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There has been much research on the benefits of laughter

There has been much research on the benefits of laughter

Laughter affects both the mind and the body. It loosens you up and picks up your mood. Physiologically, laughter: Increases blood flow and circulation Decreases stress hormones Improves immunity Increase endorphins and neurotransmitters, Serotonin and Dopamine. Enhances mental functioning Psychologically, laughter: Reduces stress, anxiety, and tension, and counteracts symptoms of depression Elevates mood, self-esteem, hope, energy, and vigor Enhances memory and creative thinking Improves interpersonal relationships Increases friendliness and helpfulness Promotes psychological well-being Is Contagious! I love to laugh! Reading a funny passage, or seeing a comedian, or hearing a joke, can make me laugh out loud. And reliving these funny moments is good for the body. Even faking or inducing laughter, can produce therapeutic effects. If you have trouble laughing on your own, try a Laughter Club in person or online or Laughter Yoga. Check this out and start laughing now! It may tickle yourself funny! Here is an excellent resource to help you laugh! Help Guide And here are two quotes to inspire you to laugh and have more fun during these trying times: And from Lisa Wessan, my dear friend, colleague, and Therapeutic Laughter Expert— “Laughing at the insanity of life is very worthwhile. Strong people laugh early, laugh often and laugh deeply.” Lisa Wessan, LICSW, CLYL, RM Have a great month! To Your Health, Dr....
Blown Away by What I Learned this Weekend! Check it out!

Blown Away by What I Learned this Weekend! Check it out!

I hope you had a wonderful summer. I can’t believe we are already into fall. I wanted to share with you some extraordinary insights I gleaned this past weekend. I moderated a panel, entitled, “The Consequences for Human Health—Is our treatment of other animals making us sick?” at the “Rethinking Animals United Summit” in New York City, which featured talks and panels with eminent researchers, policy experts, and conservation entrepreneurs, who spoke about the “treatment of other species and the consequences to ourselves and the planet,” as well as solutions to these problems. ¹ Check out the link here to see the speakers and offerings. If you are interested, you can view the recorded Livestream. What I learned this weekend, truly affected me, and what I will tell you below can impact your health and well-being and ultimately, the planet’s. Taking action, even small steps, can make a difference for yourself and the planet. We CAN change the course of things for the better!     3 Major Takeaways: By the year 2050, more people will die from antibiotic resistant infections than from cancer if current agricultural practices and factory farming that feed animals antibiotics continue. Currently 80% of antibiotics produced are used in animals. When we eat these animals, we can develop resistance to antibiotics and potentially alter our gut flora. If you eat meat, try and choose pasture raised, wild, and organic varieties. ² “One Health”—is a concept that is re-emerging. “One Health” means that the “health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment.” ³ Because of deforestation, farming practices that disrupt animal habitats, and humans moving into animal territories,...
What to do when you are really stressed out!

What to do when you are really stressed out!

I hope you are enjoying the start of your summer! This month’s newsletter is dedicated to what to do in the moment when you are really stressed out. I have written previously about “holding your center” when things are falling apart or where you are having a major life stressor(s). (Please see my March 8th e-Newsletter). Acute stress such as worrying about deadlines, being late, performance anxiety, or dealing with frustrating customer service, can unfortunately be very harmful, and therefore is critical for you to interrupt and halt the stress response and ideally prevent it from occurring. I want to point out that all stress is not bad, as we need some positive stress to energize and motivate us, and increase our focus and performance. This is called EUSTRESS. We also need the stress response in emergent situations. You see, when you get stressed, your body pumps out adrenaline (also called epinephrine), and cortisol, hormones that work to get your body and mind ready to “fight or flee.” Your heart rate increases to pump blood around the body, your pupils dilate so you can see better, your respirations get faster and shallower, blood is directed away from the stomach and sexual organs to the large muscles of the arms and legs, so you are ready for action. But many of us, including myself, have gotten aggravated and stressed, out of proportion to situations that are not life threatening. We catastrophize. This excessive stress reaction can damage our minds and bodies. For these Acute Stressful Situations, I recommend the following: Notice that you are stressed—you might feel sensations of tightness...
How to Optimize Your Oral Health Which May Save your Life!

How to Optimize Your Oral Health Which May Save your Life!

This month’s newsletter is about your oral health. Yes, your mouth! Did you know that your mouth can be a gateway of prevention or a portal of disease? Recent research has shown that the some of the bacteria in the mouth including the tongue has been associated with pancreatic cancer, and that many diseases, like heart disease, stroke, dementia, and even bad breath have been linked to gum disease. Gum disease in the early stages is called gingivitis, and periodontitis is a more advanced form of the disease. Risk Factors for gum disease are smoking, inadequate brushing and flossing, diabetes; hormonal changes in girls and women; medications that lessen the flow of saliva; certain illnesses, such as AIDS, and their medications; and genetic susceptibility. Symptoms of gum disease include: Bad breath that won’t go away Red or swollen gums Tender or bleeding gums Painful chewing Loose teeth Sensitive teeth Receding gums or longer appearing teeth And conditions such as celiac disease, diabetes, lupus, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), and anemia, can have manifestations in the teeth, gums, and oral cavity. I examine my patients’ mouths for signs of disease, cancer, and gum inflammation. If you’d like to schedule an appointment for a complete history and physical examination, including your mouth, please call our office at 646-472-5043. What you can do to prevent gum disease and have healthier oral health: See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings Floss your teeth at least once per day to help remove plaque and bacteria. Brush your teeth at least twice per day, and ideally after meals. Use a tongue scraper gently at least...
Hold Your Center

Hold Your Center

This month’s newsletter focuses on how to “Hold Your Center” during times of significant stress. As a human being, you have invariably experienced major stress in your life, be it the loss of a loved one, losing a job, having financial issues, relationship stress, etc. It’s during these stressful periods when our healthy lifestyle routines can go awry and we may not eat as well, we stop exercising, we don’t get enough sleep, and we may indulge in unhealthy behaviors. To help cope with these challenging times, I believe it is important to “Hold Your Center.” “Holding Your Center” refers to the calm, centered, way of being that informs your life. These times require us to have more energy to withstand the stressors we are up against. To get to yourstable “Center” requires mental, emotional, and physical stamina. Here are a few suggestions to help bring you back to your “Center:”     Stick with healthy habits and adhere to a routine to help anchor and ground you emotionally and physically to be your best self during these times and shore up your resilience and strength. If it is too overwhelming to do all of the Don’t Mess with Stress™ foundational steps of Diet, Meditate, Walk (exercise, dance, move), and Sleep, just start with one of them, such as diet—try eating more leafy greens and drink more water, ideally boiled or room temperature water, as they can help ground you. Or pick a bedtime and consistently go to sleep at that time.     Listen to Music that soothes you: Baroque music that induces Alpha Waves in the brain for deep concentration and focus, such as composers Bach, Handel or...
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