2015-02-20 / Health & Medical

TOTAL well-being

Amazing Facts About The Human Heart . . .

Every Valentine’s Day homes and businesses dress up the decor with cupids and hearts to celebrate a day all about love and affection. The heart shape has been used to symbolically represent the human heart as the center of emotion and romantic love. Hearts symbolizing love can be traced back to the Middle Ages.

Those familiar with human anatomy realize that an actual heart bares very little resemblance to the ideographic heart shape used in art and imagery. Similarly, the human heart really has nothing to do with human emotions. Despite this, there are many interesting components of the heart, and a man or woman truly cannot love or live without one.

The heart as an organ is relatively small in size. It is roughly the size of a fist and weighs only 11 ounces on average. Although diminutive, the heart is responsible for pumping 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day. It accomplishes this by beating 72 times a minute in a healthy adult. All of the cells in the body receive blood except for the corneas in the eye.

The heart works harder than any other muscle in the body. In a fetus, it begins beating at four weeks after conception and will not stop until a person’s time of death. Even then, sometimes the heart can be revived. A heart can also continue to beat outside of the body provided it has an adequate oxygen supply.

Although many people refer to all of the blood vessels in their body as “veins,” they’re actually a combination of veins and arteries. Veins carry fresh, oxygenated blood to the body through arteries. The main artery leaving the left heart ventricle is called the aorta, while the main artery leaving the right ventricle is known as the pulmonary artery. Blood traveling back to the heart flows through veins after it has passed the lungs to pick up oxygen. The thumping noise that is heard while the heart is beating is actually the chambers of the heart closing and opening as blood flows through.

While the heart may not be the cornerstone of emotions, it can be affected by feelings. Studies have shown that a “broken heart” is a real occurrence, according to Live Science. Bad news or a breakup with a loved one can put a person at increased risk for heart attack. This type of trauma releases stress hormones into the body that can stun the heart. Chest pain and shortness of breath ensue but can be remedied after some rest.

Conversely, laughter and positive feelings can be beneficial for the heart. Research has shown that a good laughing fit can cause the lining of the blood vessel walls -- called the endothelium -- to relax. This helps increase blood flow for up to 45 minutes afterward.

Although having a big heart colloquially means that a person is loving and goes out of their way for others, physically speaking, a big heart is unhealthy. An enlarged heart can be a sign of heart disease and compromise the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. Left untreated, it can lead to heart failure.

There is good reason to get amorous with a loved one on Valentine’s Day or other times during the month. Being intimate can provide a physical workout, in some instances doubling a person’s heart rate and burning up to 200 calories. That’s the equivalent of a brisk 15-minute run. Also, a study of 2,500 men aged 49 to 54 found having an orgasm at least three times a week can cut the likelihood of death from coronary disease in half, according to The New England Journal of Medicine.

The heart is an amazing organ responsible for sustaining life. Although it is not directly tied to love and emotions, without the heart such feelings wouldn’t be possible.

Save $10 on your initial acupuncture visit.

Do you suffer from pain or injury that keeps you from doing what you enjoy? Let the experienced staff at MassageCraft put you on the road to recovery. Our practitioners have over 75 years of combined experience in eastern and western massage techniques and acupuncture. Not sure whether you need acupuncture or massage? Choose acupuncture for pain complicated by digestive distress, menstrual issues, respiratory problems, anxiety or depression. Too sore for a back massage? Acupuncture can alleviate back pain with a few needles placed in the hands. Are you feeling the effects of too many hours at the computer? Or perhaps you’ve over exerted chipping ice????? A deep tissue massage will work out the stiffness, soreness and knots. Your muscles will be longer, suppler, and you will be less prone to re-injury. Not to mention the positive effects both acupuncture and massage have on your sleep and stress levels. MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic was established in 1991, with convenient locations in Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach. We accept workers compensation and some private insurance upon benefit verification. We offer corporate discounts to UNE, SMMC, and CSI. OPEN SUNDAYS. Hot stones with EVERY massage! Call 286- 8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. And please visit us at our web site: www.massagecraft.com.

Dedicated to Help You Keep Moving for Life!

By Kelly Hassett

MedCOR Professionals

Movement. It's the essence of freedom, of an independent life. Yet for many of us, everyday movement and simple tasks present physical challenges that can be difficult. While most of us would like to "keep moving", it’s often more difficult than we imagine. Perhaps you’re an active baby boomer facing knee, hip or shoulder replacement surgery. Perhaps your aging parent suffers from chronic arthritis or is recovering from a fall. In each of these cases, "keep moving" can become the stuff of dreams rather than reality.

There is good news, however. With today's technological advancements, researchers and manufacturers have developed products that can help many of us overcome the physical challenges of joint damage and aging.

Splints support the healing of weakened or fractured bones. Orthotic bracing and soft goods provide full body support and pain relief. Exercise and rehabilitation supplies can help us get moving again. Manual wheelchairs, knee walkers, canes, crutches, walkers, and rollators provide extra stability for short walks or wheels for longer excursions. Reachers, zipper pulls, and other daily living aids make everyday tasks easier and help people remain independent.

