PERSPECTIVE

ISSUE 23 E-NEWSLETTER
WHS NEWS
With some forty years of dedication to the movement of wholistic health care, many have imagined that my interests lie strictly with the alternative. I prefer to see myself as a bridge linking the “alternative” and “traditional” models of health care, and I am free to draw from the best that each has to offer. The gulf between these two has narrowed considerably over the decades, in part because the separation is essentially false. Competent medicine with proper patient care certainly is “wholistic” and wholistic methods, supported by evidenced-based research, should be regarded as quality “medical” treatment.

My journey has in recent months taken me deeply into the care, science and skill of traditional medicine. I have to profess the possibility of bias, as an alumnus of UNC, but the kind of care that I have received in the UNC Health Care system has been remarkable. Seven weeks ago I had my right hip replaced with a metallic and plastic prosthesis.

Dr. Del Gaizo and the surgical team, as well as the nurses, Physical Therapists, Orthopedic Residents and so many others – at UNC hospital in Hillsborough – did a fantastic job not only with the surgery itself but also with patient care and support. They have earned my sincere respect and deepest appreciation.

There have been numerous changes at Wholistic Health Studio during this spring. We are sad to see our fine and dedicated yoga instructor, Betsy Templeton, retire from her three-times-a-week service to the WHS community. With her friendly smile and deep caring she has inspired so many people to get back in touch with not only their bodies but also, in many cases, their inner selves. But stay tuned, she promises to return with special presentations. We wish her great joy and success as she moves on to explore travel, grandchildren, and so much more.

We welcome Gigi Lee as our new yoga instructor. With her years of experience at Croasdaile and Duke’s faculty club, she brings a continuity of care and dedication to our yoga program at WHS. I am sure her vitality and gentleness will inspire students of yoga for many years to come. Let’s all do our part in making Gigi feel welcome.

In addition, we have the pleasure of announcing a new massage therapist to our therapy staff. During the next month Stephanie Nussbaum will be establishing a massage practice in our second therapy office, just off of the back deck. She has many years of training and experience, especially in providing supportive care for cancer patients. Most often her pressure is light, but with her deep and intuitive touch she reaches to a place of powerful connectivity and serenity within her patients. I am not just speaking metaphorically; I have, myself, had this experience.

Stephanie, as WHS Director of Outreach and Program Development, has launched a new, ongoing “Meetup” group that gathers one Wednesday a month at 7:30PM here at Wholistic Health Studio’s main classroom. Each program is FREE, and topics range from sound healing, laughing yoga, sexual awareness, to enhancing our immune system’s response, and so much more yet to come.

Finally, it is essential to acknowledge YOU. Our community is growing, and it gives us the greatest pleasure to see both old and new faces in our classes and at our presentations. As we approach the beginning of year seven, it is our constant reminder that we are here to serve. With the many operational challenges: staff absences or illnesses (including my own), disruption of services (well digging), repairs to an old facility (sheetrock needs repair), and the ongoing endeavors to provide quality programs – there are many distractions. But without you, we are nothing more than, to borrow from 1st Corinthians, tinkling cymbals. I hope you will let us know if there is anything we can do to improve your learning environment, to offer additional programs, or otherwise support your journey to wellness.
Thank you,
Stewart

Wellness Article

ISSUE 21 E-NEWSLETTER
Fiber is Good for You. Now Scientists May Know Why.

The New York Times – by Carl Zimmer
A diet of fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Indeed, the evidence for fiber’s benefits extends beyond any particular ailment: Eating more fiber seems to lower people’s mortality rate, whatever the cause.

That’s why experts are always saying how good dietary fiber is for us. But while the benefits are clear, it’s not so clear why fiber is so great. “It’s an easy question to ask and a hard one to really answer,” said Fredrik Bäckhed, a biologist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

He and other scientists are running experiments that are yielding some important new clues about fiber’s role in human health. Their research indicates that fiber doesn’t deliver many of its benefits directly to our bodies.

Instead, the fiber we eat feeds billions of bacteria in our guts. Keeping them happy means our intestines and immune systems remain in good working order.

In order to digest food, we need to bathe it in enzymes that break down its molecules. Those molecular fragments then pass through the gut wall and are absorbed in our intestines.

But our bodies make a limited range of enzymes, so that we cannot break down many of the tough compounds in plants. The term “dietary fiber” refers to those indigestible molecules.

