Considering Integrative Medicine

Integrative Medicine is often referred to as a way of “complementing” our wellness regimen by enhancing our body, mind and spirit experiences. What does that mean?

First, Integrative Medicine is not to be considered a “substitute for conventional medicine”. However, it can help with treating your well-being by “adding” to your regular medical program.

Second, some complementary/integrative methods are: Aromatherapy, Music Therapy, Acupuncture, Meditation, and Dietary Supplements. Living Senior has posted articles on these topics in the past: Links to My Other Posts | livingsenior.me

Third, let’s explore some ideas that can help with our wellness regimen, which are considered complementary.

A friend called my attention to the People’s Pharmacy, which began in 1976 to aide us in making decisions about medical and alternative treatments. They also have a database of Home Remedies at this link: Home Remedies | The People’s Pharmacy (peoplespharmacy.com)

A source I use for Integrative medicine guidelines, and how to understand the different terminology is Dr. Andrew Weil. He has been a pioneer in Integrative Medicine for thirty years.

You can signup for his newsletters at the link below:
DrWeil.com Newsletters | Andrew Weil, M.D.

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Aging Gracefully? What is it?

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As an ‘elder citizen’ have you ever thought about what “Aging Gracefully” is?

Many of us are confronted with all types of challenges to that concept- not the Aging, but the “gracefully”. What is your idea of what that means for your life now? To help you contemplate how to employ “Aging Gracefully” in your own life, here is a definition of what the Healthline website defines it as:

Aging gracefully isn’t about trying to look like a 20-something — it’s about living your best life and having the physical and mental health to enjoy it. Like a bottle of wine, you can get better with age with the right care.

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Black History Spotlight & Painting for Well-Being

Painting for Health & Well-Being

This year during Black History Month I would like to celebrate Alma Woodsey Thomas, an artist of remarkable accomplishment.
Thomas, started her painting career at the age of 70, after being a junior high school teacher for 35 years.  YES! We can create “new beginnings” even in our senior citizen years.

Thomas’s parents migrated from Georgia to Washington, D.C. in 1906.  In 1932 she became the first graduate of the Fine Arts department at Howard University, which is also the Alma Mata of the first African/Asian vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris.  After graduation from Howard, in 1925, she taught Art at Shaw Junior High School until 1960.  During her teaching career, she managed to also earn degrees from Columbia University and from New York University. 
Thomas considered giving up Painting when she retired because of arthritis pain. However , in 1966 Howard University offered to mount a retrospective of her work. That’s when she decided she wanted to produce new paintings.

Alma Thomas was later honored with one-woman exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. In 1972 her painting Red Roses Sonata was selected for the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before her death in 1978, she was nationally recognized as a key woman artist dedicated to abstract painting
Some of her other well-known paintings are: Fiery Sunset, Snoopy Sees Earth Wrapped in Sunset.

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An Essential (Oil) Conversation

What are Essential Oils?

The scented liquid taken from certain plants using steam or pressure. Essential oils contain the natural chemicals that give the plant its “essence” (specific odor and flavor). Essential oils are used in perfumes, food flavorings, medicine, and aromatherapy. source: Definition of essential oil – NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms – National Cancer Institute

In previous posts I have introduced the idea of using essential oils as a complementary method to assist us in coping with mind, body, and spirit care. Essential oils are not intended to replace any medications we require for our health. Rather, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is used as a way to enhance, not replace, our self-care regimen.

Stress is known to cause pain in the neck, shoulders, and back. Stress also causes insomnia and headaches. How do you manage these issues? Do you take a pain pill for your body? Do you take a pain pill for your headache(s)? How many times a day? How Anxiety Can Create Aches and Pains (calmclinic.com)

In some countries, essential oils are regulated and used as a methodology for helping patients enhance their relief with health issues: An example, is Canada where Essential Oils are regulated as Natural Health Products. These products require the approval of Health Canada (FDA in the USA) approval before going to market.

Translating Fresh Food Labels

How do you know if the food in your refrigerator, which has an expiration date on it, can still be used by you for a safe meal?

Are you throwing away good food?

It is often confusing about how long it is safe to eat an item after the “sell by date”. I understand that it is defined for the store retailer. I know to purchase the freshest item. What should I do if I purchased the item long before the “sell by date” – but I did not use it – Now what?

Lindsay Backer, a registered dietitian and food safety expert advises that if it is meat, it is not recommended to go much beyond the sell by date. The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises to use or freeze beef, veal, pork, and lamb products with a “Sell-By” date within 3 to 5 days of purchase. Fresh chicken, turkey, ground meat, and ground poultry should be cooked or frozen within 1 to 2 days of purchase.

Web MD has other recommendations that we can use to help us decipher how to manage getting the best freshness from our food purchases and making sure not to waste the food we buy.

*Best if used by (or before)” date:
Refers to quality not safety.
*Use by” date: Last date at peak quality (by manufacturer).
* Milk is ok up to one week after “Sell By” date.
* Eggs purchased before “Sell By” date are ok 3-5 weeks after.