What's even better is that with a doctor’s recommendation, Medicare as well as many private insurance companies help pay for this equipment.

So, take heart, and make the decision to stay active. Ask questions and learn more about the products that help you and your loved ones stay independent and connected to the world. With a little determination and personalized assistance from a local medical supply and equipment company, everyone will be able to "keep moving for life".

To see if they can help you or your loved one speed up a recovery, visit MedCOR at 152 U.S. Route One, Scarborough, ME or call (207) 222-2828.

Smile confidently with customfitted dentures from Denture Solutions

First impressions are made with a great smile, so don’t hold back because of poorly fitting dentures. An unfortunate consequence of wearing worn dentures for an extended period of time can include facial changes, looseness or need to use adhesive in your denture. This is often due to changes to the jawbone and ridges that the dentures rest on *see illustration.

After being unsatisfied with several dentures made elsewhere here are recent quotes from our happy patients: “I wear new upper and lower dentures and I can eat steak” C.A. Dayton, Maine

This bottom denture locks in place and doesn’t move when I’m chewing. I love them & the people that made them! It is worth the long trips. The only place worth going to in my opinion” Evie Gaudet, Westbrook, M.E. Call Denture Solutions at 985-

0210 for an appointment today! www.DentureSolutionsMaine.com

Free Balanced Living Assessments Free Food & Body Balance Support Group

Cultivating Balance, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Art of Awareness is offering free Balanced Living Assessments. Contact us to schedule an assessment, if you would like support in identifying and addressing the areas in your life that feel out of balance and are causing you stress. cultivatingbalanceforyou@gmail.com or 207-332-9003

Cultivating Balance is also offering a free Food & Body Balance Support Group for people struggling with eating disorders, disordered eating, or who want to improve their relationship with food, body image and exercise. It is every Weds. from 6pm to 7pm at Maine Medical Center’s Dana Center. No need to sign up. Just show up.

Art of Awareness provides psychotherapy and body centered practices. Our approach is client centered and supports sustainable self-care. We are currently accepting new clients for Individual, Couples, Family Therapy, Group Therapy, and our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).

Art of Awareness is run by a collaboration of licensed therapists in South Portland. Our therapists are trained to provide therapeutic services for a wide range of mental health and wellness issues. We accept most commercial health insurance policies and offer services for adults, teens and children.

We have a vision of the Center being a place where safety, balance, and creative healing are the foundation of our work.

Please contact us at 207- 799-1331 ext. 101 to discuss your treatment needs and to inquire about our services. Art of Awareness & Cultivating Balance are located at 813 Broadway in South Portland.

View our websites at www.artofawareness.org

& cultivatingbalance.org

Melissa Libby ~ family nurse practitioner

Melissa Libby invites you to consider her as your primary care provider. Her practice, which just opened in South Portland on January 5, 2015, is oriented to people, not paperwork, and your direct contact during all phases of your health care is with her personally. She accepts most major insurances.

Melissa is a 30 year veteran of the healthcare field including the last 15 as a family nurse practitioner (FNP) practicing internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine. As an independent practitioner within a collaborative practice, she has the autonomy and the resources, including the time, to provide highly personalized patient-centered preventive, acute, and chronic illness care.

For more information, go to her website at melissanlibbyfnp.com or call 761-4700.

Providing home care for you and your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best in-home services for you or your loved ones at affordable rates. Since 2001, we’ve been helping people with personal care (bathing/dressing), light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship and the like. If you or a family member have had surgery, are going through a course of treatment, or can no longer do some of the everyday household chores you’ve always done, call us at 699-4663 for a free consultation.

Piper Shores Lecture Series Promotes Health & Wellness

Piper Shores, Maine’s only nonprofit lifecare retirement community, places extraordinary value on the care and wellbeing of its residents. As part of its mission, Piper Shores is dedicated to providing superior health and wellness education to residents and staff. “We place a vey high value on education,” says Community Health Services Director, Mary DeSalle. “That’s why we host a Wellness Lecture Series designed to attract distinguished speakers from across New England to take the mystery out of medicine.” The series provides a forum for residents to ask questions of experts in a variety of medical fields, including cardiovascular health, orthopedic health, alternative medicine and other topics of interest to seniors. Piper Shores also participates in Maine Medical Center’s Grand Rounds, a community health lecture series presented by Maine Medical Center experts.

This month Piper Shores welcomes guest speaker Dr. Douglas VanderPloeg, founder of the Maine Spine & Nerve Institute, to discuss new treatments for Peripheral Neuropathy, a disorder of the peripheral nerves impacting more than 20 million Americans. Dr. VanderPloeg will discuss options for treating this painful condition on February 25 at 3:30 PM in the Founders Room at Piper Shores. Seating is limited, so please RSVP at 510-5242.

Perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or confused about health insurance?

Karen Vachon, Licensed health insurance agents helps individuals, families, small business owners, and senior citizens navigate their health insurance options. From Obamacare to Medicare Vachon’s approach is different. She gets up close to the individual client’s needs and situation and taps into available resources to protect life’s twist, turns, and surprises.

