Four things to keep in mind when practicing prenatal yoga

The practice of yoga comes with its set of health benefits. You can expect increased flexibility and for your body to make positive physical changes, such as increased muscle tone and a more lean physique. You may notice that you have better posture the more you practice, an increase in energy, and better circulatory health. Yoga also helps boost the immune system, can increase blood flow, and contributes to an overall sense of relaxation and mindfulness.

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Whether you’re new to the practice or consider yourself a yogi, practicing yoga while pregnant can come with its own set of precautions due to your already changing body.

Here are our tips for a safe and effective yoga session:

Drink plenty of water.
While yoga can be relaxing, it’s still a workout. Your daily fluid intake may have already increased due to pregnancy, and you don’t want to let that slip during this or any other exercise.

Be careful during horizontal postures.
Postures that involve you lying on your back can put pressure on parts of your body that support maternal cardiac health, as well as fetal oxygen health. Lying on your stomach can also get very uncomfortable very fast.

Understand your center of gravity.
As you progress in pregnancy, your center of body mass shifts, with an increased likelihood of losing your balance. A fall during pregnancy can be dangerous so, for any balancing poses, we suggest holding on to a sturdy object for support.

Listen to your body.
Even if you’ve been practicing yoga for a long period of time, pregnancy changes the way your body responds to the practice. Listen to your body and take care of yourself should you experience lightheadedness, headaches, or anything else that is even slightly out of the norm for you. It’s best to be safe!

There are plenty of benefits to prenatal yoga, including improved sleep (a necessity during this time), decreased lower back pain, and improved muscle flexibility and endurance that’ll help during the birthing process. Before beginning any practice, always be sure to check in with your health care provider to make sure yoga is okay for you and your unique situation.

Now, go on and enjoy your prenatal yoga session. Namaste.

Heart attack prevention – steps to take

20688446_MHeart disease (also known as cardiovascular diseases) are conditions that involve restricted or blocked blood vessels that may lead to heart attack, stroke, or chest pain (angina). It is the number one cause of death in the United States, claiming the lives of about 655,000 people annually. The irony, however, is that many people don’t take steps to protect themselves from it, even though these steps are simple.

Several things raise the risk of heart disease and they are called ‘risk factors.’ Some of them are beyond your control. Examples include age, gender, race or ethnicity, family history, and genetics, among many others. Fortunately, some things are within your control that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. This post explores some of the most important ones.

Stop Smoking

If you’ve never smoked, that’s perfect! If you do, you should stop now! Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals that damage your heart vessel over time. These chemicals are so pernicious that even if you’ve stopped smoking a long time ago, your heart might still be at risk. For former chronic smokers, it takes a long time for heart damages to be repaired, but some never get restored.

Furthermore, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. A study by the FDA showed that secondhand smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 25% to 30%.

The good news is that if you quit smoking, after about a year, your risk of heart disease drops to about half that of a smoker.

Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

Once low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol starts to build in the bloodstream, it gets deposited inside your coronary arteries, which restricts blood flow. They may even rupture. This leads to the spewing of chemicals that accelerate the formation of blood clots, which prevents oxygen-carrying blood from reaching the heart. This may, invariably, lead to a heart attack. Triglycerides are another type of fat found in the blood and they typically increase the risk of coronary artery disease, especially in women.

That’s why it is important to keep your cholesterol level in check. Healthy diets, medication, and regular exercise will help with that.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Do you know that more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese? This is scary considering, for most people, their lifestyle is the primary contributing factor. Being overweight or obese can result in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions, in turn, increases your risk of heart disease.

The BMI is an important metric used to determine if your weight is healthy, based on your weight and height. A BMI of over 25 is considered unhealthy. Dieting, exercising, and medication can help you lose weight.

Eat Healthy Foods

Certain foods increase your risk of developing heart disease. Some of them include salt, sugar, processed carbohydrates, saturated fat (in full-fat dairy products and red meat), and trans fat (in fast foods, baked goods, and chips). Try to limit their intake.

Instead, opt for heart-healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, lean meat and fish, beans and other legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil. Remember, you are what you eat!

Exercise Regularly

Being active and doing exercise is beneficial for the body system. It helps to lower blood pressure, enhance blood circulation, and keep your heart and blood vessels in good condition. Furthermore, it helps to burn calories, which can help lose weight, which, in turn, lowers your blood pressure.

