Health


Spreading Positive Thoughts and Kindness

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Hi there my lovelies! Hope you all are having a good Sunday. Today, I want to spread happy thoughts. As I am still in the voyage to find my positive self, while at the same time fighting my mind and soul, I am taking the step to finally persevere. However, while I am going through my journeys of ups and some horrible downs, I cannot stop myself from thinking of other wonderful people out there (some of whom you and I may know) who are going through even harder times than me. Hence, my beautiful readers, let us take a moment to send happy and positive thoughts to everyone who may be going through a hard time right now.

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Positive thoughts are not enough; when you go out and meet a stranger please have a smile on your face and show a little empathy and kindness towards that person. My beautiful readers, I always believe that smile and kindness are always contagious. When you perform an act of kindness it warms up your heart and it does the same for those who are witnessing the act. Watching someone perform an act of kindness, creates an act of kindness creates a warm fuzzy feeling in our heart. That fuzzy feeling is known as moral elevation. According to Thomas Jefferson, “When any … act of charity or of gratitude, for instance, is presented either to our sight or imagination, we are deeply impressed with its beauty and feel a strong desire in ourselves of doing charitable and grateful acts also”. Even Huffington Post did an article looking at the science behind the contagiousness of kindness.

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My beautiful readers, take your time to show kindness and let the kindness spread. Let us take the time to spread happy thoughts to everyone, and let us take time show a little compassion. It does not take the time to say “hi and thank you” with a big smile on your face. The act may be small but its impact is enormous. After all, as John Holmes said, “there is no better exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up”. I took a small step by just holding the hold for someone at the store and smiling and saying thank you for their hard work to the staff member at the mall. The sparkles in their eyes I saw in return is all worth it. I cannot wait to continue my part to spread positivity and kindness. We need it now more than ever.

Hope you enjoy this post and as much as I love writing it. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram @allaboutme3181.

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Fighting Mind and Soul – Learned Helplessness

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Hi There my lovelies! I hope you are having a wonderful day. It was snowing outside this morning and is frigid outside. Hence, I thought today I briefly speak to you regarding that has really affected me. Thought it is extremely difficult for me I will share my experience with you and I would love to hear your thoughts and how you handle similar situation. The topic of my post is Learned Helplessness.

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Before I can explain what I mean by learned helpless, I want to give a brief history of myself. I have a background in Public Health and Research with minor and graduate courses in behavioral science and Psychology. I have also received training in Mindfulness Meditation. I really believe in living in the moment and the idea of mind over body. I have seen the world in the point of view of glass half full. However, the past year I have been fight the fight of my life with my mind.

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This is one of the reason I had to take a break from blogging. My beautiful readers, when your constantly in a fight or flight respond you cannot enjoy day-to-day activities. I thought with my mindful based training I can handle it. However, slowly I tachycardia, rapid heart rate, became worse. I also started to have arrhythmias or abnormal heart rhythm. I saw a cardiologist and he didn’t find any underlying heart condition. My migraine symptoms got worse and I started have multiple auras (both visual – blurry vision, and sensory –  tingling in one limb or a feeling of numbness that travels up your arm over 10 to 20 minutes. The sensation can spread to one side of your face and tongue).

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My beautiful readers, the past year has been the worst year of my life and and led to what is known as learned helplessness, a  belief that failure is we can’t change the course of negative event and that failure is inevitable and insurmountable. In my case, the past year I have been living in a very toxic environment, dealing with very hard to deal with people. Being the optimistic person I am, I did not want to give up and thought I would be able to handle the situation. After months, I started to have my symptoms and was unaware of the reason. My years long insomnia that I have learned to control the past 5 to 6 years returned. My family and friends started to notice the change. Towards the end of almost a year I really began to feel burnt out and helpless. I really don’t wish this feeling on anyone.

