Deciding to have a baby is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. Or is it? Truthfully, the most important decision you’ll ever make for that baby is to prepare your body in advance for the important job that it will do.
by Guest Blogger,Certified Health Coach, Sara Quetta
February is national Heart Month. Have you been working hard to make sure your ticker will last the long haul? These days, cardiovascular diseases are on the rise. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. In 2011, heart disease cost the United States $444 billion. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. Risk factors of heart disease are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, cigarette smoking, obesity, poor diet, physical inactivity and alcohol use.
One risk factor that has been making waves is high blood pressure. 76.4 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. When the force of blood flow in the artery is too high, it causes the surrounding tissue to stretch beyond its limit,causing more serious problems. For instance, vascular weakness, vascular scarring, increased risk for blood clots, increased plaque build-up, tissue and organ damage from narrowed and blocked arteries, and increased workload on the circulatory system. The overall result, if left untreated, is heart failure, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure.
This is only a snapshot of a very serious problem. But did you know that you can prevent heart disease? That’s right, with diet, exercise and stress management, you can be on your way to a healthier and happier life style. No one wants to spend their time in a doctor’s office, going through a battery of extensive tests.
A diet rich in whole grains, fruits, veggies and lean protein can help you achieve your goals for a healthy heart. Eliminate fatty meats, high sodium and processed foods. Not only will you be healthy on the inside, but you will feel your best, have more energy and live a long and happy life.
A certified health coach is trained to support you with these challenges, every step of the way. They offer diet and lifestyle suggestions, along with personal attention to your health goals. Good health is not only about the food you put in your mouth, it’s about your life as a whole…relationships, career, spirituality and exercise, just to name a few. If you are looking for more than a new diet fad, then I have a personalized program that is right for you. Health coaching offers a lifestyle change. It has been proven to help with many health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, acid reflux, and more.
Contact me today for a free 50 minute health consultation to see if this program is right for you.
Sara Quetta is a Certified Health Coach and Owner of Journey To A New You. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. When she’s not doing one on one coaching, she teaches wellness workshops at various locations around NH. She also received her bachelor’s degree in personal communications from Rhode Island College.
Healing Hands Chiropractic is a full-service family wellness center specializing in Webster certified prenatal & family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, pregnancy & birth classes and breastfeeding support.
Women today in this country are very lucky to have access to exceptional prenatal care from midwives, physicians, and obstetricians (and locally from Healing Hands Chiropractic!). They have a variety of options available to them for labor and delivery as well: hospitals, home births, free standing birth centers, etc. Prenatal care and choices for birth have really come a long way over the last few decades in the United States. However, I believe there has been a detrimental decline in one large area: postpartum care.
Throughout pregnancy, women are consistently seen by their care providers. However, after having the baby they are lucky to have a two-week follow up appointment with most only having a six-week follow up appointment. An OB nurse practitioner who I spoke with recently said she feels badly for her patients that she sees at their six week check-ups. “I’m supposed to be checking their physical recovery from birth,” she said, “but they all come in here crying and I just don’t have time to give them the support they need.”
Enter the postpartum doula! Postpartum doulas are knowledgeable professionals who assist families during the critical period immediately after the birth of their baby. They “mother the mother” and offer physical, emotional and informational support to the family, as well as practical help. The doula’s expertise in mother and baby care enables her to assist with postpartum comfort measures, breastfeeding support, non-judgmental guidance in infant care techniques, information on normal postpartum restoration, and family emotional assistance through this major transition.
These doulas provide essential support during the modern postpartum experience, a time when many mothers today feel uninformed, isolated and anxious. Traditionally, the postpartum period was a “nesting period,” when a new mother was attended to by other experienced mothers. They helped take care of her and her family, so that the mother could focus on the vital tasks of postpartum recovery, emotional adaptation to great change and getting to know her precious little one.
Today few families have such support, and frequently become exhausted and overwhelmed by the immense work of becoming parents. Postpartum doulas gently guide and support families through this transition so that they may get off to the best start with their new baby.
Instead of focusing on changes that need to be made with our healthcare system, I’d like to focus on societal changes that we can instantly start working on now -on an individual basis.
So, what can you do?
