Wellness Article

11 Benefits of Strength Training That Have Nothing to Do With Muscle Size
U.S. News & World Report – by K. Alec

If you want to build bigger biceps or get an elusive six-pack, strength training is an essential component for making it happen. But even if maxing out your muscle size isn’t your objective, strength training might still be the best way to hit your health goals.

“A lot of people believe that if they don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, they shouldn’t perform resistance training,” says Michael Rebold, director of integrative exercise sciences at Hiram College in Ohio. “So the only form of exercise they do is aerobic – and then they wonder why they are having trouble making significant improvements in their health,” he explains.

Plus, building muscle bulk requires specialized and intense training and nutrition, and it doesn’t happen on accident, Rebold adds.

Before your next workout, consider these 11 science-backed benefits of strength training.

1. Lower abdominal fat. In a 2014 study published in the research journal Obesity, Harvard researchers followed 10,500 men over the course of 12 years and found that strength training is more effective at preventing increases in abdominal fat than cardiovascular exercise.

“When people incorporate strength training into their exercise routine, they not only burn calories, but increase lean muscle mass, which stimulates the metabolism,” Rebold says. Muscle mass is a major determiner of basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body burns per day to sustain physiologic functions. (source)

Wellness Article

The Germs That Love Diet Soda

The New York Times – by Moises Velasquez Manoff
There are lots of reasons to avoid processed foods. They’re often packed with sugar, fat and salt, and they tend to lack certain nutrients critical to health, like fiber. And now, new research suggests that some of the additives that extend the shelf life and improve the texture of these foods may have unintended side effects – not on our bodies directly, but on the human microbiome, the trillions of bacteria living in our guts.

These substances may selectively feed the more dangerous members of our microbial communities, causing illness and even death.

Consider the rise in deadly cases of clostridium difficile, or C. diff, a terrible infection of the gut. The bacterium tends to strike just after you’ve taken antibiotics to treat something else. Those antibiotics kill your native microbes, allowing C. diff to move in. Nearly half a million people develop the infection yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and around 29,000 die, sometimes after long bouts of painful, bloody diarrhea. By one estimate, deaths linked to C. diff increased fivefold between 1999 and 2007.

One reason the bug has become more virulent is that it has evolved antibiotic resistance and is not as easily treatable. But some years ago, Robert Britton, a microbiologist at Baylor College of Medicine, discovered something else about C. diff: More virulent strains were out-competing less virulent strains in the gut. (source)


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,