Finally, after almost a year my family, friends, and physicians have convinced me to seek help. Yes, I have started seeking counseling. I cannot tell you how helpful this has been for me. My beautiful reader. One thing I advice from my own experience, please seek help when your surroundings become overwhelming. Through my work meeting with counselor and my support system, I know that the first step to overcome your stress is to remove your stressor. I have come to terms with my stressor and am working to remove my stressor. Just acknowledging the problem is a great start. My sister is another of my big support system who sat with through many of my meltdowns and showed me that I am not alone. She is my unsung hero. Thanks to the support I’ve received, I am now working hard to remove my stressor.

The year is new and I have a purpose. I am still stressed but I no longer feel helpless. I feel supported. I will be dealing with my extreme stressor but I know that soon it will be over. My beautiful reader, writing to you gives me courage and hope. Every time I read a wonderful blog of yours or share something I love, I feel connected. Thank you for your support and thank you for all the wonderful and thoughtful post of yours. Please keep doing what you do.

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Being in the Moment

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Hi there my lovely readers! Happy eve of Christmas Eve to everyone. For those who celebrates Hanukkah, happy eve of the first day of Hanukkah to you all! As you know, the holidays are wonderful time of the years to spend quality time with your family. This is the time when we all come together and enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the magic of togetherness. Life is short and we set aside our differences and embrace each other. However, I want to share some small tips that may help make each small moment more memorable for you. Happy reading!

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Here in the western hemisphere, we are too busy with our everyday life and have very little time to stop and take a deep breath. We always tend to verbally process information in an analytical and sequential way looking first at the pieces then putting them together to get the whole. However, rarely do we take the time to be non-verbal and intuitive, using pictures rather than words. It is in the later part that allows us to be more connected and allow us to experience more.

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Life is literally unfolding in front of us in the present. However, we let it slip away, and allowing time to move past us unseized, and unobserved, while we squander away precious moments of our time worrying about what could have been or what could be. When we are at work we daydream about the dream vacation; on vacation, we worry about work piling on our desk. Most of us do not take part in our thoughts in awareness. Rather, we let our thought control us. As Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindful-based meditation put it, we need to “rest in stillness—to stop doing and focus on just being”.breath

Mindfulness is living in the moment. It’s a state of openness; an intention on the present. When are mindful you we become an active observer of your thoughts, as they are. You are awakened to your life experience. It is the nonjudgmental awareness of the present, which in turns reduces stress. Studies have shown that mindfulness that led to boosting immune function and chronic pain, lowering blood pressure, and even helping people cope with cancer. Even my colleagues at Children’s National Health have been using this technique to help adolescents with congenital heart disease.

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So why I am talking about mindfulness in the context of holidays? Well, when you are mindful, you are more likely to experience yourself as part of a greater universe, and be right here right now. This keen awareness will allow you to focus on your immediate experience without attaching it to your self-esteem. If can tune out the chaos surrounding you and just tune into your immediate experience. You want to ice skate with your family but don’t know how? Don’t worry about other people starring at your. That’s the first paradox of living in the moment: Thinking too hard about what you’re doing actually makes you do worse. Just loosen up, as no one’s watching you. People are too busy worrying about themselves. There is a term about people like you and me, absolute beginner. Focus less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what’s going on in the room, less on your mental chatter and more on yourself as part of something. Once you do that you will be able to enjoy the experience so much more.

This is living in the moment. You need to start by taking deep breaths. Spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle says that people can condition themselves to slow down and appreciate the present. It all begins with one question. “Ask yourself, ‘Am I still breathing?’” Tolle says. “You suddenly feel the air flowing into your body and out of your body… At that moment, you’ve entered the state of presence. Even if it’s only five seconds.” Another exercise involves using all your senses when going through usual everyday motions, such as washing your hands, or even eating. Do these things consciously. As Tolle instructed, “When you wash your hands, feel the water. Smell the soap. Becoming acutely conscious of sense perception means looking, hearing, touching. It brings you into the present moment. ”These exercises may take a little effort at first, but Tolle says that they do end up becoming second nature. “The more you bring those moments of presence into your life, the more your old conditioning becomes eroded, gradually,” he says.

