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It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet

The Myth of Exercise
Exercise and Diet

A recent report from the UK’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges described ‘the miracle cure’ of performing 30 min of moderate exercise, five times a week, as more powerful than many drugs administered for chronic disease prevention and management. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia and some cancers by at least 30%. However, physical activity does not promote weight loss. In the past 30 years, as obesity has rocketed, there has been little change in physical activity levels in the Western population. This places the blame for our expanding waist lines directly on the type and amount of calories consumed. However, the obesity epidemic represents only the tip of a much larger iceberg of the adverse health consequences of poor diet. According to The Lancet global burden of disease reports, poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease. However, this is little appreciated by scientists, doctors, media writers and policymakers, despite the extensive scientific literature on the vulnerability of all ages and all sizes to lifestyle-related diseases.

[Emphasis Added] Source: It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet

The Truth About Diet

Exercise is great. It brings many wonderful benefits such as reducing risk of various chronic diseases. But exercise does not replace a proper diet. As this article highlights, a person with “normal” body mass index can still suffer from maladies that we associate with obesity. Exercise alone will not prevent “fat” diseases or obesity.

Many factors influence our health. We must approach health holistically and embrace all the factors that determine our health. We cannot selectively focus on just medical interventions or exercise or diet or social interactions or finances among so many determinants or health. Stay balanced!

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Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

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Holistic Health in WNY takes several forms

Holistic Health in Western NY
Holistic Health Yoga

Holistic health seeks to understand root causes of disease as well as address symptoms. It is open to a variety of ways to address them, including traditional Western medicine. It depends on practitioners, communities and individuals to play key roles in health and wellness management.

“When you look up the definition of holistic care, it’s taking care of all aspects of your well-being. It doesn’t mean that you do something weird. It means you take care of your body from an emotional standpoint, a spiritual standpoint, obviously a physical and mental standpoint, and socially, as well. It means that you’re connected.”

Source: Holistic Health in WNY takes several forms

Holistic Health FoodThe New York State Health Foundation has adopted a new strategy for healthcare in Western New York that meets people’s health needs where people need more healthcare… outside the clinic. According to CEO David Sandman, “Health happens not just in the doctor’s office”. The article explains that most healthcare spending is on chronic disease which may actually be preventable.

Areas for Holistic Health Investment

New York State Health Foundation’s approach calls for work in three areas:
Holistic Health Exercise

  • Wellness Centers that offer a full palette of health services such as: massage therapy, essential oils, natural birthing and pet care, hypnotherapy and Qigong.
  • Better Nutrition through the Double Up Food Bucks program that provides up to $20/day match for participants who buy fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets.
  • Physical Activity outside in the sunshine (until they have to move inside) that is fun and healthy.

We know that 80% or more of a person’s health is determined outside the clinic. This is especially so for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. We also know that some chronic diseases can be prevented or even reversed through a more holistic approach that incorporates diet, exercise, social involvement, stress reduction, mindfulness, etc. The downside of eating well, playing hard, and socializing is a health risk work taking!

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Look for items to meet your holistic health needs here!

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Meditation expert tells us what the science really says — and why multitasking is a ‘myth’

Meditation Benefits

Meditation Benefits

We have found that meditation benefits the mind, body, and soul. But we are still trying to understand how. Perhaps more importantly many of us are unsure where to start.

Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidson have published “Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body” debunking studies and highlighting truth about meditation’s and mindfulness’s startling effects on the brain.

“When you’re caught in that loop of rumination, that’s very real, and it creates very intense feelings,” explains psychologist and journalist Daniel Goleman, who reported on brain and behavioral sciences for the New York Times. “If you’re mindful, you realize it’s just a thought. You don’t have to believe your thoughts. You can question them, and that changes them. It takes energy from the brain that creates the heaviness. Looking at it in a different way makes the rumination less intense.”

Source: Meditation expert tells us what the science really says — and why multitasking is a ‘myth’

Meditation is one of the hardest easy things out there. We understand that it is good for us and that it requires little from us… except a few minutes to be mindful in the moment. It is so hard to put away what happened earlier. Our minds wander to whatever is next on our mental checklist.