The great thing is that you do not need to engage in strenuous activities like football and squash to reap from the benefits of exercise. Low-impact exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, and cycling will help you stay fit.

Reduce Alcohol Intake

If you must drink, then you should limit it to less than 14 units per week. Fourteen units are equivalent to 10 small glasses of low-strength wine or 6 pints of average-strength beer. Moreover, spread your drinking over three or more days.

Excessive alcohol intake increases calories, which might cause weight gain. It also raises your blood pressure and cholesterol, which increases your risk of a heart attack. Avoid binge drinking because it may cause a sudden spike in your blood pressure, which can be harmful.

Manage Stress

We live in a fast-paced world where many people develop unhealthy lifestyles to cope with stress – such as drinking, overeating, or smoking. As you’ve seen, all these habits substantially increase your risk of heart disease. Extreme stress is also a trigger for heart attack.

That’s why it’s important to manage your stress properly. Exercising, relaxation routines, listening to music, yoga, and meditating are more effective ways of dealing with stress.

Get Sufficient Sleep

Many people underplay the importance of sleep in maintaining good health. Not getting sufficient sleep is bad and it increases the risk of having a heart attack. Moreover, disruptive sleep conditions like sleep apnea and insomnia increase the risk of heart disease.

Most healthy adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night to function at their best. Plan your day better so you can get a good night’s rest. If you have a sleep problem that disrupts your sleep, seek medical help.

Manage Diabetes

Diabetes is a risk factor for diabetic heart disease. Risk factors for diabetes include being overweight and genetics. Diabetes results in high blood sugar which damages the blood vessels and nerves that control the heart and blood vessel. Early detection can help you make the necessary lifestyle changes that can help minimize its impact. Therefore, it’s important to get tested for diabetes.

Get Regular Health Screenings

Many people have underlying health conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. But without regular screenings, it remains undetected until the problem becomes worse. That’s why it’s important to have regular blood pressure screening; at least once every one or two years. Moreover, adults should have their cholesterol level measured, at least, once every 4 to 6 years.

If any of this condition is detected on time, your doctor may prescribe medication or recommend lifestyle changes that will help reduce the risk of further complications. Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions.

Reach out to us today with any questions you may have.

Should you be dry brushing?

Brushing is a part of your daily routine. You brush your hair, you brush your teeth, you brush your body. Wait, what?16577608_M

Dry brushing is a process that involves brushing your skin with a natural brush to remove toxins from your body. It may sound odd, but if it’s not a part of your routine, you may benefit from adding it in. But, what exactly is dry brushing, what does it do, how do you do it and does the brush you use matter? We have answers to some of your most frequently asked dry brushing questions.

What exactly is dry brushing?
Dry brushing is actually a process that’s been around for an incredibly long time. When you dry brush, you’re stimulating your lymphatic system, which is responsible for draining the toxins from your body. Dry brushing is exactly as it sounds — running a dry brush over your skin.

What does dry brushing do?
Besides stimulate your lymphatic system, dry brushing has been said to reduce the appearance of cellulite, exfoliate dead skin and unclog pores. Dry brushing also gives a natural energy boost so a morning dry brushing session may help to get you prepared and invigorated for the day ahead.

How do you dry brush?
Dry brushing is easy. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Without using too much pressure, start at your feet and work your way up.
  2. Always brush toward the center of your body. The lymphatic system drains in your chest so brushing in this direction will help the entire process.
  3. Either use firm, small strokes upwards, or brush in an upward, circular motion.
  4. Brush your stomach in a counterclockwise motion for best results.
  5. Go over each area of your skin several times. There should be some major overlap.

Although it’s called dry brushing, you can use a little bit of body oil on your brush, which will transfer nicely to your skin and help exfoliate.

Does the brush you use matter?
It can. There are a number of dry brushes on the market so first, trying holding onto different kinds. You may like handheld dry brushes, or you may prefer dry brushes with a handle so it’s easier to reach your back. The bristles of your brush should be firm, but shouldn’t be too stiff or require a lot of pressure to brush effectively.

