The National Institute of Whole Health (NIWH) | Pioneers of Whole Health Education® and Whole Person Care
February 28, 2017

Going On Vacation? Protect Your Health

By Georgianna Donadio, MSc, DC, PhD

As winter fades into spring, a lot of people decide to take a vacation. Often referred to as spring break, this is a time when when millions of people “take to the skies and roads,” visiting friends and relatives or exploring new locations. It’s a time of fun and relaxation, but there’s a hidden danger you might not know about. Unfortunately, 3-5% those who get off of airplanes, buses, trains or auto transport will develop blood clots, often not detected until many weeks after their trip.

As American health care consumers, we know in today’s environment that we must be pro-active and take control of our health through education and prevention. Staying healthy while traveling is one very important preventative situation that we can all be more aware of in order to circumvent an unwanted health crisis.

Three years ago, the World Health Organization published the WRIGHT report (WHO Research Into Global Hazards of Travel). It identified the extent of the problem and who was at risk. The report identified the population most at risk are females over 40 years of age with a prior history of deep vein thrombosis.

Others at risk include older travelers, obese travelers, pregnant women, anyone with varicose veins or a prior history of venous thrombosis, women taking birth control pills or estrogen, travelers with a history of a major operation, cancer, heart failure, highly trained athletes, and those with recent surgery or injury.

In spite of the evidence, however, there are still airlines in denial over the problem as many fear increased litigation. One major US airline has a published statement on its websites as a response to concerned travels that reads: “There is no epidemiological evidence that air travel causes blood clots.”

However, published experts would re-word that statement.  It would be more accurate to say that “Every credible scientific study of the subject has found that air travel [and other forms of confined travel] cause blood clots, including all of the most recent, large-scale, sophisticated studies.”

What can you do to prevent blood clots?

  1. Do not be immobile for more than 1 hour when traveling by air or in confined transportation
  2. Dress in loose-fitting clothes and shoes. No socks or garments should have banded constriction.
  3. Stay well hydrated, but avoid alcohol.
  4. Exercise your legs and feet every chance you can (e.g. every 20 minutes).
  5. Consider fitted compression stockings–compression of 20 mmHg or more is best.
  6. Take an aspirin. It is not a guarantee that taking aspirin will avoid, it does prevents platelet clumping, which causes clots. If you are at risk, it seems reasonable to take aspirin daily, starting a day before departure and continuing for a day after the flight terminates.
  7. Sit in an aisle seat. You will have more room, and it is easier to stand up and move around the plane, bus, or train.

For more information search for “blood clots and travel”. There is an enormous amount of information on the subject. If you are getting ready for that big trip, obtaining this information should be part of your “packing.”

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Published in Whole Health Living, Whole Person Health Care | Comments (0)

February 21, 2017

What Is A Health Coach?

By Georgianna Donadio, MSc, DC, PhD

Everywhere you look these days you see references to “health coaches.” The term is slowly becoming familiar, but you still may be confused at what exactly a health coach is and what can they do for your health. The word coach means “to bring out the best effort or aspect.”  A health coach is someone who facilitates your identifying lifestyle behaviors that bring out your very best health outcomes.

Coaching enhances your health and wellness by facilitating your focus and awareness of what you want to do and how you want to do it. The coaching process focuses on where are you now and where you want to go. Your intentions are viewed as the main motivating factor in the choices you make and the behaviors you exhibit.

Because this is a young specialty, it is important to be sure to work with a well-trained and experienced professional. There are many programs that now claim to train health coaches, but unless you are working with a health professional who is licensed or certified in their medical or health specialty and also trained by an accredited health coaching program, you could find yourself dissatisfied with the services you receive.

If you want to utilize a health coach to assist you with your weight loss for instance, you may want to find a nutritionist or a weight loss specialist or counselor who is also trained as a health or wellness coach. The health coach’s role is to assist you in identifying your goals–goals that are realistic and sustainable for you to achieve your desired health outcomes and maintain them.

Health coaching is an exciting addition to the many health and wellness services available today. As with all health related care, be sure and explore the credentials and reputation of the individuals you work with. It is your time, money, and health that depend on you working with the right person.


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Published in Holistic Nursing Training, Integrative Health, Whole Person Health Care | Comments (0)

February 14, 2017

Sugar: Our Natural Attraction

By Georgianna Donadio, MSc, DC, PhD

The average American consumes approximately 150 pounds of sugar a year. As hard as it is to believe, humans have a natural attraction to sugar that is part of our survival mechanism. It dates back to the days when sugars and energy rich carbohydrates were not readily available.

One of my class members in high school was Stephen Sinatra, MD. He is now an author, cardiologist,, nutritionist and anti-aging specialist. He was also the consultant for Connie Bennett’s book, Sugar Shock.

Dr. Sinatra explains that it is the over-consumption of sugar that creates a low -grade “silent inflammation” in the body, and we know today that inflammation has been implicated in all the leading chronic diseases. Heart disease and, of course, diabetes are two of the leading conditions that excess sugar consumption contribute to.

Many nutrition experts, including Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD nutrition specialist at the Gold Door Spa and Resort, say that the current guidelines of sugar not exceeding 10% of our daily caloric intake is still too much.

Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD, author of The Sugar Addicts Total Recovery Book, states that a true sugar addict has a specific syndrome going on–that they tend to have low serotonin levels, unstable blood sugar levels, or low beta-endorphin levels. This means they are eating sugar as a “medication” to feel better, as sugar creates a temporary increase in all of these levels and creates a true addiction cycle.

Other experts believe that soil mineral deficiencies, emotional hunger, processed foods, and a lack of exercise are all culprits in the enormous number of Americans who have constant sugar cravings and addictions.

So, what’s the cure? This is the fun part because we generally tend to come back to the basics. So we wind up with the same advice we would get from our wise and experienced grandmothers: Moderation.

Moderation is learning to balance our lives by slowing down; eating natural, organic, home-cooked foods and not too much of them; exercising more; working less; enjoying the simple things like laughter, gardening, cooking, reading and just being present.

Maybe we crave sugar when our “lives lose their sweetness.” The way to fix it is seeing the sweetness that is already in our lives–enjoying the life we are living instead of being hungry for a life that may appear more exciting or glamorous but may not be as “nourishing” as the one we are living now!

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Published in Holistic Nutrition, Integrative Nutrition, Whole Health Nutrition | Comments (0)

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