Friday, April 30, 2010

Finding the right workout place for you.

Finding the right place for you to exercise is extremely important. It needs to be a place you feel comfortable going into and is easy for you to get to. There seem to be more and more little gyms and exercise studios popping up as many people are turning to these little shops instead of the big and crowded gyms.
Some things to consider when looking for a gym or studio to join.
  1. Location - Is it convenient for you to get to at the times that you plan to go? Some of the best intentions can be ruined by something just simply not being easy to get to. Try to make it either close to work, home or on the way to one of these.
  2. Amenities - Do they have the facilities and classes that you want? If you plan to exercise on the way to work you will need a place that has a shower. If you are interested in taking classes, make sure that you look over the gym class schedule to see if any of the classes you want are at a time that works for you, before you sign up.
  3. The Staff - Meet as many of the staff as possible. These are people that you will get to know very well, so you should love them! If you are going to hire a personal trainer or take a class try to find out as much info about them as possible. What certifications and experience do they have? You want to make sure that these instructors know what they are doing since they are going to be working with your body!
  4. Do you have friends that work out there? Studies show that when you have a workout buddy you are twice as likely to reach your goals. Having someone to meet you at the gym will help keep you focused and going regularly.

When I started my gym I wanted a place that my clients could come to and would feel safe, un-judged and that I could really have a one to one session with. I hope this helps you to get on your way to finding the best fitness place for you and your needs.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How much sunscreen is enough?

You can protect yourself from the sun with physical blocks such as the umbrellas pictured here, with clothing that has an SPF rating, and with chemical sunscreens that you apply to your skin.

Sunscreen Protection Factor, or SPF, is the measure of protection a sunscreen will give you from the sun’s UVB rays. (There is currently no standardized measure of protection for UVA rays) It works like this: If your unprotected skin burns in 20 minutes, a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 will protect your skin 15 times longer - in this case, about 5 hours.

Products containing an SPF of 15 block approximately 93% of the sun’s UVB rays.

Products containing an SPF of 30 block approximately 97% of the sun’s UVB rays.

Products containing an SPF of 50 block approximately 98% of the sun’s UVB rays.

Products with higher than an SPF of 50 provide negligible additional protection and no sunscreen will protect you from 100% of UVB rays.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Fishy in Fish Oils

Do they taste fishy? What fishies are they made from? What are they good for? What about dose? Brand? How do the Omega 3 sources in essential fatty acids derived from plant sources compare? What about all these fishy reports about toxins in fish oil supplements?

I have been getting a lot of these questions lately, and hope I can help answer some of them for you. Fish oil supplementation has become widespread in the last few years, as we learn more and more about the health benefits of Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs).

These EFAs contain EPA and DHA, two compounds which have a wide array of healthy properties. They have been studied for their positive affects on the cardiovascular system-especially in decreasing the risk for sudden heart attacks and secondary coronary events. They are also known for decreasing Triglycerides (our “bad” cholesterol) and increasing HDL (our “good” cholesterol). EFAs are required for brain and retinal development and recent studies have shown their benefits in psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar and schizophrenia. They have also been shown to play a protective role in diseases such as MS, Autoimmune disease and any sort of Inflammatory process in the body.

I use a ton of fish oil in my practice for all sorts of health concerns and in a wide range of doses. The benefits for certain health conditions really depend on proper dose administration, quality of the product and on the person sitting in front of me in my office. Different ratios of EPA to DHA should be used depending on the individual and the therapeutic goals. For example, to lower Triglycerides and balance cholesterol I will advise a much higher dose than for someone with high blood pressure or difficulty concentrating.

So where do these supplements come from?

Oily fish. Usually from oily sardines, herring and anchovies. The Omega 3’s we all hype about actually come from the microalgae that these guys feed on. So really, you can take an oil supplement made from different species of Algal oil to get a great vegetarian source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Another vegetarian source of Omega 3's is Flax Seed Oil. Flax Seed Oil has many healing properties and can have a profound affect on hormonal balance but we need an enzyme called Delta-6 Desaturase to convert flax oil to EPA, GLA and DHA in our bodies. Many of us are deficient in this enzyme so it is much easier to obtain these compounds from EFAs from fish or algae sources.

Do they taste horrible? Not necessarily. High quality fish oils often have quite a subtle taste and are mixed with orange or lemon oils to mask the ever so delicious sardine flavor. I actually carry a product made with berry concentrate that my patients can’t get enough of! Be sure to keep all fish oils in the fridge, and if you really can’t get over the taste, try freezing fish oil capsules and taking them that way.

