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Stressing Stress: Understanding the world’s No. 1 health problem

Stressing Stress

Stressing StressIt seems that we have no way to explain the impact of stress on our lives other than stressing stress. Everyone in the Modern World gets it. Deadlines. Financial Pressures. Family Disruptions. Strained Relationships. Addictions. The list goes on and on. There are so many pressures that mount on us. There seem to be so few outlets to deal with them. The evolutionary Fight or Flight is, indeed, not relevant. Both options seem to be out of reach for so many. Healthcare needs to step in and support people before they become patients (and add to the stress as well as financial concerns). This requires a holistic approach… not just pills and procedures.

The word stress is meaningless today. It now refers to vague feelings of unease and discomfort. Stress has become so much a part of our daily life that we accept it as normal. A bad idea. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, stress is the developed world’s No. 1 health problem.

Consider this: Up to 90 percent of physician visits are for problems rooted in stress. As Dr. Paul Rosch, former president of the American Institute of Stress and professor of medicine at New York Medical College, put it: “Stress is taking a terrible toll on the nation’s health and economy. It is a heavy contributor to heart disease, cancer, respiratory distress, lupus and many other life-threatening illnesses.”

Stress triggers a complex assortment of biochemical and hormonal reactions, reactions known as the “Flight or Fight Response.” The FFR is hard-wired into us. It’s designed to keep us alive in the face of life-threatening danger. Stress hormones energize us to fight or flee.

The problem is that the FFR is now obsolete. It’s intended for a time that’s long gone. Evolutionary biologists refer to this problem as the Great Mismatch. Our intense, fast-paced life no longer matches up with our wiring. And our mind now triggers the FFR — in error. We get stressed not just by what happens in our life — but by the way we view what happens in our life. As a result, toxic stress hormones, released in error, seep into our blood and tissues. And set up conditions for serious health problems.

At the end of the day, stress is also a spiritual problem. Because it disturbs our thinking mind so much that we lose a connection to the deeper levels of who we are. And without that connection, we not only lose sight of the brighter colors in life, but we also stop believing they exist.

The solution to stress-related health and spiritual problems is to understand what stress is and what we need to do about it. Including learning how to find, stabilize and strengthen a connection to the “Calm State.” Doing so will flush stress hormones from our blood and tissues. And give us access to the well-being and sanity we find only in deeper states of mind.

For more information please see the original article: Health and Well-Being: Understanding the world’s No. 1 health problem | Lifestyles | newburyportnews.com

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a collaborative holistic care 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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VA Expands Holistic Health Programs | Military.com

VA Expands Holistic Health Programs

VA Expands Holistic Health ProgramsGood news for those vets who need a more holistic approach to their health problems. The VA is expanding its holistic health programs! The VA seems to be leading the way in holistic health approaches that knit together multiple facets of health: mind, body, spirit, and environment. The programs embrace complementary therapies like yoga and mindfulness practices that can be personalized into a vet’s care plan.

According the the VA’s website, the Whole Health Initiative is a new program that they say creates a personalized health plan that considers the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental needs of veterans. The VA says the Whole Health System “acknowledges that health care involves more than the physical human body.”

“VA’s Whole Health approach helps veterans live their lives to the fullest,” said VA Acting Secretary Robert Wilkie. “By developing a personal health plan that integrates many areas of their lives, veterans can truly take charge of their well being and improve their health all around.  I’m pleased to recognize these VA facilities that are helping our veterans do just that.”

NEW DIRECTION FOR VA CARE

This new program offers things like peer support involving other veterans with similar medical conditions or military service experience; well being programs such as yoga, tai chi, and mindfulness; and whole health clinical care utilizing a holistic approach rather than just handing out pills.

The VA says they are shifting from a health care system focused primarily on treating disease to one rooted in forming continuous healing relationships and partnerships that “support you in achieving your greatest overall well being.” The result is a whole health approach, which is a radical redesign of health care focused on empowering you.

To read the entire article please see: VA Expanding New Holistic Health Programs | Military.com

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a collaborative holistic care 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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Meditation 101: Practices, Postures, and Everything In Between

Meditation 101

Meditation 101Meditation is supposed to be simple, even relaxing. For many, however, it can be confusing and cause tension. Fitness Goat provides us with a Meditation 101 guide that lists many types of meditation and reassures us that it takes time.

“I am incapable of meditating,” admitted a friend of mine just the other day. “It ends up being just me silently agonizing over my to-do list.”