I do the same thing when eating. Making time to focus on what and how we eat is the most important step to mindful eating. Set aside time to enjoy your meal. It’s important to eat in a place that allows you to focus on your food. I then acknowledge my food. This acknowledgement is not simply an opportunity to give thanks. It also allows me to disengage from what I was doing and turn my focus to the food and experience before me. As I eat, savor one bite at a time. I feel the texture of the food with my tongue and before I put the food in my mouth I smell it. I try to feel all the favors, and textures through mouth. Eating is a very sensual experience, hence I enjoy the moment. Before finishing my meal,I would take a moment to appreciate the food I’ve just eaten, and recall my dining experience and notice how I feel. Such everyday experience become very satisfying through the mindful experience.

In conclusion, living in the moment will allow you capture the present and not letting precious moment squander away worrying about what could be. Follow the small techniques. So, when you go out today, follow the above breathing technique and just absorb the moment, use your intuitiveness and pictures surroundings instead of just focusing on you and words. Don’t stay too much into your head and be in the moment and let me know how your experience changed as a result. After all, as the Chinese proverb says, “yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, and today is a gift. That’s why it’s called a present”. May your holidays be as merry and blessed as ever.

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10 Guilt-free Superfoods for Weight Loss

Hi there! With only 39 days to Christmas and 9 days to Black Friday, I know you may be already thinking about the extra weight that may come with this wonderful season. Yes, I am talking about the elephant in the room, weight gain from the all the festive food of the season. That’s why I want to share with you 10 great guilt-free superfoods that you can actually help you lose weight. These foods, along with exercise, will give you an extra boost to your weight lose plan.

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  1. Avocado: It’s prized for its high nutrient value and is added to all sorts of dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture. It is also the main ingredient in guacamole. Avocados are heart healthy, and are very nutritious, containing a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. They are also very high in potassium, which should support healthy blood pressure levels. Additionally, they tend to be high in fiber, about 7% by weight, which is very high compared to most other foods. Fiber can have various important benefits for weight loss and metabolic health. Numerous studies have found that a predominantly plant-based diet that includes foods such as avocados can help to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight. Hence, when you go to your grocery store, grab some avocados.

  1. Almonds: These superfoods are not only packed with protein and skin-boosting vitamin E, they also have high fiber content that stops you feeling hungry. In 2007, researchers at Purdue University also reported that – despite the fact they are relatively high in calories – almonds themselves do not contribute to belly fat. Hence, swap out your usual mid-morning snack for a handful and see if it makes a difference.

  1. Leafy Greens: These vegetables are full of fiber along with vitamins, minerals, and plant-based substances that may help protect you from heart disease, diabetes, and perhaps even cancer. In general, the deeper the green the more nutritional firepower the leaves contain. If you need more incentive to toss bunches of kale, spinach, or lettuce into your grocery cart, a daily serving of leafy green vegetables may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal. As best put by Glamour Magazine, the quickest way to flatten a stubborn stomach? Include a portion of leafy green vegetables at every meal.

  1. Oats: These superfoods are rich in fiber, so a serving can help you feel full throughout the day. It also contains healthy carbs that boost metabolism and burns fat. So, just add plain oats to vitamin D rich yogurt as part of a low-calorie diet to provide your body with slow-release, natural energy throughout the day, which keeps you feeling fuller for longer and can even lower your cholesterol. As described in Livingstrong, how you serve your oats can have a big impact on their weight-loss benefits. Hence, just stick to flavorings that add nutritional value and promote fat loss, and avoid sugary or fatty toppings (such as maple syrup) that add lots of calories. Boost your oats’ fiber content by adding a handful of berries — raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries — for only 25 to 40 calories per half-cup.

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  1. Beans: Beans are great source of wonderful nutrients such as proteins and fibers, and are low in calorie. It will it keep you full longer and are full of slow release energy. It’s high protein content will help firm up your muscles and keep you toned. I love having bean salad with sliced avocados to only provide energy all but also aid in weight loss. Swap your burgers for burritos, and your beef chilli for bean chilli.