When looking for fish oil on the shelves, don’t underestimate quality and purity. Last month there was a lawsuit in California against several different Fish Oil Supplement manufacturers because harmful toxins such as PCBs were found in these products. Visit this link for more details:

Professional Companies will test all their products thoroughly for contamination and purity, so when you purchase fish oil make sure that it comes from a reputable, high quality source. Look for a label on the bottle that says that they have been tested for heavy metals and impurities. Some Professional Nutritional Companies that I recommend include Genestra, Metagenics, Pharmax, Ascenta and Vital Nutrients. Look for labels such as “USP verified”, “NMP certified”, “pharmaceutical grade” or “species specific” where the names of the types of fish are on the label rather than just the words “fish oil”.


They can be, but fabulous too!

Blog Post by: Dr. Sarah Anne Rothman, ND

* The content of this blog is for informational purposes only. Please consult with your health care practitioner before taking any supplements or health care advice*

Image credit

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Talking with Aging Relatives about the Future

A husband steps into the kitchen and cooks the first the dinner he’s prepared in fifty years.
A daughter hangs up the phone and puts her head in her hands as she considers her mother living in the snow and ice of another east coast winter. Will this be winter that her mother falls and breaks her hip?
A retiree wonders what has happened to her plans for travel and adventure while she makes breakfast for her 90 year old father.
A young mother sighs as she tries to fit in taking her mother to the doctor and attending soccer practice for her son.

Family caregiving has always been with us. You may remember your family caring for a grandparent when you were growing up. In today’s world, caring for an aging relative can be more challenging than ever when families are far apart, when traditional caregivers (the women of the family) are working outside the home and when couples delay having children, bringing the needs of aging relatives and young children into conflict.

The good news is that now more than ever, there are services and tools to help families navigate the eldercare maze. The challenge is that most of us do not prepare or plan for the day when we will care for an aging parent or other relative. We may not plan for the day when our spouse will need our help. This is the challenge that eldercare coaching helps you meet.

Eldercare coaching helps you communicate with your family about your eldercare concerns, make plans for the future and find trusted resources when you need them.

Here are three tips for starting an eldercare conversation between older family members and family members who need your help.

  1. Open the conversation with an example from someone you know or a story you heard on the news. If Uncle Joe’s children struggled to help him because he refused their help, use his situation as a springboard for speaking with your own parent about their wishes.

  2. Keep an open mind. By the time, you talk with your relatives you may have a clear picture in your own mind about the problems and the possible solutions. It’s important to hear everyone’s thoughts and be open to solutions that you may not have thought of.

  3. Be patient. These are serious conversations with high stakes for you and your aging family member. It will take time to come up with solutions that work for all of you. It’s common after reaching an agreement to have second thoughts and experience some backtracking. Know that this is part of the process and plan for several conversations around aging.

What has worked for you when speaking with older relatives about the future?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What is a hypnotherapist, and should I care?

Most of us have heard that change is hard - you have to really, really want it - and it takes a long time. Nonsense - all living things change. Try not to change - it is impossible. What is difficult, takes time and effort, is trying to consistently do anything your subconscious mind doesn’t want to do. Your subconscious mind never sleeps, never shuts up (even if you are not aware of it) and rarely forgets anything - and your subconscious mind is persistent. If your conscious mind wants something, and your subconscious mind wants something else - your subconscious mind tends to win.

Hypnotherapy is a gentle, easy way of establishing communication between your conscious and subconscious selves - of correcting old misconceptions and perceptions - and of getting all of you going in the same direction at the same time. The persistence of your subconscious mind can work for you - not against you. Hypnotherapy works with making your subconscious mind your best friend, not your worst enemy.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Modern Science Proving how the Ancient Therapy of Acupuncture Works

Left: A specialized MRI scan shows the effects of acupuncture. The top two images show the brain of a healthy subject. In the middle two images, a patient with carpal tunnel syndrome registers pain (indicated by red and yellow). The bottom images show the calming effect (indicated by blue) in the brain after acupuncture. 

Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine that dates back about 5000 years.  This article was just in the Wall Street Journal showing how modern scientific instruments are proving there is a direct physiological change in the body that occurs with an acupuncture session: 

Wall Street Journal Online: Decoding an Ancient Therapy