I totally get it; meditation is difficult. It’s definitely not a practice you’ll excel at right away. Just like you can’t pick up a golf club for the first time and expect to make it to the Masters Tournament next year and get that green jacket.

Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating, but you get the picture. The art of meditation can take years to learn, and you may never achieve perfect bliss, but it’s all about the practice.

And just like golf may not be your sport, certain styles of meditation may not be your cup of tea either. It takes some experimenting to find what works for you.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a deliberate practice and one that requires your most quiet, mindful state. The word is tossed around a lot, but you may not exactly know meditation’s actual meaning or function. If asked, I would initially picture Yoda summoning the Force. Perhaps this is a form of meditation, but we’ll leave that for the galaxy.

Though mediation varies and splinters off into different styles of practices, it begins with one specific application—calming your mind. It also (hopefully) ends with a similar goal—restoring balance. The in-between is where you can customize your practice.As with most new endeavors, it’s helpful to be educated on the subject before you jump in. That’s why we’re here! In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn about the types of meditation, the benefits of meditation, meditation postures, and even some apps that will help you get in the zone. Then we’ll answer some common questions about meditation and silence any skeptics out there.

For more information please see: Meditation 101: Practices, Postures, and Everything In Between

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a collaborative holistic care 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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Science Supports Meditation: In Depth | NCCIH

Science Supports Meditation

Science Supports MeditationMeditation, mindfulness, etc. have generated much interest recently. For thousands of years humanity has recognized the importance of mind – body practices like meditation, yoga, Taichi, Qigong, and more. Increasingly, conventional science supports meditation as this recent article from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health highlights.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being. Mind and body practices focus on the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior.

There are many types of meditation, but most have four elements in common: a quiet location with as few distractions as possible; a specific, comfortable posture (sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions); a focus of attention (a specially chosen word or set of words, an object, or the sensations of the breath); and an open attitude (letting distractions come and go naturally without judging them).

What the Science Says About the Effectiveness of Meditation

Many studies have investigated meditation for different conditions, and there’s evidence that it may reduce blood pressure as well as symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and flare-ups in people who have had ulcerative colitis. It may ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, and may help people with insomnia.Read more about meditation for these conditions:

  • Pain
  • For High Blood Pressure
  • For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • For Ulcerative Colitis
  • For Anxiety, Depression, and Insomnia
  • For Smoking Cessation
  • Other Conditions

Source: Meditation: In Depth | NCCIH

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a collaborative holistic care 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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Most Popular Alternative Healing Therapies

Popular Alternative Healing Therapies

Popular Alternative Healing TherapiesTrying to stay healthy has been with us since the dawn of Humanity. Many popular alternative healing therapies have been around for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine like acupuncture and herbs started over 2,500 years ago. Ayurvedic Medicine started over 3,000 years ago in India. We exist at a great time because there are now more choices for health than ever. With education and awareness, these ancient therapies as well as modern gizmos and conventional allopathic medicine can all work together.

Alternative Healing Therapies are healing methodologies that differ from the usual line of treatment than that of a doctor. In other words therapeutic practices that are currently not considered as an integral part of conventional medical practice are classified as alternate healing therapies or alternate medicine. Many a times the benefits and healing abilities of these therapies are established through research, other times they may be unproven scientifically. With alternate healing therapies, healing, treatment and cure may be achieved through diet, self healing mechanism of the human body, various energies, herbal and other supplements and much more.

Over the last couple of decades there has been a renewed interest in holistic and natural and thus various therapies have found acceptance and are getting popular both in India and world over.

Source: Most Popular Alternative Healing Therapies | Business Standard News

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The HealthCare Too model provides for a collaborative holistic care 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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Wing Chun May Strengthen Older Adults, Reports Study

Wing Chun Strengthens Older Adults

Wing Chun Strengthens Older AdultsAnyone who has watched a kung fu movie has probably seen the student practicing on a wooden dummy. Working at different speeds, the student lifts the pegs that represent arms and delivers various punch combinations. It is relaxing just to watch. However, this is not limited to young students who seek to become kung fu masters. Wing Chun strengthens older adults as well.

According to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, wing chun may strengthen older adults.

As we age, exercise becomes more important, not only for a fit body, but also for daily energy, strength, clarity of mind, and a mood; exercise prevents illness, keeps us functional, lengthens life. So why don’t we get enough? It’s not only because we’re lazy comfort-loving creatures ;-). Some of us are easily bored and find running and weight-lifting repetitive and unengaging mentally.

