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What I Learned in Japan to Enhance Health and Decrease Stress!

I am excited to report that I just returned from an amazing trip to Japan! I was immersed in Japanese culture from experiencing the beautiful cherry blossoms, seeing Mount Fuji in its magnificence, traveling on high-speed trains, and witnessing a culture of people respectful and eager to please. I was impressed with many things—the precision with which trains arrive and leave on time within seconds, the bowing after an interpersonal interaction, and the attention to detail, beauty and simplicity of their art and architecture, not to mention heated toilet seats!!! I was also deeply affected by my excursion to Hiroshima. Hiroshima had been a bustling City, filled with life and in one instant, was decimated by the atomic bomb in World War II. On a happier note, I want to speak to you about a wonderful custom endemic to Japanese culture—the practice of “Shinrin-yoku”—also known as Forest Bathing or Nature Therapy. It is the process of enjoying nature through our senses. Research has shown that being in nature and “green environments”(1) has significant health effects. With most of us connected to our technology, we often barely see the light of day. Exposure to daylight, especially morning daylight also has tremendous benefits.(2) Because of the significant health advantages from exposure to forest environments, a new medical discipline called “Forest Medicine” has been created, which combines “alternative medicine, environmental medicine and preventive medicine”(4) to study and define how to best prescribe this type of therapy for people. These are some Health Benefits of “Forest Bathing”(4): Increased Natural Killer Cell activity suggesting preventive effect on cancers Lowered blood pressure and heart rate...

What’s the “Buzz” About Alcohol?

I hope you are enjoying the winter season. This month’s Newsletter is about the new research on alcohol. Two new definitive statements about the dangers of alcohol were released this past January 2023 by the World Health Organization and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. (1,2) These groundbreaking pronouncements have shaken and stirred the general consensus that drinking alcohol in moderation is good for you.  The word was that two drinks per day for a man and one drink per day for a woman were cardioprotective and might even decrease the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. The new dictum from the WHO and the Canadian Centre is: “No level of alcohol consumption is safe for your health”   That’s right. Zip, none! The World Health Organization now states that the risk of disease from alcohol starts from the first drop! Dr. Carina Borges, the WHO advisor for alcohol, claims that “the risk to a drinker’s health starts from the first drop of any alcoholic beverage.”(1) If you drink more, your risk of developing disease increases proportionately and alcohol is known to cause seven cancers including bowel and female breast. Furthermore, the WHO reports that moderate or light alcohol drinkers in the European region developed half of the cancers caused by alcohol, including the most alcohol-related breast cancers. The WHO believes that the potential good effects of light and moderate drinking are outweighed by the risk of cancer associated with the same level of drinking. Dr. Borges claims it doesn’t matter how much one drinks because there is no safe level of alcohol intake.  Quantity counts.  More is...

Have a Merry Flavonoid for Christmas! Exciting News!

I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying the holidays! The holidays and the New Year are a time of celebrations but they also lead us to excess, usually with increased consumption of sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. It is important to add more healthful foods, especially those that contain flavonoids, to counteract the harmful effects of your seasonal diet! Flavonoids are a part of “Nature’s Pharmacy” and are compounds found mostly in plants such as tomatoes, lettuce, onions, peas, apples, broccoli, red grapes, watercress, kale, spinach, parsley, citrus fruits, and tea. (2) They are “bioactive” which means that they have positive effects on our minds and bodies.1 They nourish and support our health through their anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, cardio-protective, and anti-diabetic actions. (2,3,4,5) Two flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, have been found to slow cognitive decline. A study in the journal Neurology indicated that older people who ate the equivalent of one cup of dark, leafy greens had the lowest decrease in their rate of cognitive decline. (6) So my advice to you: Eat your flavonoids!!! You don’t like veggies? Quercetin is available as a dietary supplement, but high doses may damage the kidneys, and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and people with kidney diseases should not take quercetin. Quercetin may also interfere with certain drugs, so it is important to discuss supplementing with your physician. And it is unclear if Quercetin should be taken for long periods of time without breaks. (7) During this time of year, which can also be a time of stress for many, it is good to shore up other healthy habits...
What I Learned from Getting Covid and How It May Help You!

What I Learned from Getting Covid and How It May Help You!

