2016-05-20 / Health & Medical

TOTAL well-being

How to maintain mental focus

The technological advancements made in the 21st century have undoubtedly made life easier in many ways, but this golden age of gadgets has not come without some negative side effects. Thanks to the near-constant availability of the Internet and devices like smartphones and tablets, many men and women find it difficult to maintain their focus throughout the day. But while such distractions are never too far away, there are some ways to stay focused and productive.

• Get more exercise. Studies have shown that exercise and improved mental focus are linked. In a 2013 analysis of 19 studies involving more than 500 children, teenagers and young adults, researchers found that exercise sessions between 10 and 40 minutes immediately boosted concentration and mental focus. That improvement might be a result of exercise increasing blood flow to the brain. Men and women who find themselves struggling to focus at work after lunchtime may benefit from incorporating some exercise, whether it’s a brief walk or a more strenuous workout, into their midday routines.

• Perform breathing exercises. Nervousness is an oft-overlooked cause of loss of focus. When nervous, breath can become shallow and restricted, which can have a negative impact on the flow of oxygen to your brain, making it more difficult to concentrate. Professional athletes have long espoused to the virtues of breathing exercises as a means to calming their nerves, and professionals can follow suit. Some simple breathing exercises can help busy professionals multitask more effectively by helping them concentrate on the tasks at hand and overcome the distraction of having so much to do at one time.

• Stay hydrated. A recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that dehydration caused loss of focus and a sense of fatigue among women. While the loss of focus was considered insubstantial and the study only examined women, remaining hydrated throughout the day may make it easier to focus on work and other tasks throughout the day.

• Get adequate sleep. One of the best ways to improve focus during the day is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. Sleep deprivation produces a host of negative consequences, not the least of which is its impact on cognitive functioning. Research has shown that sleep deprivation compromises alertness and concentration, making it more difficult to focus at work and tackle tasks that require deep analysis and thought. In addition, a survey from the National Sleep Foundation found that sleepdeprived men and women are less likely to exercise and eat healthy diets, each of which can boost mental acuity.

Focusing in today’s atmosphere of constant distractions can be difficult, but men and women can overcome diversions by employing a handful of successful strategies aimed at improving concentration.

Have you heard of Bowenwork?

This unique, gentle hands-on therapy began in Australia in the 1950’s. It has been in the United States since 1991, and is currently in 37 countries. The Bowen Team is now offering this subtle, effective technique in Kennebunk.

Bowen is very light touch, non-invasive, but stimulating your body to self-correct via addressing the brain, and unwinding old trauma for renewed health. Our light, targeted touch prompts the body to get to work, improving as fast as it can, efficiently and effectively, at its own pace. All systems benefit, but initially it is the nervous system that comes out of fight-flight and into rest-repair mode. As the body balances, ‘reboots’, people report feeling relaxed yet energized. Whether acute injury, chronic pain or disease, anxiety, depression or breathing problems, Bowen aids in correction of dysfunctional patterns.

The Bowen Team is 4 practitioners joining together to help people regain their health. To find out more, go to www.thebowenteam.org. Check it out at the first Community Clinic offered Saturday, June 4 from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at Center for Mindful Health, 153 Port Rd., Kennebunk. 207-254- 9136

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.

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

Karen Vachon, licensed health insurance agent, helps individuals, families, small business owners, and senior citizens navigate their health insurance options. From Obamacare to Medicare, she gets up close and personal to the individual needs of her clients needs and situation, she helps people tap into available resources to best protect life’s twists, turns, and surprises.

“The health insurance purchase has changed a lot in the last few years and people are really confused”, explains Karen, who helps people determine their eligibility for tax credits, choose and enroll in a plan that best meets their needs and budget.

Open enrollment for 2016 ends January 31st – for those who would like to change their plans or enroll for the first time. Special enrollment outside of the annual enrollment period are available for those who have lost employer or state provided coverage, moved in our out of an area, or had a life change.

