2015-05-22 / Health & Medical

TOTAL Well-Being

Exercise benefits the brain, too

Regular exercise can benefit the body in many ways, helping men and women maintain healthier weights and lower their risks for developing potentially deadly diseases. Though many people are quick to associate exercise with its physical benefits, those hours spent on the treadmill also can boost brain power.

According to Dr. Barry Gordon, professor of neurology and cognitive science at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and coauthor of “Intelligent Memory: Improve the Memory That Makes You Smarter,” exercise has a direct impact on the brain. That’s because exercise works directly on brain tissue, improving the connections between nerve cells, creating new synapses, growing new neurons and blood vessels, and improving cell energy efficiency. So while many people may begin an exercise regimen with a goal of trimming their waistlines or toning their bodies, they might be happy to know that those physical benefits are accompanied by several cognitive benefits as well.

As the American Psychological Association acknowledges, the connection between exercise and mental health is hard to ignore, and the APA notes that the following are just a few of the mental benefits men and women might reap from regular exercise. Improved mood

Many people feel great after exercising, especially if that exercise comes at the end of a particularly stressful day. However, those extra laps on the track or those hours spent on the treadmill don’t just pay short-term dividends. In a controlled trial overseen by Duke University researcher and clinical psychologist James Blumenthal, sedentary adults with major depressive disorder were assigned into one of four groups: supervised exercise, homebased exercise, antidepressant therapy, or a placebo pill. Those in the exercise and antidepressant groups had higher rates of remission than those in the placebo group, and Blumenthal concluded that exercise was generally comparable to antidepressants for men and women with major depressive disorder. In addition, in following up with patients a year later, Blumenthal found that those who continued to exercise had lower depression scores than those participants who were less active.

Blumenthal’s study was not the only one to conclude that exercise can have a positive impact on mood. In a review of 11 studies that examined the effects of exercise on mental health, Boston University professor of psychology Michael Otto and his colleagues found that exercise could be a powerful tool when treating clinical depression, and even recommended clinicians include exercise as part of their treatment plans for depressed patients. Antidote to anxiety

Some researchers, Otto included, have begun to examine the effects of exercise on treating and possibly preventing anxiety. The body’s nervous system responds quickly when people feel frightened or threatened, often causing the body’s heart rate to increase and sweating and dizziness to occur. Those people who are especially sensitive to anxiety respond to these feelings with fear, and that makes them more likely to develop panic disorders. But Otto and fellow researcher Jasper Smits of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University studied the effects that regular workouts might have on people prone to anxiety. Since exercise produces many of the same physical reactions, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, the body produces when responding to fear or threats, Otto and Smits wanted to determine if exercise might help people prone to anxiety become less likely to panic when experiencing fear or threats. In studying 60 participants with heightened sensitivity to anxiety, Otto and Smits found that the subjects who participated in a two-week exercise program exhibited marked improvements in anxiety sensitivity compared to those participants who did not take part in the exercise program. Otto and Smith concluded that this improvement was a result of the exercise group participants learning to associate the symptoms common to both fear and exercise, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, with something positive (exercise) instead of something negative (anxiety).

Providing home care for you and your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best inhome 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.

MassageCraft, Headquarters for Injury Specific Work

Do you suffer from pain or injury that keeps you from doing what you enjoy? Let the 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 Call 286- 8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. And please visit us at our web site: www.massagecraft.com.

Psychotherapy & Body Centered Practices - Coming Soon: A New Studio Offering Yoga, Qui Gong, NIA, & Mindfulness Classes

Art of Awareness provides psychotherapy and body centered practices. Our approach is client centered and supports sustainable self care. We provide Individual, Couples, Family Therapy, a variety of Therapy Groups and our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). The 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. The center provides services for Anxiety, Depression, Trauma Related Disorders, Eating Disorders, Obsessive Compulsive Disorders, Substance Abuse, Relationship Issues, Life Transitions, LGBT concerns, Grief, and Loss. We accept most commercial health insurance policies and offer services for adults, teens and children. Our IOP Program is offered from 4:30pm to 7:30pm three nights a week. The IOP Program provides treatment for a variety of mental health

concerns and specializes in services for Trauma Related Disorders and Disordered Eating. Ida O’Donnell, LCSW; Fleur Hopper, LCSW; Leslie Connolly, LCSW; Mindy Miller Muse, LCSW, RYT; Stephanie Duley, LCPC; Meghan Gorchoff, LCPC; John Rich, LCSW; Kristen Pierce, LCPC-C, MA,AT; Karina Chandler, LMSWCC and Bretton Neider, LMSW-CC, Stephanie Rose Tranchemontagne, LCSW-CC and (returning in June) Emily Roberson, LCSW work together as the center’s treatment team. 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. 102 to discuss your treatment needs and to inquire about our services. Art of Awareness is located at 813 Broadway in South Portland. (Relocating to 100 Waterman Dr. end of June) View our website at www.artofawareness.org.

Art and creativity reinforce health and wellness for local retirees

Preparations are underway for the 13th Annual Summer Solstice Resident Art Show at Piper Shores. The art show provides an opportunity for a very talented group of residents to share their work with the larger community.

Karen Walker, a retired cellular geneticist and Piper Shores resident, is one of this year’s artists, and her oil painting Driftwood is the featured artwork this year. Like so many Piper Shores residents, art has become a central part of her life.

“In Ancient Greece there was this concept of the four elements – water, air, fire and woodlands,” explains Walker. “I have found that I am very much a water person.” In fact, Walker says she moved to Piper Shores in large part for the exquisite ocean views and proximity to the water.

The annual resident art show showcases the value of creative pursuits, as a key to maintaining wellness. Artistic activity has been shown to be a wonderful vehicle for increased physical, mental and emotional health.

More than 25 residents will show their original artwork on Saturday, June 20 from 1-4 p.m. at 15 Piper Shores Road in Scarborough. The event is free and open to the public.

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.

Rolnick Chiropractic

Dr. Ellie’s Health Tips:

Health Tip of the Month: The importance of the proper amount of sleep cannot be ignored. Yes, not getting enough sleep in a night results in a very tired day. But new research shows if your overall pattern of quality sleep is lacking, the negative impact on your health can be huge. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, without sufficient sleep, the neurons in the brain show signs of degeneration. Interestingly, “catching” up on sleep, like a weekend of sleeping in, does nothing to repair the damage. In the journal, Neurobiology of Aging, research shows that poor sleeping habits cause brain damage and even accelerate onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Sleep deprivation causes disruption of certain synaptic connections that can impair your brain’s ability for learning, memory formation, and other cognitive functions. Maintaining a natural rhythm of exposure to sunlight during the day and darkness at night is a crucial component of sleeping well. Suggestions for improving your sleep include keeping the temperature in your bedroom below 70 degrees F, and avoiding electromagnetic fields near your bed. This means that you have to keep cell phones and other wireless devices, like modems away from your bed.

Thought for the Month: Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chiropractic Thought for the Month: The brain is the master controller of the body. If there is miscommunication between the brain and other parts of the body this can also impact your sleep. Chiropractors specialize in removing that miscommunication and helping your body function at its optimum. Many of our practice members report more restful sleep as one of the side effects of their chiropractic care!

For more information, call Rolnick Chiropractic at 207-283-1168 or check out our web page at www.rolnickchiropractic.com

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.

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