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  1. Salmon: Salmon have some qualities that can help you lose extra pounds. Its nutrient-dense calories are easy to work into your daily goals, and it’s packed with protein. As an extra benefit, salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids is heart healthy and may help increase weight loss. Moreover, the fish oil you’ll get from eating salmon may boost your weight loss. In one study published in International Journal of Obesity in October 2007, young, overweight men who ate fish or took fish oil supplements lost 2 more pounds over four weeks than participants who did not consume fish.

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  1. Green Tea: Next time you go to Starbucks you may want to swap your regular Frappuccino with Green tea lemonade with honey. Green tea has been found to speed up the metabolism, which can aid the burning of excess fat in the body. It is also loaded with antioxidants and various substances that are beneficial for health. Swap your morning coffee with this superfood to help jump start your weight loss.

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  1. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a tropical oil that is made from the dried fruit (nut) of the coconut palm tree. Proponents say that it contains a healthy type of saturated fatty acid (lauric acid) that your body quickly burns for energy. According to Mayo Clinic, few small studies that have looked at coconut oil for weight loss suggest that coconut oil may help reduce waist size, but it doesn’t lead to significant weight loss or improved body mass index (BMI). However, remember this superfood is high in calorie, hence, you should use less.

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  1. Berries: Berries are great source of antioxidants that essentially act like little bodyguards protecting cells from damage, which can lead to premature aging and disease. But antioxidants are also linked to weight control. Some exciting new research from the University of Florida found that people who consume more antioxidants weigh less, even when they don’t eat fewer calories. So add of berries to your smoothies or your breakfast oat to boost your weight lose regimen.

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  1. Quinoa: This superfood is known as a complete grain, combining protein, fiber, B vitamins and complex carbohydrates all in one. Eating grains like quinoa will help to boost your metabolism, and burn belly fat faster. Although there are no human studies looking at the effects of quinoa on weight loss, quinoa contains all the necessary properties that have been linked to weight loss and improved health. Additionally, one animal study, published in Physiology & Behavior, found that mice fed a quinoa extract high in 20-hydroxyecdysone burned more calories throughout the day, and they absorbed less fat from their diets. Hence, try swapping your rice diet with this superfood.  However, remember that quinoa is high in calories, so it’s important to practice portion control if you want to lose weight.

Hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I loved writing it. Please let me know what superfood you use in your diet to speed up your weight loss.

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Kettlebell Exercise

Hi There! Today I will share a video from the Women’s Health Magazine giving you these quick fast acting kettlebell move for a toned body.

I have been doing these exercise for a couple of weeks now and I already feel a difference. I hope you see the same difference as I do. Please let me know if you have any other short and fast acting exercises that you might want to share.

Instructions:

  1. Use one 1 8 to 10 pound kettlebell (I use a 5 pound as per by physical therapist instruction)
  2. Do two sets of the entire circuit
  3. Do not rest in between

Disclosure: Please consult your physician before starting any exercise routine.

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Join Me For a Great Cause

Hi There! I know it has been a while since my last blog. I have been dealing with some personal issues, but I am back with share with you something that is very important for me. As you know it is officially spring, though I woke up to below freezing temperature this morning, I still feel spring in the air. Why not take advantage of it. Especially, if you leave near the Washington D.C. metro area imagine the Tidal Basin filled with the beautiful blooming cherry blossom. What a breathtaking view!

Now let spring inspire us to take a healthy step and mark your calendar for the Annual Congenital Heart Walk in Wheaton Maryland. This year again it is taking place at the beautiful Wheaton Regional Park located at 2000 Shorefield Road, Wheaton, MD (just off the Beltway) on Saturday, April 25th at 9:00 a.m. The walk is for a wonderful cause. The Congenital Heart Walk is a national fundraising event series benefiting the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA) and The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF). We walk to honor and remember the millions who have been impacted by congenital heart disease (CHD). CHD  is the most common birth defect effecting approximately 8 in every 1000 babies born each year. As a research personnel, working at the Heart Institute of Children’s National Health System, I have seen babies and children who are born with complex heart disease who are rushed to the hospital for open heart surgery when they are just a hour or so old. I have friend who have been impacted by the defect and I am joining the walk to for my friends and everyone I serve and had the privilege of knowing with the condition who are know longer among us.

