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Music At The End Of Life- brings healing, comfort to the dying

Music At The End Of Life

Music At The End Of Life

It is wonderful that we are rediscovering the power of music at the end of life.

Hospitals are not the most relaxing places for people nearing the end of life. The intensive-care units, lobbies and hospital wards are full of glaring bright lights and institutional noises.

In this stressful environment, music can be the great equalizer. The soothing sounds can bring peace and calmness. Music can help defuse the tension felt by anxious patients and their families. Today, in many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s major medical centers, musicians are playing in hospital lobbies and at the bedside.

“One of the hottest topics is music and the brain,” says Judith-Kate Friedman, a professional songwriter who works with seniors. “Music lights up the brain more than almost any other human activity.”

Music at the end of life is an ancient tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, when 11th century Benedictine monks used music as part of their deathbed vigils.

Those practices fell out of favor as monasteries disappeared with the coming of the Reformation and the Industrial Age.

But today, music at the end of life is making a comeback. Many Bay Area medical professionals now recognize the benefits of live music played at the bedside. And in some of the area’s leading hospices now have volunteer musicians playing music for their patients.

Source:  Music brings healing, comfort to the dying

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Wellbeing enhanced more by places than objects, study finds

Location Affects Wellbeing

Location Affects WellbeingLocation matters. Whether looking for a home, a school, a job we care about location. Just imagine some of your favorite vistas, a mountain top view, standing on the ocean’s shore, your favorite produce stand (or pizza shop). Where we are certainly affects who we are. That location affects wellbeing has been intuitive for years. Now science gives us more on this link to wellbeing.

The poet WHAuden is credited with first coining the word “topophilia” to describe a strong emotional pull to a special place.

Now scientific research, using cutting-edge brain imaging, suggests Auden was on to something. According to a study commissioned by the National Trust, people experience intense feelings of wellbeing, contentment and belonging from places that evoke positive memories far more than treasured objects such as photographs or wedding rings.

A Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study commissioned by the NT set out to “understand this visceral but intangible feeling more deeply”.

The NT report, Places That Make Us, commissioned Surrey University academics and research experts to conduct fMRI scans as well as in-depth interviews with volunteers, and an online survey of 2,000 people, about their special places.

“Working with leading researchers and academics, and using cutting-edge fMRI brain technology, we examined how places affect people, how they become special and why we feel a pull towards them,” said Nino Strachey, head of research for the NT.

It found places that are intensely meaningful invoke a sense of calm, space to think and a feeling of completeness.

Source: Wellbeing enhanced more by places than objects, study finds

Location, Location, Location

In a stress-filled, fast-paced world it is meaningful to know that locations can soothe jangled nerves. Vacation should not just be about where you are not (i.e., the office) but where you are. What locations give you a sense of calm? What will it take for you to visit one of those locations? Remember, locations do not have to be exotic… they have to be meaningful to you.

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Your Brain On Forest- Living Near a Forest Keeps Your Amygdala Healthier

This Is Your Brain On Forest- Amygdala Health

amygdala healthSocial determinants of health have increasingly shown the impact of neighborhood on health. There may be an even deeper connection that cuts across socio-economic boundaries. Researchers have found that proximity to forests is linked to amygdala health.

 

A neuroimaging study reveals city dwellers who live closer to forests were more likely to have healthier amygdala structure and were better able to deal with stressful situations.

“Research on brain plasticity supports the assumption that the environment can shape brain structure and function. That is why we are interested in the environmental conditions that may have positive effects on brain development. Studies of people in the countryside have already shown that living close to nature is good for their mental health and well-being. We therefore decided to examine city dwellers,” explains first author Simone Kühn, who led the study at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

Indeed, the researchers found a relationship between place of residence and brain health: those city dwellers living close to a forest were more likely to show indications of a physiologically healthy amygdala structure and were therefore presumably better able to cope with stress. This effect remained stable when differences in educational qualifications and income levels were controlled for. However, it was not possible to find an association between the examined brain regions and urban green, water, or wasteland. With these data, it is not possible to distinguish whether living close to a forest really has positive effects on the amygdala or whether people with a healthier amygdala might be more likely to select residential areas close to a forest. Based on present knowledge, however, the researchers regard the first explanation as more probable. Further longitudinal studies are necessary to accumulate evidence.