Go with the Flow

Letting ourselves become anxious about how well we meditate not only defeats the purpose but is counter-productive. Like eating a large meal, meditation may best be done in small bites:

“Intersperse it through the day. Ten minutes in the morning. Ten at lunch. Ten at night. The effect is prolonged. If you can do 20 minutes, even better. If you can do it for a year, that’s good. Five years is even better.”

For those interested, the best path to a mindfulness practice may not be setting aside several hours for a guru-like trance but embracing mindfulness in fleeting moments. We receive each moment in due course but what we do with those moments are a personal decision. Consider mindfulness practices part of your healthcare and allow yourself to seize a few moments each day for mindfulness exercises.

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Look here for meditation products!

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Breaking the mold: A doctor’s illness journey changes her practice – Peninsula Press

Gut HealthGut Instinct?

Gut health has grown among consumers and physicians but, as this Peninsula Press article shows, not all providers are ready to question conventional Western medical authority.

Dr. Cynthia Li turned to alternative solutions for her own mysterious medical condition — something that would soon change her approach to life and to medicine.

Of course, she would research each of her patients’ cases thoroughly, scouring PubMed articles and natural supplement databases, but her humility stood out the most. “The most valuable thing that I learned in my health journey was to come to the place of not knowing,”

Source: Breaking the mold: A doctor’s illness journey changes her practice – Peninsula Press

We know surprisingly little about the internal ecosystem that is responsible for more than merely digesting food. According to an article in Scientific American the microbes there outnumber our cells 10 to 1 and have a wide variety of jobs that affect our health.

Dr. Li practiced conventional Western medicine and did not question authority. Her journey into functional medicine came from her own illness and the “referral merry-go-round” she began to experience as a patient. Dr. Li began to look beyond clinical interventions for her chronic illness.  She started with acupuncture and added more and more tools for healing. Some tools, such as environmental health (how pollutants and chemicals disrupt hormone function) and ancestral health (how an evolutionary perspective helps define diet and lifestyle), built on her medical training. Some tools like her own practice of Qigong were outside her training.

The Place of Not Knowing

This might be one of the greatest challenges to any physician. The prescribed treatment simply doesn’t work. Was there a misdiagnosis? Was the patient not engaged?

With so many unknowns just in our gut microbes as well as the fact that factors outside the clinic determine 80% or more of our health, physicians simply cannot know it all. Even with all the promised Health IT advancements diagnoses will be little better until we begin to include information about consumer behavior, lifestyle, nutrition, socio-economic conditions, genetics, heritage, and so much more. Patient outcomes will only be better when physicians can openly engage and build on such information and therapies in full cooperation with other “allied” and “complementary” providers.

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Click here to see products for your gut!

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I Tried Gua Sha To Treat My Ankle Injury And This Is What Happened

A Need for Gua Sha?

I cried as they carried me off the basketball court, blubbering about how this couldn’t be happening. I had a half marathon in 14 weeks, and a severe ankle injury was not in the plan.  After a month of pain and little-to-no progress, I was willing to do just about anything to get better—so despite knowing nothing about the technique, I agreed to try gua sha when my physical therapist suggested it.

Source: I Tried Gua Sha To Treat My Ankle Injury, And This Is What Happened

This was an interesting article where the author shared his (reluctant) use of gua sha to help with an ankle injury. While it did not completely heal his injury, he definitely found benefit from the therapy. This is an important point that we continue to make here at HealthCare Too… people should use what helps. For the author, the therapy was only part of the solution since he also needed surgery to repair a torn tendon. We can only hope he nourished his mind and spirit during this rough patch in his health journey as well!

What is it?

From Traditional Chinese Medicine, gua sha, essentially is scraping the skin (usually along meridians) to promote Qi and Blood flow.  While many acupuncturists, physical therapists, massage therapists, and other offer this it is also possible to Do It Yourself if the injury and your enthusiasm allow. Like any therapy, you should always consult your care team before adding something to your care plan if you are under medical supervision.

For a more detailed analysis see The Science of Gua Sha.

Other Uses

The article’s author ended with a list of additional ailments that would benefit from gua sha:

  • Lingering pain
  • Muscle tension
  • Neck or back pain
  • Mobility issues
  • Muscle soreness
  • Musculoskeletal injury
  • Intense training or exercise
  • Stress
  • Cold or respiratory infection

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Find gau sha products here!