Tired of 1-800 eternal hold? Feeling perplexed, bewildered, dazed, or 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: Sugar consumption is at an all-time record high. At the same time, obesity and diabetes rates have skyrocketed worldwide. For the first time in history, obese people outnumber those who are underweight, and prediabetes affects half of the adults in the USA. According to a 2014 study, 10 percent of Americans consume 25 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of added sugars. Most adults (71.4 percent) get at least 10 percent of their daily calories from added sugar. The ramifications of this are significant. People who consumed 21 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar were TWICE as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who got 7 percent or less or their daily calories from added sugar. The risk was nearly TRIPLED among those who consumed 25 percent or more of their daily calories from added sugar. That means at least 10 percent of the adult population in the U.S. are in this tripled-risk category. The average American consumes around 20 teaspoons of added sugar a day. This is more than three times the recommended amount, and the evidence clearly indicates that this dietary trend goes hand in hand with our current epidemics of obesity and chronic disease. Four grams of sugar is equivalent to about 1 teaspoon. So, when you read your food labels and the sugar contents (for example), says 20 grams - that is equal to 5 teaspoons of sugar. And then think of all the different packaged foods (breakfast cereals, snacks, candy, soft drinks, deserts) you eat in a day. The sugar intake can easily add up to 15-20 teaspoons of sugar!! According to Dr. Robert Lustig, a neuroendocrinologist who has done extensive research on the role of sugar in your body, your liver can safely metabolize only about 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Any excess gets metabolized into body fat. Cancer cells need glucose (sugar) to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body. In order to starve the cancer cells, you have to eliminate its primary food source, i.e. the sugars, which include all non-vegetable carbohydrates. Physiologist Dr. Otto Warburg received a Nobel Prize back in 1934 for his research identifying cancer’s primary fuel was from anaerobic fermentation of glucose. He clearly demonstrated that cancer cells require sugar to thrive. More recent research has also concluded that sugar appears to initiate cancer growth. One of the most important ways to dramatically cut down on your sugar and fructose consumption is to simply eat real food, as most of the added sugar you end up with comes from processed fare: not from adding a teaspoon of sugar to your tea or coffee. Another way to cut down on the sugar in your diet is eliminating sugar you personally add to your food and drink or consume in the form of processed foods.

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

HOME SNUGGERS ANSWERS ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT “ RETROFOAM INSULATION” !

1) How much does it cost to insulate my house?

Depends on how much you want done, and how much we can save you with Efficiency Maine rebates. The average is about $4,500.

2) How long does it take? Usually no more than a day or two, and it’s usually applied from outside.

3) How much will I save on my heat bill? That varies between different homes. We find 30% - 40% is common.

4) What is the benefit of RetroFoam insulation?

The real benefit to your comfort is the air sealing, which reduces drafts and cold penetration from outside. Plus, it will keep rooms cooler in the summer too.

5) Are there other benefits, too? Yes, the RetroFoam is odor free, class 1 fire retardant, and keeps mice and other pests from invading your home, and sound dampening.

6) How can I be assured it’s well sealed? First, our technicians are highly trained; we check everything with a thermal imaging camera, and the post testing by the Efficiency Maine Certified Energy Auditor gives you and us another level of quality control.

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.

Are you a member of the Sandwich Generation?

Are you juggling caring for a parent and raising a family at the same time? Are you also working? If you are facing any of the above, it can be challenging and at times overwhelming.

You are not alone. Help is available from LifeStages, a division of VNA Home Health Hospice. Care Managers, who are skilled nurses and clinicians, can support and guide you through the challenges that come from supporting an aging loved one. They are experts on local resources and can make recommendations for living options at local facilities, or help you put a plan together so your parent can stay home safely. They can also provide medical oversight in your home. Most importantly, they are by your side if a crisis should occur guiding and advocating for you and your parent through the complex health care system.

The result? Greater peace of mind and time for you and your family. To learn more about LifeStages please call 400- 8763 or visit www.vnahomehealth.org

You can also attend our free “Sandwich Generation Presentations and Discussions” being held on the following dates:

May 10th from 6-8pm at the Maine Military Museum in South Portland and May 17th 6-8pm at the First Congregational Church, 301 Cottage Rd. in South Portland.

MassageCraft - CHRONIC PAIN?

We have the answer. Looking for relief from chronic pain that can actually improve your health? Reduce pain, sleep better, and increase your body awareness through massage, acupuncture, yoga and polarity. Strengthen your body’s own healing mechanism. 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, acupuncture, yoga, and polarity.

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 in the garden? 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, SMHC, and MBH. OPEN SUNDAYS Call 286-8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. And please visit us at our web site: www.massagecraft.com.

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