Source: Living Near a Forest Keeps Your Amygdala Healthier

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Dramatic Impact of Lifestyle Medicine on Health and Survival

Lifestyle MedicineLifestyle Medicine And Its Dramatic Impact

As a rule in the Perry Household we generally support each other through good times and bad. There is an exception to the rule… when Tim (Dad) finds evidence that he is “right”.  That usually means lectures punctuated with “this makes so much sense… why did it take so long” or “this has been intuitively obvious for thousands of years.” Luckily it doesn’t happen often (just kidding, Dad).

A new article from Sept 20, 21017 in The Permanente Journal has laid bare many of the problems in conventional Western medicine (and, as we always say, there is much positive in conventional Western medicine as well but there must be a more holistic approach to the person).

It starts with a pretty brazen statement:

By ignoring the root causes of disease and neglecting to prioritize lifestyle measures for prevention, the medical community is placing people at harm. Advanced nations, influenced by a Western lifestyle, are in the midst of a health crisis, resulting largely from poor lifestyle choices. Epidemiologic, ecologic, and interventional studies have repeatedly indicated that most chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, are the result of lifestyles fueled by poor nutrition and physical inactivity.

But that is just the warm-up:

Currently, multiple forces maintaining the status quo exist at the systemic level. Special interest groups, including certain lobbyists, maintain barriers by spending monies to influence governmental and professional targets. For example, national dietary guidelines are watered down out of a concern over the economic interests of certain industries instead of reflecting on the evidence-based recommendations regarding the consumption of meat and dairy products. On the societal level, the hedonistic aspects of food are promoted over their health and nutritional aspects.

And just in case there was any doubt:

Lifestyle medicine addresses principles that are the cornerstone of health and well- being. The current practice of prescribing medications or performing surgery for nearly every illness must be revisited. A paradigm shift to lifestyle medicine needs urgent implementation. Dramatic effects using lifestyle interventions have been demonstrated in patients with chronic conditions. Several large studies have conclusively shown that diet and exercise modifications not only substantially improve long-term survival but also result in a portrait more nearly approaching total health. As an example, a prospective study of 23,000 participants evaluated adherence to 4 simple recommendations: No tobacco use, 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week, maintaining a BMI of less than 30 kg/m2, and eating a healthy diet as previously described. Participants who adhered to these 4 recommendations had an overall 78% decreased risk of development of a chronic condition during an 8-year timeframe. Furthermore, in participants adhering to these recommendations, there was a 93% reduced risk of diabetes mellitus, an 81% reduced risk of myocardial infarction, and a 36% reduction in the risk of the development of cancer.

Source: Lifestyle Medicine: A Brief Review of Its Dramatic Impact on Health and Survival

Holistic Health

What we do outside the clinic walls bears heavily on our health. We are pretty comfortable that our use of “holistic health” fits in with Lifestyle Medicine. Holistic Health requires an open-mindedness to look at therapies that 1) do no harm, 2) fit your Lifestyle and Beliefs, and 3) offer you a benefit. Our challenge HealthCare Too are the ABCs of Holistic Health:

Awareness for holistic options,

Benefits from proper use,

Coordinated Care for optimum health.

If you want to be part of the family and “enjoy” Tim’s lecture on how healthcare needs to change, please feel free to read Will We Always Wait Until It’s Too Late?

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Could some ADHD be a type of sleep disorder? That would fundamentally change how we treat it.

ADHD Sleep Disorder?

Sleep is vital to health. There are a number of health-related problems that stem from insufficient sleep. There has even been a Nobel Prize for research into the body’s Circadian Rhythm and sleep. So often we look for a pharmaceutical fix when there may be another mechanism at work. Could there be an ADHD Sleep Disorder?

A new study suggests that people with ADHD tend to fall asleep later and get less sleep, with consequences for behavior and attention.

What if, as a growing number of researchers are proposing, many kids today simply aren’t getting the sleep they need, leading to challenging behaviors that mimic ADHD?