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Silicon Valley is obsessed with meditation and there’s new evidence it changes the brain for the better

Meditation for Holistic HealthMeditation Evidence

By giving our bustling minds a dedicated break from day-to-day worries, meditation appears to empower the brain to run more efficiently, new research shows.

A large review of studies involving close to 3,000 people found that mindfulness meditation was linked with a reduction in feelings of depression, anxiety, and even physical pain.

Source: Silicon Valley is obsessed with meditation, and there’s new evidence it changes the brain for the better

There are many enjoyable ways to promote good health. A bike ride on a beautiful day. Cooking a wholesome meal. Reading an interesting book or article. Meditation has been, until recently, often overlooked. We had plenty of excuses too. It looked “funny”. Only a yogi could get into a meditative pose. But the simple truth might just be that most Americans were not aware of the benefits or the simplicity.

One of the founders of HealthCare Too, Tim, has practiced Tai Chi (or taijichuan) for over 15 years. Tim is still working on “getting it” but has always enjoyed what his instructor (and many others) called a “moving meditation”. It is wonderful to see other business leaders taking just a few moments in the day for mindfulness. Companies have even supported employees in mindfulness activities. Aetna has introduced a mindfulness program to its employees that has produced measurable improvements for the business.

How It Helps

There are numerous benefits according to the article and related studies. Even newcomers to the practice can realize beneficial changes in areas of the brain associated with memory, perspective, and self-awareness. On the behavior side, studies find lower stress levels, more positivity, better focus, and creativity.  Research shows that it is never too late and that ” that the adult brain can still be deeply transformed through experience.” “Not bad return for investing a few minutes each day!

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Shop here for to help with your meditation!

 

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Top UCSD researchers pitch yoga, massage and integrative medicine for healing

An Integrative Medicine Approach

We continue to find articles on topics like integrative medicine and are happy to share them with you!

Integrative MedicineUC San Diego’s Centers for Integrative Health launched Saturday, a network to unify current research, education and clinical programs.

Source: Top UCSD researchers pitch yoga, massage and integrative medicine for healing

From Aromatherapy to Zen

One of the things we enjoyed about this article was its closing: highlights what the Centers for Integrative Health might do best — researching many pathways to a cure but letting the body do most of the work by exploring everything “from aromatherapy to zen.”

Magnificent! The human body, mind, and spirit are tremendously powerful! Sometimes, though, we need some help. The help we needs covers the spectrum from invasive surgery to education and awareness. Conventional Western medicine has focused on clinical diagnoses and prescriptions. There are times when Western medical interventions are certainly necessary, However the human body, mind and spirit will always need more than pharmaceuticals and that means everything from Aromatherapy to Zen.

Research like that at the UCSD’s Centers for Integrative Health highlight the expanding role of complementary therapies and Social Determinants of Health in our overall well-being. As an example, the article uses the case of 61-year-old woman suffering from symptoms suggesting ulcerative colitis. There would be delay and expense for a colonoscopy so they changed her diet and added a few supplements to help her digestion. In this example, supporting the person paid off because she was cured or in remission by the time of the colonoscopy.

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for exactly this. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Want to try aromatherapy? Look here!

Interesting in shopping for Zen-related items?  Click here!

Maybe something for massage?  Try these!

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Alternative medicine: An opportunity for patients to be seen and heard

Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Complementary & Alternative Medicine may be coming of age for many patients.

I had to fight for my own health and fired many doctors. I had to self-research and be fiercely determined to be heard. … Most of my health need answers came from beyond traditional medicine and was all out of pocket.

–Molly Peterson of Heritage Hollow Farms

Source:  Alternative medicine: An opportunity for patients to be seen and heard

You Say Tomato? We Say Holistic

Complementary & Alternative Medicine HerbalismWhen we first started the journey toward holistic health in the early 2000’s the widely-used term was Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Over the last decade “alternative” has dropped from many vocabularies.  We now find terms like integrative, holistic (our favorite), and complementary, among others. The overarching goal is and should always be promoting health for people.