What’s more, the older we get, the more likely we are to suffer from joint problems and muscle deterioration, which ironically, make it difficult to do to the very exercises necessary to avoid those problems! Developing enjoyable and therapeutic ways for older adults to get enough of the right kinds of exercise is an urgent problem, especially as people live longer, and not exercising can easily snow-ball in to long-term health decline with its accompanying reduction in quality of life and life-span.

Source: Wing Chun May Strengthen Older Adults, Reports Study

Meet People Where They Are

A common challenge for exercise is not only to find time and motivation but also deal with the impact on our bodies. Wrestling, football, lacrosse are much more likely for high school students than senior citizens. We need more exercises that provide benefit for mind and body (and arguably spirit) without the risks of injury. As the West continues to explore centuries-old Eastern practices like tai chi, qi gong, and yoga we should be aware of other possibilities like wing chun.

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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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The Benefits of Being Present

Being PresentBeing Present

Mindfulness is in vogue. We hear phrases like “just breathe”. Yoga pants sell at over $100. Once reserved for parks in China, Tai Chi classes dot the US landscape. Aetna’s CEO, Mark Bertolini, has found mindfulness improves his productivity as well as Aetna’s workforce. Perhaps we should pause, just a moment, and consider being present.

When you have a full schedule, multitasking might seem like the best way to finish your endless to-do list.

But the brain actually benefits from focusing on one activity at a time.

When you commit to training your attention and exerting control over your mind, you’re practicing mindfulness. While it has become a popular psychotherapy technique, mindfulness originated in Buddhism over 2,000 years ago.

The idea of mindfulness is that life should be lived in the present moment. In addition to improving your focus, the practice can bring stress and insomnia relief, and pain reduction.

Source: The Benefits of ‘Being in the Present’

What Is Being Present?

It’s great to see research on how being present may benefit brain health. Such research may help those who need a scientific explanation. However, there may be more to being present than which areas of the brain light up. There is certainly enough risk / reward that putting a mindfulness practice in your day is worthwhile. Worst case is you tried to relax for 10 minutes. But perhaps you decrease stress and gain a little focus.

Sometimes it is intriguing to go to an original source and see where it fits in your mindfulness practice. Here is a pertinent chapter from the Tao Te Ching (or DaodejingDao De Jing) by the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. Enjoy….

Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu – chapter 16
Empty yourself of everything.
Let the mind rest at peace.
The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return.
They grow and flourish and then return to the source.
Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.
The way of nature is unchanging.
Knowing constancy is insight.
Not knowing constancy leads to disaster.
Knowing constancy, the mind is open.
With an open mind, you will be openhearted.
Being openhearted, you will act royally.
Being royal, you will attain the divine.
Being divine, you will be at one with the Tao.
Being at one with the Tao is eternal.
And though the body dies, the Tao will never pass away.

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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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9 Holistic Approaches to Relieve Joint Pain

Holistic Joint Pain RemediesHolistic Joint Pain Remedies

One particularly nice thing about a holistic approach is that many modalities are available. When thinking about holistic joint pain remedies, many Americans limit the possibilities. Our frame of reference for pain management is usually a medication (Over-The-Counter or Prescribed) or some procedure. This article by Nicole Noel, Guest Columnist at Pain News Network, suggests nine approaches. It is a great start but this is far from exhaustive.

Whatever your ailment may be, holistic medicine has an answer.

A therapeutic method that dates back to early civilizations, holistic medicine takes into account the mind, body, emotions and spirit — with the aim of helping patients achieve or restore proper balance in life and prevent or heal a range of conditions, including musculoskeletal pain. Holistic treatments offer a ray of hope for many patients suffering from arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia and other conditions that cause joint pain.

  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Diet Changes
  • Aromatherapy
  • Spa Treatments
  • Capsaicin Cream

Source: 9 Holistic Approaches to Relieve Joint Pain

Holistic Must Be… Holistic

The HealthCare Too approach to Holistic Health does not exclude conventional Western medicine. That would be a mistake for holistic joint pain remedies or any health question. We also believe that relying solely on medication and medical procedures for “healthcare” is also a mistake, leaving us with current US sick care system. A holistic care plan is really up to you, the consumer. That can be scary.

For years we have been told that we are not capable of making medical decision without a medical degree. That is absolutely true. However, we make health-impacting Life decisions every day without any medical advice. How long should I sleep today? What should I eat? When should I eat? How will I deal with the negative people and events in my Life? What exercise will I pursue? How can I open myself to greater spirituality? And so much more!

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 is to create Awareness for holistic options, highlight any known Benefit, and promote Coordinated Care for your optimum health.

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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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