Hence, please joins us to support such an important cause. If you cannot join us in person please support us in spirit by donating to the link. Thank you for being part of this wonderful cause.

http://events.congenitalheartwalk.org/site/TR/Walk/General?px=1047333&pg=personal&fr_id=1170

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Beginner Ab Workout

During the holidays, we all crave sweets and then comes the regret part. I for one loose my motivation for ab workout due to strain in my back and neck due to crunches. Today, I will share beginner crunchless ab workout with you from Fitness Blender which is easy to and do and is easy on your back and neck. The exercises require little space and no equipments. Hope you enjoy it. Happy Reading.

Workout Details:

This crunch free abs routine is a great combination of light cardio and core toning moves that won’t have your neck or back aching. It’s a great place for beginners to start.

None of these exercises require any equipment at all, and they require minimal space, making this a workout that you could easily do in a hotel room, dorm room, or office.

There are nine different standing abs exercises in this routine. We are going to be doing each for a total of 50 seconds, for a routine that comes in at just around ten minutes total. There is a very short rest period in between each move (roughly 10 seconds).

The exercises in this routine are low impact enough that you don’t really need a warm up before you start this video. In fact, this Standing Abs Workout could serve as light warm up cardio to get your body ready for a more difficult routine.

Crunch Free Abs Exercises – 50 Seconds of each
Double Chop Knee Pulls – Starting with both arms overhead, pull down and across the body, twice, before resetting & repeating on the opposite side. This one is for the abdominals, obliques, hip flexors, shoulders and quads.

Torso Twist Jabs – Go into a shallow squat, and twist at the torso to push each fist out diagonally across your body. Maintain the bend in your knees during the entire interval, going deeper if you want to make it more challenging. Glutes, hamstrings, quads, obliques, chest, rhomboid & biceps are the focus of this one.

Standing Toe Touches – Just like it sounds; keep a straight back and lift one leg straight out in front of your body, bringing the opposite hand down to touch that toe. Lower the leg, bring the arm back up above your head, and then repeat with the opposite limbs. Make sure that you don’t use any jerking motions or momentum to get any additional range of motion out of the kick; it is okay if you can’t get your leg very high. You will feel this in your abs, obliques, hip flexors, and quads.

Four Twist Knee Ups – Four torso rotations with a diagonal knee up on the fifth twist, maintaining a shallow knee bend the entire time. Think of it in this rhythm; twist, twist, twist, twist, knee up. This is an awesome obliques exercise. Hip flexors and thighs also have to pitch in.

Crossover Toe Touches – Extend arms straight out from your shoulders, and in a smooth & controlled motion, twist at the torso & bend to touch the toes of the opposite foot. Come back up, and repeat on the opposite side. The target of this standing abs exercise is your lower back, abdominals, and obliques.

Side Squat + Knee + Side Squat – With hands behind your head, squat to one side. When you push up from that squat, bring one knee up to the opposite elbow, before dropping back into a side squat, and then repeating the entire sequence on the entire side. Glutes, thighs, obliques, hip flexors and abs are the used during this motion.

Slow-Mo Rotations – Extend arms straight out from shoulders, slowly and deliberately twisting at the torso as far as is possible in each direction. The more focus you put into the rotations, the better it targets your obliques.

Tap Jacks – In a movement similar to a slow motion jumping jack, step side to side while tapping one foot behind you. Really focus on deliberate motions & you will feel this in your core and especially obliques.

Side Bends – Extend your arms straight out and slowly bend from side to side. You will feel this especially in your obliques.

How many calories does this Fitness Blender routine burn?
We estimate that this 10 minute workout video burns between 5-7 calories a minute, or 50-70 total.

Hope you enjoy doing this easy workout that address your core and is a great combination of light cardio and core toning moves. Happy Holidays.