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Mammograms for Seniors

October has been Breast Cancer month and I am always pleasantly surprised to see how many of us support the cause of finding a cure. This month I would like to call your attention to a few “Pink” news items.
Have you heard the Pink song by Dolly Parton and other artists? I hope it will lift your spirits and lead you to donate to this formidable cause.

I would like to share the following breast cancer information that senior woman should be aware of. Finding cancer in early stages results in simpler and effective treatment.

In August of this year a New York Times article reviewed a few of the options older women (75 years and up) can consider before having a mammogram during Covid-19 times. As usual, always check with your doctor before making any decisions regarding your breast health.
Statistics show the incidence of breast cancer as women age increases. Facing decisions for treatment can have an impact on emotional and physical well-being.

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The Bright Lights of Our Pandemic

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Hello Everyone,

You may have noticed that LivingSenior.me has a new look.  Considering the Pandemic, my post ‘conversations’ going forward will include some interesting outcomes of this fundamentally altering period in our lives.  Frankly, in my opinion, among other results, it may have brought more ‘connectedness’ and human kindness towards each other.  Families have had to be more creative in their togetherness; neighbors are reaching out to each other; often, people want to help each other. Politics have become more prominent to our conversations.  Namely, we cannot take our freedoms and livelihoods, or health for granted. I also consider the display of compassion for each other a good thing for our human society.

For this issue, I would like to call your attention to the Blogroll of my favorite websites.  Recently, I became more acquainted with Maria Shriver’s Sunday Paper.  I encourage you to put reading it on your “To Do” list.  It is an A+ online newspaper.  Here’s a link to read about Maria Shriver, and to see what she has to offer with her positive ideas, compassionate thoughts and suggestions for our WellBeing during this period and beyond.  Just click the link. https://mariashriver.com/mystory/

Another new addition to the Blogroll is the A+ Free Fitness programs.  Just click the link to find out more. https://seniorplanet.org/virtual-fitness-wellness-events/

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Below is a link to a post that appeared on The Lighthouse, a website, which originates in Sydney, Australia. It  is interesting to learn what others, outside of the USA, are saying about the Covid19.
https://lighthouse.mq.edu.au/article/april-2020/seven-positive-outcomes-of-covid-19

 

Stay Safe and Positive!

Message to Elders & Parents: Play More, Live Better and Longer

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Play More?
What Does That Mean? Why Should I?

As we are continually confronted with the challenge of Covid19 worries, that impact  our lives,  I am sure we could all use a ‘Time-Out’  – in a positive way.

Research reveals that play as adults can help us to get some relief from our responsibilities, and find ways to manage the stress we feel. Not only will it be good for you, but if you have children, it can be a way to connect and relieve stress for them as well.  Worth thinking about?  The school year will begin shortly in a format that some of us have not quite figured out how to handle, and to bring ‘normalcy’  to our work and school days.  Maybe what we need is a little relief to help us cope through this period.  Below are some sources, which discuss various options and suggestions for placing ‘play’ in your life.

 

Photo by Edu Carvalho from Pexels

 

Sources for Ideas

https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-importance-of-play-for-adults/
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/play-in-mind

Sign Up: Free Exercise and other Classes for Seniors

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I want you to know that on any given day it is not easy for me to “pick myself up” and take “that walk”. However, one of the things that I know for sure about exercising is: afterwards, I feel better.  I can imagine that for some of you, the same is true.  That’s why I am taking the opportunity to share with you the Senior Planet website:  https://seniorplanet.org/get-involved/online/.

Senior Planet has ‘figured it out‘.   That is for certain.  The Senior Planet program makes exercise look attractive, even tempting. I think that Senior Planet may motivate you to join with other seniors, in the comfort of your own home, and at a time and day that is convenient for you. You can choose what type of exercise suits your needs and your moods.  Oh, and did I say that it is free?

Senior Planet also has other online computer classes that you can take:  Art, Tech,  Chair Yoga, Discussion Groups.  It’s pretty impressive.

If you want to think about it first, take the opportunity to sign up for their Newsletter .
https://seniorplanet.org/get-involved/newsletters/

Enjoy!

Hearing Aids? Do you need them? How do you know?

My Everyday Tools: Hearing Aids and Glasses

It seems odd that hearing aids are not something I focused on as a tool for assisting my “wellbeing” in a significant way.  If you think about it at all, it would seem that hearing aids are just as important as glasses for reading and driving. My favorite question these days, which I have adopted from Rachel Maddow of MSNBC –  “Why is that?

Flash back to August of 2017, when I wrote a post about hearing loss, and at that time I called attention to the research, which determined that dementia ( I repeat, dementia) could be related to hearing loss. (https://livingsenior.me/2017/08/21/hearing-loss-dementia/)

Flash forward, after a recent hearing test (have you had one lately? ever had one?), my Audiologist doctor determined that I required hearing aids due to hearing loss in both ears.  In addition, she was concerned because difficulty hearing raises dementia risk. There it is again: dementia and hearing loss are related.

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