Physical Health

Restorative Yoga: How can it help you?

Restorative yoga is a soothing practice that aims to restore the body and mind to a rested, relaxed state. Poses are often supported with props such as blankets, bolsters and blocks to allow the muscles to completely release tension. If restorative yoga is done with breath work and focus, its benefits can range from increased relaxation to weight loss and improved health.

Unfortunately, our bodies don’t know the difference between non-life-threatening stress such as meeting a business deadline and high-danger stress such as running from a wild animal. Restorative yoga helps to calm the “fight or flight” feeling of stress that is caused by a busy lifestyle. As you breathe and feel your muscles supported during restorative yoga, the nervous system gradually sends less urgent messages to the brain, allowing the breath and heart rate to slow.

Cardiac Health: The cardiac system is constantly hard at work circulating oxygen-rich blood through the entire body. Restorative yoga helps to rest the heart, allowing the heartbeat to slow and work a little less than usual. A classic restorative pose, Legs Up the Wall pose, brings the legs and feet higher than the heart. This allows the heart to rest, since blood can move down through the legs with less effort. This pose can also reduce swelling and congestion in the feet and legs, while providing a gentle stretch.

Increased Breath Awareness: Breathing deeply with intention is at the heart of all forms of yoga, and restorative yoga is no different. Deep breathing helps the mind and muscles to quiet down. An increased awareness of your breath can also be helpful off the mat as you begin to note unhealthy patterns in your breathing, such as holding your breath or breathing jaggedly, […]

Seven Tips to Managing Your Diabetes

toolsDiabetes

 

When you are first diagnosed with diabetes, it is often overwhelming. There is so much you need to know and do. Often, the pills or insulin the doctor prescribes are the easiest part of the “self-management” regimen.

Below are seven tips to managing your diabetes. How do you thrive in your personal journey with diabetes?

 

1. Healthy Eating

This means having foods that provide all three nutrients: protein, carbohydrate and fat in reasonable quantities to help you maintain a healthful weight.

It means eating regular meals that are low in saturated fat and excess sodium and controlling the amount and type of carbohydrate you eat at one time. What it doesn’t mean is that you have to give up all of your favorite foods or that certain foods are taboo.

In order to do this you need to know the nutrient (especially carbohydrate) content of foods, how to read labels, how to cook foods to maintain nutrient content and avoid adding extra saturated fat and sodium and learn how to choose appropriately in restaurants.

2. Being Active

This means engaging in aerobic activity, strength building and flexibility training most days of the week. Being active can help control blood glucose levels if you have type 2 diabetes and improve cardiovascular health and assist in weight loss or control for both type 2 and type 1 diabetes.

You need to know what activities are appropriate for you to do, how often and how forcefully you need to do them and how to handle the possible side effects of exercise (hypo and hypergly
cemia.)

3. Monitoring

Checking your blood glucose allows and your health care provider to see how your blood sugars are responding to the medications and lifestyle […]

Acupuncture for All People

Whether you live in Homer, Anchor Point, Seldovia or any of the surrounding areas you can now receive acupuncture! Remember, as always, this and all of our services are open to all Native and non-Native peoples. Some insurance policies DO cover acupuncture. Be sure to ask your insurance provider if this service is covered under your plan!

Call 226-2228 to find out when acupuncture is available in your area and to schedule your appointment.

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Pelvic Exams – What You Need to Know

Medical

Health Magazine posted a thought provoking article on the pelvic exam debate. Here we share it with you. What is your opinion on pelvic exams? Let us know in the comments!

You’ve likely heard that a doctor’s group now says that you can probably skip the annual pelvic exam if you aren’t pregnant or having any problems. But don’t start jumping for joy just yet.

Another doctor’s group (of course) isn’t all that happy with the new guidelines, which were issued by the American College of Physicians, or ACP. The ACP says that some parts of the pelvic exam (palpitating the ovaries, for example), aren’t all that helpful, rarely detecting important diseases or saving lives, and that they’re uncomfortable and cost extra. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists begs to differ.

The ACP guidelines, based on a survey of medical literature from the past 70 years, contradict those issued by ACOG, which still recommends annual pelvic exams for all women 21 years of age and over.

“I feel that [the ACP guidelines] are based on limited data and that annual pelvic exams do offer benefits so they shouldn’t be discontinued as routine exams,” says Taraneh Shirazian, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine in New York City and a former ACOG board member.

What is a pelvic exam?

Most women are all too familiar with the routine pelvic exam. The complete exam consists of an external look at the vulva, an internal look at the vagina and cervix with a speculum (a plastic or metal instrument), a Pap smear to test for cervical abnormalities and the “bimanual” exam.

It’s the speculum and […]