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Antipsychotic Medication Overuse In Nursing Homes

The past couple of mornings, I have been hearing the same story in NPR that has really alarmed me since my grandfather once has spend some time in nursing homes. If you have loved ones in nursing homes you need to pay attention. According to the NPR news, over 300,000 nursing home residents are wrongfully getting antipsychotic medication for Alzheimer or other forms dementia for which these drugs can be deadly. The Food and Drug Administration has black box warning for this drugs saying that they can increase the risk of heart failure, infections and death.

In 2012 the federal government started a program to get nursing homes to stop using such drugs. Nevertheless, nursing homes rarely get penalized for not complying with the program. My grandfather spend some time in nursing homes after losing his leg to gangrene and we brought him home after several incidents with nursing home abuse and I cannot imagine someone else’s loved ones going through this.  Remember FDA did not approve the drugs to treat dementia. Nursing home residents should only receive antipsychotic drugs only medically necessary.

Our current federal law prohibits the use such drugs for staff convenience, known as “chemical restraints”. These drugs can abruptly change behavior, can cause sedation, and increase the risk of fall. This is a public health concern and we need to adequate action. If you have a loved one in nursing homes make sure if he staff tells you that the doctor prescribed a medication and asks you to sign a form, ask questions and don’t sign until you are sure of what medication the doctor described and what it is for. Remember, getting informed consent when prescribing antipsychotic drug is required by law. As a public health person I found this topic quite important and hence wanted to bring it to you attention. If you have faced any issues with nursing homes with your loved ones please don’t forget to comment. Happy reading.

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Newborn Heart Defect Screening

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Today, I want to write about something that is very close to my heart. As a research personnel, working at the Heart Institute of Children’s National Health System, I have seen babies and children who are born with complex heart disease who are rushed to the hospital for open heart surgery when they are just a hour or so old. Hence, I want to bring this important topic to your attention .  I have been advocating for this topic for a while. You can find more information on my facebook page.

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect effecting approximately 8 in every 1000 babies born each year. Patients with Critical Congenital Heart Disease or  CCHD, the most severe of form of this birth defect, require intervention before one year of age. Additionally, CCHD accounts for nearly 40% of deaths in children with congenital abnormality within the first year of life. Hence, if not detected early, critical congenital heart disease can cause severe problems and even death, with one study showing that 43% of babies diagnosed after hospital discharge from the nursery were in shock at the time of hospital readmission. Hence, the cost of missed diagnosis is enormous. Pulse oximetry, a simple, pain-free test that measure oxygen in the blood, has been recommended as a potential method for detection of critical congenital heart disease.

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Adding CCHD screening, using pulse oximetry, to the usual physical exam would lead to early detection of critical congenital heart disease in newborns and save countless lives.  Studies have shown that pulse oximetry has high rate of detection for critical congenital heart disease in newborn. Last year, a group of experts, both nationally and internationally, met in Washington, D.C. to discuss recommendation for best-practice for screening protocols and implementation and published strategies to implement newborn CCHD screening.

CCHD Map 11-3-14

Courtesy of NewSTEPS https://www.newsteps.org/cchd

In August 2011, New Jersey became the first US state to implement state-wide screening of newborns for CCHD, followed by Indiana. Additionally, Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia, Connecticut, and New Hampshire passed legislation for state-wide implementation of CCHD screening using pulse oximetry. Now, many of the stated are universally required by law to screen newborns for CCHD prior to discharge. However, we have still more to go. Concerns were expressed over false-positive results leading to unneeded stress for families with added extra costs of unnecessary evaluation and transfers, on top of additional staff time. However, in a study done by Bradshaw and Colleagues of Children’s National Health System and Holy Cross Hospital, which was published in 2012 in the Journal of Perinatology, showed that pulse oximetry can be implemented successfully in community hospitals without excessive number of false-positive or added staff time. Additionally, a study by Ewer and Colleagues, published in 2011 in the medical journal of Lancet, found false-positive rate of 0.8% among more than 20,000 infants screened, of which 6 had significant congenital heart disease and 40 had other illness requiring urgent medical intervention. Furthermore, a British study looking at 13 studies with data from about 230,000 newborns, published online in Lancet, showed that pulse oximetry had a high rate of detection rate for critical congenital heart defects, with a false-positive rate of 0.14%. The false-positive rate was even lower (0.05%) when newborn pulse oximetry was done after 24 hours from birth. Another British study, first published online on May, 2012  on British Medical Journal looking at acceptance rate of CCHD screening among mothers, showed that CCHD screening was acceptable to mothers and false-positive results did not increase stress.