This newsletter is about my current experience with Covid-19, and the lessons I learned that can possibly help you to prevent it and lessen your symptoms if you have it. ———————————– Wow!  The rapid test was negative, but I still wasn’t feeling well. A half hour later, encouraged by a non-medical close friend with Covid whose rapid test was negative, and PCR was positive, I went to a booth on the street for the PCR test, which would take 24 hours, and one at a doctor’s office with a same day result.  I needed to know as soon as possible if I had Covid. I was stunned when I got the call and the email a few hours later.  You have Covid!  The second PCR confirmed the diagnosis the next day. For two years I had managed to evade the virus. How and where did I contract it?  There were a few opportunities where I didn’t wear a mask for prolonged time over the prior weekend and was possibly exposed. What were my symptoms? Headache, fatigue, fever, muscle aches, joint aches, sore throat, nasal congestion, decreased appetite, and a little later in the course, sensations in my fingers and toes. I immediately got into bed and began hydrating with hot clear fluids and started a supplement protocol. I ordered chicken soup from a local deli and “doctored” it up with fresh garlic, fresh ginger, fresh onion, turmeric powder, black pepper(activates turmeric), parsley, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.(6)  (I call it Dr. Jill’s Magic Soup). I topped it off with fresh cilantro.  I also ordered fresh squeezed orange juice. ...
10,000 Steps–Fact or Fallacy? ‌

10,000 Steps–Fact or Fallacy? ‌

I hope you are well and enjoying the fall!  We are having cooler weather and it is easy to cut back on motivation to work out and exercise.  This month’s Newsletter is designed to inspire you to continue to move especially with the holidays and the delicious food and trimmings associated with it!  Physical Activity and Exercise are important for all ages, and especially as we get older.  The consequences of leading sedentary lives including prolonged sitting can cause joint pain and stiffness, bone loss, and sarcopenia (loss of muscle), not to mention obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and memory loss.(1)  We need physical flexibility, aerobic fitness, and strength to enable us to push, pull, carry, squat, hinge, lunge, and rotate(2) and to make our hearts, minds, bones, and muscles strong.  Physical Activity is any movement of your body requiring energy, whereas Exercise is “planned, structured, purposeful physical activity”, designed to increase physical fitness.(3).  Exercise as a Health Booster and Free Anti-Aging Remedy! (8) Check out these Health Benefits of Exercise:  1.  Decreased Stress 2.  Better bone health and balance(7)  3.  Improved memory and cognition  4.  Improved Mood, decreased depression risk  5.  Decreased Anxiety risk  6.  Improved Sleep  7.  Improved Quality of Life  8.  Decreased risk of Cancer  9.  Improved Gut Microbiome  10. Decreased oxidative stress  11. Decreased aging—by lengthening telomeres (the caps on chromosomes).  12. Increased BDNF—Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor—fertilizer for neuron growth  13. Relief from constipation  Just think how you feel after you exercise. I know for me, when I exercise, I have a sense of well being.  And when you exercise, you have a healthy glow. ...
How to Stay Cool in the Heat and Hear Dr. Jill Help You Beat Burnout

How to Stay Cool in the Heat and Hear Dr. Jill Help You Beat Burnout

I hope you are doing well.   It’s a been a little while since I have written to you and I wanted to reach out and connect.  This month’s Newsletter is about dealing with heat outside.  Coincidentally, I am going to be speaking about “burnout” next week, which is generated from both outside and inside ourselves. Heat Related Illness: Earlier in the summer in places in New York City and around the country, there were heat waves.  In August, it can also get very hot outside and I wanted to give you some tips to help you stay cool and healthy in the heat. Heat-Related Illness is a term that encompasses a spectrum of conditions from hyperthermia (overheating of the body) to lower extremity swelling, cramps, to heat exhaustion, and finally heat stroke. (1) According to the Wilderness Medical Society Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Heat Illness: 2019 Update, Heat Exhaustion is “mild to moderate heat illness” due to exposure to high environmental temperatures or strenuous physical exercise. The signs and symptoms of Heat Exhaustion include “intense thirst, weakness, discomfort, anxiety, dizziness,” and fainting. (1) One’s body temperature might be normal or elevated up to but not including 104 degrees F. With Heat Stroke, the body temperature is greater than 104 degrees F, and the signs and symptoms are more severe and can be deadly.  They include “altered mental status, seizures, or coma resulting from passive exposure to heat or strenuous exercise.” (1) Also, flushed skin, rapid breathing, racing heart, and headache can be seen with heat stroke. (4)   How can you prevent heat-related illness? First, identify your risk factors. Having any of the following conditions increases...
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