If you brush once or twice a day, you’ll likely experience the benefits. It’ll become a healthy habit that is easily incorporated into your routine and becomes just as “normal” as brushing the other parts of your body.

Integrative medicines role in treating illnesses

Conceptual mental exercise.What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine involves the use of appropriate healthcare professionals, therapeutic approaches and the disciplines to reach optimal healing and health. It focuses on the entire body and combines conventional medical therapy with other therapies.

Integrative medicine aims to maintain and restore the wellness and health of a person by comprehending the patient’s overall health condition, including spiritual and psychological dimensions. It also considers the patient’s biological, psycho-social., behavioral, and environmental factors.

The following are the principles that define the use of integrative medicine:

  • The practitioner and the patient are companions in the process of healing.
  • The factors that affect wellness, disease, and health are taken into account such as the body, spirit, mind, community, etc.
  • Less invasive, effective, and natural interventions are used during the healing process.
  • The practitioners take the help of the healing sciences to allow the body to respond to innate healing.
  • Good science makes good medicine which is available for new paradigms.
  • Along with the concepts of medicinal treatment, there is a broader concept of wellness and health promotion and how to prevent illness.
  • Personalized care based on the needs and conditions and circumstances of the patient.

Integrative Medicine and its Benefits

The practice of integrative medicine integrates the latest scientific medical treatment protocols with conventional medical treatments or therapies.

The benefits of practicing integrative medicine are as follows:

  • A broad approach to wellness and carethe best thing about integrative medicine is that it combines conventional medicine which is based on evidence and alternative medicine. For instance, conventional treatments for backaches are sometimes ineffective, and in that situation, your practitioner may provide you with osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) or acupuncture, an anti-inflammatory diet plan, or massage therapy.
  • Treatment of the person, not only the disease or condition – When your provider is applying integrative medicine to treat your problem, the emphasis is given on all the important factors that affect your health, be it physical, behavioral, biological, environmental, or psychosocial. So, you get an overall treatment of not just your physical body or health but also your mental health, your community, etc.
  • Creating a foundation for your overall wellness and health – We have already learned about how integrative medicine treats the overall condition of the body. Hence, it involves making a groundwork for better overall health. This kind of treatment actively addresses the nutritional status like food allergies or vitamin deficiencies, immunity systems like an inflammatory burden or gut health, environmental toxins such as occupational hazards, pesticides present in food, etc and also hormonal imbalances.
  • Prevention of future health problems before they arise – Integrative medicine is synonymous with preventive medicine. This means integrative medicine is the best treatment through which you can secure future health by learning or gaining full knowledge about your present health status and exploring ways to address the medical health issues proactively, much before they arise.
  • Integrative medicines can relate to both specialty and primary care – integrative medicinal treatment can be applied in both primary as well as specialty care such as pain management, gastroenterology, and psychiatry.

When should I go for Integrative Medicine?

People go for integrative medicine for various reasons but several studies have shown that most of them pursue it because they find integrative medicine better aligned with their beliefs, philosophies, and values regarding their life and health over the rigid and restrictive conventional medical treatments.

The customizable personal care that comes with the practice of integrative medicine is preferred by most of the patients. They feel that turning to an integrative approach will let them achieve the best health and will also enable them to maintain it. In fact, studies at Duke Integrative Medicine prove that those who take part in integrative medicine treatment experience more insightful and intense health benefits than those who do not participate in integrative medicine.

Many of the integrative medicinal treatments are not that old. They include certain herbal treatments and acupuncture as well which have been around the medicinal approach for more since ages. People are experiencing these therapies in managing pain combined with modern techniques. Scientists and health care workers find integrative medicine to be more useful since it gives positive outcomes for a variety of pain and illnesses. So, integrative medicines role in treating illnesses is going to be increasing in future for sure.

Conclusive Thoughts

We, at Proactive Wellness Centers, aim to help our patients achieve optimal health and functional efficiency one individualized plan at a time. Your health is important to us. We understand that issues around your well being can be intimidating. If you have any questions you would like to discuss with us, please feel free to contact us here today.

We’re looking forward to learning more about you!

References:

https://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/heart-health/integrative-medicine/overview

https://www.floridamedicalclinic.com/blog/5-integrative-medicine-benefits/

https://dukeintegrativemedicine.org/about/what-is-integrative-medicine/