That provocative and controversial theory has been gaining momentum in recent years, with several studies suggesting strong links between ADHD and the length, timing and quality of sleep. In an era in which even toddlers know the words Netflix and Hulu, when demands for perfectionism extend to squirmy preschoolers and many elementary-age students juggle multiple extracurricular activities each day, one question is whether some kids are so stimulated or stressed that they are unable to sleep as much or as well as they should.

Source: Could some ADHD be a type of sleep disorder? That would fundamentally change how we treat it.

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Sleep Duration May Affect Integrity of Sperm DNA

Sleep Affects Sperm DNA

Sleep Affects Sperm DNAWe understand that sleep is healthy. It should be no surprise that sleep affects sperm DNA. However, the amount of sleep is also important. The “if sleep is good then more is better” logic seems intuitive but a recent study shows we can get too much of a good thing.

Researchers have identified a link between sleep duration in men and the chromosomal health of their sperm.

In the study of 2020 semen samples provided by 796 male volunteers from colleges in Chongqing (China) from 2013 to 2015, volunteers with more than 9 hours per day of sleep and those with 6.5 hours or less per day sleep had 41% and 30% lower High DNA Stainability–an index that represents the proportion of sperm with abnormal chromatin–than did volunteers with 7 to 7.5 hours per day of sleep. Chromatin is a complex of DNA and proteins that forms chromosomes.

“This is new information after our pervious finding that sleep duration has an inverse U-shaped association with semen volume and total sperm count. In the previous study, we found that these two semen parameters were highest when sleep is 7.0 to 7.5 hours per day, and either longer or shorter sleep was associated with the decrease of the two semen parameters.”, said Dr. Jia Cao, co-author of the study.

Source: Sleep Duration May Affect Integrity of Sperm DNA

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Study Links Gut Microbiome With “Ridiculously Healthy” Aging

Gut Microbiome And Ridiculously Healthy Aging

Gut Microbiome And Ridiculously Healthy Aging A recent study has linked the human gut microbiome and ridiculously healthy aging. Unfortunately, the study did not establish whether the micorbiome caused healthy aging or was produced by healthy aging. 8-(

People who live to be 100 years old have distinctive gut microbiome ecosystems.

Each of us has trillions of microorganisms and a unique profile of bacterial colonies—commonly referred to as “microbiome” or “microbiota” interchangeably—residing in our gastrointestinal tract at any given time. Microbiota creates a dynamic ecosystem that is a combination of both beneficial “good bacteria” and potentially detrimental bacteria. Microbiome colonies begin to reside within our intestines immediately after birth and are vital to a broad range of neurobiological, physiological, and immunological functions at every age.

Scientists don’t know the cause and effect of gut microbiota and healthy aging.

“The main conclusion is that if you are ridiculously healthy and 90 years old, your gut microbiota is not that different from a healthy 30-year-old in the same population,” Greg Gloor, the principal investigator of this study, said in a statement. Adding, “Whether this is cause or effect is unknown.”

Source: Study Links Gut Microbiome With “Ridiculously Healthy” Aging

Gut Health

It is amazing that we know so very little about the trillions of bacteria that make up the ecosystem in our guts. More amazing, perhaps, is the lack of gut health in healthcare. There are already like-minded healthcare providers who want to address gut health questions before escalating to pharmaceuticals or surgery. More providers will follow suit and payers will insist on and pay for lower-risk, less-invasive approaches whenever possible. We look forward to the change!

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Why your next house might be a wellness home

Wellness Home

Wellness HomeA movement to promote wellness home design is growing. And why not? The modern lifestyle is tough. We need an environment that speaks to our particular needs. Our surroundings greatly influence our health. Consumers are taking actions to make those surroundings more nurturing, not just decorative.

Move over smart home, there’s a new Zen titan coming to town.

Even if you live in a city packed full of every kind of pollution (looking at you, city lights), by choosing some gorgeous greeneryKondo’ing your closet, and sprawling out in your cozy space while wearing chic loungewear, you can transform any old space into a sanctuary. But your entire home—even your entire community—could soon be a place of healing and wellness, according to research findings unveiled at the Global Wellness Summit.

