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Posts from the ‘Remedies’ Category

How To Take A Road Trip – Safely!

We’re back from a summer blog hiatus!!!

 

Sadly, my daughter Mariella is moving to Portland to pursue a degree in speech and language therapy. She’s driving there with boyfriend Colin and my grand dogs Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr She will still help with blogs from afar! Bless the Interwebs!

 

If you’ve read all my blogs, then you know, my family calls me “MacGyver” because I like to be prepared for everything.

Here are some travel health tips for Mariella, her posse and all my readers:

Health issues:

  • Make sure you know what out-of-state emergencies your insurance covers. Consider extra travel insurance for long-distance trips(e.g., www.insuremytrip.com)

  • If you have chronic health issues, strongly consider a medical ID. There are downright beautiful ones athttp://www.laurenshope.com.

 

Next, be sure you’ve packed all necessary Emergency supplies for long car trips:

Auto necessities:

  • Flashlight (keep batteries separately)

Medical necessities:

  • Water bottles, energy bars, soy nut packets, a water filter – (This one is my favorite)

  • A good first aid kit

  • Sunscreen 

  • Black contractor bags (Can use as a poncho! Thanks to my awesome son-in-law Dan Carson for fixing Mariella’s car pre-trip and for poncho idea!)

  • A liter plastic soda bottle can be cut to make a drinking bowl for dogs on one end, and the other can be a makeshift glass or funnel!

  • Did you say you were bringing clothes???  Sorry, no room. Actually, all of this aside from the water bottles would take very little room.

Happy and safe travel, Mariella, Colin, Franks and Sammy!

– Mom / Dr Emily A Nolfo

 

Nature: A Proven Biochemical Medicine

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:: Scenic Route 146 between Guilford and Branford, CT ::

See these photographs above? They are snapshots of my daily commute to and from work on Route 146 – voted Connecticut’s best biking route !  As is true for many other types of jobs, my work as a physician is often highly stressful, demanding, and sometimes takes a toll on my body and mind.

I find making this drive  into the office every day a peaceful and calming experience, and lately I have given great thought to the therapeutic benefit of my drive to work. So I wanted to share with you this little-known fact:

Interacting with nature has been scientifically proven to have measurable healing benefits!

In a recent interview conducted by Prevention Magazine, environmental psychologist Roger Ulrich discusses the results of a study, done in hospital settings, where patients’ view was either of a natural setting or a brick wall. The results: “Patients who saw nature needed less pain medication, suffered fewer post-op complications and were discharged faster than those who looked a brick wall” [during their stay].

What is the message for you? Get out and enjoy the outdoors! As early homo sapiens, we spent ALL of our time outside! Nature is ingrained into our psyches – and inhibiting that inherent human connection to the wilderness may be preventing you from enjoying all the health benefits that come with it!

Erik Peper, a Holistic Health Studies professor at San Francisco State University elaborates on this fact: “Nature reduces our stress on a biochemical level. It’s only when you interrupt the fight-or-flight response and make someone feel relaxed and safe that they can begin to regenerate and heal.”

So what is my weekend wisdom for you all? GO OUT AND SEE WHAT’S IN YOUR WORLD! Take a break from your news feeds, your email and your cell phone to check out local hiking trails, take a walk in your neighborhood or bring your dog to your favorite local scenic spot. Time away from our busy lives is extremely important for detaching from our stress levels and should not be taken for granted.

While it may be a short, 10-minute ride, I cherish my time on the road to work. I see all kinds of wildlife: osprey, great blue herons, egrets, fox, cows, deer…..oh my! I love to witness the cycles of life: The osprey have mated and one particular pair, whose eggs were duds the last two years, have a fuzzy little baby right now! As I drive, rocky coast and lush marshland surround me on all sides – and I take the time during these moments to absorb the sights, sounds and smells. I have found, time and time again, that surrendering to the beauty of the outdoors lowers my stress level immensely before my demanding days in the office.

I encourage you all to do the same! Have a fabulous weekend!

Dr. Nolfo

The Importance of Good Posture!

 

For the past couple of week, my 24-year-old daughter, Mariella, has been complaining of some intense pain in her shoulders and back. After discussions with me (perks of a Doc-Mom) and a visit to her sports-specialist chiropractor, it became clear that Mariella’s issues were stemming from her rather poor posture. In addition to working long hours hunched over her laptop, Mariella is a professional drummer, and was taught to balance her center of gravity on her drum kit by hovering slightly forward over the instrument. It was quite a surprise for my daughter to learn that her issues were due to poor posture – and it made me consider that perhaps others could benefit from the advice Mariella has been receiving on how to improve the alignment of her spine.

slouching

Over time, our daily habits in our careers and our personal lives affect how we carry our bodies throughout the day. 80 percent of American’s experience back pain at some point in their lives, and nearly 90 percent of the population hunch their shoulders! We can attribute much of our daily backaches and pains to poor posture and weak muscles. Correcting these issues is vital to a healthy spine and a happy-looking body. Fortunately, there are many simple steps that one can take to improve posture and prevent future back problems. If this subject is new to you, I encourage you to examine the diagrams I have provided below and learn the importance of  STRAIGHTENING OUT!

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Why Is It Important To Have Good Posture?

– Good posture improves muscle tone and back strength.

– A straight spine eases the task of breathing and increases blood flow in the body. 

– Poor posture is the major contributor to Dowager’s Hump, a common issue in the elderly wherein the spine is visibly hunched (not just osteoporosis!).

– Having a properly aligned spine significantly decreases your risk for back injuryand back pain.

– Sitting up straight improves our appearance! Nobody likes “a slouch!”

 

Are these reasons enough for you to get yourself “in-line”? If so, begin by taking a look at the article from The Huffington Post  which outlines 10 different, highly common scenarios in our daily lives that cause and exacerbate poor posture. You’ll be surprised to find that things like sitting on our wallets or washing dishes can seriously mess with our spines!!! Developing an awareness of one’s posture and the habits which worsen it is the first and most important step to improving our alignment.

Simple adjustments to our daily physical activities can make a huge difference in our posture. However, it is also important to strengthen the muscles responsible for holding us upright. To begin toning up these muscles, check out this simple FitnessBlender exercise video my daughter Mariella passed along to me for use in today’s blog. After just 2 weeks of performing the exercises outlined in the video and maintaining an awareness of her posture, Mariella’s back pain has significantly subsided. Not only is this video appropriate for all ages and equipment-free, it also provides great insight into the importance of good posture and requires no prior experience! (Don’t do any exercise that hurts, and always ask your personal physician if you have questions about any new exercise regimen.)

So check this information out and report back to me with your progress! Have a fabulous weekend!

Dr. Emily Nolfo

 

 

 

 

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