If you are pregnant:
- Complete a Postpartum Plan which can help you draft a list of postpartum resources that are available to you: http://www.dona.org/resources/doula_practice_postpartum.php
- Hire a postpartum doula, to find one in your area, click here: www.dona.org
- Call your insurance company now to find out if they will cover postpartum care and if not, if your Flex Spending Account will.
- Line up friends and family to cook meals and deliver them to you. If your friends are lousy cooks, hire a personal chef like The Dinner Goddess in Epping (http://www.thedinnergoddess.com/) or check out some meal registry sites like www.mealbaby.com
- Search out places to meet other new moms, like the La Leche League meetings at Healing Hands, Mom & Baby Yoga or Music classes and other Mommy & Me groups. www.meetup.com is a great place to find people! Include these ideas in your Postpartum Plan so you have them written down once the baby arrives.
If you have a new baby:
- Ask for help! People always ask if there is anything they can do to help – take them up on it! Say “Yes, please come hold the baby so I can shower.” Or “Please cook me a pot of soup.”
- It’s not too late to hire a postpartum doula if you need to. To find one in your area, click here: www.dona.org
- Reach out to other new moms. Get out of the house at least a few times a week. See #5 above.
- Remember you are not alone. Motherhood is hard and is better when you are getting the support you need.
- Push aside the thank you notes, step over the laundry basket and GO TAKE A NAP!
Darcy Sauers is a certified postpartum doula and the owner of Dover Doula (www.doverdoula.com) in the Seacoast area. As a member of both the Seacoast Doula Group (www.seacoastdoula.com) and Great Bay Doulas (www.greatbaydoulas.com), she is passionately committed to helping new moms find the support, resources and information that they need. Darcy is very happy that moms in Southern NH are lucky to have such a wonderful prenatal and postpartum resource in Dr. Jess and Healing Hands Chiropractic. Please do not hesitate to contact Darcy with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-988-5945. For more information on the postpartum period and local resources and events for new moms, follow her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=100000200069253)
Healing Hands Chiropractic is a full service family wellness center in Londonderry, NH that offers prenatal & family chiropractic care, integrative therapeutic & pregnancy massage, prenatal yoga & multi-level asana yoga, reiki therapy, meditation classes, acupuncture and pregnancy & childbirth classes.
We have new yoga classes for the spring.
We have further fine-tuned our yoga schedule to better suit the needs of our students. Beginning May 1, 2009 changes include a later time for Prenatal Yoga on Mondays, a brand-new Vinyasa Flow class on Tuesday mornings, and an additional Prenatal Yoga class on Fridays.
In an effort to make prenatal yoga classes accessible to all, we’ve chosen to make this Friday class available on a sliding fee scale. The suggested donation for one class is $15. Those who can afford less pay what they can for each class. (Please note the sliding scale is available for single classes only and cannot be used to purchase a 6-class package.)
Healing Hands Chiropractic is proud to welcome our newest yoga instructor, Liz Croteau. Sign up for an upcoming Vinyasa Flow class to experience Liz’s dynamic teaching style for yourself.
For our complete spring and summer yoga schedule please visit our website or call (603)434-3456. For further information on Healing Hands Chiropractic’s prenatal and yoga program please contact assistant director, Jenny Everett King, CYT, CBE at email@example.com.
Therapeutic massage has been used for centuries to improve overall health, reduce stress, and relieve muscle tension. Research has shown that pregnancy massage can be very beneficial in reducing anxiety and depression, relieving muscle and joint aches and possibly even improving labor outcomes.
Swedish massage is the recommended prenatal massage method aimed at relieving the usual discomforts brought on by hormonal and musculoskeletal changes in the body during pregnancy. Pregnancy massage may help relax muscle tension and improve lymphatic and blood circulation.
Studies done in the past 10 years have shown that hormone levels associated with relaxation and stress are significantly altered, leading to mood regulation and improved cardiovascular health, when massage therapy was introduced to women’s prenatal care. Hormones such as norepinephrine and cortisol (“stress hormones”) were reduced and dopamine and serotonin levels (low levels of these hormones are associated with depression) were increased in women who received bi-weekly massages for only five weeks. These changes in hormone levels also led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as low birth weight. The evidence points strongly to maternal and newborn health benefits when relaxing, therapeutic massage is incorporated into regular prenatal care(www.americanpregnancy.org).