In a report titled “Build Well to Live Well: Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate and Communities,” Global Wellness Institute senior researcher Katherine Johnston said, “We’re at the beginning of a new movement in home and community design that tackles our uniquely modern problems: sedentary lives, unhealthy diets, stress, social isolation and loneliness, pollution, nature-deprivation.” To solve this problem, real-estate developers are creating and expanding “wellness homes and communities,” which the report defines as structures that aim to support the holistic health of its residents.

Source: Why your next house might be a wellness home

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Tai Chi Benefits Health

Tai Chi Benefits Health

There are many health benefits that seem out of place for this slow-moving martial art. Practitioners have claimed for centuries that tai chi benefits health. Now research is exploring and adding to those claims.

Tai Chi burns about 275 calories per hour – more calories than surfing, and about the same calories as downhill skiing.  But the real benefit of Tai Chi has nothing to do with caloric burn.

The great secret of Tai Chi is that as it is practiced – practically in slow motion – it seems to have wonderful health benefits.  These benefits have been claimed by Eastern Medicine for some time now, but are beginning to undergo Western Medicine’s verification as well.  So far, Western Medicine is willing to attribute the following Tai Chi claims as valid:

  • Increased balance control
  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness
  • lower LDLs by 20-26mg
  • Better recovery for people who have endured stroke, heart failure, heart attacks
  • Benefits for those suffering from M.S., Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
  • A recent study indicates that regular practice of Tai Chi improves the body’s immune function, and boosts efficacy of flu and other vaccines.
  • Tai Chi “significantly increased psychological well-being including reduction of stress, anxiety, and depression, and enhanced mood in community-dwelling healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions”

Modern Tai Chi organizations also tout that its forms (a series of fluid movements from 37 to 108 steps) create a flow of energy through the body that nourishes and empowers the body’s systems, which has shown to benefit people suffering from:

  • Allergies,
  • Asthma,
  • Anxiety,
  • ADD/ADHD,
  • Alzheimer’s,
  • Arthritis,
  • Chronic pain,
  • Diabetes,
  • Liver Disease,
  • Migraines and much more.

Source: Tai Chi: An Exercise That May Actually Repair Knees

A Go Slow Approach… Literally

Tai Chi is often called a “moving meditation” because this flowing practice engages both mind and body. Harvard Health once referred to tai chi as “medication in motion” to highlight that tai chi benefits health. However tai chi can be strenuous, especially for a beginner or someone recovering from a medical condition. It is important to adopt tai chi slowly, preferably under the watchful eye of an experienced instructor. As more Americans adopt a holistic approach to health, tai chi can be a wonderful addition to any holistic health “cocktail”.

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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Follow Your Gut To Know What Is Causing Your Depression

Gut Health Influences Mental Health

Gut Health Influences Mental Health

Many of us have heard the expression “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”. That may be more true than we realized and it may apply to all of us. Until recently the research community had not given much thought to how gut health influences mental health.

While we all may feel sad or low in energy at times, depression is not a variation of one’s mood, but an illness. It has been conventionally described as a chemical imbalance, or, more specifically, a particularly low level of serotonin (the happy hormone) in the brain. And this could be a serious problem: out of approximately 40 million brain cells, most are influenced either directly or indirectly by serotonin – it impacts our mood, sexual desire, sleep and memory.

“Creating a healthy gut microbiota is being investigated as a viable treatment strategy for serotonin-related brain-gut axis disorders,” noted Behavioural Brain Research in January 2015, while Buchan adds: “Supplementing with probiotics has been shown to provide a multitude of health effects.”

Healing the gut is not an overnight process; one needs to create the correct environment for probiotics to be cultivated, otherwise they simply pass through our body as if in a hollow tube. Yet simple adjustments, including eating cultured (probiotic) food such as sauerkraut and kefir, can begin to lay a good foundation for change.

Whatever the individual health story is, researchers and doctors are clear: professional psychological, nutritional and biochemical support are imperative and essential to the healing of depression. Understanding inflammation and the gut certainly shines a whole new light on depression.

Source: Follow Your Gut To Know What Is Causing Your Depression – Longevity LIVE

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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 paths available for your HealthCare Too. See our model for Holistic Health for more information!

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