But they are indigestible only to us. The gut is coated with a layer of mucus, atop which sits a carpet of hundreds of species of bacteria, part of the human microbiome. Some of these microbes carry the enzymes needed to break down various kinds of dietary fiber.

The ability of these bacteria to survive on fiber we can’t digest ourselves has led many experts to wonder if the microbes are somehow involved in the benefits of the fruits-and-vegetables diet. Two detailed studies published recently in the journal “Cell Host and Microbe” provide compelling evidence that the answer is yes. (Source)

Wellness Article

ISSUE 21 E-NEWSLETTER
Trying the Feldenkrais Method for Chronic Pain
The New York Times – by Jane Brody
After two hour-long sessions focused first on body awareness and then on movement retraining at the Feldenkrais Institute of New York, I understood what it meant to experience an incredible lightness of being. Having, temporarily at least, released the muscle tension that aggravates my back and hip pain, I felt like I was walking on air.

I had long refrained from writing about this method of countering pain because I thought it was some sort of New Age gobbledygook with no scientific basis. Boy, was I wrong!

The Feldenkrais method is one of several increasingly popular movement techniques, similar to the Alexander technique, that attempt to better integrate the connections between mind and body. By becoming aware of how one’s body interacts with its surroundings and learning how to behave in less stressful ways, it becomes possible to relinquish habitual movement patterns that cause or contribute to chronic pain.

The method was developed by Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli physicist, mechanical engineer and expert in martial arts, after a knee injury threatened to leave him unable to walk. Relying on his expert knowledge of gravity and the mechanics of motion, he developed exercises to help teach the body easier, more efficient ways to move.

I went to the institute at the urging of Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of the recently published book Crooked that details the nature and results of virtually every current approach to treating back pain, a problem that has plagued me on and off (now mostly on) for decades. Having benefited from Feldenkrais lessons herself, Ms. Ramin had good reason to believe they would help me. (source)

50% Discount

50% off these great fitness classes!

Cardio Circuit
Get some valuable cardio mixed up with weight training and stretching. This is what your heart needs to stay healthy.

Mat Pilates
Strengthen your core and get in tune with your spinal alignment. You’ll feel stronger and stronger in each class.

Pilates/Strength Training
This class is a mix of Pilates and strength training. It’s a great way to start off the week.

Call to register and get your discount!

 

Wellness Article

ISSUE 20 E-NEWSLETTER
Up to 40 Percent Decrease of Nutrients in Our Food
Dr. Mercola

-Generations of farming reliant on the use of chemicals has rendered American farm ground sterile and literally lifeless, unable to hold either nutrients or water, a problem the U.N. says is a grave threat to human health.

-Soil experts are realizing that bare ground between rows of crops increases not just topsoil erosion, but fertilizer and other chemical runoff into water supplies, while others are examining the implications of C02’s role in declining nutrition.

-Researchers have begun fighting harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, by spreading bacteria on crops as a way to prevent regular outbreaks of food poisoning from tomatoes grown on the East Coast.

-Three recent historical food composition data studies found that as much as 40 percent and even more of minerals in plant-based foods have been depleted by substandard soil.

Politico tells about a young generational farmer, Jonathan Cobb, who’d made the difficult decision to quit farming. Using increasing amounts of chemical herbicides and fertilizers, “planting row upon row of corn on 3,000 acres … was becoming rote and joyless.”1

While job hunting one day, he happened to stop at the local U.S. Department of Agriculture office in his Texas town to pick up paperwork. The staff there happened to be conducting a training session and doing a demonstration on healthy and unhealthy soils. The side-by-side comparison contrasted the startling difference:

“A clump of soil from a heavily tilled and cropped field was dropped into a wire mesh basket at the top of a glass cylinder filled with water. At the same time, a clump of soil from a pasture that grew a variety of plants and grasses and hadn’t been disturbed for years was dropped into another wire mesh basket in an identical glass cylinder.

The tilled soil – similar to the dry, brown soil on Cobb’s farm – dissolved in water like dust. The soil from the pasture stayed together in a clump, keeping its structure and soaking up the water like a sponge.”

Cobb realized he was seeing not just an exhibit on soil types, but the potential for a new farming philosophy and made the instant decision to stay on his farm “and be part of that paradigm shift.” Trending in agriculture today is a new viewpoint that may be turning from a push for productivity to one that emphasizes the environment and human health. (read more)

Wellness Article

ISSUE 19 E-NEWSLETTER
How to Build Resilience in Midlife

The New York Times – by Tara Parker-Pope
Much of the scientific research on resilience – our ability to bounce back from adversity – has focused on how to build resilience in children. But what about the grown-ups?

