As the year draws to a close, it is a time of celebration for all the advances in science and technology this year, which impact our health for the better. It is also a time for reflection and for supporting the health advocacy causes that are important to us. The season of giving has arrived!
Local, global, or issue-specific, the sophisticated online world of charitable giving can guide you on how to be an effective giver, with detailed resource tools to help you achieve the type of impact you would like to make with your donation.
The buzz of energy around New Year’s health resolutions has come and gone. No reason to be discouraged; we still have 11 more months to keep trying.
What I have learned from interviewing people over the years on goal setting is that unrealistic expectations can often deflate the
momentum of initial motivation. Successful goal achievers who do make it to a desired endpoint get there not with magic, but with a formula of the basics—time, patience, repetition, and support. World Fitness Calculator and Superbetter, tech tools based on simple health principles can help boost your body-mind wellness goals for the year.
David Milarch, a fourth generation tree farmer in Northern Michigan with a bent for rugged living, had a near death experience in the hospital, after refusing dialysis and facing liver failure. He had died, left his body and returned, but with a message from spirit guides telling him his work was not done yet. The earth’s trees were in trouble, and he needed to clone Champion trees to protect their genetics for the future of the planet.
Milarch, fueled by the message from the angels, co-founded The Champion Tree Project. Twenty years later, with a modest staff, he has accomplished what skeptics and scientists said could not be done: cloned the earth’s biggest and oldest trees – among them Sequoias and Redwoods - that have stood the test of time and are the most resilient to climate change.
Few would dispute the countless benefits of exercise, but for
persons with complex medical conditions, standard exercise
programs are often not the right solution. Organizations such as NCPAD offer excellent education on modified exercise programs specific to each health condition. The take-away guideline of this New York Times article is to engage in as much exercise as your body will tolerate. With medical supervision, a variety of ways exist to adapt exercises to provide challenge and accommodate limitations. Keep searching for the right type of exercise for your body. Movement creates momentum and health.
The gentle, meditative, paced movements of Tai Chi hold promise as a path of restorative exercise for those struggling with mobility challenges. A widely practiced Chinese martial art, Tai Chi improves balance, aids in stress relief, and promotes circulation of the "chi" (energy) - a therapeutic effect common in eastern healing modalities yielding balance in the body. The Arthritis Foundation sponsors a unique Tai Chi program, Sun Style, created by Dr. Paul Lam. This program is composed of a series of movements tailored to the needs of persons diagnosed with arthritis.
Each time I attend a live musical performance, I am always awed by the soul-piercing effect of music on the audience, be it jazz, blues, gospel, rock, or classical. I witness how music moves the listener spurring relief, joy, play, or an escape into imagination.
Earlier this summer, I visited the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy and spoke with director,
Dr. Alan Turry, on the healing aspects of music and the unique treatment approach of the center.
Mindfulness, the practice of bringing our attention purposefully to the present moment, is taught widely in healthcare treatment as a tool to aid in stress relief and coping.
I recently spoke with Ashley Mask, Manager of Visitor Experience and Access Programs at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York about Mindful Connections, a guided monthly 90-minute art tour of the museum for persons with dementia and their caregivers.
Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Falls can be traumatic, both practically and emotionally. When such an incident happens, seek medical care, as the fall could be a sign of changes in your mobility or an underlying health issue. Fall prevention training is a holistic model of intervention involving three areas: balance training/adaptive exercise, medical management, and home modifications.
The Fall Prevention Center for Excellence is a health advocacy organization seeking to raise public awareness of the incidence of falls and the importance of Fall Prevention education. If you are concerned about a loved one, StopFalls.org offers several educational resources for support.
Spit it Out, an award-winning documentary codirected by Jeff Shames and Jonathan Skurnik, follows the poignant journey of Jeff Shames in his efforts to find self-acceptance as a stutterer.
In one of the delightful opening scenes, Shames is attending a workshop at a conference held by Friends, a support organization for children who stutter and their families. The children are outdoors ready with their speech monsters in hand, an art exercise depicting their struggles with stuttering. “We need to show them who is the boss of our talking!” says the group leader. “Put your speech monster inside the rocket!” The kids crumple up their speech monsters, dump them into a rocket, and blast it off into space, giving back the power to the children.
Last year, while working on a coping series for the American Brain Tumor Association, I learned of the Bloch Cancer Hotline in Kansas City, MO. The hotline was founded 30 years ago by Richard and Annette Bloch after Richard Bloch’s diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. Richard experienced many challenges in negotiating his cancer care. With a second opinion and perseverance, he survived for many years after his diagnosis. This personal experience prompted Richard and his wife to dedicate their life’s work to giving hope to cancer patients.
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The content and suggested links on this website- blog are for educational purposes only. They are not meant to substitute for advice from your health care provider. If you are in need of medical, therapeutic, or wellness care, please see a medical doctor or other qualified health care provider.