Massage therapy also helps reduce the collection of excess fluid in the joints and soft tissues that leads to edema, or swelling of the joints-like your ankles.
Many women have also experienced a marked reduction in sciatic nerve pain during pregnancy when receiving regular massage therapy.
Other potential benefits of prenatal massage:
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved circulation
- Reduced edema
- Reduced muscle tension and headaches
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved oxygenation of soft tissues and muscles
- Better sleep
Healing Hands Chiropractic in Londonderry, NH offers a full spectrum of prenatal services. These services include: Prenatal Chiropractic Care using the world renowned Webster Technique, Prenatal Yoga, Pregnancy Massage and Reiki, Acupuncture, and Celebrating Your Pregnancy and Honoring Your Birth classes with our childbirth educator, Jenny Everett King.
Massage Therapy: http://www.healinghandsnh.com/massage_hours.html
By: Alyson Adams, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.
Chinese medicine and acupuncture have shown to be very effective at treating migraine headaches, when no other type of treatment offers any relief. In 2006 the largest study to date looking at acupuncture for the treatment of migraines was published in Lancet Neurology. This study examined nearly 1,000 patients over a 6 week period. Researchers found that 47 percent of people who received acupuncture had a reduction in migraine days by 50 percent. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can be used when a migraine is in an acute phase, or as a preventative medicine.
In my experience, I have seen many different types of triggers and patterns for migraines. Because each patient is unique, I am able to develop a personalized treatment plan for each person to address their particular concerns. Common triggers include hormonal patterns, stress, anxiety and food sensitivities. In Chinese medicine terms, I commonly see what is called Liver Qi stagnation. This is when stress or a blockage in the Qi flow in the body causes the energy to stagnate, and creates an upward counter-flow of qi to the head.
With a regular acupuncture treatment plan, you can expect both a decrease in the amount of headaches and a decrease in severity. Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can be used safely and effectively to rebalance the flow of energy in the body and prevent reoccurring migraines. The amount of treatments you will need to resolve your migraine headaches will be dependent on how long you have been suffering from them, and how your body responds to the medicine.
In today’s crazy world, more and more people are turning to a bottle of anti-anxiety/anti-depressants to cope. At Healing Hands Chiropractic, we provide the tools to naturally cope with today’s stresses.
Healing Hands’ Body-Mind Wellness program offers a variety of classes, private lessons, and workshops designed to enhance your health not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Our classes give you the tools to get healthy not just during class sessions, but outside of class as well.
Currently we are offering 50% off your first Guided Meditation class. Classes are an hour in length and are just $15/class or 6 classes for just $75. Please visit http://www.healinghandsnh.com/yoga_hours.html for class hours.
Meditation is a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the conditioned, thinking mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness. It often involves turning attention to a single point of reference or spiritual center. Meditation has been practiced by people of all religions for over 5, 000years. However, it is practiced outside religious traditions as well.
Meditation is an extremely beneficial discipline that encompasses a wide range of spiritual and/or psychophysical practices which emphasize various goals- everything from achieving a higher state of consciousness, to greater focus, creativity or self-awareness, or simply a more relaxed and peaceful frame of mind (Wikepedia).
There are different meditative practices, all of which have one thing in common-they all focus on quieting the busy mind. The intention is not to remove stimulation but rather direct your concentration to one healing element, whether it be a sound, word, image or one’s breath. When the mind is filled with the feeling of calmness and peace it cannot take on worry, stress or depression (www.1stholistic.com).
Two different types of meditation practices are concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation. Classes at Healing Hands Chiropractic will combine both of these disciplines into a comprehensive meditative practice that students can practice outside of class. Concentrative meditation focuses the attention on the breath, an image, or a sound (mantra), in order to still the mind and allow a greater awareness and clarity to emerge. Mindfulness meditation involves opening the attention to become aware of the continuously passing parade of sensations and feelings, images, thoughts, sounds, smells, and so forth without becoming involved in thinking about them.
Some physical benefits of meditation are better sleep, lowered levels of the stress hormones, reduction of cancer causing free- radicals, decreased high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and easier breathing. Psychological benefits include increased brain wave coherence for better creativity, moral reasoning and higher IQ; decreased anxiety, depression, irritability and moodiness; and increased emotional stability.