Hence, why are we gambling with the lives of our children? Studies have shown that the test costs from less than $5 to $10 to perform and could save countless lives. The benefits of improving newborns’ quality of lives outweigh any costs. Moreover, the cost of late detection is enormous. Though children are only quarter of our population, they represent 100% of our future and we should not gamble with our future. Newborn CCHD screening should become a practice standard across US. There are still takes who have not approved any laws requiring CCHD screening. It does not cost must but the impact is enormous. Please urge your lawmakers to take action. The time to take action is now!

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Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
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Stress…what do we mean when to talk about stress?How do we describe stress. It’s our body’s fight or flight response. National Institution of Mental Health (NIMH) defines stress as the following:

“Stress can be defined as the brain’s response to any demand. Many things can trigger this response, including change. Changes can be positive or negative, as well as real or perceived. They may be recurring, short-term, or long-term and may include things like commuting to and from school or work every day, traveling for a yearly vacation, or moving to another home. Changes can be mild and relatively harmless, such as winning a race, watching a scary movie, or riding a rollercoaster. Some changes are major, such as marriage or divorce, serious illness, or a car accident. Other changes are extreme, such as exposure to violence, and can lead to traumatic stress reactions.”

Nevertheless, our exposure to stress might be it can have a big toll on our health, hence my today’s blog. I, like many of us have dealt with stress to the point that I always had palpitation, high heart rate (higher than my usual benign high heart rate), insomnia, and anxiety. However, all that changed when I decided to take the 8 week Mindful Based Stress Reduction class Dr. Gina L Sager. She is a retired board-certified general surgeon, named one of Baltimore’s Top Docs in October 2000. Gina taught us to be aware of the present and be in the moment. I am currently in the 7th week of the class and I have so much difference in the class. You can talk her class in Town for $500 or simply her CDs 10% of the proceed of which will go to HopeWell Cancer Support.  I use her Yoga Nidra, a deed relaxing guided meditation CD every night help me fall asleep along with Melatonin. I have to say that has been a lifesaver for me. I also use her guided Sitting meditation CD during my one hour subway commute to work everyday that help feel focused and ready to take on the day with all my attention even with my ADD personality.

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During one my long morning commute to work, a lady tapped my shoulder while I was on my meditation mode, and gave a local Washington Post Express newspaper pointing to a particular newspaper article, and saying “this is you”. What was interesting was that she observed it right. The lady in far left was like me. This is what I do everyday. So I am not alone. The article provided the following mindful commuting tips: 1) Focus on your surroundings: Focus you attention from when you will get to you destination to what you notice via your senses, like the sounds, the feel of you feet touching the ground, or places of your body that feel tense. 2) Focus on your breath: If you’re not riding a bike or driving take five slow, deep breaths, then return to normal breathing but try to notice each breath and the space between breaths. 3) Refuse your thoughts: you red lights or stops on a train or bus as a reminder notice whether you’re lost in though. Then refocus on your breathing or your senses.

There are some great free apps with guided meditation. The one that I love that most is Calm. It’s free in both Google Play and Itunes. This app can help you meditate, sleep, relax, focus and much more.  Don’t let stress take over your health and life. Let’s start by focusing on the moment and being aware of the present. However, in on order to conquer stress to we have to be aware of our feeling.

Next time I will focus on how pleasant and unpleasant feeling of stress. Until next time, I leave you with the following quotes from Jerry Spinelli,

“Live Yesterday.
Not Yesterday.
Not tomorrow.
Just today. 
Inhabit your moments.
Don’t rent them out to tomorrow.”
 
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