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)

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

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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 20 E-NEWSLETTER
Gratitude For The Health of It

Fitness & Wellness News – by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner
Don’t wait until Thanksgiving. National Gratitude Day reminds us we can be thankful year-round …

Although an exact cause-and-effect between gratitude and improved health is not clear, it does exist. Research in the field of positive psychology continues to grow, with a focus on gratitude’s impact on physical and emotional well-being.

Those who live in gratitude follow that trendy phrase, “Happiness is not about having what you want but wanting what you have.” Productive, successful people strive to achieve everything from six-pack abs to a six-figure salary. Yet, the happiest among them are those who are still A-Okay with a little extra chub around their middle and a little less chub in their wallet. Those grateful folks tend to be happier and healthier, regardless.

Healthy Perks for the Grateful
A study published in Personality and Individual Differences found grateful people tended to exercise more. They also experienced fewer aches and pains, and reported feeling overall healthier, than those who did not regularly practice gratitude. (This is likely the combined outcome of exercising more along with those thankful feelings.) They tend to practice better self-care and follow up with physician exams when needed. (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)

Wellness Article

ISSUE 19 E-NEWSLETTER
The Best Exercise For Aging Muscles
The New York Times – by Gretchen Reynolds
The toll that aging takes on a body extends all the way down to the cellular level. But the damage accrued by cells in older muscles is especially severe, because they do not regenerate easily and they become weaker as their mitochondria, which produce energy, diminish in vigor and number.

A study published this month in “Cell Metabolism,” however, suggests that certain sorts of workouts may undo some of what the years can do to our mitochondria.

Exercise is good for people, as everyone knows. But scientists have surprisingly little understanding of its cellular impacts and how those might vary by activity and the age of the exerciser.

So researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., recently conducted an experiment on the cells of 72 healthy but sedentary men and women who were 30 or younger or older than 64. After baseline measures were established for their aerobic fitness, their blood-sugar levels and the gene activity and mitochondrial health in their muscle cells, the volunteers were randomly assigned to a particular exercise regimen.

Some of them did vigorous weight training several times a week; some did brief interval training three times a week on stationary bicycles (pedaling hard for four minutes, resting for three and then repeating that sequence three more times); some rode stationary bikes at a moderate pace for 30 minutes a few times a week and lifted weights lightly on other days. A fourth group, the control, did not exercise. (read more)

Wellness Article

ISSUE 19 E-NEWSLETTER
12 Things Truly Confident People Do Differently 

HuffPost – Dr. Travis Bradberry, Contributor
Confidence takes many forms, from the arrogance of Floyd Mayweather to the quiet self-assurance of Jane Goodall. True confidence – as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities – has a look all its own.

When it comes to confidence, one thing is certain: truly confident people always have the upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because they inspire others and they make things happen.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.
– Henry Ford

Ford’s notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed is manifest in the results of a recent study at the University of Melbourne that showed that confident people went on to earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than anyone else.

Learning to be confident is clearly important, but what is it that truly confident people do that sets them apart from everyone else?

I did some digging to uncover the 12 cardinal habits of truly confident people so that you can incorporate these behaviors into your repertoire.

1. They Get Their Happiness from Within
Happiness is a critical element of confidence, because in order to be confident in what you do, you have to be happy with who you are.

People who brim with confidence derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from their own accomplishments, as opposed to what other people think of their accomplishments. They know that no matter what anyone says, you’re never as good or as bad as people say you are.

2. They Don’t Pass Judgment
Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet. (read more)

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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)