“The health insurance purchased has changed a lot in the last year and people are really confused”, explains Karen, who helps people determine their eligibility for tax credits, along with choosing a plan that best meets their needs and budget. “People are also concerned about the tax penalty if they don’t have health insurance”, says Karen, who helps people identify if they’re exempt from the penalty; or would prefer more affordable protection off the exchange.

Tired of 1-800 eternal hold? Feeling perplexed, bewildered, dazed and confused? Call Karen! 207-730-2664. There is no fee for her service.

Rolnick Chiropractic

Dr. Ellie’s Health Tips:

Health Tip of the Month: The power of the mind is tremendous. Recent research finds that dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body. Research performed at Ohio University discovered that when study participants were asked to think about a stressful incident, their levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of tissue inflammation, rose. The study is the first time to directly measure this effect in the body. C-reactive protein is an important marker for disease in the body. Most serious diseases like cancer, are marked by increased inflammation. This study adds evidence to the fact that you are what you think. Positive people tend to be healthier. Healthy thoughts not only create healthy minds, but healthy bodies. Years ago, Norman Cousins wrote a book on how his body was able to cure his cancer by using laughter as one of his main treatments. It is also well documented that stress in general creates abnormal chemical reactions in the body that lead to illness, anything from heart disease, high blood pressure, digestive issues to skin disorders. The bottom line is that you have remember to think positive. I tell my children, avoid negative self-talk. The more negative stuff that you repeat inside your mind, not only will your mind eventually believe it, but your body will react to it as well. And that reaction will be ill health. Keep it positive. When life dishes you out some sour apples, put a spin on it, laugh it off and turn it into learning experience. For your own health. Thought for the Month: All sorts of bodily diseases are produced by half-used minds. ~George Bernard Shaw

Chiropractic Thought for the Month: The brain and nerve system control everything in the body. Stress creates interference in nerve system function. Chiropractors specialize in restoring normal nerve function that should your body can heal itself as it is meant to.

For more information, call Rolnick Chiropractic at

207-283-1168 or check out our web page at www.rolnickchiropractic.com

Think you need a hearing aid?

If you need or think you might need a hearing aid, you should call Mark Vail today — he’ll test and evaluate you for the hearing aid you need in the comfort of your home and you’ll be happy with it.

By visiting people in their homes, Mark can make the best assessment of what the person’s needs are. Sometimes, he visits people at their places of work because of concerns there. This attention to detail shows up in the low return rate he has.

You can reach Mark Vail at 284-9600 or toll free at 877-284-3400. Call today and you’ll be hearing better soon.

It’s like family at Just for Women Gynecology

The doctors and staff at Just for Women Gynecology want to thank all of our patient, old and new, for making our first year in private practice a successful one. We are very grateful that our established patients followed us to our new location in Springvale.

Our new location is easy to find, is all on one level and has convenient parking. We are able to offer more flexible appointments. We now have some 8 am appointments that are more convenient for some of our patients’ schedules. When we went into private practice, we chose to limit our practice to office gynecology with some minor surgeries. We are no longer doing Obstetrics or hysterectomies. And while we will always miss that part of our lives, it does mean we rarely get called out of the office. We are usually able to offer same day and next day appointments for emergencies.

We know that going to the gynecologist is not on the top of the list of things a woman wants to do. But we try to make it as comfortable for our patients as possible. For any questions about our services or schedule an appointment, please call 207-206-7270.

The Home Energy Savings Program

The Home Energy Savings Program, or HESP from Efficiency Maine is providing the most accessible support for homeowners who need to re-insulate their homes,” reports Mark Walker, General Manager of Home Snuggers. To help them cut their heating bills, Efficiency Maine will rebate up to $1,500 to customers. And almost all new Home Snuggers customers qualify for at least $1,000 from Efficiency Maine.

Home Snuggers is a Windham based family business founded in 2011, solely for the purpose of re-insulating homes in Maine. Their premier product, RetroFoam, is a super insulation technology tested in thousands of existing American homes over the last 10 years. Homeowners typically slash their heating bills by one third with the addition of RetroFoam to their exterior walls. RetroFoam seals all the gaps and cracks where heat escapes and eliminates drafts.

Anyone interested in financing the modest cost of a RetroFoam installation - an average home is only $2,500 to $4,000 - can apply for a low interest PACE Loan from Efficiency Maine. Energy savings usually cover the monthly loan payments, which makes it easy to pay off quickly.

According to Walker, “Everyone knows energy costs will rise in coming years. Home Snuggers provides healthy and affordable insulation, while being a neighbor of integrity in our communities.” It is noteworthy that RetroFoam is totally ecofriendly. Eric Hallee, Vice President of Chase Customs Homes points out, “RetroFoam doesn’t produce vapors, and installers do not need protective gear.”

Customers speak highly of Home Snuggers. Exclaimed Deborah King of Cape Elizabeth on one cold, sunny morning as she walked into the office: “It is so hot in here, you have to turn the heat down. Apparently the RetroFoam is working. The heat wasn’t even on!”

Efficiency Maine’s Home Energy Savings Program will likely be funded through June 30, 2015. Homeowners should take advantage of this incentive of up to $1,500 for upgrading their house while also cutting their home heating bills.

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