Thursday, March 29, 2012

5 Simple Stress Busters Anyone Can Do

Stress kills.  It's that simple.  It kills.  Dead.  Terminally dead.  It can kill you suddenly (or what appears to be suddenly) via a heart attack or stroke, or it can take a long time as your body deteriorates slowly but earlier and faster than it would have otherwise and you become ill with life threatening diseases.  It is said that the lion's share of visits to doctor's offices are in some way related to stress. But here's the kicker:  Stress will happen in our life, but the real issue is not the stress, but how we deal and combat the stress.  Here's a few simple ways to fight it off.

1.  Exercise.  Yep.  I just read yet another article today that most people with anxiety issues that began a good solid exercise plan benefited from exercise as much as they would have from prescription drugs, and the only side effects were better health from the exercise!  Get a good exercise plan in place pronto!

2.  Don't procrastinate.  Putting things off definitely creates more stress in your life. The next time you feel like procrastinating, remember the effect it has when you have to rush to accomplish whatever task it is you put off.

3.  Work on being grateful.  Anytime I have a patient feeling overwhelmed with stress, one of the things I encourage them to do is start a gratefulness journal.  They are to write down 5 things daily that they are grateful for from that day, and why they are grateful for each thing.  It takes your mind off of what's not right in your life, and puts it on what IS right in your life and how blessed you are.

4.  Serve others.  You want to feel better about your own life?  Invest some time in the lives of others.  There is no shortage of needs for volunteers at places like food pantries, women's shelters, tutoring underprivileged  kids etc.  Find a way to give back to the world that benefits others, with no strings attached.

5.  Deep breathing exercises.  Learn to get your body to relax by using techniques that slow your breathing, and allow your body to fully oxygenate with each breath.  It's a proven fact that when under stress we start taking short shallow breaths, and that does nothing but create more stress on our body.  Breathe in deeply through your nose, as deep as you can, and then slowly exhale til every bit of air is back out of your lungs.  Do just 10 breaths like that when under stress, or if your stress is chronic, spend 10 minutes a day doing this.

I promise if you practice these 5 things, the effects of stress will be minimized significantly, to the point where you might even be able to stop certain medications if you've been prescribed some for your stress.  Give it a go, you've got nothing to lose and a lifetime of health and wellness to gain!

Until next time...Be Well!!!

Dr. Bruce

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's It All About?

I get that question sometimes from others, and even myself when I think about tweeting, blogging etc as I do.  Why?  Because when you're talking about using the internet to spread a message about whatever topic interests you, you often don't really know if the message is just going out into cyberspace and not really even being seen.  It's can feel like no man's land, unless you happen to get some responses, comments, questions etc.  Several times recently I've had moments where something has happened that lets me know that all my blogging, tweeting, Facebook posting of wellness articles and information has some positive effect on people.  I have to say it's rather refreshing.

One thing that I've seen recently is several people re-posting some of the articles I link to on different social media sites. That is really encouraging because now I don't feel like a loner lol.  A couple of days ago a new follower on Twitter asked great questions regarding a post I had made there regarding Grape Seed Extract.  Yesterday a patient called me asking about Vitamin D3 that I had mentioned on our clinic page.  Just today, after posting a new recipe and picture of some fresh juice I had made, I had an extended "conversation" on facebook about juicing, juicers and recipes etc.  The "conversation" ended with him saying "thanks for all the inspiration".

In the long haul, that's what it's really about.  It's not about how many articles I can find to post (believe me, there is more than I can link to on any given day).  It's not about how many friends, fans or followers I can get.  It's about putting the word out there, and hopefully people taking it to heart, learning something new, being reminded to keep up their journey, or totally transforming their lives.  That's my vision, dream or whatever you might call it, for my time spent on the net. It's hopefully about helping people create life transformation with their body, and knowing they can do it.  It's about creating awareness so that more and more people spread what I refer to as "The Gospel Of Wellness". 