While resilience is an essential skill for healthy childhood development, science shows that adults also can take steps to boost resilience in middle age, which is often the time we need it most. Midlife can bring all kinds of stressors, including divorce, the death of a parent, career setbacks and retirement worries, yet many of us don’t build the coping skills we need to meet these challenges.

The good news is that some of the qualities of middle age – a better ability to regulate emotions, perspective gained from life experiences and concern for future generations – may give older people an advantage over the young when it comes to developing resilience, said Adam Grant, a management and psychology professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. (read more)

Special Event

CHANTING - NEW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Evening of Universal Chanting
w/Jon Seskevich
Saturday 7-9PM, 6/24
Register

Let the power of sound, vibrations and love release you from your worldly concerns and physical discomforts. No singing, chanting, or musical ability needed!

Chanting, a form of repetitive song, is part of many cultural and spiritual traditions. This is a heart-opening yoga practice. In Universal Chanting we use chants from several traditions, finding that each contains a transformative power and healing energy.

JON SESKEVICH, RN, BSN, BA, CHTP, plays the harmonium and has extensive experience with leading devotional chanting in the community. For chanting, Jon draws inspiration originally from Ram Dass’ “From Bindu to Ojas” record album, Krishna Das, “Jai Uttal,” and Robert Gass. He has released 4 CDs, including his newest: “Chanting is Universal!”

 

Wellness Article

Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions
British Journal of Sports Medicine
by Aseem Malhotra, Rita F Redberg, Pascal Meier

Coronary artery disease pathogenesis and treatment urgently requires a paradigm shift. Despite popular believe among doctors and the public, the conceptual model of dietary saturated fat clogging a pipe is just plain wrong. A landmark systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies showed no association between saturated fat consumption and (1) all-cause mortality, (2) coronary heart disease (CHS), (3) CHD mortality, (4) ischaemic stroke or (5) type 2 diabetes in healthy adults. Similarly in the secondary prevention of CHD there is no benefit from reduced fat, including saturated fat, on myocardial infarction, cardiovascular or all-cause mortality. It is instructive to note that in an angiographic study of postmenopausal women with CHD, greater intake of saturated fat was associated with less progression of atherosclerosis whereas carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intake were associated with greater progression. (source)

Wellness Article

Excess Light Exposure May Take Toll on Muscles and Bones
The New York Times
by Sunpreet Singh

Every day people are exposed to hours of artificial light from a variety of sources – computers, video games, office lights and, for some, 24-hour lighting in hospitals and nursing homes. Now new research in animals shows that excessive exposure to “light pollution” may be worse for your health than previously known, taking a toll on muscles and bone strength.

Researchers at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands tracked the health of rats exposed to six months of continuous light compared to a control group of rats living under normal light-dark conditions – 12 hours of light, followed by 12 hours of dark.

During the study, the rats exposed to continuous light had less muscle strength and developed signs of early-stage osteoporosis. They also got fatter and had higher blood glucose levels. Several markers of immune system health also worsened, according to the report published in the medical journal Current Biology. (source)

Wellness Resource

Is Teff the New Super Grain?
The New York Times
by Anahad O’Connor

When Laura Ingalls, an avid runner from Boston, found out after a routine blood test that she was iron-deficient, she turned to the kitchen instead of the medicine cabinet: She started eating teff.

A grain the size of a poppy seed that hails from Ethiopia, teff is naturally high in minerals and protein. Ms. Ingalls started baking with it, cooking with it, and using it to make hot cereal with coconut oil. Now she loves it so much that she doesn’t run a race without it.

“Teff is like a runner’s super food,” she said. “It’s great as a pre-race meal. It’s high in iron and it’s a whole grain so it provides a slow release of energy, which is exactly what I need.”

Teff has long been a dietary staple for Ethiopia’s legendary distance runners, like the Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie, who called teff a secret to the success of Ethiopian runners. But now teff is becoming a go-to grain for a growing number of Americans.

Endurance athletes like the grain because it’s naturally high in minerals. People who can’t tolerate gluten use teff as an alternative to wheat. And dietitians recommend teff as a way for Americans to introduce more whole grains into their diets.

The growing interest in teff is part of an increasing consumer desire for so-called ancient grains like faro, quinoa, spelt, amaranth and millet. Health-conscious consumers have been gravitating to these grains because they’re nutrient dense and have not been genetically modified. (source)