Real Engagement

As a family-owned business focused on transforming healthcare through a holistic approach, HealthCare Too looks at the whole (funny how that works). We promote holistic health founded on well-informed consumer choice and (preferably) in concert with a care team. People like Molly Peterson are taking more interest (and control) in their health decisions. It is the ultimate patient engagement… something the US healthcare industry embraces. We are glad to see so many people enjoying the deals we find and the articles we share. This is our small contribution to “engagement”.

People should engage their care teams. The article points out that complementary & alternative medicine offers an opportunity for patients to be seen and heard. It is perhaps also an opportunity for providers to see and hear the people who rely on them. Physician burnout out is real. We speak with physicians all the time. It is infuriating to not “cure” so many chronic diseases. We can all grow together through mutual engagement and respect.

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Click here to shop for items!

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Bloomfield woman overcomes chronic breast and back pain with acupuncture

Acupuncture for relief from chronic painEllen Guenther first tried acupuncture seven years ago.  She needed help with chronic pain from severe tightening of her chest wall following mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.

Source: Bloomfield woman overcomes chronic breast and back pain with acupuncture

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

According to the article, Chinese medicine describes acupuncture as a technique that restores the body’s natural energy — a life force known as “qi” or “chi” — by inserting fine needles through the skin at specific points on the body. Western medicine views acupuncture as stimulation of nerves, muscles and connective tissues in a way that triggers the body’s natural pain suppression.

Acupuncture for relief from chronic pain

Great paragraph.  In a few sentences it highlights a fundamental difference in approaches. Conventional Western medicine and complementary therapies / medical practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine all want to promote health and wellness. Western Medicine tends to be more about the “body”.  Western medicine fiercely decomposes systems and anatomy to the cellular or even genetic level in order to affect change.  The world has benefited greatly from this. Holistic practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine tend to look at the entire person energetically– body, mind, spirit. The world has benefited from this for millennia as well. Both have advantages and disadvantages but we have found more people are open to integrating the two approaches. They add complementary health therapies to their conventional care plans in order to get a more holistic “best of all worlds” package. We couldn’t agree more!

Like many holistic therapeutic agents, there are many ways to enjoy the benefits offered by practices like acupuncture in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  However It is important to remember that acupuncture, like other therapies, will have an impact. If you are under any medical care please include you healthcare provider(s) in any decision before incorporating a new therapy into your care plan.

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Shop here for Acupuncture products.

 

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7 Essential Oils to Try for Sleep—and 3 to Avoid | Reader’s Digest

Essential Oils for SleepEssential Oils for Sleep

It turns out, essential oils are far more than scientific quackery—they might even be able to score you a sound night’s sleep.

Source: 7 Essential Oils to Try for Sleep—and 3 to Avoid | Reader’s Digest

Sleep is critical to good health. We need the rest but can be our own worst enemies when it comes to bedtime. As the stress of the day still flows through our bodies or vivid imagery haunts our minds, however, it often seems that sleep is the last thing we will get to experience.  Perhaps it is time for a little holistic help with a remedy from a few generations ago… or maybe even developed over millennia.

This article highlights benefits of seven essential oils:

  • Chamomile oil
  • Rose oil
  • Frankincense
  • Lavender oil
  • Catnip oil
  • Kava Kava root
  • Cedarwood

Benefits range from reducing anxiety to pain relief to even a mild depressant (a bit like alcohol, with no hangover).  The article also points out different ways to use these essential oils, whether applying to body parts (like using frankincense on the bottoms of your feet) or spraying and even a few tips on mixing.

Like many holistic therapeutic agents, there are many ways to enjoy the benefits offered by essential oils.  Whether a cup of chamomile tea or as part of introducing a new behavior (more senses to help the mind embrace the change), or just sprayed, diffused, mixed, or whatever your preference the therapy should fit your needs and environment.

It is important to remember that essential oils, like other therapies, will have an impact and if you are under any medical care please include you healthcare provider(s) in any decision before incorporating a new therapy into your care plan.

Our Model

Over 80% of your health is determined by non-clinical factors. Let us help you take care of your HealthCare Too.

The HealthCare Too model provides for a holistic approach to health. We look for articles and knowledge to help consumers and their care teams make holistic health decisions and also shop for the best deals in holistic health so you can find them here!  We appreciate the value of surgery and pharmaceuticals but want to make more pathways available for your HealthCare Too.

Shop HealthCare Too for Essential Oils to help you sleep.