From the selfish end, it's an never ending reminder to me to keep up with eating well, thinking well, moving well and resting well.  Knowing there are people out there interested, searching and reading some of these posts and articles motivates me to work harder on my own well being, and on finding appropriate, solid information to put out into cyberspace.  I would encourage you to keep reading and researching.  If you do this regularly, it will be a constant reminder to up the ante on a daily basis, and in a few months or years, you will be on a whole different level with regards to your health. 

So, keep it up.  Find good people to follow and learn from.  Never stop learning about how you can do better with your daily decisions in your pursuit of wellness.  Don't stop finding new people out there that provide what you're looking for either, there are plenty of good ones!  If you follow me on twitter (@docbruce65) you can look to see who I read and follow, and you may choose to follow some of the same ones to broaden your sources of wellness information.  And re-send the information, you never know who is going to be really thankful you put it out there.  Go for it, there's nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

Oh yea, I am immensely grateful for you reading this blog, and I wish you well in your journey toward wellness.

Until next time...Be Well!
Dr. Bruce

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

This Is Not A Diet, It's Your Life!

I saw the title statement as a subtitle in an article I read just recently and it really started my brain to going.  As much as I preach lifestyle changes, as much as I promote living a wellness lifestyle, I continue to see the masses searching out the "one thing" that they can take that will address their health issue.  It's sad, but it's a part of our culture.  Our culture has developed the medical mentality toward health:  "If I have a problem, there's got to be something I can take to make me healthy again".  "For every ill there is a pill".  So when their cholesterol rises, they get put on Lipitor, with it's myriad of side effects.  (See This Link for an article on statin drug side effects)  They make no change in their lifestyle, so the cholesterol numbers are artificially lowered, yet they're still dying inside.  Some studies suggest no change in age of death for those on cholesterol lowering drugs.  Yet people flock to the next "one thing" that can supposedly make them healthy, just like buzzards to road kill.  It's a shame.

So, when someone says they are on a diet, I have mixed emotions.  I am happy they realize something is amiss in their life that has made them less than optimally healthy.  Unfortunately, many of them, if they aren't turning toward some type of pill or surgery to help them, are on an unsustainable program of eating a certain way.  I've heard of all kinds of diets, one of which someone I know was on, included eating a pickle a day for some reason.  Some are fairly reasonable, some are so off the wall I cannot believe someone would even try it.  Here's the thing.  If you are on a diet of some sort that severely restricts eating certain food groups (candy is not a food group by the way), or severely restricts caloric intake, it most likely may help you lose weight, but it's not sustainable.  Thus, when you stop the "diet" and go back to your old ways, the weight returns, often with a vengeance, meaning you put even more back on.  Then, months or years later, a new diet comes along and the same yo-yo track is followed.  Sadly, this up and down cycle has deleterious effects on one's health in the long run too.

I can't state enough that when we think about weight loss, we need to think first about being healthy.  Health should be the goal, good health that is.  To get there we need to look at developing a wellness lifestyle.  A lifestyle is something that is sustainable for the long haul.  Yes you may fall off a bit from time to time (if you're like me anyway that will happen) but overall you live a life that is filled with things that move you toward optimum health.  So yes, one day you might have some bread pudding for dessert.  The holidays come along and there's a lot of treats to partake of.  I get that (I do that).  But the predominance of our lives needs to be eating, moving, thinking and resting in ways that produce wellness in our lives and (here's the kicker for me) in the lives of those we bring along with us (ie kids, friends etc).  Yes, how you choose to live your life affects the generations to come.  I hear people talk about wanting to leave a legacy.  Let me say this.  You ARE leaving a legacy.  You ARE influencing people.  That's not an option.  But, HOW are you influencing them?  THAT is the question.

So in reality, it's not a diet, it's your life, AND it's the lives of those you influence. So, what will you do with your life to influence the generations to come?

Until next time...Be Well!!
Dr. Bruce