

· Avoid smoking

· Take medicines to lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and prevent blood clots

· Undergo carotid endarterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove plaques in your carotid arteries

· Undergo stenting or carotid angioplasty, a surgical procedure to open up your carotid arteries so that they can be supported


Contact us
to learn more on how you can get yours today!

 

Immune System Boost

Protection
From Foreign Invaders!

We depend on our national military to protect our country from foreign invaders, but do you realize that YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR BODY from its foreign invaders?

Your personal military is your immune system.  How successful is it?  Is it supported and well trained by you?  Are you confident that you are well protected?

Your immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend your body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. These are tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause infections. Your body provides an ideal environment for many of these invaders and it is the immune system’s job to keep them out or, failing that, to seek out and destroy them.

When the immune system hits the wrong target, however, it can unleash a torrent of disorders, including allergic diseases, arthritis, and a form of diabetes. If the immune system is crippled, other kinds of diseases result and an immune system boost is necessary.

The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them.

The secret to its success is an elaborate and dynamic communications network. Millions and millions of cells, organized into sets and subsets, gather like clouds of bees swarming around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to an infection. Once immune cells receive the alarm, they become activated and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behavior, enlist other immune cells, and direct the new recruits to trouble spots.

Sound like a war zone? Don’t wait until war breaks out. Get an immune system boost with a healthy lifestyle of eating well, exercising, and managing stress, and your immune system will support you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Carrie Lowry, Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

                                                                                                                        

 

Good Bone Health

Osteoporosis:
A Serious Silent Condition!

Osteoporosis is a common condition in postmenopausal women that can reduce mobility, quality of life, and lead to other serious health problems. In fact, you may have osteoporosis and not even know it!

A broken wrist may be the first sign of osteoporosis. See your doctor and find out if an underlying problem could be making your bones brittle.

Osteoporosis is a childhood disease, even though we may not see the effects until we are older. Encourage young people to build strong bones by choosing calcium-rich food and getting lots of exercise−two key elements to building healthy bones.

Losing two or more inches in your height—something often chalked up to normal aging—could be a sign of spinal fractures, a marker for serious bone loss.  Healthy bones are slightly flexible and are meant to withstand most impact. Freak accidents aside, bones aren’t supposed to break.

Diabetes, breast cancer, gluten intolerance, Crohn’s disease, hyperthyroidism, and depression have all been linked to bone loss. If you have any of these conditions, you may be at higher risk for fractures.

Preventing hip fractures should be as important as warding off cancer. One in five women and one in three men will die within a year after suffering a hip fracture. Because they commonly occur after age 75, hip fractures are often the catalyst for severe health declines. But rarely are they taken as seriously as cancer or heart disease

If you don’t fall you won’t break your bones. Improve your stability and reduce your risk of falling with core work and resistance training.

Improve and maintain good bone health with regular weight-bearing exercise and proper nutrition, with an emphasis on protein, calcium and vitamin D (it helps the body absorb calcium).  A simple blood test can check your vitamin D level.

Twin Ponds Center offers multiple services to help keep your bones strong: Nutritional Counseling, Pilates, Fitness Training, and Functional Medicine. Please call 610.395.3355 today to learn more about how you can strengthen your bones!